Sinistar: Unleashed Logo

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Back in the early 1980's, there was one arcade company that was synonymous with frenzied, challenging, no-holds-barred action: Williams. The makers of Robotron: 2084, Defender, Joust, Blaster and Sinistar were well respected by the hardcore gaming jocks because its games were merciless and helped seperate the men from the boys (or women from girls) as far as gaming skills were concerned.

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GameFX, a small developer comprised of former Looking Glass employees, has been hard at work on Sinistar: Unleashed since 1997. Originally, the working title was called Out of the Void and had nothing to do with Sinistar. However, when the company acquired the Sinistar license last year, they made some wholesale changes to the gameplay to better conform to the classic arcade shooter's style. The result is what everyone hopes will be a combination of Out of the Void's graphical flash with Sinistar's fast and frenzied action.

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As was the case with its predecessor, Sinistar: Unleashed has you racing through outer space gathering crystals. The ultimate object is to grab enough crystals to make a Sinibomb so that it can be used to destroy the Sinistar, an evil being that's also chasing you throughout the game.

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According to GameFX, Sinistar: Unleashed's render-on-the-fly 3D visual effects are said to tower above the current generation of games. Advanced texture-mapping technology, plasma lighting effects, and particle systems make Sinistar: Unleashed much more than just a mere enhancement over the original.

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This update will ultimately feature 24 single player levels, including five bonus (read: hidden) levels. Additionally, there will be six different fighters from which to choose from, each featuring a large arsenal of destructive force. More than 25 uniquely dynamic enemies will each be controlled by advanced AI and their own arsenal of weapons, deadly attacks and evil personalities. And as with any good modern PC game, Sinistar: Unleashed will support up to eight players over local area networks (LANs) and the Internet.

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Only time will tell if Sinistar: Unleashed will do the original classic justice. It's a tall order, for sure, when you consider that this update will be compared to both Sinistar AND today's finer shooters. But what we really want to know is whether the original game's speech samples will make it into this update. The "Beware, I Live!" quote is arguably the most memorable classic gaming quote (with apologies to Berzerk's Intruder alert! and Crazy Climber's Go for it!) -- sort of like how "Go ahead, make my day" and "Here's looking at you, kid" are universally beloved phrases from the movies.

Sinistar: Unleashed is slated for release for the PC in June of this year. T*HQ will be publishing the title.

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