1997 The Electric Pixel Company
Platform: Super Nintendo
Code – Simon Nicol
Graphics – Herman Serrano
Sound – Mike Clarke
Ten years after Mega Apocalypse, Simon Nicol’s awesome ‘Mad Planets’ conversion was to be given the 16-bit treatment. ‘Apocalypse 2’ was born.
‘Apocalypse 2’ is a one/two player mixture of Gyruss and Asteroids, with a main ship that can rotate 360º after collecting the relevant power-up. You must destroy waves of planets that hurtle along and grow in size if you don’t shoot them early. Once planets are at full size, they take more shots to destroy and speed up the more they are shot. If you thought that was enough, fireballs also appear from nowhere to surprise and destroy you!
Graphics are the obvious enhancement, with Herman Serrano producing excellent graphics to modernise proceedings. The main ship looks and animates extremely well, and planets are larger and far deadlier than before. Mike Clarke’s great remix of Rob Hubbard’s classic tune brings back memories as it belts out, and sound effects are faithful with the original speech effects retained and enhanced.
Whilst looking at the game, there isn’t much that hasn’t been seen already in the 8-bit versions. The only real changes are the sound and graphics, apart from a new Shield based power-up and various tweaks. Could more have been added? Maybe, but its original appeal remains, and clocking up high scores has never been more appealing.
One thing you may find is that the game is harder than the original. Planets are much larger, so when four or five get onto the screen, it’s almost impossible to survive. Losing lives will allow planets to continue to grow (a bit mean!) and would probably have you throwing your SNES through the TV! It is a real test to see if you had toughened up since the original’s release.
Although completed and ready to release, by 1997 the SNES was a dying breed. The N64 and PlayStation were beginning to dominate and no one wished to publish SNES titles anymore. Simon was left with a complete game gone to waste.
When we originally covered this game in a feature in Retro Gamer magazine back around 2005, Simon revealed that he did plan to release the game as Shareware, allowing gamers to play through their SNES emulators, but this never happened. Evan G who runs SNES Central, managed to get hold of Simon Nicol around 2006 time, who gave permission for the ROM to be released to the world.
As a result, here also is the build that we originally were given to review for Retro Gamer, which is a later build from 1997. The only differences will be within the titles (no Psygnosis + speech) + the date.