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Blue Lightning - The Atari Times

Blue Lightning

An underwhelming pack-in for the Jaguar CD
by Dan Loosen

June 29, 2004
Blue Lightning is a pack-in for the Jaguar CD, and that really benefits it. Why? Because there is absolutely no reason for this game to be a CD game instead of a cartridge. If you somehow didn't get it with your Jaguar, you can get it for a couple bucks and this game is definitely worth that. If the game was on a cartridge or was not a pack in, I would probably be a lot more harsh on it. For what it is though, this game is all right in my book.

The Jaguar looks completely underpowered with this game that are not that much of an enhancement over the Lynx title of the same name. Other than a couple nifty but completely unnecessary FMV scenes, the game consists of scaled sprites... horribly pixelated scaled sprites. The graphics of this title are about what you would expect from a SNES game, not a Jaguar game and a CD game at that.

The sound is all right, and I really quite enjoyed the musical tracks, but they don't stick in your mind the way the Tempest 2000 tunes do... or the Zool tunes, or the Defender 2000 tunes, or... a lot of the Jaguar's library. They are of a hard rock theme, and it works well for this game.

Control is about what you would expect. The game is on rails, so you can't explore wherever you want. Luckily, this game works as an on-rails shooter, and because of that the problems with controls are bearable most of the time. You have to use the D-pad to both steer your aircraft and aim, which is probably the only way to do this with the standard controller, but an expanded Pro-Controller option would have greatly benefited this title.

Underneath it all, the gameplay is relatively fun, although a bit underwhelming. For a few dollars, this title is a great game to pick up for your Jaguar. There is no denying that a much better game should have been used as the Jaguar CD pack-in (*ahem* BattleMorph), but I'll admit that I still will pull this title out to play it from time to time. It isn't a game to show off the power of the system with, but if you liked titles like Sega's After Burner, you'll enjoy Blue Lightning for a time.

Jeez, the Lynx title screen was more exciting than this...
It's okay, you can fly right into that dome.
Ooo... Scary explosions.
Blue Lightning
System: Jaguar
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 55%
Sound & Music Score: 70%
Gameplay Score: 70%
Control Score: 60%

Final Score: 65%

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