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World End/ Invasion aus der Galaxis (HomeVision/Quelle)

DoctorSpuds

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Today we’re going to look at an obscure European game published from an obscure European publisher. HomeVision is a rare company; in fact I can’t find a single one of their games that’s priced below 200 dollars.  HomeVision was the distributor of a distributor; it was created by a company called VDI to distribute games gotten from Gem International Corporation. Some of these games are original, like the one we’re looking at today, and others are just graphical hacks of preexisting games. The game we’re looking at is World End, a game considered by Atarimania to be a Holy Grail which means that three or less of these cartridges exist, which is unfortunate since I think this game is, despite being flawed, quite good. So let’s just get on with that shall we?
 
 
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Overall the graphics are a bit meh, here’s why. The opening of the game is quite good; a large mothership descends from the top of the screen and releases two hideous creatures, a generic UFO and a troll creature. The mothership, UFO, and troll look excellent despite their blockiness they’re colorful and animated. The enemies are a bit generic looking, mostly vague shapes with the occasional Space Invader thrown in, but the animations some of them have are excellent and they’re also extremely colorful, I think I see a theme starting here. There are also nifty touches that didn’t need to be added but were anyway, for example when you beat a wave of enemies the sides of the screen will close much like theater curtains and wipe the remaining enemies away, I like this a lot. Here’s where a few issues set in, immediately upon starting the game you’ll see something indicative of this game, flicker, flicker everywhere. Due to the frankly ridiculous amount of enemies that are onscreen, as many as eight at a time, there is a boatload of flickering going on, even your shit flickers a whole bunch. While this does not affect the gameplay at all it does affect your eyes, and it can get rather obnoxious after a while, and speaking of obnoxious…

 

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These sounds are awful, and no it’s not what you think. Every time you hit the reset button you are treated to this game’s starting sequence, where a song, which sounds suspiciously like the Superman theme song, plays very slowly, then the mothership descends very slowly and the two creatures descend from the mothership very slowly. All while this is happening your ears are being assailed by high and low pitched trilling noises, low for the mothership and high for the creatures. This starting sequence lasts almost 30 seconds, and it is intolerable. The normal gameplay sounds are alright actually, just a bunch of generic shooting and explosion sounds and the curtain close is accompanied by an amazing WHOOSH sound. So far we’ve been presented with a fairly mixed bag, will
the gameplay save this game or just make it worse?
 
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This is the game that Guardian wishes it was. Unlike with guardian this does not use the Paddles but it does allow you to fire while moving and you can fire quickly, unlike with guardian. This is actually a fairly complicated game despite the simple premise, you are forced to move quickly and shoot accurately while avoiding enemies. Let’s start with the two creatures, the UFO is the one that spits out enemies, up to eight at a time, while the troll fires deadly laser beams down at you without warning. The troll works on a rough pattern so you’ll be able to guess where he will fire next but even so it is advisable to be on the opposite side of the screen as him whenever possible. The UFO shoots out two kinds of enemies, the filler enemies will simply bounce around the screen and do not kill you if they touch the bottom of the screen but they will kill you if they hit you directly. The non-filler enemies, the ones that look like Space Invaders, travel in a straight line towards the bottom of the screen and if they make it they will automatically take a life. You wouldn’t believe a game where you travel on a straight line would have you dodging so many obstacles. The game is split up into waves, every 5000 points, or 50 enemies, you move on to the next wave and greater challenge. Every new wave narrows the playfield somewhat by use of the curtains, and the creatures and enemies speed up as well, I can only get to wave four before I game over. I don’t know if you can get extra lives, if there is a way then it is not immediately obvious.


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Overall this game is actually hindered by its presentation, the opening sequence is especially awful and between every wave the creatures move back onto the mothership which can sometimes take up to ten seconds depening on where the creatures are. The core gameplay is fun until it gets too hard, round four, and to really seal the coffin it’s not available in NTSC. Yeah this game is PAL only, for now, but if you have a TV that will accept and display PAL signals then this isn’t a problem. Despite the Homevision release only having a small handful of known copies this game was bootlegged by Quelle as Invasion aus der galaxies, these are pretty common, I actually saw one on Ebay for around 15 dollars. There is a rumored CCE version of World End that is in NTSC but as of yet it has not been dumped, and if it has I have not yet found it, and since Atarimania doesn’t have it I’m going to assume it hasn’t been found yet. This game obviously goes to the Collector’s Zone, at least for those who can’t play PAL games on their TV’s, if you can play PAL games on your TV then I would actually recommend you get it, it’s worth a few plays. It’s so rare that an obscure game like this actually winds up being fun… Wow that’s weird.



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I am not an Atari collector, but is this the same HomeVision who made the Repro Card, that let you copy games in the store? Did they release both individual games and those part of the copying system?

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I am not an Atari collector, but is this the same HomeVision who made the Repro Card, that let you copy games in the store? Did they release both individual games and those part of the copying system?

 

I believe so, the packaging that both the Copy Cart and the individual games game in are incredibly similar. They were never really advertised together but it looks like they were both from HomeVision.

homevision_4.jpg

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