Lethal Xcess is also known as "Wings Of Death 2". Technically it is an improved version of Wings Of Death with even better effects. The game idea is the good ole vertical scrolling shoot'em up with loads of enemies to shoot at and goodies to collect. This is the holy grail of Atari ST shoot'em up games! The impressive loading screen is just a preview of the things to come!
This game has very well drawn graphics. It takes advantage of raster effects to display more than 16 colors on screen. This can be seen in the main menu of the game.
Lethal Xcess uses overscan techniques to display the playfield allowing the ST to display 256 raster lines instead of 200. One of the few games for the ST that actually takes advantage of the tricks which were developed by demo coders. The playfields are well drawn and colorful, consisting of many tiles giving variety to the background.
The game engine is very well written. It won't slow down when rendering lots of huge sprites. 96 pixel wide sprites will move smooth, fast and well animated over your screen! Sometimes you'll even think that they won't leave any place free on the screen for your ship.
This game features some of the finest sound effects and muzaks on the ST. Jochen Hippel (aka Mad Max) was in charge. A different tune per level, sampled sound effects and speech snippets make a fine audio experience for ST standards!
Shooting whole formations of enemies will reveal extra pods which you can collect to upgrade your ship. There are 5 different weapons which can be upgraded by simply collecting the same pod again. Extra energy, smart bombs and an evil skull extra which will reset your current weapon to the weakest version add variety to the game.
The game features really hard and fast action on screen. Many colorful sprites and shots move smoothly over the screen. Some of the enemies will even home in on your ship trying to crash into you.
Lethal Xcess has a two player mode. Each player has his own ship. Even the types of the ships are different making it easier to spot your ship. A nice blast together with a friend!
This is a true classic showing what the ST is capable of. The game itself is hard and frustrating (I never ever managed to reach the boss of Level 1.) But the effects and technical brilliance of this game make it a winner!
Check out the homepage by the original programmers at http://lethalxcess.atari.org/
Graphics : 10
Sound : 10
Gameplay : 7
Overall : 9