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HotRod FAQ

Exerion - October 17, '99 by Dorsola
Game:ExerionCompany:Jaleco
Type:ShooterPlayers:1/2

Here comes a "true 2D" shooter named Exerion. Like many games in the wide variety of Space Invaders genre, your objective is to just shoot large numbers of enemy objects. So what makes this game unique?
Among the things that Exerion introduced to the game industry is a ship that's governed by the laws of inertia, limited energy and movement in two dimensions. Your ship, which looks much like a fighter jet, can move left and right, as well as up and down. Instead of movement being instantaneous, you accelerate and decelerate in each direction, which is a lot more challenging than one might expect! This garners the game a few points in Play Control.
Your enemies come in the form of a wide array of odd-looking creatures that fly down from the top of the screen. Each different creature has a unique behavior - some just charge your ship, while others make themselves hard to hit, fire things at you, or even try to run away! In addition, you have two different firing modes: A one-shot-at-a-time dual-fire mode, and a rapid-fire bullet stream. The rapid-fire method costs you energy points, which you earn back one point at a time by hitting your enemies. (In other words, the more you miss, the more energy you lose.) Actually a pretty neat concept, which was nicely executed in my opinion.
The graphics, unfortunately, are really CGA-ish, though the large number and variety of sprites and the smooth tilting of your ship tend to offset the plainness of the screen. There is absolutely no background - just a plain black screen - so sometimes it's difficult to tell which direction your ship is supposedly flying. (Note that in most other games of this type, the stars are usually moving down, meaning you're moving up.) MAME currently supports this game but includes a note that the colors are completely wrong, so my comments about the graphics may change sometime in the future when they're fixed.
Sound is also pretty simplistic. Each enemy has its own unique sound pattern, but they all pretty much sound the same after a while. The sounds of your ship firing shots, getting blown up and hitting enemies are all very disappointing white-noise modulations - no resounding explosions in this game. There's really not a whole lot I can say about sound, except at least it's not loud, high-pitched and irritating, like in some other games. :P
In short, as you can see by the numbers below, it doesn't necessarily take fancy graphics and great sound to make a good game. To me, the most important element of a game should be how it plays. I have turned my back on some very graphically impressive games because their gameplay sucked. Not Exerion - I'd come back and play this simple game anytime. Which is why I like its emulation in MAME. :) Give it a try!
Graphics
6
4
Sound
Play Control
7
8
Challenge
Replay Value
7
8
Performance

Screen Shots

Screen Shot 1
1999 EmuViews