Playing Sirius 7 (Amiga)

Published on the Amiga by an arm of CRL called Actual Screenshots, Sirius 7 is a no-nonsense, horizontally scrolling shoot ’em up where the player’s small craft flies through some quite pretty backgrounds whilst turning smaller enemies into space dust and, at the end of each stage, taking on a boss which needs more of a kicking to defeat. But despite being released in 1990, there aren’t any power-ups to collect from downed nasties; instead there’s a choice from four fully armed ships at the start of each stage, with each having its own statistics for speed and firepower so figuring out which is best suited to both the player’s style and the current barrage of enemies is part of the challenge.

There are a lot of things waiting to be shot as well to the point where it might initially seem overwhelming, with the player being relentlessly peppered by attackers for the majority of the time and often having to weave through small gaps between enemies, their bullets and passing landscape features. And whilst it’s tempting to constantly strafe up and down to spray the entire playfield with bullets, there are times when it proves more sensible to stop moving almost entirely and let the guns do their job, merely nudging the controls occasionally to reposition when a stray bullet gets too close for comfort.

There are better looking shoot ’em ups than Sirius 7 on the Amiga – it isn’t ugly by any metric, but at the same time doesn’t stand out – and it certainly can’t be considered to be an innovative game by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s lots of thud and blunder to enjoy in there and, for me at least, it offers better difficulty balancing than some of the more popular Amiga shooters out there. Blair Zuppicich’s soundtrack is brilliant as well, I’ll occasionally leave a couple of Sirius 7 tunes and the titles music from Cybernetix playing in the background whilst working.

Oh, and that glitched chunk of background in the video is, I’m assuming, down to the cracked version used for the recording in some way;- I need to get WinUAE properly configured for WHDLoad again…

4 thoughts on “Playing Sirius 7 (Amiga)

  1. For some reason, I was never really into scrolling shoot ’em up’s on the Amiga. I always found them a bit too colourful and ‘sweet’ looking. I much prefer the grungy look of Armalyte on the C64, for example, than the clear, bright look of Project X on the Amiga. Blah, waffle, I know what I mean… 😀

    As for Sirius 7; seems quite decent. Quite like the music, as you point out, and the SFX seem nice and meaty. I find the background a little jarring though. After doing a bit of parallax recently in my simple PC demos, I’ve tuned in to parallax speeds, so shouldn’t the stars in the Sirius background be moving slower than the level vegetation since they’re further away? Or are my ageing eyes deceiving me?

  2. I think the starfield might come under “hardware limitations”, although I’m only making fairly uneducated guesses at how everything is done here. =-)

    There are good scrolling blasters on the Amiga but the ones that usually come up in conversation aren’t the cream of that crop, at least to my mind; I’d rather Battle Squadron or Hybris than Project X or Xenon 2 for example.

  3. And I’ve just realised where I’ve heard the name ‘Blair Zuppicich’ before. He supplied the tune for the excellent Amiga Blitz Basic 2 PD game ‘ Zombie Apocalypse 2’ did he not?

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