Zeta Wing 2 (Witchsoft) $4.99 USD
Game title: Zeta Wing 2
Game description: Zeta Wing 2 is an arcade quality vertical shooter containing 7 levels, 12 layers of weapon upgrades, multi-phase boss battles. Destroying enemy waves in their entirety results in a star icon being dropped - collect 9 stars to power up your weapons. Losing a life degrades your weapon by one level. Shoot 'Z', 'B' and 'W' symbols for extra points. Extra lives are awarded for every 50,000 points scored.
Production - 85%
Fun - 92%
Depth - 83%
Zeta Wing 2 is an incremental improvement upon the original game. So if you enjoyed the first title then you will love the sequel.
The early levels reveal little that is new other than the inclusion of a smart bomb and a nice wave attack entry originating from below the main planet surface. You will instantly be reminded of the original title with the reuse of its background graphics – in fact small elements of graphics from Briley Witch Chronicles have also been reused in Zeta Wing 2. But this doesn’t stop the game from looking strong with its arcade type look and the delicious serving of multi-layer parallax scrolling. It looked good in 2020 and it still looks good now.
It’s not until you get to the fourth stage that the game not only starts to look different but the attack wave patterns start to change up a lot more, throwing out a stronger and more sophisticated challenge. The boss battles also initially feel the same as the first Zeta Wing but have been improved with the implementation of multi-phase combat where the boss will change shape and their attack mode mid-way through battle.
The thing that most impressed me with Zeta Wing 2 is the sense of weapon firepower progression coming from my ship as I worked through upgrading it – something I did not really pick up on with the first title. I am also a fan of not having your weapon upgrades wiped out when you lose a life. It just makes for a far more enjoyable experience when you don’t have to worry about grinding for pick ups all over again.
The only area of the game that fails to hit the high mark would be the SID music tracks. In its own right the music is fine but I don’t think it is suitable for an arcade shooter and unfortunately it sounds like most of it has been recycled from Sarah Jane Avory’s previous games – especially The Briley Witch Chronicles. This is such a shame as a great arcade thumping style track would really add to what is already a strong game.
I had a fun time playing Zeta Wing 2 and when I completed the game it felt like the game’s 7 levels went by too quickly and I wish that the game was extended to provide something more of an epic experience like in Soul Force. While I have made a number of references against the original Zeta Wing, in its own right Zeta Wing 2 is a very good vertical shooter (if not one of the best for the C64) – I just can’t help to think of the missed opportunity to really make something more substantial than a take two of Zeta Wing.
User Review( votes)
- Multi multi-layered parallax scrolling
- Good variety in graphics
- Progressive weapon upgrade system is noticeable
- Well balanced difficulty setting
- Multi-phase boss battles
- Recycled SID music tracks
- Only 7 levels