Following the usual plots of this kind of game (2061...Evil government...etc) Avenger is one of the earlier shooters on CD. It's a vertically scrolling affair, with you controlling an advanced helicopter over many stages of shooting mayhem. The weapon system is slightly different from the norm; you get to choose the type of weapon at the beginning of the level (from primary, secondary and special) and this stays with you until the next level starts. During the game, you do get little power up ships that upgrade your current weapon or shield status when you blow 'em up and collect a pod. These pods cycle through the various options so timing is essential (M=primary, S=secondary, R=shield). At certain points in the game, you get to choose which stage to play next and as stages are completed, your range of weapons to choose from increases.
At first glance, and first play, Avenger seems to be a pretty substandard game. For a CD based game, the graphics on the first level are simplistic and the sound effects are little more than white noise. Initially, I rated this game as typical of Telenet - a poor man's Hudson Soft if you like. But with extended play, I have found this to be a well designed and solid shooter, despite it's visual shortcomings. The weapon system works well, as a little thought is required to match the weapon to the level you are playing, and while it can be frustrating at times, at least it's not 'one hit and you're dead'. It does take a little getting used to as your ship fires diagonally as you move left and right, although holding button I locks you in position. Also, the graphics do improve as you play and there are a few really good tunes hiding among the horrible synthy-trumpets. Another point in it's favour are the gorgeous pictures you get after completing a level - they really are fantastic. So grab a friend, sit yourselves down and take turns until you've licked it - you'll be surprised how good this game is.
ALL WEAPONS: On the title screen, push UP, RIGHT, DOWN, LEFT, II, UP, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT, I.
ALL WEAPONS & INVINCIBILITY: On the title screen push UP, RIGHT, DOWN, LEFT, II, UP, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT, I, UP, RIGHT, DOWN, LEFT, II, UP, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT, I then RUN to start then RUN to enter weapon selection screen.