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   Home :: Archives :: File Archives :: Phoenix 7.6 for TI-89 and TI-89 Titanium :: Reviews
Review by  Pierre Lebeaupin
Reviewed on 2015-05-06
Ah, the legendary Phoenix. Undoubtedly the best-known, most-downloaded, most-shared TI-89 game of all time. Responsible for incalculable amounts of wasted time in math classes all over the world. If you have a TI-89, you owe it to yourself to download it, if only to know about it.

From a gameplay perspective, Phoenix is a 2D shooter with a money-based weapon buying system (you gather the money from destroyed enemies). It makes great use of the TI-89 graphical capabilities, even if it does not make use of grayscale mode (which would probably be lost in the motion blur anyway); it has great gameplay with varied enemies, and always provides a challenge, even if you've beaten it in the past, so it's a great game to keep with you should you find yourself needing to kill half an hour, you'll never find it boring and it may be a little too addicitive…

★★★★★ (5/5)

(reviewed on a TI-89 HW1 AMS 1.00)

Review by  Joe Stegner
Reviewed on 2004-11-22
Attention span: 10/10 More addictive than caffine.
Controls: 10/10 Always responsive.
Implementation: 6/10 The ship management...
Overall: 9/10 Prepare to fail your classes.

By now, anybody with a 68k calc should know what Phoenix is. If not, I demand that person to explain why he or she has been on Mars, in a cave, under a rock, with his or her hands in their ears.

Phoenix is a game that plays a little bit like Galaxian, but not all too much (actually, the author of Phoenix also did Galaxian, if you didn't notice; you can tell if you pay attention to the graphics...I guess Pat really loves his space shoot'em ups!). Phoenix comes with some extra items that give it that special zing that separates it from other games in this category. Hay muchas cosas que me gustan.

During the shooting and the button banging, you'll get the ability to upgrade your ship with things ranging from shield repairs to bigger, badder cannons. In this version, though, you actually get to change the type of ship you use! I guess that was for you guys who kept complaining that a Sigma doesn't make a good ship. I, however, do not discriminate against Greek letters of any kind....

Do I have any problems with this game? Not so much the game as just this version. There is now a big black line at the TOP of the screen, which doesn't even serve a purpose, like the line at the bottom of your screen, which tells you when you're going to die. Also, the ship-management, for lack of a better word, sucks. I could've thought of a MILLION different ways in which to handle the way the new ships would've impacted the game better than this version does. If you're going to make a game with multiple ships, each with weaknesses and advantages, you should let the player choose which to use at the beginning of the game. It makes no sense buying them in the shop, when you can get the plasma cannon for just a little more. Also, the way you earn a ship in the middle of the game doesn't make much sense. This is the option that should be at the beginning of the game, not at the midpoint. Another way to make multiple types of ships impact the game very much would be to make it so, as you progressed, you would gain the ships as upgrades. Of course, with this method, the ships would have to get better and better each time, but it would make the player really feel like he or she earned something.

One more thing I didn't enjoy about this version is the fact that you had to either keep earning or buying the ship you wanted to if you wanted to switch back to a ship you had used last. If you bought ship #3, then you couldn't change back to ship #2 until you got ANOTHER $1500, and you couldn't even switch back to the Sigma ship until you came to the midpoint of the game where you "earn" your ship.

Plus sides? The fact that this game is so addicting, if you let someone borrow your calculator to play it, they will NOT hand it back until 3 minutes after the class has ended. You will get so into the game yourself that you'll forget you're in class, and you will jump up on your desk and scream "QUAD PLASMAS, BABY! WHO'S YO DADDY!?!?" (It's been proven.)

This game is always on my calculator so much, it must be part of the calculator now...The same thing will probably happen to you if you even watch someone play it; the next words out of your mouth will be "Ooooo...", followed by the drool one gets at such moments.

Review by  JV
Reviewed on 2004-11-20
Attention span: 7/10 Game will get repetitive after a while.
Controls: 8/10 Speed increase may be a hinderance to some.
Implementation: 8/10 Takes Galaxian concept one step ahead.
Overall: 8/10 Another great game that many will enjoy.

Phoenix 3.1 is a Galaxian/Space Invaders/Arcade Space Shooter type game for the 89. I shall base this review on mostly on version 3.0 of the game since version 3.1 came out yesterday (at the time of this writing) and I have only noticed minor changes from the version I have been playing. Like I mentioned before, Phoenix can be closely compared to Galaxian, but takes the gameplay one step further. Phoenix adds a money collection system to the gameplay. As the player kills more enemies, money may appear for the player to collect. As you collect more money, you are able to choose from items that you are able to buy items from the Phoenix Shop. The Shop has items ranging from weapon upgrades of several strengths, to shielding and radar scramblers. Like most games, the more powerful the weapon, the more it will cost. Phoenix has many levels that get progressively harder. Eventually the player will reach a level that will require an item that is sold on the Phoenix Shop, so players should watch how they spend their money. One difference that I noticed between version 3.1 and version 3.0 is the speed of the game. On the newest version, it was clearly visible that the speed of the gameplay has been increased. Although the speed of the previous version was not a inconveniently slow, the newest version has a speed change so drastic that it almost makes playing bothersome. This speed increase has made control of the ship a bit harder for me, although this may not be the case for someone who has not played earlier versions of the game. The graphics of this game are not bad at all, but they do not do justice to the power of the 89 as other games have shown. As with most Galaxian type games, the gameplay can get repetitive after many play sessions. To counter this, a high score board and 4 difficulty levels have been implemented. As many of you have already guessed, the higher the difficulty level, the less shield strength your ship will have at the start of the game and the number of bonus points given to you when you finish the game will be higher.

In short, Phoenix is a game that takes the Galaxian gameplay and improves upon it. The implementation of the Phoenix Shop and money adds a small bit of strategy to the game. Other features include a save game feature, a high score board, and increasing levels. As another reward to players who finish the game is that they can start over at level one with the weapons they had before. This means that for those who did not have enough money to buy all of the weapons on the shop, will have many chances to buy all of them if necessary. The control of the game is the same as Galaxian, but the speed increase of the game could make the game more challenging to some players. To conclude, Phoenix 3.1 is a great game that many will enjoy.

Review by  scott jones
Reviewed on 2004-09-28
“Phoenix 7.6” is one of the best arcade style shooter-game for a calc you can get. Its intense gameplay and addicting levels make this a must have game for any calc. Here are my ratings:

Gameplay: 8/10
Due to its pattern, levels can get very monotonous. Once you figure out their pattern of attack, it gets easy and frustrating if you just can’t beat a certain level. Enemies can be tough and get harder towards the end of the game.

Graphics: 9/10
For this type of game, the graphics of “Phoenix” are very well designed and look very cool on your calc when you show it off to your friends. It is a great start but I hope for grayscale in the future.

Overall: 9/10
”Phoenix 7.6” is very nice. Tfor the game, now I'll never get any algebra done!

Review by  Jonathan Katz
Reviewed on 2004-04-02
Note! This review was written for a previous version of this file!

Phoenix was one of the first games I played on the 89 and is a game I still play today. There are many features that are appealing in Phoenix. For one thing, the game runs very smoothly. The ships are very responsive to your key-presses, which is important when an onslaught of bullets is coming towards your ship. The graphics are well done and allow the game to run as smoothly as it does.

It is the gameplay, though, that really allows Phoenix stand out. The purpose of Phoenix is very simple: go through a series of stages, destroying every enemy in your path. Yet many of these enemies don't want to be destroyed, and to add to that, they want you to be destroyed. A variety of different types of enemies appear as you progress through the game, and generally each new type of enemy is harder to destroy than the previous types encountered. Sometimes, the enemy ships drop cash, represented as dollar signs that can be used in a store that appears after every few stages. The store sells upgrades, such as different weapons, health repairs, new ships, and firing upgrades, which definitely are useful as the game progresses. There are four different difficulties to choose from, as well as being able to choose between "Normal" and "Fast" speeds.

Overall, Phoenix is very addicting and very fun to play. It can get a little repetitive after you have beaten the game and have every single weapon, because then it's relatively easy to keep on beating the game (The game loops after you beat the last boss), but you can easily quit out and start a new game. If you like arcade or action games, then you must definitely try Phoenix!

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