Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A.D.
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  Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom

It's the 25th century and your mission quarry as Buck Rogers is to liberate the Planet of Zoom from the evil Source Ship. Race through heavily armed Channels, through formidable Smasher Tunnels, and around the towering spires of the Cosmic City, avoiding alien ships and heavy ground forces to reach the enemy Source Ship. You are the super-hero of all time on a mission to rescue a planet. You are Buck Rogers!

Spacefaring hero Buck Rogers zoomed into the arcade world in 1982, courtesy of Sega’s Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom. Based on the famed exploits of the comic strip/movie serial/television series star, the game put players at the helm of a blaster-equipped spacecraft, cruising through one of the most treacherous sectors of 25th-century space.

Seen from a chase cam view, the ship faced wave after wave of enemy craft, carefully dodging the space debris and other obstacles that cluttered the cosmos. Along with the obligatory fire button, the control panel also housed “Speed Up” and “Slow Down” buttons, allowing players to adjust Buck’s speed during the ongoing battle. A pure action game, Buck Rogers continued hurling ships and other dangers in your direction until you finally cracked.

Visually, Buck Rogers is still a stunner, the next logical step in Sega's parade of pioneering Debuting in arcades a mere two years after the exit of the popular Buck Rogers TV series, Sega's coin-op had no real connection with it. If anything, the enemy ships and architecture in Planet Of Zoom are a bit more art deco, suggesting the comic book roots of Buck Rogers. Sega later ported the game to a few home consoles, and while the player's ship in those games seemed to hearken back to the sleek fighters of the TV series, it was more likely a case of simplifying the arcade game's fancy rocketship.

3D games (a pantheon which includes Space Odyssey, Zaxxon and Turbo). The graphics are fast-moving and well-rendered, amazingly colorful, and really add a unique flavor to the game. Even though Sega's own in-house engineers did the various home console editions, they had a very hard time approximating the game's look; most of the time they seemed to settle on just doing the planet surface screen, which was a simple plane with approacing objects, and not the more daunting "trench" battle.



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