Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Stern Frenzy -Colecovision
Retro Gaming Review

 Colecovision console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewStern Frenzy for Colecovision Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Frenzy
Manufacturer: Stern
Platform: Colecovision
Release Date: 1984
Part #: 2613
Rating: 4 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Stern Frenzy Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Stern Frenzy Screenshot:
Stern Frenzy for Colecovision screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

As a huge fan of Stern Electronics' Berzerk, it's no surprise that their arcade sequel, Frenzy, ranks high in my eyes. Lesser known than Berzerk, Frenzy follows it up as all sequels should - it increases the types of enemies, adds new AI to their movement and creates more dynamics within the maze. So many sequels latch onto a central character and simply thrust him into a new adventure. Frenzy takes the status quo of Berzerk and adds to it while retaining the manic fun it generated. Very much like the jump from Defender to Stargate. Retro developers should take note :)

Your commando looks familiar, but wait until you see him move - he's nicely animated. Even getting shot reveals a pleasant death sequence that will delight... even though you're dead. Evil Otto still smiles, but you can now defeat him. The simplistic arcade controls for Frenzy would seem to make it easy to port to a variety of systems, but it was relegated to only a few, including the Colecovision and ZX Spectrum.

Frenzy Story Arc

Your commando is trapped in an alien maze surrounded by robots... and he must escape! The 2 types of robots stalk him quickly and he must be wary of avoiding Evil Otto as he battles his way toward the exit on each level. Some walls can be shot through while others will ricochet his shots which can help shoot around corners or send a deadly blast right at him.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Frenzy was published by Stern Electronics in 1982 for arcades. It was a sequel to 1980's Berzerk. Frenzy allowed the commando to touch both the walls and enemies without harm. The enemies killed solely via shooting (touch is deadly in the Coleco release). There are now 2 types of enemies: skeletons (thin and harder to hit) & tanks (bloated, but devious).

Of the major changes - is Evil Otto, who, by the way, is trademarked.
He's defeatable! One shot removes his smile, a 2nd and he frowns - the 3rd shot destroys him. But he comes back faster after you shoot him. Frenzy was even harder than Berzerk!

Frenzy Game Play

One or two players have 4 skill levels to choose from - skill level 3 is closest to the arcade version, while #4 is insane. You can use the standard Colecovision controller or the Super Action controller. Like Berzerk, the first wave delivers benign robots who do not shoot at you. You have 5 lives in skill level 1 - all others start you off with only 3 lives. Bonus lives are awarded at 1,000 points and every 2,000 points afterward.

To shoot accurately, you must first aim your commando in the direction of fire, then press the fire button. That part always took me some time to adjust to. I always want him to fire the direction my mind was aiming for - he rarely does that. The dotted walls can be shot through. Each shot removes a dot. Once a dot is shot, your next shot travels through the wall. Take out enough dots and your commando can pass through the "hole" in the wall (shoot 3 consecutive dots to move vertically and 5 to pass through horizontally).

Stern Frenzy for Colecovision screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

When Evil Otto appears, you can run out of any exit, or create your own by blasting enough dots to make an escape on any outer wall. Evil Otto can be slowed down and even defeated by shooting at him. Every other maze has a central feature enclosed in a dot wall. Blast through it for extra points.

A nice facet of many retro games is they are eternal - meaning you can't end the game by winning. there is no winning, only dying. Frenzy only lets you play until YOU die. However, the * button will let you pause the game and resume it where you left off. You get a bonus if you kill the same number of robots as found on the initial level screen. More may appear, but if you shoot the original number, you get a bonus.

 Colecovision console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Stern Frenzy

is a great sequel to Berzerk. All the frenzied fun of Berzerk it amped up in Frenzy. If you loved Berzerk, the additional challenge of Frenzy should be a welcome addition.

Certainly, this Colecovision version has great graphics, animation and game play. Nothing beats the manic frenzy of Frenzy... well, maybe Robotron, but that's another story.

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