One of the first compilation tapes I ever bought for the Commodore 64 was US Gold's Arcade Hall of Fame. It contained five games and three of them, Tapper, Spy Hunter and Up 'N' Down, could indeed qualify for an arcade hall of fame. The fourth, Aztec Challenge, was a game my friends and I all enjoyed. And the fifth was supposed to be Blue Max, but I was gutted to get home and find that, on my copy, it had been substituted for Dropzone.
I hated Dropzone. It was too hard, and I was rubbish at it. But I forced myself to play it, got to be half-decent at it and grew to love it. And as I loved all the other games, Arcade Hall of Fame was one of the more successful compilation releases, at least for me.
Where's the Aztec representation here, eh? Bloody racism!
But what of Blue Max? The name conjures images of epic dogfights, fantastic flying feats and moustachioed heroism. I never did get to play it back then, so it seemed that the time to rectify that was long overdue.
This picture reminds me of River Raid. The game, however, does not.
I have to say, it wasn't really worth the effort. Blue Max is merely a Zaxxon game, and not an especially good one. You take off, fly a bit, try and bomb the occasional building or truck, try and shoot down the occasional plane (good luck with that), and then land to refuel. And then you do it again... and again, and again.
Frankly, Blue Max bored me. It's neither difficult nor exciting, and fails to provide any of the derring-dos you'd expect from the game's name. It's really highly rated by everyone on Lemon64... can't think why, though.