The original was fantastic, but the sequel, while 20 years late, is needed in every gamers library. Not because of it's graphics, not because of it's sound, but because it's absolutely original, and just plain brilliant.
I don't think there is a game like Tempest 2000. It's like a first person shooter, but it's not quite. It's really just good old fashioned arcade action. There is no plot, there is no depth, but you'll play it over and over and over. It's like Tetris, but an extremely fast arcade shooter.
It's hard to be objective, but everything about this game gleams with pride. Coded by Jeff Minter, Tempest 2000 is great on every single level. The original was brought to us by Dave Theurer (Missile Command, APB, and I Robot). It's easy, yet addictive to play, it has extremely interesting music, better than most video game scores, it's long, and it has an extremely fun two player mode. And best of all, it's not JUST Tempest 2000, oh no, it's also the original version of the game, but an interesting remix of the theme. Each are worthwhile, though not as much fun as 2000, but hey, what do you expect.
Did I say two player mode? The multi player is pure genius. Player One on one side, Two on the opposite side. Those little bullet-balls are everywhere. Some of the most fun I've had was spent yelling with my friends playing this game. If you don't have it, hey, you are missing out. If there was ever a game to own a system for, it's Tempest 2000!
(Editor's Note: While Tempest 2000 is no longer being made, you can still pick up a copy of Tempest X for the PlayStation. Tempest X is essentially the exact same game, though some of the features (like the remix of the original) are taken out ... odd. Regardless, I won't review Tempest X, but it comes highly recommended).