Around five or six months ago I remember someone telling me about this brand new fighting game called 'Capital Punishment'. After around two weeks it was on our coverdisk, but I had yet to see what the game was all about and why it was attracting so much attention. Being naturally sceptical about 'good' fighting games on the Amiga, I just carried on playing Sensi Soccer as usual.
When I finally got around to looking at the first demo version of the game and read the document included on the disk, I was pretty much laughing. There was a list of future ideas which clickBOOM, the Canadian development team, wanted to incorporate into the game. It almost sounded like a joke, because the Amiga had never produced anything like what these people had in mind.
Anyway, I loaded up the demo and after a few bouts of fighting action between two identical characters I was really surprised. The graphics were its strong point and they really stood out, but the most important aspect was that it actually played really well. Okay, so there were a few bugs and glitches knocking around, but they were forgiven, it was on the first demo after all.
My main reservation was that I had seen many companies start off with a decent demo of a game then inevitably get bored, or run out of money, and bring out an absolutely poor version with no extra additions. I immediately got into contact with the game's producer, Alex Petrovic, basically to ask him how he managed it and why he hasn't produced anything on the Amiga before. Within a few months the whole clickBOOM story was printed in the May issue of Amiga Computing.
After the show, interest was shown by various publishers, including Ocean, Team 17 and Time Warner. I was surprised when they decided to opt for the PC
The next step was to see Alex personally in London at the World of Amiga Show, where he showed me a version of the game that was almost finished. I was shocked by the amount of interest it generated. There were hundreds of kids approaching him asking when and where they could buy it.
After the show, interest was shown by various publishers, including Ocean, Team 17 ad Time Warner amongst others, but I was genuinely surprised when they decided the PC market would be a far better option. And unfortunately that will be, without doubt, their loss.
It was finally decided that clickBOOM would publish the game itself and that was the last I heard about it until it was announced that the game was finished and ould be out on September 13.
I think the first point I should mention is that the game requires a hard drive with about 15MB free to install it. It will not run off floppy disks, to save yourself a lot of time by only buying the game if you have a hard drive.
Also, Capital Punishment will run on an unexpanded A1200, but FastRAM is recommended, it just means you won't be able to run it from Workbench. Right, so that's the technical bit out of the way.
When the title screen appears amidst a booming dance track, you get to see the amount of options which are at your disposal. Firstly, there are the usual Player versus Amiga or Player versus Player modes which come with all fighting games, although as you toggle between the game modes there are leagues and tournaments as well as a huge Epic story battle mode.
The Epic mode ties in with a plot which has been written specifically for the game. There is an evil emperor by the name of Qwesul who wants to take over the skies from the Gods. Just before Qwesul was to take over the Earth, the Gods reincarnated you, the great warrior to put an end to his evil tricks.
The only problem is that Qwesul is protected by his guards, who are also great warriors and have been reincarnated to stop you. Your job is to dispose of these characters before reaching Qwesul himself. It's a job that only the most skilful, agile and powerful of warriors can even attempt. And you have been chosen.
The game itself is packed full of playability and presents enough challenge for expter gamesplayers. The graphics and presentation are outstanding
The tournament mode is split up into rounds, with the winner progressing to the next round until there is only one player left. Eight human players can take part, each one controlling their chosen character in each bout.
The League mode is pretty much the same, although you gain points for each win. At the end, your points are totalled up and the one with the most points wins. Simple.
To add some variety to the game there is what's called a 'Posse' mode, which is basically a tag-team mode. For example, two human players can select two characters each and toggle between the two when their energy rating begins to run low.
There are many different stages to fight in, each with their own graphics, special features and music. The first is the Sewer, where the sound of running water accompanies the action. A number of rather dangerous spikes situated in one corner make this one of the most exciting arenas, as both players tend to stay as far to the right as possible.
The spikes only tend to make an appearance when your energy is low, and it always looks good if you can finish your opponent off with an uppercut which sends him into the air only to be impaled on the way down.
The Factory level has bolts of electricity frazzling anything that gets near it, and a hook which continually moves from side to side and can be landed on if the timing is correct. It's always there too; as soon the levels starts one swift uppercut via the hook can win the match.
The other levels are graphically outstanding, with either fog, mist,or thunder and lightning effects. The work that has gone into the graphics is certainly committed, and this is partly what makes Capital Punishment a great game. It has been developed bya team who are greatly devoted to the Amiga.
Fans of Body Blows cannot fail to be impressed with Capital Punishment's overall quality
The game itself is packed full of playability and, presents enough challenge for expert gamesplayers. The first Alien-like beast although when you work out a strategy to win, you will be able to trounce the enemy into oblivion every time you begin.
There are a variety of options too. You can configure the game to something similar to either Body Blows or Mortal Kombat if you so wish. Fans of both these games cannot fail to be impressed with Capital Punishment's overall quality.
You can alter the game so that the two opponents can pass each other, the characters face each other when one of them is fatigued, and create a screen limit so the characters cannot wander from out of view. You can also change basic things such as time limits and how many bouts you want to fight.
The energy system is quite complicated, as there are three different types. You can either use energy like in any other beat-em-up, such as Mortal Kombat, whereby when you get hit your own energy reduces, or you can have a tug of war where you have to fight to win back energy you lose, or finally there's a mix of the two.
Capital Punishment is one of the finest games on the Amiga. The graphics and presentation are outstanding and the playability is second to none. Bearing in mind the current state of the Amiga games market, a product like this is unbelievable. At a time where the majority of games are well below average, it seems ironic that one of the best games of all time should be released. Roll on Capital Punishment 2!