Motörhead logo

Virgin Games * £15.99

Mötorhead, the world's loudest, heaviest, no remorse till Hammersmith rock 'n' roll band. An obvious choice for a computer game conversion... not! (as they used to say). If Virgin Games had not managed to procure the endorsement of the clown princes of hard rock, they could always have called the game Gibson Axe.

This game is Golden Axe with the kind of axes you play in phallic fashion rather than the ones you chop down trees with.

You run across a flick-screen scrolling environment beating up the inhabitants thereof. Sound dull? It's not. You can resort to magic, firing power-chords and oral missiles at the foe, you can even exalt Death himself (just the kind of guy your expect to find on the 'Head guest list') to destroy the competition.

The high point though, has to be dropping the nut on the enemy, almost as satisfying as the real thing. The inclusion of large motörbikes and a tongue-in-cheek attitude save this form being just another beat-em-up.

Sauf & Rauf

Motörhead logo

Die titelgebende Tanzkapelle genießt den zweifelhaften Ruf, lautere Konzerte als ein startender Jumbo-Jet zu veranstalten. Für den Musik- und Softwareproduzenten Virgin Grund genug, das Game zur Band zu machen...

Ein Live-Auftritt von Motörhead entspricht in der Wirkung ungefähr der Kombination von Oktoberfest, Tornado, Flutkatastrophe und Erdbeben. Damit es hier erst gar nicht so weit kommt, haben erboste Bürger die Bandmitglieder, Roadies und Trinkpartner von Leadsänger Lemmy gekidnappt.

Sechs horizontal scrollende Level lang muß er sich deshalb in bewährter "Double Dragon"-Manier mit Rappern, Countrysängern, Punkies, Grufties und Ravern herumschlagen. Dazu haut Lemmy den Widersachern entweder seinen Baß um die Ohren, rülpst sie bewußtlos, atomisiert sie mit einem grollenden Baß-Akkord oder wirft ihnen Bierdosen hinterher - nachdem er sie zur Energieauffrischung vorher geleert hat, versteht sich.

Die Extras von den geplätteten Gegnern sind ebenfalls nicht ganz unwichtig, außerdem gibt es Bonusrunden, bei denen sich der streitbare Musikus im Kampftrinken an vier Tresen gleichzeitig üben darf; Lemmy kann dort aber auch Groupies einfangen, Essen klauen oder Hotelzimmer verwüsten.

Die eingestreuten Geschicklichkeitsspielchen werten das schlichte Gameplay zwar leicht auf, doch leider ist der Schwierigkeitsgrad generell arg niedrig ausgefallen. Die nur gelegentlich etwas hakeligen Stick-Steuerung ist simpel und pflegefrei, die Backgrounds scrollen meist tadellos und sind liebevoll gezeichnet.

Musikalisch hätte man sich gerade hier eigentlich mehr erwartet, aber immerhin wechselt der Sound in jedem Level. Naja, alles in allem ein netter Auftritt - nur'n bißchen kurz, da viel zu einfach. (pb)

Motörhead logo

That is the way I like it, baby, I don't want to live forever. The ace of spades etc...

When it comes to appreciating the finer points of the music of Motorhead, I have got to admit that my experience is limited to two separate and really quite feeble events. One is watching the warty rock gods strumming harmoniously away in The Young Ones' living room while the boys rushed to keep a date with Bambi Gascoigne, and the other is being a spoggy twelve-year old jumping around at the school Christmas party, mumbling along to the verse as if I really did know the lyrics and then shouting out 'The Ace of Spades! The Ace of Spades!' over the chorus.

All of which, I think, leaves me amply qualified to have a bash at Virgin's latest offering, Motorhead, a sort of lovable, fluffy homage to these leather clad kings of rock starring their legendary head man and chief screecher Ian 'Lemmy' Kilminster. In a not entirely original sequence of events it transpires that while our Lemmy was lying in a recreational Jack Daniel's type of coma, vicious gangs in a small town have kidnapped and made off with various band members and roadies.

Confronted with a note telling him to bug out or face the consequences, Lemmy takes the only option open to a man who makes a living out of drinking heavily and wearing soiled jeans - he kicks butt.

With such a shallow pretext to hurt people there is very little left to do other than getting down to the serious business of busting people's faces. The ultimate aim of all of this violence is to release all the boys and to get down to lots of debauched rockin' and head bangin' but of course life is never that easy.

The gang factions that have the lads are numerous and split along musical lines, so before the gig can proceed Lemmy must traverse the trauma of listening to music as diverse as country and western, hiphop and punk as well as the physical pain of bad guys bashing his spleen.

Moving through levels such as Karaokeville, Nashville and a particularly gothic Cathedral setting, it is obvious to any casual onlooker that this game is drenched by egalitarian bigotry, throwing scorn on all types of music regardless of race, creed or colour.

Lemmy rattles his tonsils convincingly

It is also blatantly clear to even my white-haired old grandmother (bless her) that this is in fact that arcade classic Golden Axe revisited, with Lemmy using his 'axe' in the way it was originally intended before Jimi Hendrix got his hands on the word. This is not actually a problem, imitation being after all the sincerest form of flattery, and the humorous touches add an appeal that I always found lacking in the sword and sorcery version.

Lemmy can punch, headbutt, swing his guitar or use halitosis attacks, always assuming he is loaded up on cockles or Jack Daniel's first.

By collecting magical Motorhead talismans he can unleash a devastating musical chord or summon up helpful demons, ranging from a tasty lass who distracts his opponents for a bit, up to WWF's very own 'Undertaker', who just plain kills everyone.

The characers are well animated with Lemmy rattling his tonsils convincingly, and the bad guys range from a slick-haired Japanese businessman to a clubfooted inbreed called Clint. When killed they either melt away into a sticky pool or get turned into charcoal with a surprised look that is a joy to behold. End of level sub-games - such as bike rides, hippy bashing and beer guzzling - break up the stages and supply a bit of variety.

For a game based so heavily on musical themes the sound is pretty crappy, with plinkety-plonkety themes that only seem fit for Karaokeville. How hard can it be to come up with a convincing heavy metal guitar sound? Still, despite that rather glaring flaw, Motorhead is not at all bad. It is no instant classic, but it is a bit of a laugh, and at the reasonable price of sixteen quid (middle-quality games at middle-quality prices! At last!) you could do much worse than spending an evening with 'No Sleep 'Till Hammersmith' on your stereo and this on your Amiga.