Robocop 2 logo

OCEAN £24.99 * Joystick

Nuke 'em high, has taken on a whole new meaning. Someone is peddling a new designer drug on the streets of Detroit, known as Nuke, it is a narcotic so addictive that it makes crack look like sherbet. Luckily, for all those citizens of the Big D who don't like injecting chemicals straight into their jugular, Robocop is on the case.

Tin Head has found out where the evil drug lord and total nutter Cain is based. Level one sees Robo' bashing his way into the drug factory, confiscating Nuke and liberating hostages while he's about it. This takes the form familiar to Robocop 1 fans, with the action seen from the side. Later levels centre on target ranges and puzzles. The game follows the plot of the film, covering Robocop's memory loss, memory retrieval and final showdown with Cain - the drug pushers brain now having been transferred into a mutated ED 209 battlechasis - who has become known as Robocop 2.

Nuke Kids on the Block

Meanwhile, back at the factory, life is getting heavy, Robocop moves the way a robot should - slowly. Which is very authentic but dangerous. He can walk, crouch and fire, swinging his arm around to shoot in five different directions - he cannot shoot straight down however. Jumping between platforms and onto lifts is more difficult than it would be with a human sprite. It seems OCP could only find a set of diagonally-jumping motors when they knocked Robocop together. If Robo' wants to trash something directly in front of him then he can punch, but if, for some reason, a hostage is standing next to him, shooting is ill advised.

As the Man-in-the-Can powers through the 'side on levels', power-ups pop out of the scenery and drop from the sky. Bashing Coke machines generally earns Robocop a can of refreshing, health-giving, pop - that doesn't look at all like 'the real thing'. By shooting fuse boxes the iron-clad lawman receives canisters of Nuke that suspiciously refresh him.

In an interesting twist for part of the first level, picking up 'Coke cans' is actively discouraged, which is a problem as they fall like rain at this point. As Robo' flies skyward on a hover lift, collecting power-ups throws him off. Negative cans, which reverse motion and lose time, leave him on the lift but take their toll.

Face Death

Roboop is a tough game. The time limits are tight and the enemies are plentiful. Robocop is as vulnerable as ever, with only three lives which are represented by faces. Helmeted Robocops are lives you have left and bare-faced Murphy's show the number of deaths. His energy is represented by another 'Coke' can that gets crushed as his energy is eroded.

The diagonal jumping makes life harder than it should be, but they form a constant pattern that is brought into play on the latter stages of level one and the other three 'sideways' levels, allowing him to change direction whilst he is in flight.

The graphics for Robocop 2 are yards, nay miles, better than they were in Robo' 1. Here he's large, mean and metallic. The supporting cast have a familiar look about them. The foes are reminiscent of Batman in their behaviour, while Midnight Resistance overtones keep popping up. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as they are better looking than ever before, with more deadly moves.

Robocop Re-mix

A remixed movie tunes accompanies the game and in the heat of battle some hefty explosions are let rip. The relentless regeneration of enemies and the range of firepower-ups on offer (five way scatter guns, three-way shots) guarantees that there is no let-up on the noise front.

A powerful movie conversion, Robocop 2 does tough, exhibit some really annoying traits. The lack of restart points is highly frustrating, so too is his insistence on staying crouched until told otherwise. Worse still, on the sideways shoot-out levels, the rate at which the criminals regenerate is sickening. Robocop struggles from can to can seeking out his energy, but the villains are replaced almost instantly. Logically Robocop should suffer no damage from touching felons, if anything they should die. Yet despite his ultra-tough metal skin, any contact with a criminal loses him considerable amounts of his energy. It may be a computergame convention, but it doesn't suit the character.

On the reservations

These reservations aside, Robocop is a well thought out and coded game that should only be taken on by hardened walk-and-shoot veterans. The graphics are full of character and capture the dark, moody atmosphere of the movie, especially when the shooting starts. The structure, unfortunately, is slightly predictable, following very much the same pattern as Batman and Robocop 1, but then all three movies were remarkably similar too and software houses can only work with the material they are given, which is the problem with a licenced project.

Ocean have a sure-fire hit on their hands here. The game could stand up and be counted without the benefit of the licence which simply hammers home the game's good points. Fans of the film will not be displeased, as Robocop is littered with digitised stills and Robo-samples. Other players will have fun blasting and bashing the criminals on the streets of Detroit too. Ultimately however, the twitchy controls and other minor gripes combine to rob Robocop of the classic game mantle, reducing it to the status of merely good. This fact is made all the more annoying because it has obviously plenty of potential that is just simply not realised, which is a shame.


Gib's ihnen noch einmal, Sam!

Robocop 2 logo

Er sieht aus wie die Wirklichkeit gewordene Wunschtraum eines leidgeprüften Streifenpolizisten; er schlägt härter zu, als die BPS erlaubt; und er läßt sich durch nichts und niemand unterkriegen: Der stählerne Bulle ist wieder da!

Robocops neuer Feldzug gegen das Böse auf der Welt läßt an Härte wirklich nichts zu wünschen übrig. Das bezieht sich nicht einmal so sehr auf irgendwelche Brutalitäten in der Handlung (da ist man mittlerweile Schlimmeres gewöhnt), das betrifft eher den grimmigen Schwierigkeitsgrad - selten kämpfte es sich so schwer wie heute! Damit wäre auch schon die entscheidende "Neuerung" angesprochen, im übrigen darf wieder geballert, gehüpft und sogar gepuzzelt werden.

Bereits im ersten (Plattform-) Level wird man von einer übermächtigen Gegnerschar erwartet. Eigentlich soll man hier ja Drogen und Extrawaffen einsammeln, Geiseln befreien und Gangster umnieten - in der Praxis ist man schon froh, wenn man seine Blechhaut in den zweiten Level hinüberretten kann. Dort muß man zur Abwechslung Chips auf einer Platine richtig zusammenschieben, bevor es dann im dritten auf einen Schießstand und anschließend wieder in eine vor Feinden nur so strotzende Plattformwelt geht.

Grafisch ist das Gemetzel bunt, abwechslungsreich, gut animiert und ruckelt kein bißchen.Die Soundeffekte während des Spiels sind fast realistischer als die Wirklichkeit. Steuern läßt sich der schießwütige Kerl ebenfalls hervorragend, wenigstens sobald man sich an die leichte Überbelegung des Joysticks gewöhnt hat. Technisch also ein seher gelungenes Game - aber schwer, verdammt schwer... (od)


Robocop 2 logo

After almost two years in the soft-charts, the original RoboCop game has been decommissioned only to be superseded by a much-improved and long-awaited sequel. Developed by Special FX, it boasts seven levels: three platform shoot 'em ups, two puzzle games and a couple of hostage shoot outs. The game loosely ties in to the film and features digitised images taken directly from the movie between levels. Obviously programming began months before the film was released, so the team had to rely on a preliminary script, character pics and rough cuts from the movie.

The first level is a platform shoot 'em up and involves the player collecting canisters of Nuke, an addictive drug, before they fall into the hands of criminals. Ten need to be collected before you can move onto the next section. There are also a number of hostages to free. If you release ten of them you'll also get an extra life.

Throughout the level, there are numerous perps running around, armed to the teeth with guns, bazookas and mortars who need to be taken out. Power-up icons are scattered around the level as well as a number of mystery icons which may aid a player's progress or cause real problems by reversing the joystick controls. There's also a time limit, and if you fail to reach the end of the stage within it, you are placed back at the start of the level. Another obstacle is a hover-board which must be used to access higher levels of the building.

The puzzle sections involve RoboCop in a race against time as he attempts to regain his memory (robbed from him in the film by a loopy psychologist). This is done by collecting Robo's memory chips on a graphic representation of a circuit board. However, rogue chips block a player's progress and you can't double back or pass through the same location twice. There are four sections to get through, each one harder than the last. It works well, but once it's completed it's a bit of a pain to have to go through the whole process again.

Next up is the first shooting gallery level which involves calibrating Robo's gunsights by shooting criminals (but not their hostages) as they appear at windows. It's very similar to sequences in the first game and is great fun although it's hard to distinguish the shapes as they appear at windows and the controls are sluggish. The more targets you hit, the less shots you'll need to polish off the bad guys in subsequent levels. If you fair badly, though, you'll get a second chance later on.

Robo can then move on to the second platform game. Set in the Tokka Gowa brewery, the gameplay is similar to the first level with more hostages and Nuke to collect. There's also acid baths to avoid, crumbling floors, rolling barrels to jump over, and electronic eyes set at ankle height which trigger explosives if activated. Thankfully, there are a number of power-up icons to collect, including rapid fire, scatter shot and three-way fire. To negotiate the acid baths the player has to manoeuvre Robo onto an overhead crane which is easy once you've got the jump timed exactly right. When the player has reached the roof, it's a face off with the human Cain who's easily blown away.

After another puzzle section and firing range shoot out, the final level pits Robo against an assortment of characters from the movie, including Hob, a 12-year old sadistic killer, ED-209, and the eponymous RoboCop2. There's also heavy duty hardware on display such as minitanks, missile launchers, cybermaniacs and heat seeking missiles. The ED-209 sprites are great, and really look the part as they lumber across the screen. Unfortunately the Robo2 sprite is dreadful. The sprite is small, static and looks nothing like the movie incarnation. After confronting the new, improved Cain, it's a matter of blasting him back through the levels and blowing him to pieces. This takes a fair bit of fire power, but there's no great difficulty and it comes as a massive anti-climax.

Although there's no in-game soundtrack, the sonics are more than adequate. Graphics-wise, the RoboCop sprite moves in a similar style to his movie counterpart. The colour palette is subtly used and fairly impressive, with 16 colours used on the RoboCop sprite, and a further 16 used on the backgrounds.

RoboCop 2 is a mish-mash of game styles. However, the gameplay is addictive and there's certainly a lot going on. It's destined to be the Christmas number one whatever I say, but it's nice to see a half decent product up there for once. The best licensed product of the year? You betcha!


THE TEAM Karin Davies, 30, handled the sprite graphics and animation. Trained as a graphic artist and initially specialising in textiles, Karen's involvement with the software industry began at IMagine and Denton Designs before she moved to SFX three years ago. Previous games have included Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Fire Fly and Hysteria.
Colin Rushbie, 26, was responsible for the backgrounds in RoboCop 2. Although he's only been at SFX for a year, he's previously worked with Terrorpods and Arena to his credit.
Keith Tinman, 24, is the man with the music. Using a Roland D-10 and a Pro Sound Sampler for the Amiga, he's previously worked on The Untouchables.
Stitching it all together is Ian Moran, the youngster of the team at only 20 years old. Previous programming experience has been on The Untouchables and Midnight Resistance.

Robocop 2 logo Zero Hero

David Wilson was programmed with five directives. Be polite to software companies. Work hard. Stop singing. Stop talking about cars. Review Robocop 2, the spanking new Special FX game of the Ocean licence. He only obeyed one. (Unfortunately. Ed.)

Robocop 2 - if it performs as well as the first game - should help line Ocean's pockets with a fair few squidlies. Just as Robocop 2 (the film) follows the successful formula of the first movie (but not quite as good), so Robocop 2 (the game) offers more of the same chart topping and somewhat mindless violent action as its prequel.

As a licensed computer game, it follows pretty much the same recipe as Batman The Movie - with a large recognisable main sprite, nicely animated, moving through complex, puzzley platform and ladder backgrounds dispatching zillions of bad guys.

Between the three main levels (each in two big chunks - so's you could call them six if you wanted) there are four sub games (er... but the latter two are harder versions of the first - so's you could call them two) to add variety to the gameplay. Progress through the whole caboodle, arresting, rescuing and maiming, and you'll get to meet the movie's master villains. At the end of level two, it's the sadistic drug baron Cain. While he tries to turn you into a sieve, you've got to dodge the bullets and feel his collar (sounds a bit kinky).

On the final level, it's Robocop 2 himself you come up against - and he's the evilest mean metal mutha ever built out of 86 baked bean cans (catering size) three boxes of Meccano (Set No. 24) and lashings of sticky-backed plastic. (And here's one I made earlier. Ed.). And that's it really, sounds simple doesn't it? It's not!

COPPO WOLF
There are two sub-games in Robocop 2 where Murph gets to hone his marksman's skills at the Rogues Gallery. Your gunsight cursor comprises a vertical and a horizontal line which 'vectors in' to pinpoint your target. The single screen represents various windowed buildings and in these and the road in front, various 'cardboard' targets pop up. Shoot the correct ones (the guys with guns, not the little children) and you'll improve your shooting skills in the next levels - the bad guys will take fewer shots to kill in relation to your accuracy. You've also got a limited amount of ammo, so use it wisely!

Amiga reviewDavid: Robocop was a monster... No no, not everyone's favourite copper copper, but the computer game. It still holds the record for outselling any other computer game and featured in the lofy heights of the Gallup game chart for nigh on a year! With this pedigree, then, if you could get good odds from a bookie on Robocop 2 becoming a rather large seller, then you'd probably amass a fortune to rival Donal Trump!

I won't waste time waffling about game scenario since you should have already seen the in-depth inclusive Under Wraps back in our September issue. Since that time, we've all seen the movie and well, it wasn't as good as the first one was it? Still, this doesn't apply to the game, thankfully.

Special FX have had the responsibility for Robocoding and a rather splendid job they've done of it too! All the team worked in some capacity or other on the previous ZERO heroed title Midnight Resistance and this comes as little surprise since much of the shoot 'em up action has been similarly treated: the way the main sprite moves, the way Murph fires up/down, diagonally, left, right, etc. The famous mincing Robo-walk has been faithfully reproduced and there are some neat little touches - f'rinstance at the start of a level when Murph spins his pistol before blowing away a door.

The actual settings and platform levels are again very similar to Batman The Movie as you move around platforms, up lifts and over conveyor belts. There's even a vat of acid for him to negotiate. Gad! I really liked it when I thought I'd found muself in a dead end room, then discovered I could punch my way through a wall into another part of the building! (Ooops! Spoilt that for everyone now, haven't I?)

The graphics are really slick with accessing breaks spiced up by brilliant, digitised screens from the movie. Sound too is excellent, with machine gun blasts, explosions, digitised cries of hostages, as well as the robot noises - all effectively used.

You'll need a pretty nifty joystick to leap some of the gaps - some need pretty damn pixel perfect positioning, so I hope your stick isn't as crap as the one I started using! Mind you, you don't want it to be too easy do you? If you're one of those pe-pe-people who think... (That's enough Dennis Norden impressions! Ed.) Sorry, if you're one of the eight billion people who bought the original game, want more, want it better - or if you're into slick, mindless, blast everything in sight action, then you won't go far wrong with Robocop 2. (I'll buy that for a do... SNIP!)


MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

Robocop 2 Memory can be a funny old thing, can't it? It can 'serve you right' or it can let you down a lot (especially if you're Mo Butcher - she keeps thinking Mike Reid is a council worker and not her son). (Mind you if my son was such a crap actor I'd probably pretend I thought he was a council worker too). Anyway, Robocop is also plagued by memory problems. When lovely ol' PC Murphy the married-with-kids plod was rather gratuitously shot to ribbons, the nefarious and corrupt OCP tried to erase his memory and turn him into a computerised law enforcement machine. But lurking in the metallic recesses of his cerebellum were little snippets of Murphy's former life. Throughout both the original film and the sequel, Murph is trying to piece together his former self.

This is recreated in one of Robocop 2's sub-games, where you set about linking components of a circuit board. Succeed and you'll be rewarded with a digitised pic of your missus. (Aah!) (I'd just like to know what Murphy hopes to grain from this. I mean, what's the point? His wife isn't going to fancy a seven foot part android with half a bald face who feeds off baby food. Ho hum).


Robocop 2 logo Zzap! Sizzler

Ocean, C64 £19.99 cartridge; Amiga £24.99

The lethal new drug Nuke has swept Old Detroit with devastating effect and the police are on strike - only RoboCop is on the beat. Unfortunately Robo's creators, OCP Corporation, want a crime wave to force the city bankruptcy so they can take it over! The awesome Robo 2 is eventually sent to ensure no-one saves Detroit.

This heavy metal battle is completely different on C64 and Amiga. On the Amiga, Robo's first battle takes place in the Nuke laboratories. Collect 10 Nuke capsules to shut down the Labs. Drug baron Cain has unlimited and heavily armed henchmen, plus a Laser wielding woman to fry Robo's circuits if he's not careful. Coke vending machines top up energy while power-up capsules temporarily give rapid, three- and five-way fire and other extras (some bad). There's also ten hostages to rescue for an extra life.

The blast-'em-up, multi-way scrolling action continues into a Brewery. This is Cain's last scene before being turned into Robocop 2, who makes his debut at the OCP Civic Centrum level where Robo takes on Harley-riding thugs, robot defences, laser forcefields, ED-209s and finally, Robo 2 in a fight to the bitter end.

Between the three blast-'em levels are two logic puzzles and two shooting galleries. To piece together his memories, Robo must remove faulty chips from increasingly complex memory banks without backtracking (earning a continue-play if successful). Completing the shooting gallery boosts Robo's firepower lethality.

On the C64, the plot remains much the same although the action is spread over 14 horizontal-scroll levels, involving leaping from platform to platform, dodging bullets and avoiding the slightest contact with anything. A hover pad can be used to jet around, platforms can be moved and ceiling magnets are useful for crossing chasms. Robo faces not only gun-toting criminals but also giant grinders, Jet thrusters, lasers, crushers and a whole lot more besides.

The basic aim is to collect Nuke capsules and arrest special criminals. Failure to achieve at least a 60% rate of either on a level leads to a shooting gallery where Robo has to shoot a selected number of criminal targets to progress. Failure takes Robo back to the start of the previous stage. There are also secret bonus stages with dozens of extra Nuke capsules. Best of all there's two sub-games where extra lives and millions of points can be won. In the first, Robo has to piece together his memory in a sliding block puzzle, while In the second (a Mastermind-style sub-game) Robo is attempting to open a safe. The main part of the game, the side-on view combat, features the same settings as the Amiga game, plus the sewers, but they're laid out completely differently and made much bigger - each locale is divided into several levels. There's static screen one-on-one combat with Cain, and later, Robo 2.


Phil King The Amiga version of Robo 2 may not be that original, but who cares? 2 sets a new standard for the Amiga, with excellent animation, full use of the Amiga's superb colour palette, silky scrolling and digitised sound FX. A full blooded Amiga game!
On top of this there's a slick front end with digitised pre-level portraits and even a rapping cheat mode! The puzzle game and shooting gallery are nice sub-levels, and the package as a whole is unmissable.
The C64 is equally well presented, with a great front end and animated presentation screens. Gameplay starts off a bit weird, but is only the beginning of a giant game packed with variety. The more you play it, the more you like it. Good fun but I'm unsure of whether it's a Sizzler because of the graphics - which are a bit blocky with flicker. Gameplay is good, though, and I like it a lot better than the original.
Robin Hogg Unsurprisingly, Amiga 2 follows the same basic lines as the original. The carnage of the shoot-'em-up sections is there with simple puzzles and shooting galleries as subgames. But if it's not original, there's no arguing about the superb execution. The sensation of Robo blasting his way through masses of henchmen is awesome. Explosions going off all around, bullets flying everywhere and sampled screams make for a stunning showcase of mindless violence. Special features like the warehouse actually blowing up, Cain and even ED-209's guest appearance epitomise the quality of Special FX's work. If RoboCop 2 was a coin-op I couldn't imagine it looking much different to this. The levels are big and so tough a game lifetime can be measured in seconds but you sure have one hell of a sonic and graphic blast!
The C64 game goes for the style of a Super Mario Bros variant. Jumping around platforms is as crucial as trigger finger action. The ultra violence of the original game has been replaced with a cuter, Less serious approach. There's a fair bit of blasting, mega baddie confrontations, and a dozen or more normal villains per level. But most of the action is in dodging flames, whirring cogs, electrical bolts and suchlike, riding hoverpads and, of course, tackling all the sub-levels. Over 20 levels mean it rivals any Japanese game for size.
On the debit side the graphics can't compare with Navy SEALs, but Ocean point out this is a more ambitious game, with a lot more sprites on screen. In fact, the bright colours and chunky graphics establish an enjoyable cuteness. And at least Robo himself is still pretty tough and well animated. Combined with gameplay which is fun and fast-blowing, this hugely playable game offers brilliant value for money.
Stuart Wynne C64 RoboCop has dropped the original's detail for a blockier style. This isn't as attractive, but it allows a lot more freedom with how the game moves and the number of sprites on screen. It's less serious, but better fun. The variety of backgrounds and obstacles is impressive in this platforms-and-ladders format, while there's still plenty of violence with a fair number of villains and mega-baddie confrontations. There is some flicker, but the cartoon-style and high playability compensate. Later on there's hoverpads to ride on, one-to-one battles with Cain and Robo 2 and plenty of hidden levels and sub-games, all played against backdrops packed with activity and colour. Sound FX are well above average - Robo's stomping is simply great! To sum up, an immensely playable C64 game but sporting console graphics (something I can certainly live with, given the sheer size of the game). Great!
On the Amiga, violence is the thing: superbly animated villains carry rocket launchers and AK-47s. The basic shoot-'em-up format is familiar, but there's more platform action with conveyor belts to master, hooks to ride on and beer vats to fall in. More important, the look and feel of the game is light years from the original. It plays and looks like an arcade game and is unmissable for this reason. The puzzle sections are only okay, and the shooting gallery is too flat, but those three shoot'em-up sections are the best I've seen on the Amiga. So don't miss out!