R-Type 2 logo

ACTIVISION * £25.99 Joystick

Back in the early days of video gaming, there was little choice of games. If you wanted to play a horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up. There was either the archaic Scramble or Defender. When a game called Nemesis appeared in the arcades and it spawned a whole new breed of horizontal blasts, because it had a progressive weapons system. The ultimate sci-fi shoot out to incorporate this system did not actually appear until a while later.

The game in question was R-Type. With its Alienesque graphics, impressive weapons and somewhat disgusting enemies, it soon became the object of a large number of... er... 'tributes' (yes, let us be diplomatic about this). Well time waits for no man (and no arcade game) so the inevitable follow up game duly appeared.

After the defeat of their first attack force, resulting in the failure of their attempt to invade our solar system, the Bodean Empire retreated to reassess their combat tactics. Despite our vigilance and constant surveillance, the Bodeans have become rather more cunning. They have managed to amass an even more devastating army and have launched a massive attack on the outer reaches of the solar system. Their forces are heavily armoured and show no signs of retreat. The Earth must draw up a suitable battle plan. It is time to unveil the new R-10 fighter.

The jewel in the crown

The new line of R-Type fighters retains the distinctive styling of their predecessors, along with an enhanced jewel-weapon loader.

The jewel-weapon allows the R-Types to blast enemy pods to reveal the crystals powering the units. Once these crystals are collected the jewel-weapon can produce an image of a weapons pod, which can either be held in position behind or in front of the ship, or flown independently to launch attacks in the heart of enemy fleets. By picking up more jewels the R-Type can improve the image's attack capacity with a whole host of variations on the pod, including spiralling lasers, missiles, reflecting beams and side-firing firebombs.

In addition to the jewels-weapon, the R-Type has its own built-in laser shot. This can either be used to fire a single blast or energised by holding the trigger for a few seconds. A single build-up sends a large laser blast firing forwards, while a second build-up causes the ship to fire a high-power fragmentation shot. This sends a spreading pattern of fire bombs across the screen destroying anything in its path.

Slime and steel

Your ship is not the only one to go through some changes. The Bodean fleet have also revamped their attack fleet. Having learned their lesson from the first defeat the ships in the fleet are now much more heavily protected. They have harnessed power units to large asteroids using them as huge interplanetary cruisers to carry their fighters to the war zone. Within these mighty rocks the Bodeans have constructed tunnels containing squadrons of fighters. At the end of each of the sections a large command ship must be confronted, and the weak point found before it can be destroyed.

As you progress towards the Bodean Command HQ the going gets tougher, with underwater caverns, various mutations, floating ships and gun emplacements to contend with.

Second time around...

The basic gameplay and overall appearance of R-Type II has not changed a great deal from the original game. However, the extra weaponry, graphical touches and generally increased difficulty make it a decent enough challenge in its own right.

The graphics are a very good interpretation of the coin-op, with loads of colour and a large number of impressively sized sprites whizzing about the screen. The sound is pretty much identical too ...unfortunately, because the coin-op's audio delights were less than impressive. Still, if you liked the original music, it is horses for courses.

The coin-op was an incredibly tough game and the conversion is equally as hard. Occasionally, the going seems to be a mite too difficult, more so than the arcade version, leaving you feeling trapped in a certain location. Perseverance reaps its own rewards though, and the feeling of achievement is pretty good once you have beaten that particularly difficult alien.

Sometimes the fact that the playing area is smaller than the coin-op means things drift on from the side of the screen, but when you cannot see them they cause massively frustrating deaths. The other annoying point is that sometimes gun emplacements and aliens stay alive when your shots pound into them, when on previous occasions they had exploded into a mass of flame.

Still, these few quibbles aside, R-Type II is an impressive conversion of a challenging and addictive blast, which will appeal not only to fans of the arcade original, but also to lovers of frantic laser-pulsing action.


R-Type 2 logo

Seit die Fortsetzung des klassischten aller Baller-Klassiker in der Spielhalle aufgetaucht ist, warten die Action-Freaks mit zuckendem Zeigefinger auf eine Umsetzung - dank Activision darf jetzt endlich scharf geschossen werden!

Der Äpfel fallt bekanntlich nicht weit vom Stamm, hier ist er sogar am Ast hängen geblieben. Will sagen: R-Type II unterscheidet sich kaum vom Vorgänger, jedenfalls viel zu wenig, um dessen phänomenalen Erfolg wiederholen zu können. Denn während die Waffen und Gegner dazumals noch revolutionär waren, sind sie heute kalter Kaffee; zudem wurde der versprochene Zwei-Spieler-Simultanmodus leider nicht realisiert (nach wie vor nur hintereinander). Was aber keineswegs heißen soll, daß Activisions Arcade umsetzung nicht für gepflegtes Baller vergnugen gut wäre...

Klettern wir also mal wieder in unseren R-9 Fighter und zeigen den unzähligen Gegnern fünf horizontal scrollende Level lang, wo der Bartel den Most holt! Das sagt sich so leicht, aber Feinde in allen Formen und Farben, Bodenfeuerwerk und bildschirmfüllende Schlüßmonster sorgen dafür, daß es sich nicht annähernd so einfach in die Tat umsetzen läßt! Hinzu kommt, daß man seinen Jäger durch allerlei enge Öffnungen bugsieren muß; auf einem Wasser-Planeten geht die wilde Hatz sogar im feuchten Element weiter - komplett mit Killer Quällen und allem drum und dran. Da die feindlichen Scharen nach ihrem Exitus aber wie gewöhnt Extra-Kapseln zurücklassen, ist der emisige Sammler alles andere als schutz- und hilflos: Die Auswahl reicht vom simplen Speedup über die verschiedensten Laser, Flammenwerfer und Bomben bis hinzu den bekannten Helfershelfern aus Teil eins - sowohl der Super schuß als auch der vielseitige Satellit, den man vorne oder hinten am Schiff andocken kann, sind wieder mit von der Partie.

Tja, das hort sich nicht nur alles sehr nach dem Vorganger an, das spielt sich auch (fast) so: Zwar sind die gegnerischen Formationen nicht mehr ganz so ausgetüftelt wie anno '87, und auch die Steuerung schien mir früher einen Tick gehörsamer zu sein, aber das Gros der Baller-Orgien steckt R-Type II trotzdem locker in die Tasche. Sprites und Hintergrunde werden dem Veteranen wohl vertraut vorkommen, allerdings nur, was den Stil betrifft - sie sind samt und sonders ebenso neu wie gelungen. Daß das Parallaxscrolling deutlich langsamer und auch leicht rückelig wird, sobald sich viele Objekte am Screen tümmeln, ist zwar schade, aufgrund des hohen Feindaufkommens aber verzeihlich. Bleibt der Sound, und der geht in Ordnung: eine hübsche Musik, gepaart mit den unvermeidlichen Schuß- und Explosionsgerauschen.

Summa sumarum ist R-Type II zwar nicht der erhöffte Überhammer, aber ein durchaus empfehlenswertes Shoot em up - für Fans und sölche, die es werden wollen. (C.Borgmeier)


R-Type 2 logo

After the perfection of last month's Toki, Activision make their bid for the title of 'best arcade conversion', with the most single-minded blast-'em-up of them all.

There was a bit of a scare when Activision UK packed their bags recently and disappeared into the realms of history - yes, it was sad to see such a famous and long established name go down, but more to the point what would happen to the various projects they commissioned? For a while it looked like many eagerly awaited games wouldn't see the light of day at all, but slowly they started to crop up with various other publishers - Exile at Audiogenic, the upcoming Realms and 3D Snooker at Virgin - and the Activision name itself resurfaced under the protective wing of Paris-based The Disk Company.

And now the first releases from the new Activision are starting to come out - Beast busters (see elsewhere this issue) and this one, R-Type II. It will be coming your way in the late summer, and if I were you I'd start saving my pennies up right now, because this is simply the best arcade game I've seen on the Amiga in my life. Not only that, it's just about the best one I ever expect to see, because I can't imagine how a coin-op could be converted better than this. But back to the start.

R-Type II was the arcade sequel to one of the most popular scrolling shoot-'em-ups in the history of video-gaming, and on first appearance was the subject of some disappointment. The look and feel of the game was very much that of the original with a few fairly cosmetic tweaks - it seemed more like extra levels to the first game than anything else - but on playing it it became clear that this was a superb game in itself. It was nonetheless only a minor success, and you won't see too many in arcades these days.


I can't think of a single thing that's wrong with R-Type II

What could be more fortunate, then, than the news that Activision were producing an Amiga version for you to play in the comfort of your own home? Well, plenty of things if it turned out like so many coin-op conversions - a half-hearted attempt at a quick cash-in from the legions of arcade devotees who'll buy the name first and worry about the quality of the game later. It hasn't of course, but why? So just what is it that's so damn good about this one?

Ooh, pretty much everything, really. This might sound silly but I can't think of a single thing that's wrong with R-Type II, at least not if you take it for what it is, a coin-op conversion. (Rather than moaning, say, about a lack of depth or new ideas or any of that old guff. And anyway, Rainbow Islands was a coin-op conversion, and it's the best Amiga game ever - official - so there just isn't a problem there.) Purely on those terms, you'd have to give it 100% because as far as I can see it's flawless.

Of course, since this is AMIGA POWER (and also seeing as this is the real world), it's not going to get 100%, so let's have a go at seeing where it does lose some marks.

NIT PICKING AND HAIR SPLITTING
Okay, well first off there's the difficulty. R-Type II is undeniably a tough old blast of a game, and it's a level of toughness that may well deter 50% of Amiga game players straight away. Level one isn't bad, but to get very far through level two you're going to have to be very good, very persistent, and very lucky, all at the same time. Personally I think the difficulty is judged just right (I'm sick of games that you can finish in a day, or ones that give you infinite or ridiculously high numbers of credits, so that completing it is a test of endurance rather than skill), but some people won't like it, so a couple of marks off there.

Next comes the equally undeniable familiarity with the first R-Type. Again, I personally like it, I think it gives a feel of continuity, but there are people who will feel it's simply unimaginative. One mark off for that.

There is also the fact that - close as it is - it isn't an exact physical representation of arcade R-Type II. The screen is not quite as deep, limiting the play area (most noticeable on level three) and coupled with the fact that everything is slightly slower it actually makes certain sections of the game noticeably harder to complete. Two marks off there.


This is simply the best arcade game I've seen on the Amiga in my life

More worryingly, there seem to be a couple of minor bugs. When playing the games with a hard drive plugged in, some of the aliens can be caught right in the middle of a full-force explosion, yet when the dust clears they're still alive. This caused a bit of a problem once with the end-of-level two boss, and (although it happened only once) it would still be incredibly annoying if it happened to you, especially considering what a bitch level two is to get through anyway. On the very rare occasions when it does crop up, this is a serious flaw, so five marks down for that.

Lastly, there's, um... Well, there's bound to be something I haven't thought of yet, so let's take a couple of extra percent off just to be on the safe side. And where does all that leave us? It looks to me like it leaves us at the bottom of the review...


ARC WELDING AND MAKING HIT CONVERSIONS

Fusing together all the disparate elements that go to make up a successful coin-op conversion isn't a job for faint hearts. Programmers Arc Developments have a fairly low-profile history in the Amiga games world (they certainly aren't one of the big names like the Bitmaps or Bullfrog or Core or even Probe), despite a record which already includes some pretty impressive arcade ports (Forgotten Worlds, Crack Down and Dragon Breed, to name three). Nonetheless, Activision handed them this tough job, so I had a worth with Paul Walker (graphics and general direction) about how they coped with it.

AP: So, just how did you go about tackling the conversion? Did you have any help from Irem (the coin-op people) at all?
AD: What we got from Irem was laser-printed sheets of every character. This meant that we had to do all the character animations for ourselves (we'd have one basic sprite to work from, but it might have 64 further frames of animation and we'd know nothing about them). We also had a coin-op from which we taped the tunes and FX (via a built-in sound test facility), and then sent it to Martin (Walker, sound and music) to turn into Amiga sounds.

AP: Did you fit everything in? We haven't spotted anything much missing - it must have been a tight squeeze.
AD: You haven't and you won't! Absolutely everything from the arcade machine is in there, we didn't skip a single bit. Part of the reason the job took us so long (8 months just for the Amiga version) was that we kept thinking about cheating on bits, missing out certain parallax sections and so on, but then we'd come up with a way of doing it properly and we'd have to scrap whole sections of code and start over again.

AP: Did you make any changes? (For example, Ocean France actually improved on the parallax scrolling of the arcade version of Toki in their Amiga conversion).
AD: No, we took our job as being to replicate the coin-op as perfectly as we could, and that's what we've done.

AP: Is there anything about the finished article that you're unhappy with?
AD: Honestly, no.

AP: And do you think this is the best arcade-to-Amiga translation there's ever been?
AD: Well, yes and no. I think our earlier conversion of Crack Down for US Gold was just as good, but it didn't get a very good reception because of complaints people made about the actual arcade game. The original might have been flawed, but our conversion of it was absolutely perfect, and the same goes for R-Type II. I don't think you'll ever find a copy more true to an original coin-op than either of those two - they just can't be bettered.

R-TYPE AND R-TYPE II - THOSE GAME DIFFERENCES IN FULL

There's no denying it, R-Type II is a very similar game to its predecessor, but - hey! - it's not a crime to look like R-Type, is it? The question is, is R-TII just a lazy rehash of the first game (now available for £7.99 from The Hit Squad, bargain fans), or does it add and improve on it to the extent that it's worthy of consideration on its own merits? To find out, we ran the two games on a couple of Amigas side-by-side and put a series of comparisons into operation.

NUMBER OF LEVELS
R-Type - 8     R-Type II - 6
So the original wins out on sheer quantity, and indeed nearly all the levels of R-Type II are based to a greater or lesser extent on levels from R-Type. All the same, the sequel packs more action into its smaller space, there's barely an inch of scenery that isn't bristling with offensive enemy weaponry.

AUTHENTICITY
R-Type - 5     R-Type II - 10
The original game made a few concessions when it was ported across to the 16-bit - as well as losing the arcade's lovely parallax backdrops, several of the aliens were significantly less formidable than their coin-op counterparts (particularly on level 6), and the programmers fiddled around a bit with some of the movement patterns (particularly on level 3). R-Type II, by comparison, is simply a flawless conversion. As far as I know there isn't a single thing missing from it, right down to the attract sequence.

WEAPONRY
R-Type - 8     R-Type II - 9
The first R-Type had one of the most impressive arrays of bolt-on armaments ever seen in an arcade game, and the sequel doesn't mess around too much with the winning formula. The only additions are a couple of different types of missiles, and an extra double-powered-up beam weapon, but the original system was so good (a weapon for every occasion, and sometimes having the right device - which might have been next to useless two screens earlier - could make all the difference between a glorious triumph and a horrible disaster) that to muck about with too much new stuff would have simply detracted from the classic simplicity and flexibility of what was already there.

CHALLENGE
R-Type - 8     R-Type II - 10
This mark refers not just to how hard the games are, but to how things are made difficult for you (i.e. is successfully playing the game totally a function of skill, or is there a significant degree of luck involved?). R-Type does pretty well here, its only real drawback being that if you lost your power-ups at certain stages of the game, you really didn't stand a snowball's chance of progressing any further armed only with your bog-standard laser. In R-Type II, though, the game is excruciatingly tough without ever making you feel that you've been cheated. Restart points after losing a life are nearly always situated very close to power-up opportunities, and if you're good enough you should never be hopelessly stuck. The level of challenge is just about the best-judged and most compulsive I've ever come across.

AESTHETICS
R-Type - 5     R-Type II - 10
As previously mentioned, R-Type sacrificed the backdrops in a quest for speed, but in doing so lost a lot of the feel of the coin-op. Also, sound was a choice between music and effects, which is always a disadvantage. R-Type II, on the other hand, manages to pull both off simultaneously, and also holds onto the background graphics for a truly realistic arcade experiece.

TRAIN COUNT
R-Type - 0     R-Type II - 0
Neither game has any trains in it whatsoever.

So, adding up those marks in time-honoured fashion, we find the scores coming out at:
R-Type - 34     R-Type II - 45
Or, if you prefer, 68% against 90%, which is in anyone's book a pretty damn significant improvement. R-Type II isn't just some extra levels tacked onto the first game, it's a monster arcade blasterama in league all by itself.

R-TYPE MEETS R-TYPE II - THOSE SIMILARITIES IN FULL
What's immediately obvious about R-Type II is that nearly all the levels are basically variations on the themes of the ones in the original R-Type. Not too sure what we're on about? Then take a look below and you'll see exactly what we mean...
LEFT: R-TYPE   RIGHT: R-TYPE II
R-Type 1: Level 2 Level two is probably the least similar, but does feature a long tunnel with bad guys coming at you strongly from the top and bottom walls, not unlike R-Type's second level. R-Type 2: Level 2
R-Type 1: Level 3 Whereas level three is the most strongly reminiscent of the original, containing dirty great mother ships which you have to fly around and blow bits off, corresponding to same level in the first game. R-Type 2: Level 3
R-Type 1: Level 6 R-Type II's fourth level will strike a chord in anyone familiar with level six of R-Type. The big mazes with moving blocks and narrow manoeuvring spaces make timing of the essence in both games. R-Type 2: Level 4
R-Type 1: Level 4 We get back into sequence now, with the fifth level of R-Type II and the fourth level of R-Type also tying broadly together. Monster aliens shoot across the screen, leaving obstacles behind. R-Type 2: Level 5
R-Type 1: Level 5 Wait a minute, what's happened to R-Type level 5? Reach the final level of R-Type II and you'll find it, complete with those armoured snakes that shatter into half-a-dozen pieces when you hit them. R-Type 2: Final Level
R-Type 1: Level 5 A little further into the sixth level, though, and you may begin to think you're back in the original's level five, with that big wall built of little blocks for you to cut a swathe through. R-Type 2: Level 6

R-Type 2 logo

R-Type was heralded as one of the greatest shoot 'em ups to grace computer screens. The temptation to better it has proved too much for Irem. Famed for innovative games such as X Multiply and Dragon Breed, they had a reputation to live up to. And so the sequel, R-Type 2, rears its powerful and many faceted head.

The neafious forces of the Bydo Empire yet again loom large and threatening. Not surprising really - this is what happens in sequels! There are six levels of horizontal parallax scrolling action, which bears more than a passing similarity to R-Type. All the great gadgets and gizmos are present. The all-protecting Force shield defends your ship both fore and aft. A wonderful feeling of invincibility surrounds you; the metallic killing machines which attempt to send you to an early bath are rendered powerless!

Collecting the extra weapons and added extras is essential if one is to survive all the dreaded onslaughts of the evil Bydo Empire. A very difficult business as your foes are adept at sneaking behind and shooting your posterior. In order to combat this, pick up the bombs which can fire both front and back. Weapons beyond your wildest dreams, indeed. Missiles travel along like deadly ball bearings, or cascades of deadly energy. The most spectacular effects are the exocet-rockets, and the ring lasers (which crate a display of deadly red and blue lights!). The electric blue lasers which ricochet around the screen are a necessity for killing off those little aliens which lurk in dark corners.

The secret of success is to pick up as many of these deadly items as possible. A minimal amount of skill is required as blasting everything in sight, regardless of aim, seems to be the best policy. Easy, huh? Well, not quite. Staying alive takes a vigilant eye and a steady stream of killer beams. Aim for objects which look like flying space helmets. When shot, these reveal icons with the letter S or M. Speed and bombs are the respective prizes.

After surviving swarms of baddies, your reward is to meet the end-of-level guardian: a huge monster which fills the screen, blocking the path to the next level. Holding down the fire button creates an impressive blinder of a shot. A metre at the base of the screen shows the strength of the bolt. Firing a few of these will destroy beasties like the centipede and the crab ships.

Comparisons are odious, but I will make them anyway. In the original R-Type, the creatures were similar to monsters which inhabit sci-fi films like Alien. They had an identifiable, ghoulish form. In R-Type 2, the enemies, and especially the end-of-level guardians, are so intricate they are difficult to recognise.

The graphics are executed with a great deal of imagination and flair. The best background graphics are in level six; a land of petrified forests and decapitated dinosaur heads. The sounds ar fast and pacy, with music sampled directly from the coin-op.

R-Type 2 is a superior shoot 'em up with many enjoyable features. However, it remains questionable what this game adds to the original. To be sure, it features parallax scrolling which was absent in the precursor, but apart from that, the game play is slow and sluggish. Fans of R-Type should definitely be eager for R-Type 2. Once hooked, it is back for more punishment.


LOOK OUT, MA! THERE ARE ALIENS ABOUT!
Scientists tend to view the UFO phenomenon with a great deal of scepticism. Not surprising, if we consider the evidence. Witnesses who have had contact with extraterrestrials tend to be religious fanatics, never 'rational and reputable persons', according to ufologists. Some very unpleasant side effects can take place. Victims of sightings have reported physical side-effects such as violent headaches, fits of weeping, and buzzing in the ears. Obviously, UFOs can be bad for health! Even stranger things can happen. After a UFO sighting, a woman with permed hair found that it had gone completely straight!

R-Type 2 logo ZERO Hero

It seems years ago that R-Type was the arcade smash of the century. (That's because it was two years ago, you idiot. Ed.) Duncan Mac Donald gets to grips with the sequel, and finds himself cursing Activision every time he gets killed (but keeps going back for more).

So Activision are back with us, after very nearly being lost at sea. Phew! It was a clone one, for sure. And guess what? R-Type II is Activision's first product since they were saved. So it's a good job the game was bound to be an absolute classic, isn't it? After all, who'd want to nearly drown and then, in celebration of being rescued, throw a party that no-one turned up to? No-one, that's who.

Essentially, R-Type II is just a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up. But it's not quite as simple as that - after all, the original R-Type was also 'just a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up'. The sequel, just like its illustrious predecessor, is much more than its genre tag would suggest.

Okay, time for a brief synopsis of the game. As with R-Type, you've got your puny little spaceship and you have to battle it out over six levels, from left to right, against some of the meanest, ugliest alien muthas imaginable. Now puny spaceship plus alien muthas equals death, right? So luckily there's a liberal scattering of power-ups along the way. As with the new back-drops and the nasties they're virtually the same as the original, but graphically superior.

For those of you who've been living in a cave for the last three years and missed R-Type, I'd better clue you in about the scenario. Your 'puny spacecraft', at the start of the game, has just one weapon, a laser cannon. But, in a way, it's three weapons. Tapping the fire button quickly (or using autofire) will release a steady stream of laser bullets (Okay for level one). With method two - holding the fire button down will start to fill up your 'beam-o-meter' (a tiny black horizontal bar at the bottom of the play area). When it's full of blue, release the fire button and KERPOW! - a mega fireball thing will hack across the screen and destroy virtually anything in its path. Better even than this (and exclusive to R-Type II) is the third method. If you keep the fire button down even longer, your 'beam-o-meter' will start to fill up for a second time (this time it's a slowly raising red bar). When you release the fire button, the resulting discharge will be enough to wipe out just about anything on the screen that isn't a background graphic.

Amiga reviewDunc: Damn! I hate it when a game is really excellent, because I inevitably end up sounding like some kind of advertising agency for the company concerned, crying "Buy it now!" or "This game is so good it'll have you wetting your bed!" and so on. Furthermore, this is the third really good game I've had to review this month! Oh well, such is life.

R-Type II is easy to sum up as long as you're familiar with its prequel (and, let's face it, who isn't?) It's the same, but better. And harder - much, much harder. Let's put it this way - I thought the original was tricky enough (although I did eventually complete it), but R-Type II is another kettle of fish altogether. Where the first game had you saying "Hey, I'm never going to be able to get through this alive" by level five, this one has you saying the same thing by the middle of level two (where you have to go underwater, with all manner of things coming at you in all manner of directions at the same time).

Arc Developments - the game's developers gave me a special cheat and if it wasn't for this (which I eventually activated in the middle of level two surprisingly enough) I couldn't have written this review on time - you'd have had to wait until July at the very least. I also wouldn't have been able to tell you this...

Should you get to the end of level five, you'll find something from one of your worst nightmares - it had me worried, and I was flying an indestructible ship at the time! But I digress. Suffice to say that this game is a son of a bitch, but a totally addictive one at that... Just like an updated R-Type, basically - which, of course, is what it is.

The graphics are beautifully rendered, the animation is as smooth and convincing as you could wish, the nasties are really nasty, the sound is brilliant and... well, everything you'd want in a classic shoot 'em up is all packed in here (which isn't surprising, because this is a classic shoot 'em up. It's that simple. (He's starting to sound a bit like an advertising bloke for Activision, isn't he? I think we'd better finish the review right here. Ed.) Stop


THINGS THAT ARE AS HARD AS R-TYPE II
  • Getting to the telephone before it stops ringing when you're on the loo. (Unless you're so incredibly rich you've got a telephone in your toilet, of course).
THINGS THAT ARE AS HARD AS R-TYPE II
  • MC HAMMER. (Or so he thinks he is - in reality he's about the same size as Kylie Minogue - and he's constantly surrounded by more bodyguards than you can shake Madonna at). "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em". Huh! Don't make us laugh!
A TRUE STORY TO MAKE YOU WEEP WITH JOY

Once upon a time there was a ship called Activision which sailed the seven seas. All the sailors on board were rather jolly, for Activision was a very big ship which looted and plundered others smaller than itself with ease. But one very sad day, the ship called Activision stupidly sailed into a spot the sailors had been trying to avoid - a part of the Recession Ocean called The Doldrums. There was no wind to fill the sails and carry the ship onwards toward more glory and acclaim. So the Activision ship was jiggered, and started to sink out of despair. But then, out of nowhere, came another ship - a ship nobody had ever heard of before. It was a modern ship with propellers called The Disc Company.
The Doldrums held no fear for such a craft. Its crew threw a sturdy rope to Activision's captain and towed the waterlogged ship many miles to the nearest shore (France. Ed.) "Thank you!" cried the Activision Sailors in unison, stumbling down the gangplank onto the sandy beach. "How can we ever repay you?" "Simple," replied The Disc Company captain, "we're taking you over." The Activision crew were devastated by this and all started to cry. "But that means we won't be able to call ourselves Activision any more," they sniffed. The Disc Company captain smiled and replied reassuringly: "Don't worry, you can keep your name. We jus want you to make us loads of money."