Terminator 2: The Arcade Game logo

For your enjoyment, a frenzied Operation Wolf style shoot-'em-up based on the smash hit film of the same name. Hasta la Vista... baby.

Ah yes, I remember the days of Operation Wolf, an arcade game that captured the hearts and eyes of the masses. Violent it may have been, but the kids loved it to bits. News from afar reached our merry land. The arcade blast-'em-up was being converted to home computers. Oh yes, one single payment and your mouse became your lethal weapon and no longer would you ply the arcade machine with ten pences a plenty.

Operation Wolf had arrived and games players around the world smiled... a lot. The sequel, Operation Thunderbolt, didn't cause as much of a stir and came and went, but for a long time now gamers have gone without a decent Operation Wolf style shoot-'em-up.

Virgin and Acclaim have got together to rectify this little problem and the answer was to convert the highly successful Terminator 2 arcade game to your home computer screen. The arcade version of Terminator 2 ranks very highly on my list of top ten arcade blasters not least because you could get to grips with an Uzi (with realistic firing action!).

I was quite worried when I heard that a home computer version was on its way. The reason is the fact that although both of the Operation games transferred quite well to the monitor screen, they didn't quite manage to capture the atmosphere and excitement of the arcade versions. But remember, never look a gift horse in the mouth, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, err or something!

Everyone should know the story of Terminator 2 by now, but for those who don't here is a brief synopsis. Ten years ago the machines of Skynet sent a Terminator from the future to kill Sarah Connor. They failed to achieve their objective. Hey, if at first you don't succeed!

So the machines changed their target, this time turning their attentions on the future leader of the resistance, the young John Connor. This time a re-programmed Terminator is sent to protect him and thus the action and adventure starts once more.
You play the part of Arnold Schwarzenegger and have to shoot it out with loads of enemy characters who featured in the films, all the time trying to avoid shooting innocent humans.

There are eight levels to complete and each one is inhabited by hundreds of T-800 endoskeletons and cyborgs. As you progress through the stages you face dozens of flying and ground-based Hunter Killer craft and ultimately, of course, the shape-changing T-1000.

Your mouse (or joystick) plays the part of your gun which can be enhanced with the likes of guided missiles and smart bombs. As with Operation Thunderbolt, there is the opportunity to let a second player join the intense action. There isn't a lot more to tell you about Terminator 2 because it is such a basic game, so it looks like a good time to give you my final opinion on Virgin's frenetic blaster.

First of all I have to give a nod and a wink in Probe Software's direction because they have made a really good job of converting a massive arcade hit to the Amiga.

NICE TOUCHES
Obviously it is not quite as good as the arcade version, but I don't think a better job could have been achieved by another software developer.
The graphics are brilliant and have been faithfully re-created form the arcade version. There are some nice touches in there such as the T-800 Terminators getting their heads shot off.

The sound is not too bad with a liberal sprinkling of samples such as "Hasta la vista baby", but the music is not that good and had me reaching for the volume switch.

The control method is much more accurate than the arcade machine could be, but sometimes seems to suffer and I found that the guided missiles don't always guide themselves.

It is a bloody hard game and after much playing I managed to get to level five, but I had to use all five credits to get there. Sometimes the game seems to slow down when there is too much on the screen, but maybe that is because I was crap and couldn't clear the enemy from the screen quick enough.

Terminator 2 was an ambitious project by Virgin and they seem to have pulled it off. A lot of people out there will love this game while others will frown and prefer the arcade version, but that's public opinion for you. If you like it, buy it. If you don't, don't.



Terminator 2: The Arcade Game logo

Nuclear fire. Three billion lives lost. A war against the machines. Well, I will go to the foot of the stairs. Lost Angeles in the year 2059 is not the happiest of all places (nor is it in 1993, apparently).

The survivors of the war Judgement Day (the nuclear fire) live only to fight the machines. Nasty machines not dissimilar to C3PO from Star Wars. And the folk of Los Angeles are relying on you and your mouse movements to do the business for them in this fraught and very frantic shoot-em-up.

The story (for those who have not seen Arnie in the film) is that a terminator sent from the future to kill the leader of the resistance, Sarah Connor, failed miserably and now the enemy is targeting the future leader, Sarah's son John. But young John has a guardian angel (you) and your job is to protect him from the said evil.

Blown away the baddies
Using a point-of-view perspective, you target a gunsight at a host of baddies and blow them to smithereens. These include Endoskeletons with rifles, machinegun-toting Cyborgs, acid-chucking laboratory technicians and various devilsome airborne craft.

You start with a machine gun and 25 guided missiles, which are best used sparingly. Along the way, there are a whole host of pick-ups to gather including extra credits, protective shields, and a plethora of destructive firepower. They appear in kit cases and you must click to open them and click again to obtain them. Sounds easy, but when you are surrounded by metallic madmen hellbent on your destruction and inflicting severe damage upon you, it can get very tricky as you try and counterbalance picking stuff up and killing the swine.

Sporting control options of mouse, keyboard and joystick, Terminator 2 is best played with a good mouse, simply because of the speed required. It is seriously fast action. There are seven levels to tackle including a van chase where you battle against a T-1000 in a helicopter. The early levels are incredibly tough, particularly when you combat the Ground Hunter Killer with its endless supply of missiles. This is a faithful conversion of the arcade game and the graphics and sound effects remain true to the original with sampled speech and crisp explosions and gunfire.

I'll be back...
Although Terminator 2 does not break new ground or offer a great deal of variety, it is perfectly adequate in the playability stakes. In two-player mode, it is fast, furious and fun. The sheer volume of baddies make it virtually impossible for one player to take them all out, but with two you can dispose of them at will as well as collecting the plentiful pick-ups. As the man himself once said, "I'll be back". But not until next Tuesday.



Terminator 2: The Arcade Game logo

Hasta luego, Baby - sagt guten Tag zur offiziellen Amigaversion zum zweiten Filmabenteuer des Cyborgs aus der Zukunft! Tja, wer hätte geglaubt, daß die 3D-Ballerei doch noch auftauchen würde?

Und wer hätte geglaubt, daß sie doch ziemlich originalgetreu ausfallen würde? Wie in der Spielhalle geht es nun also auch im Spielzimmer darum, à la "Operation Index" sieben Levels via Fadenkreuz und Maus oder Joystick von Robotern, Killerdronen, Raketenwerfern und letztlich dem T1000 zu säubern.

Zwischendurch erscheint auch mal ein besonders fetter Gegner, der erst nach minutenlangem Dauerfeuer oder Superwaffen-Beschuß klein beigibt; zudem fallen ab und an Kisten vom Himmel, die mit etwas überredung Extras wie Lenkraketen, Smartbombs, Schutzschilde, Mini-MGs oder Kühlmittel ausspucken - letzteres verhindert die Ladehemmungen, welche die heißgelaufene Wumme nach wiederholten Dauerfeuer gern produziert.

Und so was ist ja bekanntlich gar nicht gut für den Energiehaushalt des Schützen bzw. seine vier Bildschirmleben. Gesellige Killer dürfen schließlich auch simultan zu zweit auf Terminatorjagd gehen, wobei sich Arnies Schießstand mit sanft scrollender Endzeitgrafik und großen Sprites, die teilweise aber nicht so doll animiert sind, präsentiert.

Dazu gesellen sich eher magere FX und nerviges Gedudel, obwohl die Packung digitalisierte Originalsprachaufnahmen aus dem Film verspricht.

Dennoch ist das Game nicht halb so schlecht, wie sich jetzt vielleicht anhören mag - wegen der exakten Steuerung und des launigen Leveldesigns sieht man auch über das dürftige Spielprinzip gern hinweg. Außerdem liegt die letzte Fadenkreuz-Ballerei ja schon wieder ewig zurück... (mic)



Terminator 2: The Arcade Game logo

It is an arcade game. It has got T2 in it. It is T2 - The Arcade Game! (It is late, okay?)

Weird, isn't it? It is no less than 27 issue (boy, does that make me feel old) since we reviewed Ocean's Terminator 2, a dismal film licence of the old 'lots of really crap little sub-games' school The writer of that review, a little-known AP newie of the time called Colin Campbel, is now our very Colin The Publisher.

But T2 is no ordinary licence. When Arnie promised 'I'll be back', he meant it, and the title has resurfaced in a conversion of the popular Midway coin-op, a Lethal Enforcers-style shooting gallery game with scarily realistic graphics digitised from the real people in parts. That is 'graphics which in parts of the game are digitised from real people', not 'graphics which are digitised from real people, who are in parts', by the way.

Anyway, this is a direct port from the original game, or to be more precise a direct port of the Mega Drive version, which was a straight copy of the coin-op. Like the first T2 you get various sections of the movie to replicate, but this time they are all handled in the same way - shoot everything that moves from your first-person viewpoint. Control is by mouse or joystick and - well, that is the plot used up. Is it good, then?

Um, well... not much. More or less from first impressions to last ones, this conversion repeatedly disappoints. When you start up, you first have to read through the scene-setting text, which you cannot skip out of. Then, after shooting the first wave of Terminators, the scrolling starts. Oh dear. What you get here, scrolling-wise, is not so much parallax as four strips of wallpaper being pulled along the ground at different (and differing) speeds.

The effect is tatty to say the least, and it does not fill you with great expectations for what is to come, which is probably just as well. Level one (there are six, with various sub-sections in some of them) continues in an unimpressive vein for a while, until eventually you reach the most intensely depressing end-of-level boss I have encountered in a long time.

He is a huge but unthreatening-looking creation, and while he is neither hard to hit nor difficult to avoid damaged by, you DO have to shoot him for about five minutes before he gives up and sods off. After a couple of game I was able to wipe this guy out by sound alone, which was lucky as my head was slumped on the desk in my spare hand.

Level two? More of the same, pretty much.

Level three is where I got really sad, though. On the Mega Drive version, level three is an utterly fearsome battle, where dozens of Terminators and HK bombers try to destroy John Connor's pick-up truck. It is hellishly difficult, and in two days I spent playing the Sega game, I did not get past it once. The Amiga version is slower and moves jerkily and unimpressively, and I sailed through it second try. Onto new ground now - surely things are aout to get scary?

Level four introduces some bizarre new adversaries, including a weird golden snake-type thing that I do not remember seeing in the movie, but otherwise innovation is conspicuous by its absence - it is another level-one-and-two-style slaughterfest, with nothing that I can remember to distinguish it particularly, except some expecially horrible strips of grey graphics later on. Oh, and the way that the baddies come from different 'depths' of the scenery, but are all the same size, which looks totally ridiculous.

Level five (which comes in three sections) improves things a bit, with lots of property damage to inflict, and a bit of interest added in the shape of Sarah and John Connor, who run around in the midst of the hordes of bad guys, dropping explosive charges and power-ups for you to collect, but it is still really the same old stuff.

The last section of the level is a bit different, as you try to protect the SWAT van they are escaping Cyberdyne in from T1000 in a helicopter and a tanker, but it is so embarrassingly easy once you work out what is going on that it might as well not have bothered.

Level six is the game's last chance to redeem itself, and it almost manages it. You have to emply some skill and strategy (for the first time in the game) to manoeuvre the T1000 into jets of liquid nitrogen from the tanker and keep him there. Manage this, and you get another bit where you have to blast him with a shotgun to keep him away from John Connor and send him into the smelting flames.

It is quite good fun, but sadly it is too little too late. When you die and use up your last credit, the thought of slogging through the previous five levels with your eyes closed and your finger welded to the fire button all over again is almost too much to bear.

Now you might argue (if you were from Virgin or Probe, for example) that most of these flaws are inherent design problems from the arcade game. Well, yes. But the shabby graphics, sound and narrow screen display are not, and the design did not stop the Mega Drive game from being a fun and slick (if pretty shallow) blaster. This, though, is pretty dull most of the way through, and even two-player mode makes very little difference to the excitement factor.

To be fair, it is playable enough, and it is alright if you have got half-an-hour to kill and you want to just rattle through something to take out the day's frustrations, but Operation Thunderbolt still does it a lot better, and a lot cheaper too.



Terminator 2: The Arcade Game logo

Jon Sloan has always wanted something, hot, oily and deadly in his hands. But, instead, he had to settle for a mouse and a copy of Virgin's new license.

What would you say if you were asked to publish a game based on a two-year old film? What if that film was Terminator 2? 'Where do I sign?' would be an appropriate response at this time. And that is exactly what Virgin said when offered the rights to the conversion of the coin-op classic based on Arnie's blockbuster. Good job too, otherwise we would have missed out one of the better blasters this side of Christmas.

The original arcade machine was an Operation Wolf-style shoot-'em-up where you used a moulded plastic Uzi to take out thousands of marauding Terminators. This furiously addictive shooter had us all pumping fifty pees into the cabinet as fast as our sweaty hands could manage. It is no wonder then that Virgin snapped up the rights to the Amiga version. There have been and still are other variations on this theme, like Space Gun and Zombie Killer, but none have quite grasped the public's imagination as T2 did. It is said that the Mega Drive version saved the Menacer Light Gun from a premature burial.

SAFE SUCCESS?
Despite all that success T2 was never a safe license to have. After all, Operation Wolf and Space Gun both made it onto the Amiga and bombed. So, it was with some surprise that I found Probe's conversion to be as playable and as addictive as I remembered the coin-op to be. Everything is there from the wonderful 'Hasta la vista, baby!' sound samples to the wave after wave of relentless Terminator attacks. Your mouse-controlled gun works in the same manner as the plastic Uzi - one button for bullets, the other for rockets.

Hold your fire burst for too long and the gun will overheat, slowing down the rate of fire. Fortunately, there is still the chance to blow open crates and find useful add-ons, like the Rapid Fire Coolant and Plasma Pulse Energiser which help keep your bullets spewing forth a hail of death at a rapid rate. The mouse controlled targeting is much easier than that plastic gun ever was - you can see where you are firing.

However, it is on this point that T2 shows a couple of flaws as the targeting, whilst good, could do with some tweaking. My rockets had a habit of drifting off in a direction not exactly on par with where I was aiming. Also, it is hard to tell when you have been hit as, apart from taking a dangerous glance at your energy meter; it is registered only by few small blue blobs on screen. A whole separate colour would have worked a treat for that.

SOURCEY PROBE
That said, Probe has done an amazing job with the arcade source code. For a start the graphics whilst obviously not prefect facsimiles, are miles better than the Mega Drive conversion. There is a feeling of depth to the screen which is enhanced by the three or four layers of parallax scrolling.

Better yet, there is barely a shudder from it even when the screen is packed full of enemies, operating on all the different layers. The sound too evokes pleasant memories of hours (and money!) spent in the arcades. Despite spending a small fortune I never did make it past the fourth level! But with a selection of speed levels available on the conversion even complete novices should be able to get pretty far into the game before grinding to a halt.

Fans and newcomers alike cannot fail to be gripped by T2 mania -play the game once and you will be unable to put it away till you have come face to face with the T-1000. All in all it is a fantastic recreation of the arcade experience.


KILLING MACHINES
Skynet's got a host of vicious killing machines just itching to spill your blood (or hydraulic fluid). To give you an edge over the competition here is a guide to the opponents you will be facing.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game
KILLING MACHINES
Skynet's got a host of vicious killing machines just itching to spill your blood (or hydraulic fluid). To give you an edge over the competition here is a guide to the opponents you will be facing.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game
ENDOSKELETONS:
Before a Terminator gets all the sticky bits slapped on him he looks like this. These chromium killers are the most prolific enemies in the game. Appearing in two forms - silver and gold - the golden ones are the big brothers and need more shots to destroy.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game
T-800S:
Arnie's clones pop up all over the shop but mainly in the second level. The rebel hideout has been infiltrated by Terminators so you are sent in to flush them out. Those closest to you gradually lose their flesh as your bullets hit home before exploding in a ball, of metal, muscle and gristle.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game
HUNTER KILLERS:
Massive armoured tank-like machines, these Skynet warriors are very deadly. They are capable of firing both missiles and machine guns from land and air based carriers - you will need rockets if you are going to take them out pretty sharpish.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game
ORBS:
These blighters drop from the sky in egg form and take a few seconds to hatch. The best policy is to blow them up before they hatch out of the eggs. Otherwise, they turn into nasty oval robots which hover about dangerously and are armed to the teeth.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game
SILVERFISH:
These are weird snake-like automatons which are very sneaky and deadly in their attack - they crawl slowly forward before rearing up to suck the life out of you. Luckily they only appear in Skynet's compound. So, watch out for them when you get there.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game
HUMANS:
Being a pretty thick bunch, the humans you meet all want to kill you despite the fact you are saving their race. From the heavily armed cops in Cyberdyne's offices to the acid-throwing scientists in the lab show no mercy and blast them all away.

LEVEL BEST
For a game with a one dimensional theme there is plenty of variation between levels. In an effort to keep your interest perked and your trigger finger busy the attack waves come thick and fast, only letting up when you reach the end of level

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Level 1
LEVEL ONE
- BATTLEFIELD 2029
Roaming a war torn future world destroying all Skynet's troops is your aim here. Take on Endoskeletons and flying Hunter Killers whilst trying not to hit the human fighters. The biggest target is the end of level boss - a Land Hunter Killer.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Level 2
LEVEL TWO
- REBEL HIDEOUT
Oh no! The Terminators have infiltrated the base. Be careful to watch out for Arnie cyborgs and the deadly Orbs. Better be on your guard, as there are plenty of humans that need protecting as well.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Level 3
LEVEL THREE
- THE JOURNEY TO SKYNET
John Connor has found out that Skynet plans to send a Terminator back to kill him. You have got to get to the transporter to follow it back. This level is the hardest as you face manic running Endoskeletons and hundreds of Hunter Killers.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Level 4
LEVEL FOUR
- SKYNET'S COMPOUND
Get to the compound and all hell will break loose. Skynet will throw everything it has at you to stop you from following the other Terminator. If you survive all that, you can go on one with Skynet itself.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Level 5
LEVEL FIVE
- CYBERDYNE'S OFFICES 1991
Back in the past now and Sarah Connor is planting bombs to blow up Cyberdyne's research offices. Protect her from the cops who thinks she is some kind of terrorist. Do not shoot them in the knees - that is just for the film. Total destruction is the word.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Level 6
LEVEL SIX
- THE LAB
Young John Connor is after the T-800 arm and chip left behind from Skynet's first assassination attempt. Cover the fearless John and make sure to kill all the acid throwing scientists who stand in your way.

Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Level 7
LEVEL SEVEN
- THE FINAL BATTLE
It is time to take on the ultimate enemy - the T-1000. He is after John and Sarah. Stop his attacks on their van before taking him on in the steel factory. Beating him will mean the future is in safe hands once more.