IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A PLANE? NO, IT'S THAT SMALL BLOBBY CREATURE WITH A FUNNY GRIN - SUPER SEYMOUR! OUR VERY OWN CLARK KENT, NICK ROBERTS, GOES PAD IN HAND TO INVESTIGATE THIS NEW PHENOMENA (HE'S GONNA GET ARRESTED IF HE KEEPS SNEAKING INTO PHONE BOXES TO PUT KNICKERS ON OVER HIS TROUSERS -ED)...
Is there nothing this cartoon character can't do? Not content with being the latest star to come from the Code Masters stage school or having his own arcade adventure, he has to dive into a nearby phone box, don cloak and mask and become a super hero!
You can't blame him, though, someone's got to save the Earth from destruction. The seas are becoming polluted, the ozone layer's crumbling away and Big Macs still give you terrible indigestion. Super Seymour sets out to rights these wrongs with special powers the gods have given him.
The polluted lands have created buckets of toxic waste which have been dumped around the game's levels. There's so much of the stuff that new lifeforms have begun to emerge; terrible creatures with lots of arms and legs stalk the screens, a bit like tax men after cash.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Luckily. Seymour has the powers to deal with these new menaces. He possesses a Super Blow (missus), Super Spit (ik!), Super Snare, Super Sprint (wasn't that a coin-op?!) and Super-Duper Leap.
The games split into many single-screen levels. Mutants walk around the platforms and our hero bounces around the screen clearing them away. If Seymour uses Super Blow, he takes a deep breath and blows the nasties off their perch so he can jump on them. Spit takes the pips from fruit collected and fires them out at high speeds, Snare traps the little beggars so Seymour can stamp on them. Sprint speeds him up and gives an attacking move, and the big Leap lets him jump straight to the top of the screen!
Our Seymour's as cute and cuddly as ever in his new adventure and he still has all those excellent expressions as he jumps about the screen. All sprites are well animated and there's a surprising amount of colour in them, although things do clash now and then.
It's been noted around the office that Super Seymour is along the lines of the Spectrum classic, Bomb Jack. There are similarities, but with the new ecological theme and great graphics programmers Big Red Software have crammed in, things are brought up to date with a bump.
Anyone who's played Seymour At The Movies will have fallen in love with Codies newest character and want more of him. This is a great follow-up game, avoiding the Dizzy trap of producing a game along the same lines as the original. This doesn't mean we don't want another cartoon adventure starring this guy, though - the more the merrier as far as the CRASH team are concerned. Seymour's set to be a big, exciting star!
NICK ... 84%
'You'll believe a potato... sorry, a man can fly! Yep, Seymour is back in a game that owes something to that crusty hit of yesteryear, Bomb Jack. The spud-shaped, buck-toothed hero looks very cute in his cape and mask (a King Edward version of Batman, methinks). On the other hand, the mutated meanies are an evil-looking bunch of swines, who want nothing more than to send Seymour to play his little golden harp in heaven. Graphically, Super Seymour is excellent, especially the backdrops that change from level to level. It's frustrating to begin with but it isn't long before ol' spud head is sproinging around without a care in the world. Super Seymour's a great value for money game that all gamesplayers will love.'
MARK ... 90%
Despite the fact that Seymour looks remarkably like a blob of vaseline, he could easily become as deeply engraved on the hearts of us Spec-chums as Dizzy.
That is, if the world lasts that long, what with the way we humans are treating it. Pollution and all that kind of thing. Disgraceful. Luckily the Codies are on the case and, never ones to make light of such serious issues, have sent Seymour to deal with the problem by wiping out the Mutato Heads - baddies who've sprung up from mankinds effluence and are generally creating havoc, as baddies do. He's got his Super Mask, he's got his Super Cape, and he's going to take out those nasties in the most effective way possible: by jumping on their heads. What a hero, eh?
Loading up the game for the first time, the keener (and more 'mature') trainspotter will notice its uncanny resemblance to A Very Famous Game Indeed. See if you can guess which one from the following description. (And by peeking at the screenshots, as I was never much good at describing things.)
Each screen has an attractively drawn background, and a whole lot of platforms and uprights in the foreground. As f that wasn't enough, most of the gaps in between are filled with formations of bo... sorry, er, 'static toxics' which need to be collected, and in the right order too if you're after a top score. A quick stab at the fire button sends Seymour leaping into the air, his cape flapping in the breeze, and the precise angle and height of his jump can then be controlled using the joystick. Meanwhile, baddies circle menacingly, hoping to bump into Seymour and make him lose a life. Baddies are like that - despicable.
Right, hands up who reckons we're looking at a thinly disguised ('pollution', indeed) rip-off of that early-Eighties hit, Bombjack? Me too. But why've the Codies suddenly decided to resurect Bombjack after all these years? P'raps they reckon we've all got a bit old and senile since then, and wouldn't know the difference if we were given a laser base, a block of aliens and some covering story about Seymour having to save the world from a freak but deadly shower of bicycle clips. Or p'raps they were originally going to call it Bombjack Simulator, and then remembered they don't do 'Simulators' any more. Or maybe it's just all one big spook coincidence.
What's more likely, though, is that they remembered what smashing fun Bombjack was, and thought it would be a jolly good idea to do a new version of it with a few extra bits and pieces (but without changing it too much in case they ruined it).
The bits and pieces in question are essentially the part about jumping on baddies heads - once to stun them and a couple more times to finish them off - and power-ups, which appear when a baddie dies. These include (it says here) Super Blow, Super Spit, Super Snare, Super Sprint and Super Duper leap, although the only two I've come across (notoriously crap as I am) are one which, upon prodding the 'spit' key (if you can remember which one you defined it as) sends what locks like a glob of saliva flying towards your foe, killing it instantly - probably Super Spit - and something which whirls off the screen, carrying the hapless baddie harmlessly with it - Super Blow, no doubt.
It's so long since I last played Bombjack that I can't really remember what made it so addictive. All I can remember is that it was, indeed, very addictive, that I could get through hundreds of screens without dying, and that the sequel wasn't half as good. And Super Seymour is just the same! Except it hasn't got a sequel, let alone one that isn't half as good. Not yet, anyway. In fact, it had me so gripped that it was only when I was in danger of missing my tea (sausages, chips and peas - my favourite) that I finally managed to switch it off. The only thing that annoyed me slightly was that most of the time when I got killed it wasn't attributable to any obvious strategic deficiency on my part. I'd just been cornered by a whole bunch of Mutato Heads and there wasn't much I could do about it. Still, eh?
Super Seymour, then, is just the ticket for fun-starved games players everywhere - fast, unpredictable, unputdownable and cheap.
Give a man a cape and a pair of tights and everyone will think he's some sort of weirdo. Give a CodeMasters cartoon character a cape and a pair of tights and he becomes a super hero, ready to save the world from environmental disaster.
Super Seymour is a Bomb Jack style platform game in which our the little potato-head bounces, flies and spits his way around increasingly difficult and heavily populated levels. Each screen is divided by walls and platforms and filled with toxic waste, fruit and mutants. Our fine veggie friend Seymour must pick it all up and bump off all the bad guys to boot (literally) by jumping on their heads. There are tons of bad guys to deal with, some, like the mutant burgers, hallowe'n masks and helicopter heads are quite fast and will actively chase you around the screen, others are slower and easier to avoid and jump on.
Luckily Seymour also has a variety of special weapons at his disposal (if he's actually going to dispose of them I hope they are bio-degradable) which are released by the mutants once they've been squashed These include the 'super blow', the phelmy 'super spit' (yuuckk!) and the 'super snare' all of which allow him to stun or trap otherwise very awkward enemies. He can also collect a speed up icon and make super duper leaps enabling him to collect lots of yummy fruit and avoid lots of unyummy baddies. Let's just hope he doesn't get any flies in his soup-er though!
Super Seymour cartoon style graphics are very well drawn and all the characters (good or bad) are funny and well animated. The game doesn't really impress immediately but once you get into it, go through the first few levels and find out how to use his special weapons property, it becomes very enjoyable and addictive. So it's a big hurrah for Super Seymour. I'll sleep a lot better now in my nuclear shelter knowing he's out there protecting the planet.
Label: Code Masters
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Big Al Dykes
GARTH: Although Super Seymour is suspiciously similar to Bomb Jack, it's still one of the most frustratingly addictive games I've played for ages. For £3.99 this represents superb value for money and as an added bonus it's completely environmentally friendly as well.
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