Green Beret

by Jonathan M. Smith, F. David Thorpe
Imagine Software Ltd
Crash Issue 28, May 1986   (1986-04-24)   page(s) 118

Producer: Imagine
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Jonathan Smith

In the very beginning there was Commando, then came Rambo. Now Green Beret continues the military microchip craze that's sweeping the UK - penetrating deep behind enemy lines and blowing up several armies single handed. Yes it's you versus the rest of the world in this game of skill and dexterity. Rescuing captives is the object of this arcade conversion, and Green B has to delve deep behind enemy lines through a missile base, around a harbour, over a bridge and into a prison camp to rescue his fighting buddies.

Armed with only a knife your soldier has to ward off many kinds of enemies - GI Joe Kung Fu specialists, gun toting commandos and kilted kamikaze killers. No matter what the enemy soldiers look like, they all take one of Green's three lives if they touch him. Pressing the fire button gets the 'stab action' going and any renegades who are careless enough to run into the swift and silent blade are instantly stabbed to death. Green Beret is a pretty able fellow, capable of jumping and lying down whilst repeatedly stabbing - pretty useful if he is to avoid the waist high bullets shot at him. He can also climb up and down ladders and other artefacts. Occasionally an enemy Commandant appears in the battlezone and if he's killed the player is awarded either a machine gun, a flame thrower or rocket launcher good for three shots, or three grenades.

Each of the four scenarios is made up of four separate screens which scroll to the left. Once Mr Beret has scrolled the screen left it can't be scrolled right, rather like Scramble, but the hero can move around the screen in view however he wishes, scampering over the ground, along catwalks and up and down ladders to his heart's content.

All the scenes have their own distinctive landscape - the first starts with a series of iron girder bridges connected to the ground by a number of ladders. Green can climb these and trundle along the catwalk, missing most of the enemy soldiers who stampede below. After the girder bridge comes a group of missile launcher lorries which have ladders at the back of them and can also be climbed over. Once the hero has negotiated them then it's a quick sprint past a collection of static missile launchers to the end of the landscape. Once he reaches the end a lorry zooms by, pulls up at the extreme right hand of the screen and heaps of enemy soldiers pour out. If Green doesn't have a rocket launcher or another device of devastating destruction then the going gets really tough. When all the buddies have been disposed of then he can tackle the next mission.

Points are awarded for blowing away enemy soldiers - and enemy installations. Bonus lives are available at 30,000 points and every 70,000 points thereafter. Marauding soldiers aren't the only hazard to Green's health. Occasionally he may stumble across a mine, and if he doesn't jump over or avoid it by clambering over one of the features of the scenery he'll be blown up. Mortar bombers also pose problems by hurling bombs at our hapless hero, although once their bombs have been avoided the bombers can be stabbed to death. Fire from the sky rains down in later stages of the game.

When the sequence of four missions has been completed the sequence starts again, only this time there are even more soldiers coming at your hero. How mean a fighting machine are you?


Control keys: redefinable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Keyboard play: fine
Use of colour: neat use of bright, avoids clashes
Graphics: well animated, great
Sound: a little disappointing
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling

At first you may think it's Commando or Rambo looking from a different viewpoint. The objective is almost the same as in Rambo: rescue the captives and advance through hostile ground. As you are super tough, making your way behind the lines single handed is possible, though tricky. The graphics in the background are quite impressive, with some neat scenery scrolling by as you go over bridges or pass rocket launchers. Dodging bullets and bombs and dealing out death becomes quite addictive, once you get the hang of stabbing every baddie that comes your way. It's a good shoot em up but not quite worthy of a CRASH Smash.

Green Beret is an excellent conversion of the arcade game, and Imagine deserve a pat on the back for making such good jobs of all the Kjonami games. As far as l could make out, the Spectrum version has got all the features of the great arcade game. It contains lots of good little characters, all of which are well animated (especially the jumping soldiers). Meeting the commandant is just like meeting Rambo - a small muscly figure in a T-Shirt with a headband- not much like a real commandant. The game contains lots of colour and avoids any chance of attribute clashes very neatly. Green Beret has lots of very well drawn backgrounds with loads of trees, missile carriers and so on. All this, combined with excellent gameplay make it one of the best bash bomb blow games around.

The arcade game isn't exactly the best game I've played but Imagine have done a pretty good job with the conversion, and produced quite a playable, if a little difficult, knife em down/blow em up. The graphics are fine, but I must confess to being a little disappointed at the sound, especially after the standard of Imagine's last few games. The other niggling point is that once the keys have been selected there is no chance to change them without reloading. These quibbles aside, the game is still very playable presents quite a challenge. Worth buying if you like this sort of game.

Use of Computer: 86%
Graphics: 87%
Playability: 89%
Getting Started: 84%
Addictive Qualities: 89%
Value for Money: 89%
Overall: 88%

Summary: General Rating: Quite a tasty fighting game.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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