£7.95 cass/£14.95 disk
Reviewer: Pete Shaw
Sly's back (back back), but he's been scrunched up into a handful of pixels and blasted into the Speccy. His brain probably would have fitted anyway, but let's not go into that.
Have you seen Rambo III? You'll know the 'plot' then - Colonel Trautman (of Rambo's 1 and 2) is caught by Russian soldiers while on a mission in Afghanistan. When Sly gets wind of this he marches single handedly into Afghanistan to bloomin' well bale him out. Erm, and that's it - it's not a particularly mind-expanding movie, but it is a brilliant scenario for a shoot 'em up computer game. Let's have a peek.
The game's a three parter, and the first part is where you (in the guise of the pixellated Sly) enter the Russian fort. It's a viewed from above four-way scroller (a cross between Commando and Gauntlet) and you've got to firstly dash about all over the shop searching for Col Trautman and collecting arms (guns, not limbs you clot) with which to later make your escape. However, you mustn't alert the guards to your presence while you're doing this, which is a bit tricky 'cos there are loads of obstacles and a security system that includes infra-red detector beams. You can't see these beams, unless you've found the special goggles that are lying around somewhere.
Oh, and there are also trapdoors in the floor and locked steel doors (but you might also find some 'locked steel door keys' if you look hard enough.) if you do get spotted by guards you can have a bash at killing them with the knife you start off with, but if you've managed to find more impressive firepower around the fort you'll stand more of a chance. When you've unearthed the Colonel it's onto round two!
You're in the fort's external compound, and the guards now know that you're armed and extremely dangerous (they obviously didn't see the first two Rambo films, or they'd have known that already) and are pursuing you. Again it's a view from above scroller, and you've got to dash around lobbing grenades at Johnny Pinko with the eventual aim of blowing up the gates which separate you from your escape chopper (ooer). Round three.
Your chopper is shot down, and the game changes to a 'viewed from your eyes everything coming towards you in pseudo 3-d' type thingy. You're in a tank and you find yourself travelling over a sort of corrugated landscape - up hill down dale, up hill, down dale. It's a brilliant and extremely effective effect - it really gets the old head bobbling up and down. Attacking you are troops, tanks on the horizon and the occasional attack 'copter passing overhead. Make it to the border before your tank gets blown to smithereens and you've made it! Oh, except for the small matter of Soviet Commander's personal helicopter you have to destroy.
Rambo III's packed full of action, the graphics are quite nice (especially the tank bit) and there's plenty to do. Hmmmmm, yes. If you're looking for an absorbing shoot 'em up to play you could do far worse than to shell out your spondies for this one. It's a lot better than the film, anyway.
RICH PELLEY and JON PILLAR are at it again and they want us to join on. Oo-er. (So bring along an extra lightbulb just to be safe.)
Reviewer: Jon Pillar
Based on the smash-flop picture of the same name, this game casts you as Rambo (surprise) who's out to kill lots of people (even more of a surprise). Your mentor, Colonel Trautman, has managed to get himself captured by Russians in Afghanistan (a neat trick since there aren't any anymore) and as you can't even pronounce perestroika you decide to rescue the Col and... kill lots of people. (Well, I suppose Rambo Asks Politely For His Colonel Back wouldn't have sounded as exciting.) So, you have to break into the fort where the Colonel is held, battling past guards and using equipment you find on the way (flip-screen maze collect-'em-up bit), drag the Col along as you set charges on your way to escape (another similar bit) and finally (just to remind you the authors have done better things) blaze your way through the Russian army with a captured tank, in an Op Wolf bit. Yep, that's right, I didn't think much of it. The Op Wolf bit's rather good, but as for the preceding sections, well, snazzy graphics and nifty features (such as guards that won't attack unless you stumble across their line of sight) can't disguise the fact that one bit of fort looks an awful lot like another. It all boils down to unending map-manipulate-massacre, and interest drops more sharply than a guillotine blade. It's not bad, it's just not good. The Naked Video of the Speccy world.
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