Watch out. I'm back! Kink Kong's on the rampage! Brave men shudder, women scream, children puke babyfood and gurgle. Yes, it's arcade licensing time again!
If this had been a movie they'd have advertised it with the lines 'Too big for one screen! See the giant ape smash high-security banks into oblivion! Thrill as the giant lizard gobbles innocent bystanders! Go oo-er as a 30 foot werewolf stomps everything in sight!'
Promising stuff for a game of mass destruction which makes every other massacre look tame. Tiny helicopters swoop around your head. Tanks take pot shots at you (tanks for the pot shots, guys). Even the inhabitants of the skyscrapers lob dynamite. But it hardly bothers you because... you are invincible (almost)!
The idea's simple - which is good because so are the three monsters. You stroll into town, and smash up the modern architecture like a 30 foot Prince Charles. Grab any goodies revealed to renew your strength, avoiding the rather obvious no-no's, such as bottles of poison, then jump off the building before it cracks up and collapses.
One to three players can take part, with your Spectrum controlling any unattended characters. If your fellow rampagers get in your way you can move them on with a swift fist. Once you've bashed a whole block you progress to the next screen. But don't fall off too many roofs or you'll turn back into a minute mortal, shivering in your birthday suit.
All great fun for a while but being a monster can become a drag. Godzilla arrives home after a hard day in Tokyo. Mrs G has his slippers ready. "Hard day, dear?" "Graargh! I don't care if I never see another skyscraper again!" Yes, there's too little challenge to guarantee job satisfaction.
So unless you intend to play it three-handed, when the fun factor increases a little (but you'll need joysticks), or you're a monster fan of the original, you might just give this a miss for something with more lasting value!
If nothing else, the Hit Squad games are certainly well presented. Looking at the cassette inlay for Rampage really made me want to play this game - quite a surprise, really, as I remember it from first time round. Actually, it's not that bad - it looks fab and plays smoothly, but the overall idea's just not strong enough. The game features three normal everyday Joes transformed, bu dodgy fast food, into 50 foot monsters determined to crush (or eat) virtually everything in sight. You play one of the monsters - up to three people can play, or the Spec can take the other parts - and you have to climb up any available skyscrapers, pummel holes in them, and blag anything that looks edible (that includes humans). Unfortunately, the National Guard has been called out, so you must be careful to avoid helicopters and, more importantly, their bullets. You must also watch out for buildings that have been over-pummelled by you and your playmates - they have a tendency to collapse on top of you. Lose your energy and you are changed back into a slightly embarrassed human - albeit one that's feeling fairly full up.
Nice idea, eh? Trouble is, it's all a little one-dimensional for sophisticated gamesters like you and me (hem hem). There's not a lot of challenge - once you've done one building, you just move onto the next - and, like the coin-op that spawned it, it's all style, no content. Well programmed, though, and good fun for about 15 minutes.
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