GOT lumme, you can't move for these compilations at this time of year, can you? Or indeed any time of year, 'cos they're big bucks for the software companies and extremely good value for you and me. Here's another one, this time from Elite, and based around the not-terribly- strong theme of fists and throttles, i.e. they're just a load of old games that Elite wanted to bung on a compilation. But it's not a bad collection by any means - not. perhaps, of the very top class, but full o' goodies.
ENDURO RACER - 9/10
Originally reviewed back in the dim and distant by one M Berkmann (Who he? Ed), this is one of the best, if not the best road racing game yet seen on the Spec. Time and time again the cries go up: "Yes, but it's not as good as Enduro Racer, is it?" and no, it usually isn't. You have five courses to get through on your trusty bike, all against the clock, through rock-filled terrains, over hills and ramps and with loads of other bikers trying to beat you to it. It's devilishly swift, looks a treat and to quote the original review, "it's a down home Class 1 ripsnorter", whatever that means. If you haven't got it yet, you should buy this compilation for Enduro Racer alone. You won't regret it!
DRAGON'S LAIR - 6/10
Of the two tapes in the package, this little number takes up the whole of one of them, and I must admit I had forgotten what a huge game it is. Based on the videodisk coin-op of a few years back, this conversion attempted the impossible (cram it all into 48K) and failed, but not without a struggle. Much of the gameplay has been retained, and like the original it's hellishly difficult. Too difficult, I'd say, but others have proved me wrong. For every different bit (each part is a completely separate game) there are different tricks and skills to learn, and a few neat techniques which can save an awful lorra bother. Software Projects, who bought the licence, eventually knocked out a more user-friendly sequel, but you have to ask - especially as Software Projects isn't exactly active at the moment - whether it was all worth it.
THUNDERCATS - 8/10
One of the first left-to-right scrolling slice 'em-ups to hit the Spectrum, and since followed by Rastan and about two billion others. But a year on, this is still an impressive piece of programming, with fast action, nicely drawn protagonists and some beautiful digitised backgrounds. As befits all the best slashfests, this has very short instructions - just get out there and start slicing, essentially. It's based, as these things are, on the Thundercat toy range, TV series, T-Shirt, film, book, explosive underpants etc etc, and it captures the mood very well. KER-SLICE!!! (Fill in 'enormous weapon' jokes here, okay? Ta.)
IKARI WARRIORS - 6/10
This follow-up to Commando was reviewed in our May ish by Jonathan Davies, terror of the west country, and he raved and raved. It's all good clean violent stuff - a scrolling shooter with lots to do, look at and, most important of all, kill - but I'm not sure it's quite that good, especially in the light of games like Vindicator, which is substantially more sophisticated. It's not earth-shatteringly fast, and it's not so prettily done that you fail to notice the rather thin gameplay. But of its type it's not a disgrace, and as part of a compilation Ikari Warriors works well. Oi'll give it seven.
Even more recent, this: nowadays games are out for about half an hour before getting nabbed for some compilation or other. Jonathan also reviewed Buggy Boy, although here he was more muted in his praise. You drive this enormous multicoloured buggy through a series of badly drawn landscapes, avoiding rocks and things and trying to beat the time limit. Heard that before? Yes, it's another racing game, but unlike all too many of the others, this is actually quite fun. It may be the huge coloured sprites that do it, or the rather wobbly collision detection which usually means that you don't crash as often as you think you will, but it certainly manages to keep a hold on your attention. Again; it perhaps does not compare especially well with Enduro Racer in speed and sophistication, but here the emphasis is rough-and-tumble action rather than elegance of execution. Nobbad at all.
So, a neat if unspectacular compilation with one real gem (Enduro Racer) and only one game that even approaches the title of 'turkey' (Dragon's Lair and that's not entirely fair). Still, there are other better compilations about. What do you want to do with your money?
Not bad compilation of recent hits with one real spanker - Enduro Racer - that's worth a tenner of anyone's money!