Hmmmm, Christmas is over, and a new year is already upon us. It only seems like two months since my pet badger Nigel passed away (It is only two months — and he hasn't passed away he's only hibernating. Ed). Poor Nigel. Such a furry little fellow, and he always seemed so healthy. Aaah well. I gave him a burial to be proud of, and I'll buy a replacement badger later in the year (Oh no. Ed) Anyway I'll wipe away the tears and console myself with this little offering from Elite: Rank Bruno's Big Box. What? A Frank Bruno Cricket Game?? Oh no, my mistake, it's a compilation of ten of Elite's past glories all scrunged together onto two cassettes. Hmm, ten games for thirteen quid — that sounds like good value, let's have a meatshop.
FRANK BRUNO'S BOXING
You're big Frank, you're in the ring and you're viewed from behind as you proceed to thump your way through eight adversaries. You've got all the moves (guard up, guard down, dodge, hook etc)and you have to knock your opponents down three times in a three minute round to dispose of them. Each opponent has his own special 'trick' to floor you with though, so watch out. The graphics are nice and big, and overall ifs not a bad little game. In fact it's got my adrenalin going. In fact you can tell Mike Tyson from me that he's a poof!
Yo ho ho! Up it crops again — a game we gave away free more than a year ago. If you haven't played this then you're missing out: it's an Arkanoid clone with loads of twists and extras and some of the slickest graphics and gameplay the genre has to offer. It's absolutely brilliant Boing.
Quite an old coin-op conversion, this, in which you play commando Super Joe (viewed from above), and you have to dash up the vertically scrolling screen handing out death to Johnny enemy. You've got a machine gun and grenades, and the action is frenetic as you rush under bridge's, avoid tanks, and blast everything that moves in your hurry to 'reach the fortress' A bit dated, but jolly good fun nonetheless. Bang.
Platform game with very pretty backgrounds in which you collect bombs to gain points while avoiding the nasties. Collect the allotted bombs on one screen and it flips to another. And so on. Hair raisingly addictive stuff. Wooosh.
Fairly standard platformy game in which our canine pal must go up/down, left/right while punching the ghosts' lights out and following the trail of Scooby 'Snax', which should lead you to 'Shaggy' and friends who you've got to rescue. Yawn.
A computer game With a spooky past, but we won't go into that. Right. You know the game you play with a chum, on paper? Where you each place a fleet of ships on a grid, and then take it in turns to blast each other out of the sea? Well, here it is - but with animated 'firing sequences added and the need for a pencil sharpener removed. This successfully transforms an incredibly tedious game into amerely boring one. Zzzzzzzz.
Ninja frolics galore as you don your balaclava and infiltrate a security building in this viewed-from-the-side flip-screen platform/maze game. You've got to find a computer disk, but there are dogs and armed guards out to top you. Lucky then, isn't it, that you're a little bit handy in the old 'Kung Fu' department. Nice sized sprites, and jutecent little bash. Aaaaahh ssooo.
Vertically scrolling coin-op conversion from a couple of years ago. You control a little aeroplane and you've got to shoot down all the other little aeroplanes. Occasionally a bigger aeroplane saunters onto the screen. You have to shoot this down as well (before it shoots you). Power-up icons can be collected as you progress through the levels. It's pretty basic, but quite a hard little beggar to get through. Very hard in fact. Take this, son of Nipon!
GHOSTS 'N' GOBLINS
Viewed-from-the-side scrolling spook 'em up coin-op conversion. Hailed as something of a classic in its time, the game still packs an addictive punch, even if the graphics won't drag an amazed 'coooo' from your larynx. Heroic knight has to rescue beautiul maiden from clutches of demonic tyrant, enter the castle at your own peril kind of stuff. Jolly good kind of stuff in fact. Brrrrrr.
You're Stringfeltow 'Mike Smith' (Yowch! Ed) Hawke, you've got your hands on a chopper (oo-er), and, in this viewed-from-the-side four way scroller, you've got to get it down to the bottom of a vast subterranean network of tunnels, where you will find five kidnapped scientists. These boffins must be rescued and returned to the surface. Once they're safe you can pop back down and blow the whole complex to kingdom come. Ka ka ka ka ka.
Well that's it. Phew! You know something? I feel as if I've just written the Bargain Basement pages. Actually that's not so surprising when you consider eight of these ten are available on the budget shelves at your local store. Oh dear, I'm afraid it's down to maths time. Let's see — if we say the average cheapie is two quid then this compilation gives you twenty quids-worth for under thirteen. Um, and there are six titles here that are very good budget value, i.e; twelve quids-worth. So what follows is that if you buy Frank Bruno's Big Box you'll pay full budget whack for six good games, but sort of get four not quite so good ones for free (You'd probably better read that again, slowly). Phew. Can I have my new badger, now? (No, go and dig up Nigel. Ed).
Ten oldies on one tape. There is quite a lot of fun to be had here, but most of the games are out on budget, which does tend to imply a slight overpricing.