For some reason people often mistake me for a mild mannered, easy-going 'yes' man. And I don't use the word 'mistake' lightly, as the admissions list of the Bristol Royal Infirmary will testify. So when a new boxing game was slid under the door of the shed I was its natural recipient.
If you didn't recognise the name in between the game's title and its price, that's because Beyond Belief is a new set-up and this is its first game. Hurrah! When so many so-called 'big' companies are tending to overlook the speccy in its old age, it's nice to see a new company getting its priorities right from day one. And the games not bad either.
It's about as standard a boxing as it's possible to get, but as there haven't been too many boxing games on the Spectrum in recent years I'd better go over the basics. Your boxer stands on the left, facing the other one (controlled either by the computer or a chum) who stands on the right. By pressing the right combination of keys you can get him to walk backwards and forwards and do various punches. As you lay into your opponent hisstrength goes down until, eventually, he'll fall over. He might manage to get up again (by hitting the left and right keys), in which case he gets a bit more energy and another chance. If not, you win the fight and move up a rank. (You start off in eighth position, and have to become first in the world, you see) Between every couple of bouts you get a chance to beef up your power rating by hitting a punch bag.
Although initially it seems that all you have to do to win a fight is press all the keys as quickly as possible and hope for the best, you'll eventually work out combinations of moves which work for you. But the best thing is the way the boxing matches actually look like boxing matches with teeth flying all over the place. In fact the whole feel of the game, while distinctly Spectrummy, is just right and nothing like as repetitive as these things so often can be. So, um, it's really rather good then.
An ordinary but slick boxing game that's surprisingly good fun to play.
Right, who's the joker who swopped the ring for a swimming pool?
Oof! Out for the count! (Get up, you lazy bounder, I want to bash you up a bit more.)
Nice to see players with such a firm grasp of the English language, isn't it, Spec-chums?