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Hit-Pak
1987
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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61
Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

We've had bad conversions of good arcade games and great conversions of great arcade games, but here's that most rare of bests - a good conversion of a game that only a mother )or Gerald Ratner, again) could love.

Gurianos was the kind of machine that lurked at the back of the arcade and no-one ever played. They just stuck their drinks on it instead. Elite got lumbered with it as part of a package of Taito titles and it popped up briefly on a minor compilation before, um, popping off again. But now it's back (sob sob). You play GG himself, and the idea is to lop from left to right (you can't turn back, or even round), slapping down flying objects with you shield and poking evil knights with your sword.

The Speccy version is actually quite stylish, with very large, clashless sprites ambling along a swiftly scrolling corridor. It's just that there's nothing underneath the graphics. Fighting is supposed to consist of strategic hacking and parrying, but it boils down to a straightforward case of the waggles between the 3-sword and 2-shield positions. Lose and you're out. Win and it's onto the next barrage of objects and the next knight. And that's it. Some objects replenish your energy or equip you with armour, and the knights get nastier as you go, but the pace and gameplay remain exactly the same. Plod, plod, plod, grunt, slap, plod, slash, aarghh! Plod, plod etc. If you really need a barg hack-'n-slash, go for Barbarian. It's more gruesome and certainly a lot better than this hollow offering.

35%

Screenshot Text

The Great Guriano battling against, erm, some flying things.