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Dinamic Software
1986
Arcade: Action
£2.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


23,24
Chris Bourne

In most civilized countries, bull fighting has now been banned, although it remains a popular tourist attraction in many parts of Spain. This gory sport has now been brought to your Spectrum courtesy of AMERICANA.

You take on the role of bullfighter who. armed with all manner of very sharp and deadly weapons, competes for superiority with an ill-fated bull. The bullfighter, if successful, is awarded hero status whereas the bull merely gets an extended stay of execution. The fight runs over five rounds with the bull getting increasingly tired and angry and the crowd becoming more and more frenzied.

The first section consists of a series of six passes, either 'Veronica' or 'de pecho', where the bull is tricked into charging the cloak instead of the bullfighter. Points are awarded for each pass successfully made and an overall average of five must be achieved to progress to the next round. If the bullfighter makes a mistake during this section then the bull gets to have its revenge and impales the fighter on its sharp and pointy horns.

Then it's on to the Picador. Mounted on a dummy horse, your bullfighter 'calls' the bull and when it's in range tries to stab it with a very long sword. This must be achieved twice to ensure that the bull is sufficiently weakened to pose little threat in the subsequent rounds. However, if you miss the bull, then it charges your 'horse' and tramples you under.

By the time stage three comes around, the bull is considerably weaker than it was initially, whereas the bullfighter is running high on all the encouragement from the crowd. In this round the bullfighter must perform an energetic Banderilla leap and at the same time stab the bull with his deadly Banderillas. The Banderillas must be stuck into the bull three times before moving on to round four.

This consists of another six sets of non-violent, but very frustrating, passes for the bull. These are different from the first set of passes earlier in the game and serve only to exhaust the bull even further.

Once these passes have been completed then it's on to the last stage, the Matador. Your bullfighter stands alone in the vast and silent arena armed only with knives. He calls the bull by shaking his brightly coloured cloak at him. Enraged, the bull makes one final charge at the bullfighter. At precisely the right moment he impales the bull with all his might. One mistake and the bull will split him from neck to gizzard.

CRITICISM

'It's not often that a game as tacky as this gets played so much. I've been playing it for hours now trying to get past the last level and I won't give up until I do. Graphically there isn't really much I can say about this one - nice arena and a couple of very well animated characters. The sound is run-of-the-mill, with two good tunes but no effects during play… The game is fairly simple, as there are only a few things to do, so really it all boils down to a matter of timing. I enjoyed it, but can see that Ole' Toro will lose its appeal once it has been completed'

'AMERICANA has again come up with another nice little game that contains nothing much new, but will keep you going for quite a while. It's based on a very gruesome and inhumane sport, and the writers have brought this to the fore, with the bull fighter getting thrown all over the place if the bull hits him - fortunately they have left out the blood. All the characters are well animated -even the crowd jump up and down when you get past each level - but the sound FX are mainly white noise with a beepy Spanish tune at the beginning of each game. All the features are well done, but the game you are left with is very basic and not worth the asking price'

'West Bank was a brilliantly playable game, I thought, but Ole, Toro certainly hasn't the same appeal. Bull fighting comes right down on the bottom of the list of sports I like to watch, so a game based on it doesn't really arrive with much of a fanfare. The graphics are reasonable, but the animation isn't up to much. As for playability, it fairs well, but I got very bored quickly. Not bad, overall, but it lacks anything worth even its meagre price.'

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: any
Keyboard play: slow to respond
Use of colour: limited, but effective
Graphics: adequate
Sound: uninspiring
Skill levels: five
Screens: five
General Rating: Origianl concept, but lacks appeal.

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