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Ocean Software Ltd
Arcade: Gang beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

Other Links

David Wilson
Chris Bourne

Incredible though it may seem, here is the Ocean game of that muscular relief cream. Red Heat! (No, you idiot! That's Deep Heat. Ed) Hem, hem, sorry readers! In fact, what we have here is a conversion of the movie Red Heat, the tough comedy thriller starring Arnie Schwarzenegger and James Belushi.

Just in case you haven't seen the movie, Arnie plays mean Rusky cop Captain Ivan Danko, Head of Moscow's Homicide Division, and Jim Belushi plays a wacky Chicago cop who teams up with him. Their combined talents are up against one man who certainly doesn't 'just say no', wicked Viktor Rostavili. He's the fiendish Russian drugs baron whose collar our Arnie wants to feel! (Oo-er!) Viktor has now moved to Chicago (My kind of town, Chicago is..') (Shut up! Ed) and our heroes are in hot pursuit.

This is the game scenario... 'cos Red Heat the computer game follows the plot pretty closely. You get to play Danko, punching, shooting and head-butting out loadsa baddies on your way to the final showdown with Viktor. Jim Belushi is reduced to a cameo role as a little sprite who moves swiftly across the screen waving his hands about in Al Jolson fashion. Red Heat has been converted for Ocean by Special FX, the Liverpool based company who did such a skill job on Batman - The Caped Crusader. This game too features nice big clear, yet detailed, monochrome graphics, smooth scrolling and much of the company's (now) familiar, quirky sense of humour. The screen shows a horizontally scrolling cinema type pic with the characters visible only from the waist up, and is a tad sparse for my liking. Only half the area is occupied by the game and the rest, apart from small scales representing energy levels and bullets, is blank.

Arnie walks (or at least his torso does!) in a fashion reminiscent of the Batman sprite. On the right hand side he moves left and right, whilst trillions of baddies, head-butters, karate choppers, gunmen, cripples (sic), transvestite nurses (!), and the villainous 'Cleanheads' - the gang in Viktor's pay - all come in on the left to try and pop your clogs! Viktor comes on prior to his fight to have a potshot at you. Since he darts on pretty speedily from left, Arnie's fists can't reach him. There is however the opportunity to shoot him a couple of times in order to weaken him for the final showdown.

There are four levels and within each there are one or two sub games. Every now and then, you will come across a 'B' icon and by collecting these you get either more energy, more bullets, or entry to a sub game. Oh, and beware, there are also bad icons. These will suddenly pelt you with an energy-draining 'snowstorm'! Success in the sub games will give you more points, energy and/or bullets.

No arcade adventure type pick-up-and-use objects here. Instead this is a straightforward horizontally scrolling monochrome beat/shoot 'em up. Apart from the absence of Arnie's legs, the graphics are nice and clear, with big sprites and loads of detail. There is a wide range of adversaries, and the sub games add variety. All those transvestites and gory gunshot wounds contribute to a fun tongue-in-cheekiness that makes for an addictive and appealing game.

Jaw-socking stuff.Quirky and clear with a lot of variety but only a half-sized 'envelope' screen.


Screenshot Text

On each level, by collecting icons, there is the opportunity of playing one or two sub games. These get progressively harder and by completing them you gain extra points, energy and/or firepower.

The second game is a case of rearranging a colour coded key against a time limit.

Here you find yourself in the 'Rogues Gallery'. You are confronted by three doors which open at random to expose one of two baddies and four goodies. You have a limited amount of bullets, but these only get used up either by shooting the goodies, which include a cop, a doggie, a lady in the starkers (Fnar!) and a kid, or by shooting closed doors.

First off you have a crunch a hot stone! Arnie did this is the movie in order to prove his manhood. (Sounds like proof of stupidity to me!) This is achieved by frantic Daley Thompson type joystick waggling (Oo-er!) but watch out for the time limit!