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1988
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


47
Andy Wilton
Chris Bourne

Imagine the carnage!

Gung-ho fans will be surprised at the "Green Beret II" billing on this one, because any resemblance to the original is pretty hard to see. A multi-loader, the game comes in three very different sections all centred around repelling some nasty alien invaders. Anti-Soviet knifeplay is conspicuous by its absence, and coin-op immediacy is pretty hard to find too.

Section 1 is an arcade adventure set in a multi-level underground complex of corridors and store rooms. Your task here is to find the components of a bomb, by collecting computer access cards and solving puzzles.

The gameplay is familiar to the point of cliche - kill aliens, collect useful items and make maps - but a 3D corridor view provides a little interest. Unfortunately it also makes navigating extremely difficult and confusing, the view direction shifting to disorientate you every time you turn a corner. You'll have to make a map, but that's difficult too!

As arcade adventures go, it is rather dull stuff. How easy the aliens are to kill varies from one version to another, but the toughest of them are none too tough. The same is true of the computer puzzles, which turn out simply to be anagrams of high-score or title screen names. In fact your only real adversary is time: the atmosphere in the complex is toxic, so you'll have to manage your stocks of "oxygum" carefully if you want to keep breathing (Anyone remember Marine Boy?)

So far, so humdrum. Complete the bomb and you'll be given an access code for section 2 - which has nothing whatever to do with the game so far. According to the scenario, you're now battling your way through to the alien headquarters. This translates as a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up. and a rather dull one at that. It's got an unusual two-pass structure - fly over the landscape in a bomber to soften things up, and then battle your way through in a gun-toting jeep - but this fails to elevate it above budget standard.

The budget comparison is also strongly suggested by the third and final section, set deep in the catacombs of the alien HQ. A sideways-scrolling arrangement of corridors and lifts, the HQ is swarming with aliens of assorted heights. You can duck or jump to dodge their shots, but as ever the only real solution is to keep blasting. As with section two, the difficulty tuning here is turned up rather too high for comfort. It's an unrewarding slog, short on depth and long on unavoidable deaths.

An odd mish-mash of game styles, this one would have a job appealing strongly to any one type of games player. Section 1 is strictly for mapping buffs only - and a bit on the repetitive side even for them - while sections 2 and 3 are shallow, uninviting action fare.

Reviewer: Andy Wilton

RELEASE BOX
C64/128, £8.95cs, £12.95dk, Out Now
Spec, £7.95cs, £14.95dk, Out Now
Amstrad, £8.95cs, £14.95dk, Out Now

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 60/100
1 hour: 60/100
1 day: 50/100
1 week: 40/100
1 month: 30/100
1 year: 10/100

Multiple sections are no substitute for solid gameplay.

5/10
2/10
4/10
1/10
535/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

Graphically the weakest of all, this version does at least feature aliens in corridors in section 1 - but there's still no aggressive opposition, and no way to turn around in a corridor.

C64 VERSION

Graphics: 6/10

Audio: 3/10

IQ Factor: 4/10

Fun Factor: 1/10

Ace Rating: 600/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 65/100

1 hour: 70/100

1 day: 65/100

1 week: 50/100

1 month: 30/100

1 year: 10/100

Screenshot Text

C64 - Trundling across the wastelands of Section 2 in your jeep, you'll have to watch out for those alien tanks!

Spectrum - In the corridors of Section 1. You'll have to map carefully if you don't want to lose your way.