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Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

I'm afraid some unerring repetition seems imminent here because, Total Recall aside, the remaining three on 2 Hot 2 Handle have all had the review treatment elsewhere in this month's Replay. I'm not sure who to blame but, for the sake of argument, let's blame Tony Hart. Tony, you bast.

Presumably whoever else reviewed Golden Axe concluded that this two player, pretty coloured, loads of levels beat-em-up was one of the best ever and entrusted it with a suitably high mark. At least let's hope they did, or at this point I may look slightly stupid. (Very stupid. Ed)

And hello there if you've joined us from the bit in the review of the Ninja Collection which I haven't actually written yet, but when I do, at one point I'm going to say "see the review of Shadow Warriors in the 2 Hot 2 Handle review".

Er, yes. Shadow Warriors is a technically impressive and undeniably sophisticated scrolling two-player beat-em-up. The sprites are huge, the scenery colourful and the controls instantly accessible. Progress further into the game to unearth possibilities of interacting with scenery (climb ladders, swing from hooks, pick up objects) and delights such as greasy men on bikes and huge cars. The only major catch is that the majority of the moves simply involve your character frantically hurling his limbs about killing in a bit of a random and discontenting process. This points to the fact that although there may be a lot to see and explore, perhaps today Shadow Warriors isn't quite worthy of its original Megagame status.

However ORR boasted a Megagame last year and a Megagame it stays. It's just like Super Sprint, the graphics are fab (if titchy) and it's ace fun with a chum. In fact the only question mark is held over its lastability, but in this compilation I'd say it fits in quite nicely.

"A great game," we pointed out last March, "but not quite as big as 'Big' Arnie himself." Indeed not. Levels One, Three and Five consist of a kind of scrolling shoot-'em-up in the style of the Dan Dare games with 'Big' Arnie running around, shooting baddies and flicking switches in order top reach previously unreachable parts of the screen via newly appeared platforms. Hardly original but for graphics, sound, addictiveness and damn well decent fun (and using a binary marking system) were talking a good 1011100, 1001000, 1010101 and 1011001 out of 1100100 respectively. (Eh? Ed)

Levels Two and Three are more sub levels, both consisting of sideways scrolling car races where shooting baddies and collecting collectables from from A (the beginning) to B (the end) of each level is the aim. A trifle tedious but a welcomed break between levels helping to create a pleasing little number worthy of inclusion on any compilation.

In fact all four games were well worth including on this compilation and fit in quite snugly together. Too hot to handle perhaps not, but certainly a collection worth buying all the same.


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Meanwhile, in Neasden, Barbara slept on.

For a superstar like Arnold Schwarzenegger, fans are always a problem.