ROBOCOP 2

Publisher : Ocean
Release date : 1990
Genre : Action
Players : 1
Screenshots...
Game description...
"Murphys back! Battle your way through seven levels of explosive action to face Robocops greatest enemy - Robocop 2!"
Programming :
  Andrew Deakin
Graphics :
  Ivan Horn
Music/Sounds :
  Matthew Cannon
Downloads...


Download ROM


Download Manual
Editors review...
When Amstrad launched the console it came with a mixed bag of games of which nearly all of them were just tape/disk games chucked on a cart with little improvement but with a whopping price tag of up to 30! No wonder the console struggled and ultimately failed. But... enter Robocop 2 from Ocean! An original game, only released on cart and one big reason to go out and buy the console! With such expectations thankfully it lives up to them - the game is first rate quality from start to finish. The graphics, music, presentation is simply stunning but unlike other great looking games on the Amstrad that are let down by the programming and content - this has everything to back up all its flash! This is no style over substance product, and a movie licence with depth from Ocean - the Manchester software house often churned many a licence that had the formula of platformer/beat-em-up plus puzzle levels plus shoot-em-up sections but this didn't always equal success - Terminator 2 being a prime example of this and highly overrated.

So here we have 3 levels of platforming action, 2 sections of puzzling and 2 more sections of shooting. Firstly the platforming levels - the first thing you notice is the stunning graphics, followed by some of the best music heard on any Amstrad game and then ... woah... the scrolling! The speed! What's happening? Isn't this an Amstrad game?? It's been much lamented the poor scrolling and speed in many Amstrad games, not so much the fault of the machine as it lacked hardware scrolling that rivals like the C64 had which made it easier to achieve - but really the fault of the programmers who struggled to cope or just were too lazy to give it the time and effort it deserved (although maybe the software houses just didn't allocate them much time leaving the CPC version to last...) HOWEVER it's not the case with the GX4000 which now comes loaded with hardware scrolling and sprites! And Ocean thankfully and wisely decided to unlock these so much kudos to them and Andrew Deakin the programmer who took the time to learn how to use these here but who implemented them perfectly.

So the game zips along at a cracking speed, with tons going on the screen with spikes, rolling barrels, lifts, jet packs, baddies shooting at you, criminals who've surrendered and sit there waiving their arms in their air begging to be arrested! And with no slow down whatsoever. Very clever programming again. Robocop himself leaps and bounds around with such speed and grace, its a bit bizarre to look at - sorry but when in the movies did you see him move faster than walking speed and most importantly - when did he even jump ONCE in all the movies?? Didn't he weigh a freakin' ton? Yet here he is bouncing around like Zebedee or an even more manic Manic Miner! Still the usage of the Robocop 2 licence does make the game very cool, such a recognisable and awesome film character. So basically - bound around, avoid the tons of death traps, villains, machines that'll crush/eletricfy/spike/maim/etc poor old Robo, get to the end of the level whilst collecting cans of Nuke, arresting scum bags and visiting the rooms/laboratories strewn throughout the level. These rooms prove very useful for extra energy, lives etc but also as a restart point - one of the games must frustrating features is that if you die you get sent back to the start of the level, but by visiting these rooms you start back at the last one you went in.

That does neatly lead on to the difficulty of the game - it is rock hard!! And can be a very frustrating experience, and will put off many casual gamers who'll easily get discouraged as its so easy to die and perfect timing is needed. But persevere and learn all the death traps, and you'll soon make progress - in doing so you'll get to play some great later levels...

Next up is the puzzle sections - a brilliant game in its own right! It could have been released as a game! You're presented with a circuit board that you have to navigate around collecting all the chips and avoiding existing parts of your memory bank. Sounds easy - but is fiendishly difficult as some chips seem impossible to get to and plus you can't move back over a space you've already visited! But with clever thinking and planning you're able to shift a whole row of the circuit board left/right or up/down and suddenly a solution presents itself. The later levels of this section will really do your head in! Great puzzling fun, and again brilliant presentation and music.

Next is the shooting gallery section - where you have to practice your skills on the police range to sort out your aiming that's all gone awry! Shoot the bad guys with guns, avoid the innocent civilians under a tight time limit where at the end you'll be judged with a percentage score. Hitting all the bad guys with one shot will result in a 100% score, however the only bug of the game rears its head here as unless I'm mistaken the first 4 targets can't be hit?! Anyway lastly onto the final confrontation with the Robocop2 machine that's gone bezerk. Unfortunately this levels really quite weak, all you can do is run left to right blasting away at the machine who just walks back and forth doing not much else. It doesn't even shoot at you! So as long as you've a large amount of energy just stand their shooting at him, move back shoot some more, run through him a couple of times (losing energy which is unavoidable) and repeat and soon enough he's toast! You'll be presented with a lovely ending screen and you'll have the immense satisfaction of completing one of the consoles hardest games.

So in all - a fabulous product that's quality and first rate in all departments. It loses marks for difficulty level that'll prove very frustrating for casual games, the bugs on the shooting gallery and the poor final level but given everything else these are just minor quibbles. In a word - stunning, and an essential addition to your GX4000 collection.

Graphics
  Amazing vibrant graphics, great use of colours on all the levels. In fact, in my opinion with the detailed background graphics it looks better than the AtariST/Amiga versions!! Some blockiness on a few sprites, and Robocop's sprite can occasionally look odd when he's bouncing in the same spot, but it deserves full marks here regardless.
Music
Some of the best tunes ever on the Amstrad! Different music for title screens and levels up to the high standard as expected from Matthew Cannon.
Sounds
As expected from Ocean, high quality sound effects, although the bing of the clock ticking down constantly is a little annoying although it does add a sense of further urgency to the game getting the pulse racing!
Presentation
Utterly fabulous presentation through out! From the animated title screen, the between level information with animated Robocop to final completed game screen - its first rate, including everything in between. Special mention must go to all the extra details on puzzle circuit board levels - essentially its all the little details Ocean have added in that makes this score highly. The level of quality and care on this product cannot be left ignored.
Programming
At last, one of the few GX4000 games to make proper use of hardware scrolling, sprites and the extra colours... it looks and SCROLLS amazingly!! The action really zips along. Some very skillful programming has gone on here for which Mr Deakin must be commended for. Special mention to the spot on collision detection and level design, if it was a pixel off given the nature of the game (perfectly timing jumps etc) the cart would have been thrown in the bin after a few hours! Despite a bug at the start of the shooting levels and a poor final level, I'll only deduct one mark for this.
Playability
Lots on offer here for one game - platform shooting action, puzzle games, and 'Operation Wolf' style shoot 'em up levels add to the variety. The level of difficulty may put some people off.
Lastability
As I said above, lots on offer here. And it definitely has that 'OK one more go I AM going to get further this time!' although again the level of difficulty will put some gamers off. Personally I found it pitched just right otherwise it would be too easy to finish and I wouldn't keep coming back to it.
Concept
Based on the hit movie it follows the key scenes and takes the liberty to use artist licence cleverly in the shooting/puzzle levels. Not many movie heroes are as cool as Robocop! Strangely though (see AI section below) with such a lack of enemies to shoot at its mostly a platform game where you just have to get to the end of the level avoiding the death traps. Collecting Nuke and arresting the arrestables is just a slight distraction - they could have put more fun and action into these levels..
AI & Challenge
Strikingly unusual for a Robocop game, but there aren't that many bad guys to shoot at! In fact there's only 2 or 3 per level who just stands there and constantly shoots at you in the same direction. To be honest it's actually quite a disappointment
GX4000 Features
It uses everything that the GX's new hardware features bring to the table! The extra colours, hardware scrolling, hardware sprites... amazing! (Although no DMA music, but then no other game bar Prehistorik 2 bothered to utilise this)
Summary A fabulous effort from team Ocean - everything about this product is first rate, and an essential game to own for the console. Just sneaks into the 90's score wise! But well deserved of the 'Master Game' AA award.
Final Score 90%
Cheats...
Multiface:
  Infinite energy -
  &2677: &C8 -> &C9
  Infinite lives -
  &2E3D: &35 -> 0
  Infinite time -
  &938D: ?? -> &FF
YouTube video...



Further more...
  Amstrad Action final score : 94%
  GX4000.CO.UK game ranking : #2
  Game value (boxed + instructions) : £15 - £30

Credits...
Manuals and some sleeve scans by mochilote at cpcmania.com

ROMS taken from NVG FTP Site maintained by Nich Campbell, see his other site - CPC Game Reviews

Cheats (various) taken from CPC Zone contributed by Hermol, cpc4eva, Malc and others

Inspiration generally taken from John King's PCW King GX4000 site



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