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Monday, 15 July 2013

Robocop - Classic Inspection



On patrol... Amstrad, Speccy, Arcade and C64

Robocop the movie is stunning, the prime directives still resonate in my head even today. I recall from one scene good old Murphy getting blown to smithereens and in another ED-209 powering up with the immortal words - 'Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply'. The game is every bit as enjoyable as the movie and in some ways just as memorable.

I'd already experienced Operation Wolf, Chase HQ, Gryzor and Combat School, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to receive. Delta city had never looked so good, it was littered with dark alleyways, ruined building and crime infested streets. Scenes from the movie were cleverly replicated, including the hostage and drug factory encounter. You could never walk more than a few feet without all hell breaking lose.

You start out all guns blazing... ultra violence a plenty. The weapons were as devastating as seen in the movie. In between the horizontal scrolling levels, I would collect even more destruction, these upgrades were needed - as everyone was out to get you, especially the chainsaw wielding thugs hiding in the shadows of the oncoming scroll. This is the side-scroller that had everything, five levels of mayhem, ED-209, big cannons, shouty graphics, shoot outs, unbelievable music and speech is taken directly from the movie.

The Amstrad and Speccy appear to share the same source code, but in the case of Robocop, this was definitely a good thing. Both are powerful conversions and probably rank as one of the best side scrollers for an 8-bit machine. My sin is that I've never played the Commodore 64 version or the Atari ST, but my saving grace is that I played the Amiga version. And for a while, loved it more than life.

Ocean software did the movie proud, never had a movie conversion captured its essence in such a way, Robocop quickly became the game I'd show off to all my mates. And the benchmark for all side scrollers from that day forward. The Gameboy even received its own conversion and I was pleased to find that it kept the wonderful music by Johnathan Dunn, and the style drawn out by Dawn Drake. Regardless of the platform, and there's a few (MSX version anyone?) Robocop is full of iconic moments and sits proudly among gaming's greats.    
         

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