Downtown Manhattan has never been worse. Thugs lurk in every doorway ready to attack, gangs stalk the streets armed with iron bars, flick knives, baseball bats and even chain saws! Evil maniac Ricky 'Death Star' Chang makes surprise visits in his kamikaze forklift truck! You're the Guardian Angel, your job is to wipe out the scum!.
Like most beat-'em-ups, this has impressive graphics. The scrolling levels all have detailed junk strewn about them and the backdrop is a view of the Manhattan skyline. The sprites are all animated well and the thugs vary enough to keep the best of gamers on their toes - in fact it may be a bit difficult for the average player. An energy bar shows your health, this goes down with every punch you take but can be increased by resting.
Guardian Angel is a tough beat-'em-up that will present a challenge to the best of players! Softies need not apply.
"Oh no! Not another ropey old beat-'em-up based on the thrilling exploits of the Guardian Angels." you cry. And you'd be right. But then again, you'd also be wrong. Yes. it is without doubt a beat-'em-up (okay so far) and it is old (well, a tiny bit), but ropey? No, it's (whisper it) actually rather good. Here's the full story.
Despite the typical Codies packaging ("Tackle muggers, homicidal maniacs and PSYCHOPATHS" it promises) this is, in actual fact, a Dinamic game, released recently in Spain as Freddy Hardest In South Manhattan. (So yes, in effect it's another re-release, even though it's never been seen in this country before.)
You may remember the original Freddy, brought out by Imagine in this country around Christmas 87 - it was a two-part space beat-'em-up which a youthful Jonathan Davies originally gave a generous eight out of ten to. That was a few years ago though, and things have moved on a bit. Freddy hasn't though - this new game (programmed in Uruguay apparently!) is of about the same general standard as the first one. which would make it slightly crap as a full-pricer today. As an original budgie though it's a different matter.
But what about the game? Well, it's a very fast monochrome horizontal scroller, with our hero Freddy/The Guardian Angel as a rather nicely-animated little chap in a trenchcoat who can punch, low-kick or highkick. Baddies are of the street thugs/rats/sailors (!) variety and come armed with iron bars, knives, chainsaws. fork-lift trucks (!!) and so on. All fairly normal so far, and indeed it remains fairly normal throughout, except for the fact that everything is so well programmed - you don't often get to walk behind and through the scenery in budgie games like this, for instance.
What else? Well, it is (as you might expect) rather hard - you get only so far before about eight or ten baddies jump you at once, and then you're done for, matey (or at least I am). That's it really - nothing spectacular perhaps, but very competent and certainly a cut above most budget fare.
We all know them. People whose pent up anxieties can only be communicated in meaningless acts of street violence. People whose face punching habits are just repeated cries for sympathy, love, acceptance and most importantly help. What can we do? How can we help them?
That's right! Shine up your best pair of ten high steelys, get out on the streets and kick them all in! It really is the best plan and Guardian Angel from Codemasters is just right place to get in a bit of practice. Or is it?
The aim of the game is to kick in as many people as possible whilst avoiding a duffing yourself. And that's it really - level after level of that sort of thing with the bad guys getting more and more tooled up. In your amoury of defensive and offensive moves are a few different kicks and punches attained with joystick and fire button manipulations. Look out for the odd fork lift truck driving psycho ploughing about the screen and when you do see him, running away is a wise move. Even your hardest and most spot on flying drop kicks will do no good.
It's not a lot of fun. Even trying your very hardest it's hard to avoid getting a terminal pasting. And the control's really sluggish, a bit like skate boarding in a bowl of syrup. Maybe the main guy's drunk. Talk about a well oiled fighting machine.
As for the graphics, about as pleasing to the eye as red hot needles dug into the back of the optic nerve. The hero's chin is brilliant. I've seen some big ones in my time but the huge loaf of bread poking out of this bloke's face really takes the biscuit. It's a sort of Jimmy Hill, Bruce Forsyth hybrid sticking out at a very strange angle. Apart from that the yucko scrolling and blobby bad guys really aren't very nice. For self haters only.
Reviewer: Gary Liddon
All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB