In this sequel to the well received original, Rick's back in action to thwart an alien fleet from the planet Barf, landed on Earth. The game starts in Hyde Park where he hijacks one of the Barfian ships. To defeat the guards and robots swarming around the platforms he's armed with a ray gun and grenades: both are limited but supplies can be found scattered around. And again, as in the original Rick Dangerous, many devious traps and pitfalls face our intrepid explorer.
Once aboard the ship Rick heads for the control room through screens packed with platforms, puzzles, traps and Barfian guards! Some traps can be deactivated by triggering switches, whilst others need careful timing to pass.
Level two takes you to the Ice Caverns of Freezia. Rick battles with the unpleasant inhabitants of this frozen realm and ducks the myriad laser bolts, snowballs and falling stalactites that come his way. Again switches deactivate traps, but watch out for red herrings as death is only just around the comer!
Having escaped from the Ice Caverns the third level is set in the Forests Of Vegetabilia: man-eating plants, rolling boulders, guards, sharpened sticks are just some of the problems. Level four takes him to the Atomic Mud Mines and then it's onto level five set in Barfalatropolis, the alien's HQ.
It's great to see Rick back again. I really enjoyed the first game with its vicious inhabitants and devious traps, and part two is just as tough. One neat feature is the ability to practise the first four levels, but to complete you have to play through the whole game to reach the final showdown.
Graphically Rick Dangerous II is very impressive, even though some of the hazards are difficult to see. It's really very similar to the original - but that's no bad thing, as it's one of the most playable platform games around!
MARK ... 90%
't's more of the same so the novelty of the cute graphics and 'interesting' nasties has worn off. Don't get me wrong, this is a great game, but if you played the original you'll already know how to get past some of the traps (if you can spot them!). Graphically this is also almost exactly the same with a few new ideas thrown in to make up the backgrounds in the various stages. There is far more colour though, and as a result you have to put up with some of that annoying clash the Spectrum is famous for. There are tunes at the beginning of each of the levels which, unfortunately, slow right down when anything fires at you, making them unbearable to listen to. Rick Dangerous II may not be the most original game ever but is certainly loads of fun.'
NICK ... 90%
Right, let's see who can find the YS back issue with Rick Dangerous I in it first, shall we? Ha. Beat the lot of you - issue 43, page 61. It appears that Jackie gave it a big thumbs up and 78 (but she was slightly alarmed by how hard it was). And now here's Rick II. So what's it like? Easier? Harder?(!) Better looking? Bigger? Spankier? Well, you can cross out all those question marks because just about all of the adjectives apply.
But first, the plot. Er, there isn't one. At least, if there is I haven't seen it. I'd offer to make one up for you, but it'd be extraordinarily awkward. There are four 'preliminary' levels, you see, and they all take place in completely different settings. There's Hyde Park in London, the Ice Caverns of Freezia, the Forests of Vegatablia and the Atomic Mud Mines of, erm, it doesn't say. And there's another level as well, which can only be played once you've completed the first four (in any order you fancy). Anyone who can come up with a plot to link that lot deserves a prize, in my opinion. (Tell you what - write a plot and send it in to Rick Dangerous II Plot Compo at the usual address and we'll come up with a prize for the best one.) (We will? Ed)
So, no plot then. But a heck of a lot of explanation to get through. For a start you can tackle the levels in whichever order you like by selecting them from a menu at the beginning. A wise move, that, as you're unlikely to get terribly far with any of them. Not at first, anyway. As with its predecessor, this one's Hard. On top of the huge array of cunning booby-traps and the continuous onslaught of baddies you've also got some pretty dodgy collision detection to cope with. It's a vast improvement on the original's, I'll agree, but I still get a bit teed off with being wiped out by a boulder that seems to be about 3,000 miles away.
As for Rick, well, he's still the highly-talented little chap he always was. He can run, jump, duck, crawl, punch, shoot and lob grenades, and still manage to look cute 'n' cuddly at the same time. What a guy. Mind you, he needs to be pretty versatile with the odds he's up against. Right from the word go he frequently finds a boulder heading towards him, looking alarmingly hefty. Later on there are icy floors, lifts (some of which need to be switched on before they'll do anything), lightning bolts, missile launchers and, ooh, all sorts of things to cope with.
They're never terribly obvious either, so he's almost always wiped out by them on the first couple of tries. After that it's a case of remembering where they are and avoiding them next time round.
The general 'look' of things seems to have been spruced up since the first game. Rick I had a very monochromey appearance, even though it wasn't short of colour (if you see what I mean), but the sequel's got the rainbow stuff oozing out all over the place. There are plenty of sound effects too, beep-fans will be pleased to hear. (Oh - bit of a pun there!)
So, just what is it about these Rick games that makes them so devastatingly addictive? Erm, well... Actually I've got a bit of a confession to make. I hated the first one. Loathed it. It was just too flipping difficult for me. However (and that's a heavily-emphasised 'however'). Rick II had me absolutely hooked - I couldn't tear myself away. And what brought about this astounding turnaround? Well, it's still hard, but I reckon just a teeny bit easier than the first game. Not much, but just enough to keep you coming back for more rather tahn switching it off in frustration.
So I liked it then? Yes, I certainly did. Although in theory it ought to get roughly the same score as the first Rick, for some spooky reason I'm going to give it a whopping great Megagame. Weird, eh?
Dangerous? I should cocoa! Drinking pints of lard, stuffing your gob full of cake, smoking 2000 Rothmans an hour. I tell you, when it comes to high blood pressure inducement all these activities seem positively healthy compared to vein throbbing frustration half an hour of Rick Dangerous II is liable to spark off.
It's a non stop tirade of full-on bad luck for Rick. Without even a chance for a cup of tea and a bit of a snack after his previous adventures, he's sent off to rid Hyde Park of a churlishly parked space ship. The idea's to get em off the planet and send them back to where they belong. Standing in your way is a whole lot of trouble from the aliens who much rather stay put.
The control is much the same as it's predecessor though the space bombs supplied instead of dynamite can be slid along the floor delivering gelignite death to any bad guy stumbling onto one. At first the joystick control is a little tricky to get the hang of, especially if you're trying to launch off any bombs or laser zaps. Don't worry, it all makes sense after a bit of practice.
There's four levels for Rick to cope with, each of them chocked to the gills with all manner of devilish puzzles. Unlike a lot of games with such a huge content, Core have managed to keep up the very high standard throughout. The same goes for the consistently excellent graphics. They're nice and colourful and very well thought out.
All in all very nice stuff, obviously designed by people haters. It's as dangerous a playing a couple of rounds of Pop!* Spend you money today!
*Pop!: An unpleasant game involving two dice, a vice and an area of the body usually referred to as "the nether regions".
Reviewer: Gary Liddon
Atari ST version reviewed Issue 38; ACE Rating 870
The difficulty with platform games on the Spectrum is that if you use too much colour, attribute clashes make it difficult to judge your position. Rick Dangerous 2 manages to make good use of colour in the backgrounds, but keeps the main character monochrome to minimise these problems.
The screens on the Spectrum version are flip-scrolling, but the action is very much the same as other versions, with all the platforms, ladders, lightning bolts, roving aliens, deathtraps, obstacles and pitfalls you could expect. Sound is fair, and overall, though Rick 2 doesn't set any new standards, it's a well above average Spectrum title.
Spectrum/C64/Amstrad £9.99, Amiga £24.99
He's back in a flash! Rick Dangerous, square-jawed hunk and all-round hero is back after a little holiday to foil yet more evil plans courtesy of the Fat Man. This time he's got together with some xenomorph marauders and is threatening to take over the world! Rick has five levels of platform frolics to negotiate, that take him from Hyde Park in London to the Fat Man's lair in deepest Barf (that's where all the aliens have come from, by the way).
When Rob first caught sight of the ST version he was mightiliy impressed, dishing out a colossal 90%. Now, all of the other versions have arrived and they're just as good. Featuring brilliant visuals, decent sound and extremely addictive gameplay, Rick Dangerous 2 is something of an essential purchase.
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