He's back (back! back!)! CJ the elephant is welcomed back to the Speccy in style with a new adventure (much like the first) that's great fun. Mark Caswell offered a few buns...
After the trials of the original game, little Columbus Jumbo Elephant took a holiday in the States. But while he was out of his native Africa, the dastardly villain of the first game, known only as the Hunter, sneaked into CJ's patch and kidnapped his brothers and sisters! Coo.
So, with a trunk full of peanuts and his trusty brolly tucked under his arm (for any nasty long drops), CJ goes off the rescue. Like the first game, it's a multi-level affair with plenty of platforms for pachydermic perambulations and it can cope with two players simultaneously.
Of course, there are plenty of attackers who all want to send CJ to the great elephant graveyard in the sky. These include dogs, American footballers, TJ Hooker-style police officers (black hair dye optional), Red Indians and mice.
UP YER BUM!
Additionally, immobile spikes wait to ventilate CJ's botty and other assorted obstacles hinder his progress. The route is often very tortuous indeed.
As well as his unlimited supply of peanuts, CJ can pick up and use bombs dropped by deceased attackers. Also food can be collected from popped baddies for a hefty bonus. Dotted around the scrolling-all-over-the-place landscape are your siblings, these have to be rescued, simply by touching them.
There you have it: kill the opponents, save your brothers and sisters, find the exit from each level, destroy the end-of-level baddies and finally kill the Hunter once and for all. Although this isn't an easy task by any means - the attackers in the original game were nasty but are boy scouts compared to some of these swines.
The graphics are little short of brilliant. Character sprites are all monochrome but well detailed; the only slight fly in the ointment is that some backgrounds are so garish you can't see attackers coming. But that's a small price to pay for a game that scores so highly in the graphics and playability stakes. To the software shop this instant (and don't spare the horses)!
CJ's American Antics is one of the best platform games to have appeared on the Speccy this year. Both the graphics and sonics (especially in 128K mode) are excellent, the title tune is toe-tapping and CJ's elephantic antics are hilarious. The attackers are vicious but they're varied, wonderfully drawn and animated. My personal favourites are the ghosts who run around with bed sheets on their heeds. The puzzles are as tough as the baddies - if I had ten pence for every time CJ got spiked I would be very rich by now. But the game is much too cute to be annoying, so CJ is worth the price tag. Even if it is just to sing 'Nellie the Elephant' in an annoyingly loud voice.
£3.99 cass only
Reviewer: James Leach
Blimey O'Reilly! These CodeMaster type people really are into America at the mo! Not only is Seymour dashing off to Hollywood, but his elephantine chum CJ is following in his slimy slug-trail.
CJ in The USA is programmed by the same team of bods, Big Red Software, but the only similarity between it and Seymour is that they're both playable and they're both way colourful. What we've got here is four levels of scrolling platform screenery with you, as CJ, travelling across the States trying to rescue loads of other elephants somewhere in the levels. Believable? I don't think so. Instead of screen-flips (like the Dizzy or Seymour games), each level is like a huge screen that you can only see a bit of at a time. It works well (it's fast, in other words) but it does make your eyes go funny after a while.
If you ignore the fact that CJ, an elephant, is the same size as the rats, pit-bulls and cowboys he meets on his travels across America you'll get on very well with the game. It's playable, fast and has smooth graphics and collision detection. Yep, it's definitely a goody. In fact there's only one thing wrong with it and that's the eye-boggling scrolling. It fair puts you off your trifle! I maybe a bit squeamish, but it mattes me, er, feel pukey.
JUMBO JETS TO AMERICA
CJ in The USA is full of nice touches - whenever CJ falls off a platform he opens an umbrella to stop him dropping too fast. Believable? I don't think so. But it looks nice all the same. There are also lifts to jump on and all sorts of spikes and pitfalls to avoid. Everything, in fact, that you'd expect to see in a decent platform game. Another good little, er thing, is that CJ is supposed to be in the USA, so the Codies have put in Mount Rushmore, Disneyland, Cape Canaveral and loads of other USA-type things, just to add that atmsopheric, um, atmosphere.
So if you're a platform jumping type person you should be well pleased with CJ in The USA. Its easy to get into but tough to finish, and the little elephant is sooo cute that it had me in tears on more than one occasion. But as everyone knows, I'm just a big softie. Even those Andrex ads have me weeping uncontrollably (and they're not even on TV anymore).
Actually, very much like the first CJ game, CJ's American Antics is a glorious bounce-around platform game that's packed with colour and playability. Travel through America, discovering the correct platform route as you go, in an attempt to rescue your captured elephant chums and knock nasties away!
Dumbo never really stood a chance! CJ in the U.S.A. is the latest addition to the CJ series and bears an incredible family resemblance to its predecessor.
The high Hying, vree falling mammal uses his familiar skills to race around the colourful platform world, climbing steps and floating down crevasses by use of his umbrella. The screen layout is not as pretty as it's predecessor, but the sprite graphics are. CJ's trunk sways from side to side as he walks in true panto style whilst bombs abound again to be picked up along with a barrowload of life and score boosting fruit.
CJ's sprites are varied and ultra cute, whilst the gameplay is addictive and interesting (rescue as many ele-chums as you can) and backdrops with blooming colours are surprisingly easy on the eyes. However there's not a lot of room to think on some of the platforms and delicate jumps are a problem at first, but anyone who wants to continue the elephant's adventures will not be disappointed with this worthy sequel.
Label: Code Masters
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Steve Keen
GARTH: A worthy successor to CJ's Elephant Antics and perhaps even better than the original. CJ in the USA has good graphics, cute sprites and a real sense of humour; a winning formula.
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