There are games of destruction, there are games of mass destruction and there is... Green Beret. Never in the field of micro conflict have so many been slaughtered by so few. By one in fact - the eponymous Green Beret - or Green Bert as he became owing to a nifty typing error on my part. His aim's to rescue the captives but no retread Rambo this. The game is not only extremely playable - it's also infuriatingly addictive and extremely hard.
For those of you who've kept your blood lust out of the arcades and on the streets where it belongs, the plot is this. Bert is sent to single handedly wipe out as many of the enemy as he can over four game sections - the Missile Base, Harbour, Bridge and finally the Prison Camp itself. At first hes armed only with a knife, times being hard in the Quartermasters stores, but if he kills the commandant he's rewarded with additions to his arsenal, such as a flame thrower, grenade or rocket launcher. Sadly shots from these are limited and if he loses a life he also loses the weapon.
Still, Bert can bound like a ballerina and he's going to need to with all these nasties on his tail. Some of them are real karate experts too and the only way to defeat them is to match leap with leap. Otherwise hitting the mud is the only thing that'll stop Bert biting the dust - keep an eye open for troops who hesitate to fire and duck immediately. No time to he around though because there're always more pistol packing palookas in reserve and when the going gets tough the tough get going so it's up and at 'em.
The other thing that makes it all so speedy is that the smoothly scrolling landscape has up to three levels and used wisely they can give Bert a distinct advantage. After all, there's very little sense in Bert running along the ground, trying to jump mines, when he could climb onto a missile launcher.
I confess that I'd have been happier with a beginners level owing to the speed of the game. But it's one of those arcade treats that makes you want to go back for more and practice your skills until you too are worthy of a Green Beret. And for those who're of a less heroic bent there's sure to be a good market for POKES for infinite lives! Go on, get out there and blow up a batallion or two - you know you'll feel better for it.
Quite a seriously old side-view scrolling shooter this, but one which provoked enormous interest for a while after it first came out. It's not hard to see why. But I'll tell you anyway.
The scenario is essentially violent, which is always a good selling point. This time you're a Green Bert with all that that entails, namely a mission to slash and shoot your way through four levels against overwhelming odds. The odds consist of enemy soldiers armed with assorted weapons, some of which you can nick for your own use. Each level is arranged differently and packed with, er, action, and the backgrounds and sprites are beautifully drawn. My only criticism (I like to find at least one each time) is that it's a bit difficult - there's no gradual build up or anything.
If you missed it the first time round...
Spectrum: £7.95, Commodore: £8.95
The controls of Green Beret are similar to the jump up, down, backwards and lie down movements which characterise the recent crop of martial arts games, although some of the more sophisticated movements available in the best of them are missing from beret. To compensate for the fact that you cannot somersault, though, you are equipped with an inexhaustable quantity of knives with which to wipe out The Enemy.
There are four defence stages to battle through, with an all-out offensive launched at you at the end of each stage. A series of platforms and ladders allow you to climb out of the way of the enemy troops, while to avoid the knives being thrown at you the only solution is to hit the deck.
At each stage it is possible to pick up extra weapons in the shape of flame-throwers, grenades and rocket launchers-you will need them to get safely to the next stage.
At the start of the game you have three lives, with bonus lives being given at 30,000 points and every 70,000 points after that.
Good graphics and plenty of on-screen action make it a very playable game. All but the most skillful of players will also find that Green Beret will take some time to master. The game is easy to get to grips with yet offers plenty of interesting action to ensure that it has more than a fleeting attraction.
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