If only life was like the movies - then no man, no law, no war would've stopped me! As it is, I had a terrible time just staying alive let alone securing the release of every Yank north of Saigon.
The game begins just after our muscle-bound megastar has been dropped into the jungle, at the start of his mission - reconnaissance only, you understand, with orders not to engage the enemy. You are armed with an endless supply of grenades and knives but if you do encounter the enemy in the first section it's advisable to rely only on the latter. The noise of the grenades is sure to bring the massed ranks of the Red Army into the battle.
You'll find all the weapons you need randomly scattered around the first part of the game - and there are extra points for collecting them. The only other way to amass points is to kill everything that moves - and a few things that don't! Only when you've crossed the banks of the river into the enemy's camp does the action start to hot up. There you have to locate the hostage and release him before heading north again to free the rest of his compatriots.
Rambo is best described as a thinking man's Commando. That game starts fast and gets faster until you end up like a one-man whirlwind. Rambo develops into a solid shoot 'em up but it just doesn't seem to be such a drain on the old adrenalin. Somehow it lacks the excitement of Elite's number one hit - perhaps it's the larger playing area, maybe it's the slower start or could it just be the amount of strategy involved? After all, who ever heard of Rambo having to think?
Another rechauffe offering which features everyone's favourite diplomat. The plot is predictable enough - stampede through the jungle committing multiple homicide in all directions. Likewise through a village, rescuing a prisoner, leaping aboard a helicopter and so on.
I seem to remember this being one of the first licensed games that anybody actually liked, and it still looks quite good all these years later. Only 'quite' mind. The scrolling is the sort that waits 'til you get to the edge of the screen, then frantically whizzes the next bit on. This looks crude and makes it tricky to see who's going to be next to shoot you. Otherwise the graphics are generally fine, particularly the village houses which can be reduced to ruins with one grenade. Sound is pretty puny (these were the pre-128 days after all) which is a shame as this game is really all about massive explosions and ear-wax curdling screams.
As a full-pricer it would look decidedly crap these days, but at three quid Rambo is a darned sight better than most of the purpose-built cheapie stuff around.
This one goes back - a bit, being one of the first film games ever. (Quite possibly number two after Ghostbusters.) And, of course, it stars Rambo who walks round shooting people. He's got a large map to wander round though and plenty of weapons to collect, along with an overhead view to make them easier to spot. After plodding round the jungle fighting off enemy soldiers for a bit he comes across the enemy village which can only be got into at a certain point (a bridge, in fact). In there he finds the hostage he's after, who needs cutting free, and then moves on to find a helicopter and fly it to freedom.
Considering its age (five-ish), Rambo isn't bad at all. The range of weapons available is well thought-out, with the ones that do the most damage tending to attract the attention of more enemy troops. The only trouble is the jerky 'flipping' scroll system and the graphics, which tend to be mainly empty black spaces. A good one.
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