Beach Head II (US Gold) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

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Beach Head II
By U. S. Gold
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Computer Gamer #5

Beach Head II

Beach Head II like its predecessors, Raid Over Moscow and of course Beach Head, is a multi-screen, arcade, wargame but ths time for one or two players.

In the first stage you must parachute your men into the battle from your helicopters. Unfortunately the Dictator, known as the Dragon to his friends, has a rather large machine gun with which he attempts to gun you down.

Those that land unscathed behind the first wall have to advance to the second. Any caught in the Dragon's sights will be cut down and will probably yell "I'm hit!", "Medic!" or just "Aaargh!" as they bite the dust.

Any men that have survived the carnage so far are volunteered to attack the gun itself. Some are really lucky and are sent quite literaly over the wall to act as decoys (which really means dead ducks) while another heads for the gun.

You can, if you like, throw a grenade at the gun but since you have to stand right in front of it to throw the grenade this tactic is strictly for those without long term plans. Besides, even if you destroy the gun it is soon replaced by another - you have to capture it by sneaking someone right past its gun barrel. Should you manage to seize the gun you progress onto the next stage.

Here the tables are turned as you see the Dragon's machine gun against his own men as they try and kill the prisoners you are trying to rescue.

One by one, the prisoners must cross a courtyard where the dragon literally throws everything he's got at you. To protect the prisoners you will have to shoot men off the top of a wall (who drop rocks on their heads), destroy tanks that will run over them, trucks with machine-gunners to shoot them down and men who appear through trapdoors that lay mines in their path.

Those that you save you must ferry out by helicopter in the next stage of the game.

This is a "Zaxxon style" of game where you must fly under bridges and along roads while avoiding the fire from the gun emplacements, tanks and mines of the Dragon's defences. You are allowed a total of six helicopters to carry the hostages which gives you a fighting chance to get at last some through to get a decent score.

The final level is a man-to-man battle between the Dragon and Commander Stryker (the young, dynamic, all-American, leader of the allies) across an underground river.

Here the action involves throwing pointed sticks at each other until one takes the plunge. Nine such contests are fought before a winner (albeit a wet one) is found.

This level is best ignored as it seems totally unconnected with the other three.

Beach Head II's strongest feature is its two-player option which transfers the game from being yet another "Raid Over Beach Head" to a challenging contest.

In places, the game's graphics are crude particularly in the courtyard but this is balanced by the excellent animation of the allied soldiers in the initial assault. My particular favourite is as they climb over the wall. The graphics are accompanied by gunfire and explosions and a selection of screams and yells which some may find distasteful.

The final screen is undoubtably padding but even ignoring this there is so much packed into the game that I can't fault its value for money.