Arcade adventures set in movieland
Blagger Goes To Hollywood
Everyone seems to be going to Hollywood these days, and Alligata are no exception. The third in the Blagger series takes the lovable rogue to the sets of Steven 'Speilbum' (whoever he is). The theme of the game is, of course, stealing things, and this one pits you on a quest to steal Speilbum's new film.
Naturally the quest isn't that easy: many evil characters are present to thwart your illegal efforts. In each of the 12 film sets there are characters which you have to destroy before being able to enter the offices of Speilbum. Even then your quest is not finished: all the baddies are resurrected and you have to fight them one by one in a final confrontation in Speilbum's office.
The game is presented in a multi-directional scrolling 3D map, with walls and obstacles littered over the terrain. Entering another set is done by finding a gap in the wall surrounding the room and crossing the threshold, so all sets are easily accessible and exploring is quite easy.
The 3D effect is quite reasonable, but sometimes it looks like you can go past an object when in fact you can't. Control, on the other hand, is very tricky, and when being chased is fiddly. When trying to turn and fire under pressure it's practically impossible - one of your lives will nearly always take a trip to the mortuary.
Graphics aren't particularly detailed and not at all crisp, although the scrolling is fast and smooth.
First a 30-level Manic Miner derivative, followed by a full-scrolling, 12-level, platform romp. Now, a three dimensional, 12 'screen' arcade adventure - this guy certainly gets around. Personally, I prefer his first two exploits, although this is a reasonably enjoyable game. The graphics weren't up to much and made it hard to identify the on screen characters, with their cinema screen counterparts. The great music helps, though, unless you're like me and can't recognise such classics as 'The Incredible Hulk' theme tune.
Although initially having a high hookability level, this might well wear thin after destroying everything, even though it gets harder on subsequent levels. The sound is quite good, with excellent renditions of the appropriate theme tune to each character, my favourite being Jaws, Kojak, and James Bond. This is a worthy follower to the Blagger tradition, but my advice is 'consider'.
There are some excellent original and addictive elements to this latest thieving escapade, but one or two design faults question its potential. The KO'ing of film stars with the right prop is nice, as is the theme that accompanies each one. Dr Who's Tardis seems intent on being really mean, as are most of the stars. The gripes are that your movement and that of the stars makes shooting difficult, and frustration can easily creep in. Each new discovery of a weapon is rewarding as is knocking out each character.
How To Destroy The Stars
Within the game there are 12 characters which you have to destroy - for example, James Bond, Jaws, Tarzan, and the Hulk. Each character is easily recognised by its theme tune as you enter the room. For example James Bond is hailed with the Goldfinger tune.
To kill a character you have to find the prop (or props) connected with it and throw the object at it - any other prop will have no effect.
When you start you will find only one prop, but as you kill each character it will drop some new objects to use against other characters. Strategy is involved to find the quickest way to destroy the stars, so you don't have to backtrack to find other props left behind.
Better packaging and reasonable instructions.
Film stars and use of props are new.
Interesting 3D layout but unclear characters.
Plenty of initial interest in how to KO each character.
Great tunes for each star, including Jaws, Batman and Kojak.
Less interest when you know which props do what.
Value For Money 71%
Even if the game doesn't last, the T-shirt should.