Yikes. This compilation's got more violence in it than Gary Glitter's got sequins! Of course, I'm no stranger to extreme physical trauma. Andy's always hitting me over the head for no apparent reason. [Thwack! - Ed] Like that. (Cough.) So what better way to release all my pent-up anger and frustration (but keep my job at the same time) than to get well and truly stuck into some serious Speccy GBH? Banzai!
Vigilante is pure martial arts beat-'em-up (along the lines of Renegade) and sees you jumping around New York trying to rescue Madonna. (Or someone with exactly the same name.) There are the usual fighting moves, and weapons to pick up, and stuff like that, and, er, that's about it really. The graphics are nothing special, and the colour clash can get a bit severe at times, but overall it's just about fast enough to keep your interest up. Rating: 69%
By some weird coincidence, Ninja Spirit also sees you with 2 characters, only this time one is literally a shadow of the other, doing exactly what the first one does. They both wander around the mazy dungeony-type castle hacking and slashing at the dozens of mystical warriors who toddle up bravely to get their heads cut off.
The combat and movement is nice and zappy but it lets itself down by having a very, very confused background. This is a pity, because otherwise the game would be perfectly good fun to play. Rating: 71%
A funny one. It sets you up as one of a clan of oriental horseriders trying to wipe out an empire of nasty evil warriors. They're nicely drawn, giving a sort of Japanesey feel to the whole thing, but they're too small and tend to get confused (like Ninja Spirit) in battle. The combat itself is unsatisfying because you've got to hold down Fire to put more aggressiveness into each blow, and then you find that it's really easy to kill everybody by just sliding around the screen from side to side. But strangely, it's also a game you'd quite like to get to the end of. Again, showing its age, but endearing. Rating: 80%
Hammerfist is very much in the Last Ninja 2 mould. It's about some bloke who shoots a big gun and a girl who jumps quite high in the air who together take on the cyberpunk establishment of the future. You control first one character and then the other, according to which suits the particular situation. There are some well-funky graphics and a fair bit of puzzle-solving to do, and, all in all, it's fast-paced, highly addictive and generally pretty spookalicious. Rating: 87%
This is better. No Japanese street-fighting here. Just simple, easy-peasy ghost killing. You play Arthur, picking up weapons and points as you wend your way towards a large castle. Undead people burst up out of the ground, terrifying vultures swoop down, and trapdoors open and close with little or no warning. G'n' G is a lot of fun. It's got simple, clear graphics, and a good mix of puzzles and tricks to keep your interest from flagging. There are nice touches of humour too, like the wizard chappie who turns you into a duck when you shoot him. It is getting old and lacks the sort of novel twists you see in the best shoot-'em-ups, but still manages to carry itself extremely well. Rating: 82%
Oh dear. Didn't quite have the punch I was looking for, that. None of the games are classics, and time hasn't been too kind to them, but then again they're not totally crap either. The only trouble is I'm still feeling incredibly violent. [Thwack! - Ed] And I think I'm about to go and lose my job...
A compilation of five generally alright (and very violent) games. Just teeters above average.