Amstrad Action1st December 1992
Published in Amstrad Action #87
Count Duckula 2
The vultures are gathering. You can hear them flapping overhead. Down below, fifty feet below, Rod Lawton stares at his computer screen in disbelief, then wails in despair, "this is dreadful, absolutely dreadful." The vultures stare down, sharpening their beaks, preparing to pounce. It's not the cheery, bearded editor they're after, but the small rectangular box of audio tape resting in the 464.
Blocks appear and disappear on screen, very slowly. It's slow motion. The vultures laugh. Someone says something about nought per cent. Someone else ponders exactly why Alternative refused to send us a review copy. We hold a quick straw poll round the office and Count Duckula 2 is officially recognised as the worst CPC game of all time. The vultures leap into action, ready to tear the tape apart.
But we're not a lynch mob. We're not, and don't you dare say we are. We understand that a game has rights. A fair trial is called for.
Wigs are glued to heads, Lam grabs the gavel and starts beating the vultures round the head with it. In the blue corner, the prosecution sit playing with their elastic bands: Adam Peters, Rod Lawton, Jon Pillar from Your Sinclair, and anyone who happened to wander into the office while the game was running. And in the yellow corner: Alternative Software, suppliers of computer games to the youth of Britain. Seconds out.
Case For The Prosecution
"M'lord, ladies, gentlemen, all evidence points to Count Duckula 2 being a criminally poor game, the worst ever unveiled on the CPC community."
"Your character must jump from block to block, through loads of levels. Blocks appear and disappear, and the game moves slower than any other commercial release. We were genuinely amazed to learn it was programmed in machine code. It looks like it's written in BASIC. We wouldn't use this if it was submitted as a type-in."
"The graphics would have been laughable in 1984, let alone now. Colour clash graphics from hell and zero animation. Duckula doesn't jump through the air, he stands through the air. What's the point of the game? There isn't any. You jump your way across a few screens, firing at people with your tomato sauce gun if you feel like it (it isn't necessary). And the shoot-'em-up section from the Commodore 64 version has been left out. Jezebels! Philistines!"
"What makes this game even more damnable is the shame it brings upon the name of Count Duckula, Britain's most wickedest cartoon character. This game should be sent into the eternal pain and loathing of the ungodly fires that fill the seventh level of hell. It should be hung, drawn, quartered, halved, tarred, feathered, whipped, poached, fried, scrambled, beaten, smashed, trashed, ripped, torn, shredded, stamped on, spat on, kicked, punched, thrown, shot, stabbed, drowned, looked upon disdainfully, and finally *left to the ravenous beaks of the vultures that stalk this dawn*. We want the highest sentence this court is authorised to carry out: a nought per cent verdict. Nothing else will do. Nothing else would adequately serve the CPC community and the public at large. So there."
Case For The Defence
It was rushed.
"As judge it is my duty to weigh up the evidence. It weighs two hundred tons. It is fresh, it is steaming and it leaves me with no other option. Count Duckula 2 should be locked away, lest it fall into the hands of (disappointed) children."
Just look at the screenshots for as long as you can bear. Then step outside and scream very loud.
A reasonably funky title tune, plus some pretty sad (and very limited) in-game effects.
Grab Factor 4%
Slow. Jerky. Basic. Frustrating. Dull. Pointless. Repetitive. Requires great patience. Easy with practice.
Staying Power 2%
Basic. Jerky. Pointless. Repetitive. Frustrating. Dull. Slow. Easy with practice. Requires great patience.
If there's a worse game than Count Duckula 2 anywhere in the world, we've never seen it. And we'd rather not.