Ever wanted to be a hero? To risk life and limb doing the impossible - and somehow surviving against all odds? It may work that way in the films, of course, but out in the real world it's a different matter...
Heroes is a compilation of four Domark titles all staring a central character, or hero. The heroes in question are James Bond, The Running Man, Luke Skywalker and "The Barbarian". The latter is the only one not to appear from a film/arcade licence.
Licence To Kill
Bond stars in Licence To Kill. The game sees James in pursuit of an evil drugs baron known as Sanchez. It's a multi-parter, all of which can be completed reasonably easily.
First of all, 007 is up in the air. He flies a helicopter blowing up drug factories and dodging enemy fire while he's at it. The height and speed of the copter are inter-related, so avoiding enemy fire over tall buildings is perilous indeed. Then he's down on the ground, hot in pursuit of the fleeing crime king. There's only one thing between them - Sanchez's bodyguards!
James has to go fairly slowly here, since there are plenty of armed and dangerous henchmen to dispose of as he progresses. After that, James is airborne again. He has to follow a Sanchez-bearing plane, and perform a daring mid-air leap to overpower the escaping bad guy.
And that's just the first part! There are two more to go!
Overall, Licence To Kill is a bit simplistic, but there's plenty of variety and it's quite an enjoyable game.
Star Wars is a fairly accurate translation from Atari's arcade smash. You are Luke Skywalker - Red Five. You have to make your way in your X-wing fighter towards the Empire's secret weapon, the Death Star.
As ever, things aren't quite as easy as they could be. You're intercepted by a squadron of TIE fighters, lead by the evil overlord Darth Vader himself.
On reaching the Death Star, it's a case of skimming along the surface, shooting the tops of towers and evading enemy fire. Eventually you come to the trench, where you have to make the famous bombing run, dropping your torpedo into Star's weak link - the vent - which will cause a chain reaction and blow the star to smithereens.
Star Wars is, again, fairly easy. You'll have no trouble blowing up the Death Star time and time again. It does, however, get more difficult as time goes on.
It's a fairly repetitive game. You continuously repeat the same missions over and over again. The worst thing is the speed of the thing. It plods along with the speed of a hibernating tortoise.
Barbarian II is a hack and slay affair. You fight your way through various levels, either in the guise of the mighty Barbarian or a scantily-clad Princess. Many different types of monsters aim to put a premature end to your quest. Defeat them, and work your way through the third level, and you will face the dreaded Drax himself!
Graphics are large and well defined. Fighting moves are fairly basic - not over-complicated, but varied enough to keep you interested. The death scenes are pretty gruesome, too. Barbarian II is definitely the best of the bunch.
The Running Man
The Running Man is the bad apple in the barrel. The film it came from was pretty naff, but the game is terrible. It's a beat-'em-up, where our hero has to overcome four bad guys who each have specialised fighting skills.
First there's the hockey-stick-wielding Subzero who fires pucks at you to halt your progress. Then you'll meet Buzzsaw - who's armed with a chainsaw. Dynamo and Fireball are similarly well-armed, guaranteeing a tough fight to the end. However...
The graphics are shoddy. The scrolling slow and flickery, and as for the gameplay - well, it's a cross between being tediously easy and downright boring. Don't say you haven't been warned.
At twenty quid on disk and fifteen for tape, Heroes doesn't represent astounding value for money. All the games are at least a year old, and though a couple of them are OK, it's hardly a shining example of quality software.
Barbarian is the only one really worth having. Personally, I'd wait until it comes out on budget.
Compilations are all a sort of halfway house to a budget re-release, that's the trouble. A lot of money, for a handful of old games, basically.
Overall 57% A very mixed bag.