Zzap1st August 1992
Published in Zzap #87
Penguins are very yummy (the chocolate biscuits, you fool!), and the bird variety mixed with a fishy version of RoboCop make up the latest US Gold game. Mark "Fishy Friend" Caswell sticks a blue light on his bonce, grabs a handful of choccy biscuits and investigates...
James Pond 2: Codename: Robocod
In the first James Bond movie, the baddy was called Dr. No, but in the latest James Pond game the villain doesn't seem too sure of his handle. Dr. Maybe's intentions are quite clear however; he plans to take over the world (he's only the 2,456,876th megalomaniac to try). To this end, he and his cronies have taken over the main North Pole toy factory and sabotaged many of the Christmas gifts. Big bombs have been placed throughout Santa's pride and Joy, but alarm clocks with wires sticking out of 'em would attract attention...
Dr. Maybe, despite his crap name, is pretty deft in the smarts department. The bombs are camouflaged as penguins (silly waddling walk, dinner Jackets, stars of TV ad... the whole works). The free world is panicking - what can they do? Call in James Pond, of course! The boffins have especially created the new RoboCod "Expandosuit" to give RoboCod a fighting chance. Its main power allows Robo to stretch upwards towards the sky, but it's also useful to absorb impact as RoboCod spangs into Dr. Maybe's minions.
P-p-p-ppick Up A Penguin
There are nine missions to complete, with a set number of penguin bombs in each section. Robo has 48 hours to save the world, but there are plenty of evil creatures out to turn him into scrap metal. Contact with any one of the creatures depletes Robo's battery power. In the status panel, Robo holds up three fingers on his right hand (equalling his number of lives) and several batteries. These power the RoboSuit: thus when all power is lost, so is a life. Although helpful items do exist, including power stars, bullet-proof armour, wing attachments and umbrellas.
Can RoboCod save the world as we know it? It's up to you to make sure that the penguins are defused in time. RoboCod is a jolly little platform collect-'em-up which depends strongly on whether or not you like the genre. If this leads you to surmise that although this game's good, it's not brilliant, go to the top of the class.
The RoboCod sprite is a blobby affair, although one can live with that. But US Gold boast that all the features contained in the Amiga version are here, minus the scrolly backgrounds (for obvious reasons), pretty good eh?
With nine whopping levels to explore this game is big! A cartographer's dream come true, in fact. The enemy creatures take their fish-bashing very seriously indeed, and here lies a wee problem. Even though there's a continue option, contact with the vicious denizens is frequent and when you die you're sent right back to the beginning of the level (Aaarg! Hair-tearing time!). If you're a tough games-playing dude, RoboCod is worthy of purchase.
Although if you've seen the Alexei Sayle sketch "Steamboat Fattie", you'll be singing those words to the in-game tune.
C64 (and animal) lover as I am, I thought Millennium would be mad to attempt an accurate conversion of this corking Mega Drive and Amiga game. Right now, though, I'm eating my hat (with plenty of gravy) 'coz they've done it - and brilliantly too. All the huge levels are here, complete with superb graphics themed for each level.
Most importantly, it plays almost identically, with James having realistic momentum that makes accurate jumping so tricky. It takes a lot of skill, especially jumping right on top of the baddies to kill 'em. But it's not all leaping - James's extending Robosuit sure comes in handy for reaching up to high platforms, then crawling along beneath them.
On some levels James even gets a vehicle to use, including a car, plane and even a flying bathtub!
On tape, the multi-load may prove irritating (and the continue-plays are a bit weird, only giving one life each), but the incentive to see new levels will keep you gasping for more. Go down the shops and p-p-p-pick up RoboCod - this is one fish that certainly doesn't stink!
Ace intro sequence, but no pause function.
RoboCod is blobby, themed backdrops are brill.
Slightly irritating title and in-game music.
Easy to get into and it's soooo compulsive!
Huge game, repeating whole levels is frustrating.