Amstrad Action


Joe Blade III

Author: Trenton Webb
Publisher: Players Premier
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #53

Joe Blade III

Horror upon horror! Six TV celebrities have been kidnapped by the evil Crax Bloodfinger and he's demanding $100 billion dollars for their release. Who cares about a bunch of minor stars and TV link men? Joe Blade, that's who, the world's shortest superhero! Bloodfinger has stashed the celebs away in a fortified tower block 30 stories high. Joe must rescue the six hostages, and defuse six bombs. On the course of his adventure it will also be necessary to hack into the building's computer to find objects, and break through security doors when he hasn't got a key. There are various helpful pieces of kit scattered around to help out, like disguises and bullet-proof vests, if you can find them.

The game involves you taking Joe through a horizontally scrolling maze clearing it of bad guys, collecting things and rescuing people. Your man can run and jump fire his gun and... well, precious little else. The maze is huge, the objects of your search few and far between, and negotiating a route to them is made all the more difficult by the absence of any kind of directional indicator. The real heart of the game are the computer hacking and lock-breaking sections. You frantically juggle numbers to gain access and avoid capture, but there's really little excitement even here.

The weakest point has to be the graphics. They are of a quality that would make a Speccy owner outraged. Single colours and line drawings are all you get, and they are far from breathtaking. The game looks exactly like its predecessors - hardly a recommendation!

Joe Blade 3

Other budget titles have run and run, ostensibly using the same routines for each generation - e.g. Dizzy. These add to the original concept, becoming more complex game-wise, using the time saved coding the basics to further tweak other aspects. Joe Blade III fails in this respect, remaining in the same league as the two previous Blade outings; tedious and confusing maze adventures with little pace and no real action.

First Day Target Score

Rescue a hostage.

Verdict

Graphics 35%
N. Souless Speccy port.
P. Identical to I and II.

Joe Blade 3

Sonics 45%
P. OK-ish tune.
N. Guns just go 'Phutt'.

Grab Factor 45%
P. Mildly interesting...
N. ...but soon gets dull.

Staying Power 30%
P. 30 levels to explore...
N. ...if you can muster the enthusiasm.

Overall 30%
An unoriginal sequel.

Trenton Webb

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