Electron User

Subway Vigilante

Author: Rog Frost
Publisher: Players Premier
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in Electron User 7.04

Subway Vigilante from Players is set several years in the future when London's Underground network has degenerated into a battleground, with drug dealers, pushers, punks and muggers fighting for supremacy. You step into this hell-hole as the Subway Vigilante, determined to rid the underground of these evil beings so that the normal, law abiding passenger can enjoy a safe journey.

This scenario provides the backdrop for a great deal of violent punching, kicking and head butting. The game takes place on a platform of a London Underground station. This is portrayed in full and glorious black and white - unlike the screen shots shown on the cassette instructions which look more like Spectrum ones. The playing area is made up of the lower part of the screen. The opposition are also shown in black and white along with you, the hero of the game.

You seem to have two opponents all of the time and when you manage to flatten one, it mutates into the next order of species. These may be armed with a device which looks like a chain saw, but as far as I can make out, they are no more difficult to deal with than the previous beasts. If you are knocked down, you too can get up, as you have five lives.

Subway Vigilante

The controls are simple - four keys can move your forwards, backwards, left and right around the platform and in conjunction with the fire key various jabs, butts, punches and kicks are produced.

Doing damage to an opponent seemed to depend to a large extent on luck. On numerous occasions I punched one of these evil characters only to see the other one fall over. I also think they may do in each other from time to time.

You soon develop a simple strategy. If you move to the left of the screen and stand there performing flying kicks, you can beat the opposition and only rarely get flattened yourself.

Subway Vigilante

If you do well enough, you are asked to start your tape recorder. This loads up a different scene, but it makes no difference to the gameplay. I think this second screen, which features skull and crossbones and Nazi insignia is the last. Despite some fairly large scores (obtained with the stand-at-the-left strategy), I have not seen any more.

All this leaves us with a very simple game. The loading screen, portraying some fairly ugly customers is probably its best part. But lack of colour, inept beeps and poor animation all indicate one to be left on the shop shelf.

* * * Second Opinion (By Roland Waddilove) * * *

Graphically, Subway Vigilante is superb. The loading screen is a well drawn Mode 4 picture showing three thugs, and the game graphics - again Mode 4 - have detailed backgrounds and are superbly drawn with animated sprite-like characters.

Like many martial arts games, you can usually beat each opponent with just a couple of moves. Consequently the game becomes quite dull as you repeat each manoeuvre over and over again.

Rog Frost

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