Sinclair User2nd September 1991
Published in Sinclair User #118
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has their favourite coin-ops, and for me, Crack Down, Golden Axe, ESWAT and Super Monaco G.P. were some of my favourites. So imagine how pleased I was to see that the Spectrum conversions were to be released on a Sega compilation.
Golden Axe for me, is the best of the bunch here. One or two players can control either Ax-Battler the Barbarian, Gilius Thunderhead the head-butting dwarf or Tyris-Flare the Amazonian Queen, and fight through the horizontally scrolling scenes - before destroying Death Adder and retrieving the Golden Axe.
Fast and colourful with tricky game controls, this game takes practice before you get into it. But once in, will you ever stop? I can't!
Crack Down has up to two players shooting their way through maze-like levels to deposit demolition charges and then get out before the place blows up. Sixteen levels of action, good graphics and excellent gameplay, are festooned with Replicants [No get back Garth, you're not a Blade Runner so take that light gun out of my face! - Big Al].
Super Monaco G.P. has you racing towards the crown of winning the Monaco Grand Prix. But to get there you must overcome and conquer your fellow competitors and the tracks of France, Brazil, Spain and lastly Monaco. With each race you must finish in a given position or better in order to progress to the next race. Options include Transmission; automatic, four gears or seven, (although seven gears cars are faster, they're tricky to handle).
Shinobi has you dressed in the black garb of a secretive, oriental Ninja, seeking out the evil Black Ninja Bwah Foo who has kidnapped a whole class of junior ninjas. Now you must work your way through horizontally scrolling levels, rescuing the little ninja sprogs, earning brownie points with their parents but more importantly, earning power-ups which can replace your trusty shuriken to aid you in your quest to defeat Bwah Foo in a final battle. There's even Ninja magic that you can call on once per level, to clear the screen of all the dark ninja that try to bar your path.
ESWAT was an excellent arcade but unfortunately, was the poorest conversion to the Spectrum, and whilst the plot sounds good enough (you are a member of the Enhanced Special Weapons and Tactics Division of the Cyberpolice) the graphics are just too clumsy to aid the game. If you can see your way through the backgrounds. you may just earn enough points with your superiors, to enable you to wear an exo-suit equipped with the very latest in weaponry. I personally tried so hard to make the grade, but the confusion of graphics finally forced me to give up.
A great compilation that is only flawed by the inclusion of the awful ESWAT, but all the other games are top notch and will provide superlative arcade action for ages.