Sinclair User

Superstar Seymour

Author: Alan Dykes
Publisher: Codemasters
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Sinclair User #130

Superstar Seymour

Potato or not, Seymour is a smart little chap. And versatile too! He is in fact the James Bond of Code Masters sprites, investigating lost property, helping his friends out of trouble, saving the planet from environmental destruction while apprehending or bumping off desperate criminals and international super fiends.

Super Star Seymour consists of five games, three of which are new releases while the other two were both out in 1992, so everything is almost brand new. The re-released games are Seymour Goes To Hollywood and Super Seymour Saves The Planet.

Seymour Goes To Hollywood follows the little guy's first bid for stardom as he enters Hollywood's studios, picks up all sorts of paraphernalia and meets a host of legends including Frankenstien and Tarzan. However it looks as though his first movie break has been sabotaged, what with stiffs lying about, Tarzan's speech impediment and some missing scripts. Help Seymour sort things out by collecting objects and solving puzzles in classic Codies form.

Super Seymour Saves The Planet is a different kettle of fish altogether. An arcade style blast, it involves a caped Seymour hopping around a multitude of screens picking up and disposing of harmful toxic objects and destroying the nasty nuclear mutants who are trying to stop him. Because he's super-charged and can fly around, picking up the toxic waste is easy enough but if you're not quick enough the screen will quickly fill up with mutants. The only way to deal with your enemies is to jump on them. If you do it properly they'll release power-ups. But if you're slow or inaccurate you'll die!

The best of the new games is Wild West Seymour, reviewed two months ago on these very pages. It's similar to Seymour Goes To Hollywood in game layout and play procedures but it's much more fun. Basically you gotta help Seymour makes a series of wild west movies, despite the attentions of yet another saboteur. Along the way there's a chance to meet quite a lot of Codies' staff along with a variety of problem wracked cowboys, Indians, train conductors and store keepers (among others).

Stuntman Seymour, previewed (oo-er, under the heading of Sergeant Seymour) two months ago is the platformer of the bunch and it's a little gem. Basically our pink friend has been hired as a stuntman, on, guess what?... Another movie! Unfortunately the cast are taking the whole thing too seriously and the set has become a dangerous place to work. Gangsters, Indians and all manner of movie nasties are on the prowl and Seymour must bump them off to make the movie a success. It's platform jumping japes and speedy shooting shenanigans ahoy in Stuntman Seymour.

Finally, Robot Cop Seymour, yet another arcade maze game is based on apprehending mutant baddies over 50 manic levels. Robot Cop has a novel way of giving baddies the chop... He has an incredible extending hand of doom that's not only cute but effective too! Once he grabs a bad guy this hand throws it against the nearest wall where it proceeds to burst into a magnificent power up. Robot Cop is a very simple game concept but is also, nonetheless, good looking and addictive.

Seymour is a strange concept, graphically. He looks the same in Hollywood and Wild West but then looks wildly different in the other games. The sprite gets smaller for Stuntman' and Super' and his facial expressions have changed considerably too. In fact he looks positively evil in Stuntman. For Robot Cop, Seymour becomes absolutely minuscule but he's still a cute sprite, even if it does get a little bit difficult to make out his features from time to time.

As far as variety and playability go this compilation cannot be faulted. Every single game is worth playing. Control is fairly precise, plots are humourous and graphics, colour and sprite detection are very good.

I must admit that this is one of the most enjoyable compilations I've played in ages. It consists of five very varied games - and the more I play each individual game the more I like it. The arcade games Super Seymour and Robot Cop are addictive and big. The platformer, Stuntman, is very much a formula blast with a lot of similarities to DJ Puff but its graphics are clearer and gameplay more challenging. Seymour Goes To Hollywood was never one of my favourite games, but allied to the fun Wild West Seymour there is more than enough puzzling here to keep you happy over the hols. 'Nuff said.

Overall Summary

I have to recommend this compilation. I enjoyed it even more than Super All Stars, reviewed last month, and it definitely deserves to be on everyone's Christmas shopping lists. Although the five Seymours represented here nearly all look completely different the overall standard of graphics and gameplay is very high.

Alan Dykes