Sinclair User19th September 1992
Published in Sinclair User #131
The Dream Team
Christmas can be a difficult time of the year. OK, there's lots of food to eat, lots to drink and the consumer research people reckon that despite the recession parents are still spending wads of cash on their kids' prezzies (not to mention what Santa brings of course). However there are problems.
For a start, younger brothers and sisters seem to get considerably more annoying during the festive season... Whingeing, whining and annoying the dog with their allegedly 'safe' Tomy toys is generally the order of the day. Meanwhile older brothers and sisters are all restless and bad tempered, peeved off with their fifteen bottles of Hai Karate aftershave or their book tokens and generally being sad people. Then, to make matters worse parents insist on watching Harry Secombe or 'Gone With The Wind' instead of 'Return Of The Jedi', if indeed they let you near the telly at all and try to make you wear that ugly, green barbed-wire jumper knitted by your ancient aunty Beryl.
Yes, life can be tough! But you've always got your Speccy to keep you company, ever faithful and true. So, unless those visiting relatives have got some cash to hand over in exchange for their finger breaking hand shakes or sloppy, lipstick kisses, what better way to spend the time between meals and compulsory family monopoly periods than playing a few good video games. And they don't come much better than on this Dream Team compilation.
Terminator 2, Bart Simpson Vs. The Space Mutants and WWF Wrestlemania were all originally released in the latter part of 1991 and have done well as full pricers ever since. They received two SU Gold awards and an SU Silver between them so they're bound to measure up. But, for those who aren't familiar with any of these titles an explanation is in order.
World Wrestling Federation wrestling is one of the biggest crazes to hit the UK recently. With larger than life characters and almost ballet perfect moves these American wrestling giants have had people glued to the television and rolling with laughter ever since Sky TV started beaming the programs in. Then, last Christmas, WWF came to Spectrum and proved a weighty formula.
The game involves choosing between three famous WWF wrestlers (and all round good guys). Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog and fighting it out to win Wrestlemania against The Mountie, Sgt. Slaughter, Mr. Perfect, The Million Dollar Man, Ted Debiase and The Warlord. The moves include thumping kicking, throws, pins, clotheslines etc, and the action is fast and furious.
Graphics in WWF are monochrome but each wrestler is very accurately represented. The ring takes up most of the screen so there's not much in the way of background graphics and the characters tend to disappear when they climb up the ropes. However, with good controllability, reasonable accuracy and an all action two player mode WWF is well worth having.
Bart Simpson Vs. The Space Mutants is a bit of a star on Speccy. It looks almost exactly like the NES version of the game and in my opinion plays better. The plot involves a terrible contingent of space mutants who have taken over Bart's home town of Springfield, inhabiting the bodies of its good citizens with a view to building a super weapon and taking over the world. Luckily though young Bart can see them through his X-ray specs and thus hopefully, with your help, avoid them and foil their plans.
Littered throughout the game are objects which the aliens need to complete their task of world domination and Bart must get to them first to succeed. There are five levels of fun with a vast variety of aliens and some pretty nifty puzzles.
Graphics are super and the Bart sprite, although transparent, is delightfully accurate, even down to his blinking eyes. Playability is good too, if a little difficult at times.
Terminator 2 is a strange game. There are seven levels in all, three beat 'em ups, two car chases and two piece-it-together puzzles. The three fighting levels involve you controlling the T800 while engaged in hand to hand combat to save the world with the T1000. This is easier said than done and you have to master big Arnie's kicking, thumping and head-butting moves to defeat the enemy. Unfortunately these levels aren't very exciting as you don't get to run about the place with guns or the like but they do require skill.
The car chase levels are by far the best fun with plenty of speed and mayhem to keep you happy, while the puzzle levels are the quite intriguing - you have to piece together Arnie's robot face and arm. Not an easy task even for the Skynet defence computer!
Overall this compilation has to score highly. It contains three of the most important and largest selling Speccy games of the last year complete with all the original instructions and. Importantly, all on separate cassettes, so there's no faffing about trying to find the right tape position etc. If you want to buy someone a present and know that they don't already have one or two of these games then The Dream Team will bring a smile to their faces and no mistake.
Darn fine compilation. T2 looks very impressive but has somewhat scrappy gameplay while Bart Vs. The Space Mutants is a fun game, better, in my opinion, on the Spectrum than on some other formats. Meanwhile WWF has consistently been at the top of the charts since its launch last Christmas - which speaks for itself. This is one compilation I wouldn't mind receiving this Christmas.