And this month's Operation Wolf clone is...
I've never been a fan of the arcade gun games, but Beast Busters was one that I did pump a good deal of cash into. The three-player option, the touches of humour (watch out for the birdmen on the third level, that's all I'm saying) and the zombie gore factor (bits of bloodied corpses flying around like snow in a blizzard) made it much more fun than the usual hormone-substitute snoozerama, and a trip to the seaside was never complete without a quick slaughter of the undead. (And then we used to go and play some video games, but that's another story.)
Anyway, this long-awaited conversion has been rescued from the ashes of Activision UK, and boasts all the features of the coin-op, except for the three-player capability (the maximum here is two). The graphics have been very authentically reproduced, and all the original levels are included for that authentic full-scale massacre experience. This is one conversion that looks very like the original. That's not normally the big problem with coin-op conversions, though - the real question is uaully over the gameplay, so how well does Beast Busters hold up?
Well, Amiga Beast Busters plays very much like arcade Beast Busters - or, at least, like arcade Beast Busters would if you used to bung two quid into the arcade machine at a time. In common with many Amiga conversions, you get several 'credits' to play with (five in this case), and with Beast Busters, by the time you've used them all up you've completed half of the game on your first go.
The difficulty level is very badly-judged, being extremely low until certain points where a particular enemy will leap out and kill you in two seconds flat (no exaggeration). In fact, it's not so much of a difficulty curve, more like one of those lines you get on heart monitoring machines in TV hospital programmes, where the little dot moves along quite sedately, then suddenly leaps up to a peak with a high-pitched 'ping' and settles back down to a straight line again.
This makes the game very short on lastability, as most people will compelte it on the first day or get bored trying. Beast Busters is another competent conversion job, and certainly looks very nice, but even devotees of the original won't really get their money's worth out of it.
The Bottom Line
Technically flawed (it slows down when there's a lot happening) but basically sound translation that's just too easy to be a good way to spend £26.