Amstrad Computer User


Publisher: Ocean
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #18


So far, we've had the Rambo film, the Rambo book, the Rambo bow, the Rambo look-alike, the Rambotham, the Ram bogram and the cuddly Rambo. Now we've also got an Amstrad Rambo game. Just what we need, eh?

The First Impressions department has a very low score. The simple reason for this is that my 464 - which loads the original Sorcery tape with no trouble - refused to accept the DJL, highly protected, only-just-faster-than-speed-write-one speedloader, even after growling "don't push me" at it. God help people with external cassettes.

The title screen looks pretty much like Rambo, if you think Rambo is worth looking at. The instructions and ubiquitous spot-the-ego high score table are in large stencil-type characters which scroll up and down - at the same time, Not exactly the world's smoothest scroll.

Rambo: First Blood Part 2

All the action takes place in Mode 0 in an area about one third the size of the screen. The character sprites are about seven pixels high and five wide, moving about erratically. The scenery is fine, with trees and marshes to run around, but it all looks teeny. The small sprites mean that there are plenty of them, nasty Commies come at you from all directions, bullets flying. The smallish screen area means the scrolling is smooth in all four directions.

With a small playing area you have to fill the rest of the screen with massive pictures of Rambo's weapons, scores, life left, last Tuesday's breakfast, and so on. The icon for Rambo's machine gun is five times the size of Rambo.

You move Rambo around his little jungle in search of his friends who are held captive by the Vietnamese. You must then capture an enemy helicopter and eventually rescue all the other prisoners. Rambo is always in the centre of the screen and occasionally will not move in the direction you want him to, no matter how hard you bend the joystick. I think this must be the programmer's way of telling you that you must complete some task before progressing further.

Rambo: First Blood Part 2

The enemy run all over the place and you can "engage" them with knives, arrows, explosive arrows, machine guns, RPG7s and anything else you may find knocking about. There is some strategy involved - machine guns are noisy, so unless you want to take on a horde of guards stick to using the quiet but deadly knife. To make the game true to the film, you can be shot at many, many times before expiring. A neat trick if you can manage it.

The game unfolds much like this, requiring a bit of thought on what weapons to use in what situations. The instructions are about, as helpful as a Japanese printer manual. Unless you are very nimble fingered you need a co-player to switch the weapons for you. The explosive arrows are great as you can blast buildings and trees from quite a distance.

Collectors of the abundant Rambo regalia will love this game - there should be one on the shelf in the Oval office next to Ronnie's copies of Raid over Moscow and Missile Command. It will work on a 6128 (if you can load it). Just the thing for letting out your aggression.