There have been one or two attempts in the past to recreate the atmosphere of the old B movies you used to be able to go and see in the pictures on a Saturday morning, when Godzilla reigned supreme. Some have succeeded mildly (T-Wrecks, the Chewits game, for example) while others have failed pretty miserably (The Movie Monster Game). Probably the most successful of all is Bally Midway's Rampage. A glorious feast of destruction, doom and death by consummation.
When it hit the arcades, and I do mean hit, Rampage was an instant smash, and yes, you guessed it, I do mean smash. The idea was simple. Up to three players at once played around a Gauntlet-style cabinet, each playing one of three 'monsters'. George the giant gorilla, Lizzy the oversized lizard (sounds familiar so far) and Ralph the enormous wolf. The objective, tear down cities.
Tearing down cities couldn't be easier. In each city, there is a small section of skyscrapers dotted about. Each of the three has to climb up and down the sides of the buildings and basically punch holes in the walls. When a sufficient number of holes have been knocked in a building, the foundations crumble and the building falls to the ground where it lies a broken heap of rubble.
Now obviously you can't expect to tear apart the capitals of the first world without a little bit of resistance, and resistance comes in the form of good old Uncle Sam's army. Soldiers lean out of the windows of the buildings and fire energy-depleting bullets at you, or lob grenades in your direction. Helicopters buzz you from above, and then launch a stream of evil-looking missiles. Tanks roll along the ground and fire AM (Anti-Monster) shells in your direction. And all the while your energy level is dropping and dropping.
So to top it up, you eat. What do you eat? Anything you like. Now, the things that you find to eat can be either good or bad. Bad things deplete your energy even further and consists of items such as flamethrowers and television sets. Things that are good to eat are things like goldfish and enemy soldiers. Yum.
The graphics are amazingly faithful to the coin-op, right down to all the little touches. Like the cute expressions on all the monsters' faces, and the sweet way they chew when they eat. It all moves very well, without any sprite glitches. None whatsoever. Not even one. Wow.
It's a little too hard to get onto a building, far too easy to get off when you don't want to and far too tricky to get off when you do. Even so, the game's still tremendous fun to play, especially in multi-player mode. Thankfully, the Amiga version of Rampage, long awaited I might add, has successfully managed to capture the slightly chewy texture and decidedly sweet flavour of the original coin-op. Rampage is a cute little number, a rare old treat. Fans of the machines should definitely buy. Everybody else should just buy it.