Amiga Power1st February 1992
Published in Amiga Power #10
The Never-Ending Story II
As the sequel to The Never-Ending Story (which I seem to recall playing years ago on my Spectrum - an adventure game if I remember rightly), The Never-Ending Story II, while not exactly the most prestigious licence around, ought to offer plenty of inspiration for a decent game. But how do you translate the action, adventure, magic and dewy-eyed emotion of the kiddies' blockbuster (hem hem) to the Amiga?
With a devastating lack of insight, Linel have gone for the traditional ploy of lots of sub-games depicting various scenes from the film. First of all there's a sideways-on platform section through which you have to guide Bastian (your champion), avoiding monsters, leaping gaps in the floor and climbing up and down stairs. Following that are six more levels, apparently encompassing horizontal scrollers, more platform bits and a promising-sounding 3D section.
I say 'apparently', because I'm afraid I simply didn't have the patience to slog it out through screen after screen of identical platforms and staircases, particularly in the light of the excruciating amount of disk accessing between lives, and never made it through to any of the subsequent levels. While I don't doubt that they're all just as slickly written and neatly presented as the first one, I bet they're all similarly bland, simplistic and dull too.
You can fill in your own 'huh/Never Ending Story/ended pretty sharpish in my case' joke at this point, because I really can't be bothered.
The Bottom Line
Most people realised ages ago that these bitty multi-part film licence affairs don't come off - nobody wants seven crummy games for the price of one good one. A shame, because The Neverending Story concept is ideal fodder for a computer game - it's just that nobody seems able to pull it off. You can do much better than this.