Amstrad Action1st November 1991
Published in Amstrad Action #74
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Once upon a time, in 1997, the world was devastated by a nuclear firestorm. Thirty-two years later, the surviving humans, led by military genius John Connor, found themselves at war with The Machines. And this was all slightly more senous than your parents not being able to work the VCR.
Those nasty Machines sent a Terminator (killing machine) to Earth year 1984 to bump off John Connor's mum so he'd never be born. Fortunately, Connor sent some bodacious dude from the human resistance back in time to protect Ma. The whole thing ended with Arnie Schwarzenneger getting crushed in a steam mangle.
It's now seven years later, and it seems those nasty Machines sent two Terminators back through time. The second one. an advanced T1000 model, turns up in the year 1991. It's objective: to kill John Connor, now a strapping lad of fourteen. (Er, hang on... he wasn't born in 1984, so how can he be fourteen? Oh well, never mind.)
Fortunately, John Connor 2029 has managed to send off a protector for John Connor 1991. What's more, it's a Terminator. Arnie again, in fact (But not the same Terminator of course - that got crushed in a steam press, remember? It's just another Terminator that looks/talks the same!)
Terminator 2 has already broken more box office records than the last thing that broke all the box office records (Turtles probably). The film has got the sort of irritating pedagogical (you what? - [some text missing] come to expect from a country that's as free with its peace-moralising as it is with its F111s. All in all, though, not a bad little movie. And not a bad little game either.
Level one looks great - until you realise you don't go anywhere! But the variety and quality of the rest of the game carry it through.
First Day Target Score
Suss out the hand repair bit.
Nice big battling sprites. The rest ain't bad either.
Crap title tune, and a few crashing noises.
Grab Factor 91%
Level Two is so addictive it should only be available on prescription.
Staying Power 85%
You'll really want to finish the game.
Terminator 2 has its drawbacks, but it certainly keeps you coming back for more. And more. And then a bit more.
Judgment Day Dictionary
Connor, John: In the year 2029 AD he sent you back in time to the present. In order to protect him (aged 14 or so) from the T1000. He's a cheeky little oik, but unfortunately your programming won't let you chuck him off a bridge and go clubbing with T1000 instead, so you'll just have to protect him. Darn.
Connor, Sarah: John's mother, with a strange penchant for cool sunglasses and high-velocity assault rifles. She never appears on screen during the game, but does a fair job of helicopter-shooting in Level Four.
Difficulty: Ocean has the difficulty set just about right on this one. It's easy to get to grips with on the first level, and you'll soon be able to win through with the minimal or non-existent damage necessary to get through Level Two [Speak for yourself - Ed]. It then starts getting much harder.
Energy: Your energy and T1000's are shown by the pictures of you at the bottom of the screen. Each blow turns a bit of the coloured piccie into black and white. Once you're all in monochrome, you're dead. No other lives. No continues. No getting up and saying "Ho, ho, just shamming." That's it, sunshine.
Eye, repair of: A sub-game to try and get back some energy. It appears between levels four and five, and is like one of those number puzzler things. You know, where you've got the numbers 1 to 15 on bits of plastic that you have to slide around till you get them in the right order. In this case, it's bits of Arnie's eye you have to slide around. Yeuck!
Flood Channel: Level Two sees you racing down the channel on a motorbike, Jonnie on your lap. T1000 is haring after you in a big truck. Dodge the rocks, petrol barrels et al, jump over cars, splash through water, screech through grass... and try to keep as far in front of the truck as you can. Cowabunga! (Oh sorry, wrong film!)
Freeway: You, John and Sarah are racing down the freeway in Level Four, trying to avoid crashing into too many other vehicles, whilst that nasty T1000 chases after you in a helicopter. Go on Susan, blow the little schmuck out of the sky!
Gameplay: There's three different styles of play involved, with two racing games, two puzzle games and two combat sections. Whilst none of these have the depth to hold a game on their own, and you'd soon get bored if subjected to them for prolonged periods of time, the variety makes Terminator 2 hang together well. The combat sections might seem repetitive, overhard or simplistic at first glance, but once you get into them and start working out combinations of moves, they ain't at all bad.
Graphics: The graphics are pretty not bad. The massive sprites and animation in the combat sections is fab. There are some pretty detailed graphics in the puzzle sections too. The traffic in Level Four looks pretty crap, but you can't have everything.
Hand, repair of: Not, strictly speaking, much to do with the film, but an excuse for Ocean to throw in some of those puzzle-type sub-games it's so enamoured with when doing movie licences. Find this between Levels Two and Three. What are you supposed to do? Dunno, but you get some energy back if you can do it.
Mental Hospital: The second bot of combat. It's Level Three, and T1000's now a bit more hard than he was before (and he was pretty darned hard then). In the film, all this stuff was carried out with big guns. Here, it's just good old fashioned beat-'em-up fare. Take that, you big brute! Biff! Pow!
Shopping Mall: Level One is set here. You're the big Arnie thing, and your job is to kick, punch, knee, headbutt and generally do lots of unpleasant things to the short guy in the police uniform (T1000). Keep rattling those blows in as fast and as varied as possible to prevent him getting much chance to hit back.
Sonics: You can compose your own version of the title music using the drumkit program on this month's covertape - you'll only need to use one sound (the snare)! In-game effects are not much better.
Steel Mill: The final level is another beat-'em-up jobbie. This time, T1000 is raining those headbutts and lacerational handshakes in like there was no tomorrow. Which, if you can't beat the brute, there probably isn't.
T101: That's you. Well, actually, in the film you were a T800 (model 101), but what the heck? At least you're still Arnie Schwarzenegger, not PeeWee Herman or someone like that. In the combat scenes (as in the film) you're a lot bigger than your opponent, but that doesn't really help, unfortunately.
T1000: This is the baddie you've got to do over. He's a far superior model Terminator to you. His main advantage is that he's mde of liquid metal, which means he's very hard to kill (he just keeps reforming, the little swine). His headbutts are well 'ard and his arm becomes a nasty sword-like thing when he feels like it. All in all, one mean uncle-kisser.