Who Dares Wins II (Alligata) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

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Who Dares Wins II
By Alligata
BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 3.10

Bang! Bang! You're dead...

Hot on the heels of Elite's Commando and beating Imagine's Green Beret to the shops comes Who Dares Wins II; a scrolling soldier-against-the-world scenario, popular across a whole range of computers. In fact, this game was originally released for the Amstrad, but the conversion seems fairly accurate.

The title is not a plot to get you hunting for Part 1 in the shops but a consequence of the original Commodore 64 release of Who Dares Wins, whose alleged connection with the arcade Commando caused a 'II' to be added when converted for the 64.

WDW II shares many features with Commando - notably the upwards scrolling screen (with no retreat), the single soldier armed with rifle and grenades (with extra grenades to collect) and the necessity of completing levels by destroying the enemy before advancing to the next stage.

Who Dares Wins II

But whereas Commando offered satisfyingly chunky graphics (albeit with the most horrendous attribute problems) and a welcome joystick option, Toby Butler's Who Dares Wins II makes do with the kind of small scratchy figures fans of Manic Miner will feel at home with.

The game's involvement of the player depends on the keyboard baster relating to the soldier and his instant necessary reflexes - tiny flickering graphics tend to work against that. However, WDW II does have the advantage of speed (especially when not firing) and the largely observable patterns of fire and movement can be memorised. I also liked the convincing detail in the landscape of buildings, trees, walls, railway lines, etc, and the firing is a lot more accurate than Commando, where these isn't even a continuous fire option.

The plot is simple - you have to invade an enemy stronghold and a nice touch after getting to the heart of the game is another mission - fight your way out!

Who Dares Wins II

The pseudo-3D graphics do give a convincing impression of the mission and the speed and movement of the enemy soldiers (much faster than Commando) allows for some intricate footwork around trees, obstacles, etc. It is easier too to plot a route and use cover as if this was a real mission.

The essence of gameplay here is to only advance up the screen when you have killed the small number of enemy soldiers you can see (remember: no retreat!). Go too far too soon and you'll end up with too many to handle at once.

Still, my taste runs back to Commando. I miss the larger figures, the extra detail and the constant feeling of achievement when death does not take you right back to the beginning. But fans of death and destruction will certainly enjoy WDW II and, despite my preference, it is a welcome addition to my software library.

The disc is a pre-production copy and it is to be hoped that the released game will have some music and extra sound effects and not have dumb spelling mistakes in the window scrolling introduction (I liked that), or copy the bizarre behaviour of this disc which switched into my Beebugsoft's Exmon II toolkit ROM after the third life was lost!

Dave Reeder

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