Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Ocean) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day
By Ocean
Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #6

The thinking person's hardman gets pixelised again for another computer outing - something he hasn't had too much luck with in the past. Could it be fifth time lucky, perhaps?

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

In this very magazine, just three months ago, we ran an article talking about games based on film licences - what's good about them and where they can easily go wrong. One problem that crops up time and time again, we pointed out, is that game designers try and stick to movie scripts too closely too closely, ending up something that doesn't work too well as a game because it's split into too many crappy little chunks, or the plot of the film doesn't lend itself to action sequences, or whatever. As history teachers are prone to say, those who ignore the cock-ups of the past are doomed to relive them, and while Terminator 2 isn't in the same league of awfulness as, say, games like Ghostbusters II or Return Of The Jedi games, it has managed to fall into all the classic traps which, really, you would have thought conversion specialists like Ocean would have sniffed out a long time ago.

It's Nothing Personal But...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First of all, just what has the Amiga conversion of the year's biggest movie got to show for itself?

Well, anyone who's seen the film (and I'm guessing that at least half the people reading this are abundantly familiar with Big Arnie's recent sci-fi fest) will be completely comfortable with the game. The programmrs have attempted to recreate all the best action sequences inside a total of eight sub-games, and flick fans who boot this up will know exactly where they are in the story.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

We all know how this works, don't we? It's a set up Ocean have used in half their games - and nearly all their film licences - from Batman onwards. Not only do we get a sideways scrolling shoot-'em-up, three beat-'em-ups and two driving games, but a couple of single-screen puzzlers too. You may find it all a bit formulaic and unimaginative, but it's a structure that'd still prove pretty jolly (if a little formulaic) were if not for one small problemo - all the games are crap.

Terminator 2: It'll Be Crap

That's not to suggest for a moment that Terminator 2 is destined to plunge into the great software incinerator, however. Far from it. I fully expect to see this floating up to the top end of the chart pretty sharpish. It's competent enough (just). It does its job (which isn't saying much). And it's got Arnold Schwarzenegger's mug on the cover (add sales of ten thousand immediately).

The trouble is, it absolutely fails to offer anything of intrinsic value. Rather than do anything interesting with the licence, it merely manages to copy bits from lots of other games - most of which are well past their sell-by date anyway. Ocean sell 'dreams, not software' is something we hear quite a lot, and rarely has this been so abundantly and obviously true as it is here.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

It's quite sad, really. The beat-'em-up sequences do not require a great deal of skill, the shooting scenes demand no skill whatsoever, and the driving games are, at best, rudimentary. Programmers Dimentia would have been a whole lot better off designing one single game - even that old warehouse, the standard horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up a la Rolling Thunder - and 'Terminated' it by throwing lots of movie characters in there. Instead, they've decided to try and reproduce every action sequence from the film they could, and ended up producing a pig's dinner. Anyone who thinks they're really going to get eight good games in here for the price of one should have learned better a long time ago.

So where does that leave us? Well, for younger gamers there is enough here to justify the asking price, and, I suspect, plenty of Terminator freaks will ignore any derogatory reviews and go right ahead and buy the game anyway. But if you're just a gamesplayer looking to make your pounds yield a good few hours of entertainment, look elsewhere. Terminator 2 isn't for you.

The Bottom Line

Uppers: A typical movie licence in just about every sense. It follows the plot closely, gives you a lot of sub games for your money, even provides a few digitised animations and has that face on the box...

Downers: ...but that's about it. There really isn't much in the way of worthwhile gameplay in here. Such a disappointment when the movie managed to confound all doubters.

Worth a look for hardcore Terminator or Arnie fans, but otherwise offers very little indeed. Once more we await a decent Arnie game - is this guy unlucky in the computer arena or what?

Colin Campbell

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