ROBOCOP 2 - ATARI
Unlike the first game for the Atari ST, the sequel shares little or nothing with the RoboCop 2 arcade version. Unfortunately. What we get instead is some really frustrating platforming and a game developer that presumably hates you.
With RoboCop1 being a pretty good conversion of the Arcade game you'd perhaps expect the sequel to also be a arcade conversion, I know i did, but unlike the first RoboCop game the sequel shares little with it's arcade cousin. The actual game is a mix of platforming and shooting and the main part consists of two large jump and shoot levels with bonus levels going in between. The game concludes with a extremely long and tedious battle with RoboCain. But more about that later.
With the graphics Robocop 2 really do show just what the gaming machine can do. The graphics are good, with excellent presentation screens, well animated sprites and colorful backdrops. Robo himself is far from cool looking though and leans more towards the generic "game robot" than anything else. Bad guys come in a variety of different punks and Cain, Hob and Angie is in here as well. They are however made up of ONE sprite only and as such doesn't animate at all. The directive is to arrest them and to do this you just walk into them and your given points for the trouble. Apart from collecting Nuke canisters there are also several civilians around the stages to save but either way you arrest or save someone they simply just bounce down on contact and away from the screen and they are gone, so it's not exactly rewarding. It's just, strange.
Getting back to the enemies, they have and show absolutely no artificial intelligence at all. None. The common bad guys just run around left and right and shoot at whatever happens to be in their sight. Cain and the gang are even worse and just stand in one place all the time, with Hob taking the prize and has his back turned to robo. Whenever anyone is shot he will instantly transform into some strange star sparkle and then disappear. Presumably beamed up to some other dimension. The generic level bad guys also re-spawn. All the time. Shoot a bad guy and another show up shortly after to replace him.
The actual enemy is the game itself and it's rules and environments. On the platform levels, there's hidden traps aplenty that'll have you rapping your head against a brick wall with annoyance. Progression through the game doesn't seem to rely on skills of any description. The collision detection is very dodgy - Robo often dies when it seems that he's well clear of a deadly obstacle, and he also has a habit of falling through holes in the floor when he turns around too close to them. Another annoying feature is that some harmful objects are so well blended into the backdrops, you don't actually realize they're deadly until you've walked into them. Also, each level only has one restart point, in the middle of the level, and until you reached that point you are sent back to the start of the level every time you die. That's right, one little mistake, one faulty jump and you are punished by having to go back to the beginning again. The game even slaps you in the face by having a gun overheat thing. Shoot to much and your gun is useless for a short time. So when the game throws so much shit at you you have to shoot like crazy the game will punish you by removing the gun? Add some actual BAD powerups that mess up your controls and reverse everything turning right to left etc, and we can only assume the game makers really hate the player.
The game's best parts are actually the bonus levels that appear after each platform level. They are honestly pretty fun and consists of a target practice and a memory maze, they are actually more fun than the main game, but are sadly over too quickly. The target practice has a timelimit and the memory maze game only lets you miss one time and it's over and your back to the actual game.
RoboCain is, as it should, the final boss and he will terrorize you for what feels like an eternity in the last level that consists of several screens that change every time your able to beat RoboCain. The floor will break down and the screen scrolls down into a new part and RoboCain will get up and attack you again. And again. And again. Sometimes he will just sit and rest in the corner while various laser drones and mini Ed-209's attack you and when they are destroyed he's back to blasting you. This goes on for probably 7-8 screens at least and the attack pattern gets more advanced and ridiculous every time. Once RoboCain is really destroyed your rewarded with the cover image of RoboCop2, the one where Robo is coming out of the wall and that is it. It's over. It's definitely a punch in the gut.
Music and sound FX are separated and can't be played at the same time which is odd. You either choose to play the whole game with music or you play it all with FX only, and although the music is really well done the FX is nothing spectacular at all - no samples or speech are used.
I would have preferred if they just removed one or two music tracks and used those for the FX, if the lack of tracks were the problem that is. As you die constantly the music will restart all the time so that can get a bit annoying.
So to conclude. This game is painful to play but has some excellent puzzle and shoot-out bonusgames. Robocop 2 offers a considerable challenge which only hardened gamesplayers will get the most from and can enjoy. Everyone else will be driven insane by the harsh and unfair gameplay.
This is the bonus stage wherein you limber up your trigger finger. Robocop 1 had the same sort of stages, but in RC2 there are targets you need to avoid as well as ones you need to hit - tricky!
In this stage, you need to move the cursor over all the red-marked chips. However, the cursor leaves a burned trail behind it - cross over that trail, and you lose the stage. This level would be very easy if it wasn't for a time limit.
RoboCop 2: Arcade