Thursday, 1 October 2009

Retro Hall of Shame # 1: Knight Rider - Spectrum

I used to love Knight Rider when I was a kid. Well, who wouldn't? A car that can talk, go faster than wind from Superman's arse and is virtually impervious to bullets, what's more to like? A computer game? Well lets ask Ocean about that. Oh, they've made a game about it. Well, whats it like?
Erm, well. Lets pop the hood and look at the engine, shall we?

Ocean were synonimous with Movie and TV tie-ins, ranging from the good (Robocop, Street Hawk), the bad (Robocop 2, Miami Vice) and the ugly (Highlander), as well as various home versions of well known arcade games. This, unfortunately, falls into the ugly camp. Why? Well, its not with the variety of gameplay on offer, oh no. There's driving, strategy and a gauntlet clone. The problem is the execution. It sucks. It sucks more than an oap with no teeth and an egg. The graphics on the map section are alright. You pick where you want to go by moving the joystick/pressing the right key and then you set off. Then it starts to go down hill. You can either drive and KITT shoot the what look like helicopters or vice-versa. To be honest, it doesn't make a blind bit of difference as doing either one is as boring as the other. When you drive, you end up fighting the controls and when you shoot, you end up fighting the controls. The controls are absolutely horrendous. The graphcis are just as bad. The helicopters don't even look like helicopters. They, I don't know what they look like, but they don't look like helicopters, I know that. And since when were roads yellow and fields blue? I got so bored playing this, I didn't want to find out how the gaunlet-style levels faired.
So, it plays like shit and looks like dog, but how does it sound? Oh, dear. The only music is on the map section, with an ok-ish rendition of the theme (which seems waaaaaay tooooooo sloooooooow) and the only sounds are 'pop', which is supposed to sound like a machine gun? Well, if machine guns sounded like that, no-one would have won WWI and WWII. They'd only be using pop guns.

It's another iffy conversion that came from a solid software house who, to give them their dues, they did release some crackers, but unfortnately, they released this stinker which, along with Miami Vice and Highlander, have gone down as 'what if's' instead of 'wows'.


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