Sunday, 8 November 2009

Retro Hall of Shame #2: Highlander - Speccy

Immortals. People who can't be killed. Unless you lop their heads off. The subject of an awesome cult hit movie (and some very duff sequels), it would make for a cracking swords and scorcery compute game. Up step Ocean with their offering. Errrm......
Now, the movie Highlander was enjoyable. It followed Connor MacCleod on his way to be 'The One', fighting other Immortals to the final confrontation agains The Kurgen (played awesomely by Clancy Brown). It had spectacular scenery, awesome music (by Michael Kamen and Queen) and some cool lines, mostly said by Brown. Its a shame the same can't be said about the game. But where oh where do I begin (from the beginning, you arse! - radom person). Right, how does it look? Well, iffy. The sprites look squashed, they don't resemble the people at all and, although they have SOME detail, they just look, well, wrong. It looks like someone came along and chopped their legs off below the knees. Not even the face on the title screen looks like Christopher Lambert. The backgrounds are sparse with just a small smattering of colour but in the middle....nothing. Just a black square for a floor. So while the graphics are.....only just acceptable (in a bit of a crap way), how does it play? Terrible. Just terrible. Its far too hard for a start. Press fire and move joystick to swing yer sword. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. You just end up swinging your sword like a drunken loon with a blindfold on. Its made more difficult by the fact that the person you're fighting (be it either Ramirez, Fazool or the Kugen) all fight the same and are just as hard as each other (I'm just guessing at that as I can't even beat Ramirez).
You have to hit your opposite a number of times before they fall to the floor, allowing you to lop heir head off, thus taking you to the next level. But as its too hard, you'll never get to the next level. You'll just find yourself fighting the controls instead of the computer. Its a shame really, as it had shedloads of potential, but it was just really poorly implemented. And don't get me started on the sound. Just tap-tap-tap for when you do finally score a hit on your opponent.
Too hard with too fiddly controls but it looks ok (in a crap way). I just wish more time was spent on it as it could have been something special. Its special alright, but for the wrong reasons.

1.5/5 - JSW's Big Bag of Wrong Award

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