Thursday, 19 August 2010

License to Convert: Predator 2 (Amiga, ST)

Sequels to movies aren't as good (technically) as their originals (exceptions are the Back to the Future series, the original Indiana Jones trilogy, ALIENS, the Lethal Weapon series and the original Star Wars trilogy). Predator 2 was, I think, unjustly criticized, mainly because Arnie isn't in it. Instead, Danny Glover took the lead role, and the action was transported to the urban jungle of Los Angeles, 1997. People didn't like it. I did, though. It wasn't as good as the original, but I thought it was a good action romp. Image Works obviously thought so too, and set about getting the rights to produce a game based on the movie. It appeared on many a format, and in differing versions: the Sega Mega Drive & Master System versions were top-down isometric shooters (and were quite hard but enjoyable), the NES version went unreleased and the home micro's were treated to a Operation Wolf-style shooting gallery, but with an outline of Harrigan. It's the shooting gallery, Amiga version I'll be having a blast at, and I think it's a rather good conversion from Arc Developments.

Comparison alert: Amiga....

Starting on the mean streets of L.A, you have to save police officers under attack and those who are injured and take down the drug runners who have an assortment of weaponry. You start off with just your modified handgun, and can pick up weapons along the way, like a pump-action shotgun, M16 rifle and a M14A assault rifle. Your health is represented by your police department badge, in the bottom left-hand corner (or it might be the bar that looks like the Predator language running underneath the action, I can't remember). Every once in a while, the bad guys throw grenades and petrol bombs, which you have to shoot, or say goodbye to a sizeable chunk of you health. The animation of the baddies running about the levels are really smooth, with them stopping every once in a while and kneeling on the floor to get a better shot at you. Even better is when the Predator makes an appearance. Sometimes, he'll just pop up and rip the spine out the enemy, or you'll see  an outline (which is a really good graphical effect), or just the sights of his shoulder cannon. Also, when you shoot him, he shoots back. Bugger.
.....ST. Not that much difference, really. Still bloody good, though.

The levels range from the streets of L.A, to an apartment, sewers and then finally the Predator ship itself. The graphics are varied throughout, even if the action is not, and the music changes on every level. I also like the use of the outline for you character, as it's also smoothly animated, and gives it a Dynamite Duke-feel. You also have a cursor, which is invaluable. It also samples sounds from the movie, and has a hand drawn picture on the title screen of the Predator on the Eastern Building, which looks phenomenal.

This is the game the first one should have been.  It's fun, graphically excellent, sounds brilliant and gives you the chance to use a mouse instead of a joystick, which makes it even more great to play.


  1. I liked the movie, too. It was unrealistic to expect it to live up to the first, but in the light of the shit-your-pants-awful AvP films it shines.

    I haven't played this game, not even on my beloved ST. I must put that right.

  2. It is worth a go. As I said, use the mouse. It makes the world of difference.