Sunday, 29 April 2012

Mega Drive/MCD Capers: The Terminator (Virgin, 1992)

2029. The war between the machines of Skynet, and the human resistance of Tech-Com, has been raging for decades. As it seems to be tipping in the favor of the resistance, the machines decide to use their new Time Displacement System (a time machine to you and me!) to send their most advanced Terminator, a T800 Cyberdyne Systems model 101, with skin, hair, blood and eyes grown to cover it (and it looks exactly Arnold Schwarzenegger, oddly enough) back to the year 1984, and kill the mother of the leader of the resistance before he's even born: Sarah Conner. But, Tech-Com also send back someone as protector, and a battle of epic proportions ensues in Earth's past, to save Mankind's future.
Comparison alert!: Mega Drive, and still looks good, but...

Yes, The Terminator is one of the best sci-fi movies ever made, and a game was eventually made for Sega's Mega Drive (Genesis to our American cousins), Master System, Game Gear, and two years later, a updated, expanded and enhanced version for Sega's doomed Mega CD. Developed by Virgin Games (which had a young programmer on board who would go on to create the fantastic MDK a few years later, Dave Perry), it expanded on the movies plot with extra levels. You play as Kyle Reese, and get stuck into his mission to get to Skynet, plant some explosives at the TDS, and use it himself to back to '84, before it gets blown to Kingdom Come.
And the rather gorgeous Mega CD version with added bits.

To start with, it looked great back then. Your guy against Hunter Killers (and they were huge buggers), Flying HK's, T800's with none of the skin and stuff, and T800's with the works (and they have bloody big guns as well). The Mega CD version even more so, with even better graphics (with added foreground graphics, like added skulls, and in one instance, your guy has a headset!), better music that added to the tense atmosphere, and it also added a gun to your inventory, instead of just using an endless supply of grenades, and made the game much better, and more fluid to play. Plus, it also added footage from the film between levels, which is a bonus. It also added a few more levels as well, and was even more playable than its other console counterparts. But, the game was rock hard. I never even got off the first level, as I managed to set the bombs, but couldn't get the equipment to work. Plus, the T800's seem to just keep on coming. But, who can say no to blowing away loads of Terminators?

Certainly a game worth checking out as, once you get started, you just keep on trying to plow on through, until the end. One of the better film licenses on the console, and certainly better than T2: Judgment Day by LJN (which was utter utter tosh).

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