Rampage (Arcade) review
"Ahhh, Rampage. This game has a lot of nostalgia value for me. So I'm going to review it in that vein. Its one of the games I played to death in the eighties. Move extreme love of this game is all due to the fun I had during the times I spent hanging out in grotty arcades, chip shops and erm..adult book shops which were the only places that let underage kids in to play on arcade machines. Those happy times I spent in the company of Rampage have made it acquire a rose tinted glow that even harsh 2..."
Ahhh, Rampage. This game has a lot of nostalgia value for me. So I'm going to review it in that vein. Its one of the games I played to death in the eighties. Move extreme love of this game is all due to the fun I had during the times I spent hanging out in grotty arcades, chip shops and erm..adult book shops which were the only places that let underage kids in to play on arcade machines. Those happy times I spent in the company of Rampage have made it acquire a rose tinted glow that even harsh 21st century reality can't dispel.
For those of you who aren't familiar with this game, it has a very simple premise. You play one of three mutated creatures, a giant Wolfman, a giant Apeman and a giant Lizard woman. Your task is basically to be the bad guy and destroy buildings across a variety of levels. The controls were simple, you climb up and down the building or jump from one to another and use the fire button to beat the buildings with your fists. Beat it enough times and it will crumble to the ground. Once an entire screen has been levelled, you move on to another one.
There are few tactics to be employed here. There are powerups available in the form of the army who are trying to stop you and the people in the buildings you smash up. So long as you manage to stop yourself being shot or blown up by the army and keep getting the bonuses the game can literally go on forever.
The graphics at the time were really very good. Bright, brash 2D models and detailed cityscapes. There were touches of great humour as well. The facial expressions on the protagonists were very funny. Say you were playing as the Wolfman, if you ate an armyman holding a bazooka it would explode in your mouth causing puffs of smoke to come out. The sound to was also excellent, the meaty smashing sounds as you whacked the buildings were superb and the roars and screams were quite realistic.
The best thing about Rampage to my mind though was the two player mode. Playing on your own, the game quickly became repetitive and boring. However team up with an ultra-competitive friend and the game became compulsive fun.
Each of you could take on one of the monsters, your goal was the same - to level the screen of buildings in the shortest time. BUT, there were limited bonuses and power ups on offer. So although you had to co-operate somewhat, there was a lot of fun to be had fighting over the prizes on each screen. You had the ability to punch each other, as well as the buildings and if things were getting bitter it was quite common for games to end with the two of you knocking each other off the tops of buildings, then punching each other in real life for wasting the last few credits you had. Hooray!
It was the perfect game at the time for me an my mates. We were all about 11 years old, very bloodthirsty and competitive and broke most of the time. Rampage is of my earliest experiences of using a game to blow off excess aggression. The fact that it often caused more fights to break out amongst us is neither here nor there...ahem. It was also, I remember one of the cheapest arcade games around. Ten pence for a couple of credits meant that we honestly spent hours working off out pre-pubescent angst, bashing, smashing and thumping our way through what seemed like an infinity of levels.
I don't know if the game actually had an end, I have been loath to go back and play the original. It's legacy has since been despoiled by many inferior sequels that tried to update with 3D or add pointless new rules. Rampage is a period piece. It is an example of how compulsive, quick fix arcade action could be in the 1980's. It was never a game designed for the home console market.
In my mind when I remember Rampage I remember a more innocent time. Time with my friends, time when gaming didn't cost a fortune and time when being a giant lizard woman and knocking down buildings was the coolest fun ever.
I miss those times.
Community review by falsehead (March 08, 2004)
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