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RoboCop 2 (NES) artwork

RoboCop 2 (NES) review


"I had high hopes for Robocop 2. Upon first encountering the cartridge – a bloodthirsty Robocop emblazoned on its front – images cascaded in front of my eyes. They were images of a sleek, titanium machine lunging onto the screen, chasing down enemies with fearful speed and filling them up to their eyeballs with lead. I would be this machine. I would be unstoppable. "



I had high hopes for Robocop 2. Upon first encountering the cartridge – a bloodthirsty Robocop emblazoned on its front – images cascaded in front of my eyes. They were images of a sleek, titanium machine lunging onto the screen, chasing down enemies with fearful speed and filling them up to their eyeballs with lead. I would be this machine. I would be unstoppable.

The title screen did little to dissuade me. In it was a monolithic rendition of Robocop, the only movement a stream of lead pouring out of his gun and somewhere off into the distance. So excited was I at the sight of these silvery shards of justice I could barely push the start button. Now, I wish I never had.

Robocop 2 is all about crime-fighting. There are a whole lot of bad dudes hanging out with a mysterious, evil substance known only as ‘Nuke’ and just waiting to be shot down. Robocop has been assigned to the case. For this mechanical manifestation to save the day he’s going to have to scale tremendous heights, leap over treacherous ravines and fire off thousands of rounds of ammunition. Or so it would seem.

You see, Robocop is a titanium turkey. In some kind of fatuous attempt at bringing realism to a game centred on a cybernetic police officer, somebody decided to give Robocop the manoeuvrability of a steam engine. There are no athletic killing machines here, rather a clunking machine that weighs more than a space shuttle.

Should you decide to run in a given direction, Robocop will first plod along slowly, accelerate into a relaxing mosey before breaking out into a brisk jog. There are no dizzying heights or terrifying chasms, Robocop is just a useless pile of junk that can’t jump much further than his own girth. This is, of course, a major problem.

Most of the stages call for a certain degree of finesse, something that Robocop himself is incapable of. You are called on constantly to negotiate hectic series’ of traps, rescue hostages and eliminate Nuke, all the while being shot at by tough-looking guys with six-packs all the way up their chins. Prevailing wouldn’t be so hard were it any other character on the job. Unfortunately, we only have Robocop. The hero who dies instantly when his little chrome pinky comes into contact with an obstacle. Making to the end of a level means the careful avoidance of instant-death obstacles, and our clumsy character just can’t cut it.

To make matters worse, it’s not merely enough to jump and dodge your way to the end of a stage. To gain a pass-mark one must also collect 60% of the nuke on any given level, and save 60% of the hostages that have been abducted. Bizarrely, on the very first level, the vital nukes needed to pass the very first level are housed in a devilishly hidden bonus room, one that couldn’t possibly be found without outside assistance.

Sure, the first two times Robocop doesn’t quite match up he’s merely sent back to training. But this gesture is only offered on two occasions, and the difficulty of the task at hand will ensure that such generosity is only a fleeting gesture. You sure as hell won’t be feeling sorry when you see Robocop’s dismantled body being taken away for readjustments.

To add to the ignominy of the game, the graphics are a shambles. For some reason the backgrounds are largely made up of garish, kaleidoscopic backgrounds. It’s a strange way to go about designing abandoned warehouses, and a good way to get Robocop killed. It’s much harder to play when you can’t see what’s going on after all. The sound and music nondescript. No words are bland enough to detail the things that I have heard shrieking out of my television set.

All of these factors point to a bad game. All the worse considering the expectations I had for that rusty metal contraption named Robocop. I expected him to kill off a syndicate of crime lords; instead, he killed off the memory of every positive emotion I have ever felt. Avoid Robocop 2, live a happy life.

Rating: 2/10

kingbroccoli's avatar
Community review by kingbroccoli (April 25, 2004)

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