RoboCop (NES) review
"Robots are undeniably cool. Everybody knows police officers are totally awesome. It was only a matter of time until somebody decided to bring the two together. When it did… they called him Robocop. And he represented something; namely, the courage to keep going despite what you lost, and the ability to kick lots of ass. The idealism of it all made for a great movie, and this game that comes from it a fairly enjoyable experience as well. "
Robots are undeniably cool. Everybody knows police officers are totally awesome. It was only a matter of time until somebody decided to bring the two together. When it did… they called him Robocop. And he represented something; namely, the courage to keep going despite what you lost, and the ability to kick lots of ass. The idealism of it all made for a great movie, and this game that comes from it a fairly enjoyable experience as well.
Loosely following the plot of the movie, the game begins with Robocop preparing to clean up one of the meaner streets of Detroit. The place is crawling with punks, but Robocop gets to take this single-handedly, just because he can. So you take him along this strictly side-scrolling affair, going up against helicopters, bikers, dogs, and more. You’ve got your fists and trusty pistol, both of which never run out of ammo and sting like a bee, and a couple of other weapons available that are better suited to emergency situations.
Typically, Robocop’s going to be out to arrest a particular individual who’s always much larger than the regular enemies and conveniently waiting at the end of the level, but there’s always the possibility of battling a gigantic robot instead; so here’s hoping.
Being almost completely made of metal tends to limit mobility, which clearly affects in-game Robocop. He’s only got two speeds: staying put, and casual strolling. You’d think this would cause the action to be invariably slow, but it’s actually herein where the challenge lies; most of the enemies in the game are much quicker than Robocop is, and have the sense to take advantage of the fact. They’ll often come out of nowhere, from any direction, take a few quick shots, and run for it. And you either have to react with very specific timing of a punch, or shoot them before they touch you. Sure, Robocop’s a tough cookie, but when damage is being inflicted on him by gunfire, flamethrowers, multiple grenades and such, even the Future of Law Enforcement is going to crack.
As you progress through the game, you’ll occasionally encounter areas where Robocop inexplicably puts his gun away. Some areas become a lot more challenging than they otherwise would have been, but offering a reason for it would have been appreciated. Perhaps it’s to reduce the amount of collateral damage, but that’s hardly the style of an action movie. Still, the placement of these areas isn’t randomized, so upon repeated playthroughs they’re easy enough to ignore.
Robocop does a pretty good job of adhering to the source material. Each of the levels are based on scenes from the movie, and Robocop engages in classic battles with Clarence Boddicker and ED-209. Scattered throughout the levels are batteries and baby food pickups, which fans might find mildly amusing. The game is pretty difficult, though, and will probably take more than a few attempts to complete. Deep down, you sometimes get the feeling that the real Robocop must have had an easier time. After all, he’s a guy who once charged through the front door of a drug warehouse.
Nowadays, there are newer games featuring newer robots, but Robocop’s still got some charm left. You see, what makes him different from the others is that while they might have taken away his body… they left his heart in there.
Community review by disco1960 (March 24, 2005)
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