Sep 092010

[Amstrad Action, the first magazine from Future Publishing, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week and to celebrate that fact, we’re featuring articles specifically related to the Amstrad’s number one magazine all week. Already this week, we’ve looked at the history of Amstrad Action, the making of the tribute magazine and AA’s top ten games of all time. So today, we take a look at that highest rated game of all time.]

97%. That was the overall rating given to Rick Dangerous 2 in issue 62 of December 1990. Adam Waring, who reviewed the game in issue 62 of Amstrad Action, was quite surprised with the high rating when the topic came up in 2008. This wasn’t just a decision by one reviewer, however, as Adam stated, games as important as Rick Dangerous 2 would have been a team discussion. But just what is the game all about anyway?

Well, the game follows on from the first one with Rick returning home thinking that he’d be in for a bit of a rest. How wrong was he? In fact, the comforting sights of London brought terror, for hovering above the city was a fleet of alien spaceships. The aliens had enlisted the help of the Fat Man, who had survived a hungry tribe of cannibals from the first game, to instigate a plot to invade Earth.

The player can choose to tackle the first four levels in any order, but the fifth and final level is only available after completion of all the others. The first level begins in Hyde Park, where the aliens have just touched down. Scampering under their laser fire, Rick enters the spaceship. Inside the spaceship is a sprawling complex of platforms, shafts, and ladders. All personnel on the ship have orders to kill on sight, and the multitude of anti-intruder devices have been activated. Some of these traps can be deactivated, if you can figure out how. Some however, are only avoided with lighting reactions. The subsequent levels take place

Humour plays a part in the game. First there’s Rick himself, who is a stocky little fella with a pearly white grin from ear to ear and wears a Flash Gordon style outfit. His adversaries are equally comical and very varied, including clockwork penguins, Alpine goat herders and B-movie style robots. As a rather super hero, Rick can run and jump around the platforms and ladders at a fair old pace. He’s also quite handy with his fists and is capable of using a raygun and electronic detonators.

The original game had a wonderful cute quality but the sequel has gone even further. The graphics are more colourful and varied, with a multitude of wonderfully animated sprites. The sound has also been given a boost. However, the gameplay is quite difficult and requires grit and determination to progress through the latter levels, often through learning the level layouts as you go. With the game’s faults, it perhaps is not deserving of the full 97% rating it achieved, but it wouldn’t be too far off that mark.

[Retroaction will be continuing the celebration of Amstrad Action’s 25th anniversary tomorrow with more nostalgicness. Join us then.]

Weblink: Amstrad Action issue 62, which contains the Rick Dangerous 2 review can be found at CPC Oxygen.

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