Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Julian "Robo" Boardman wrestles with an exo-skeleton before taking to the streets of "old" New York
The E-SWAT (Extra Special Weapons And Tactics) team are best described as "a bunch of lads". All dressed up in their armour, blasting seven bells out of the assembled throng of gangsters in the true Eighties-style of mindless violence - well, it's hardly New Age or green is it? I bet they all drink lager and failed to get into the marines as well.
However, what these valiant supercops have to do is save the city of New York from six outrageously-powerful bad guys who all have their own peculiar nastiness to inflict upon the unfortunate policemen Things are a lot easier once you have earned your armour, but this means the first stage, consisting of 50-odd gun-toting crooks and a fat git who breathes fireballs at you, must be conquered before you get that shiny blue titanium suit.
Ammunition is sadly limited, meaning that all you joypad jocks out there can't go on a button frenzy, but there is plenty of ammo to pick up so all is not lost The thing is, getting to the ammo usually requires 20% more than you have actually got, making your death one of those deeply ironic Oliver Stone-type demises where the hero gets wasted just yards from safety and a warm bath.
There are five rounds to complete, each made up of four stages, all of which have a mid-level heavy and an end of level crook. None of them are particularly simple to eradicate, and all have a very large number of cronies to defeat before you can get near to them.
Following in the tradition of its arcade predecessor. E-SWAT is a very playable shoot-'em-up. with a lot of challenge even in the lower levels There's plenty of fast action and a wide variety of end of level nasties, more than enough to keep yer average joypad junky happy.
Fat Man: Wait for him to shoot a fireball then crouch down and shoot him.
Boomerang Man: Shoot him in the head when he's catching or throwing his boomerang. Aim for just above the head of the hostage.
Flame Thrower: Shoot quickly as his range is limited while he's under attack.
Death Machine 1: Destroy all four weapons ports. It's safest on the left side ot the screen, but your bullets can't reach the machine. Probably best to shoot the top and bottom weapons first then concentrate on the centre ones.
Death Machine 2: Shoot out the lasers on the ceiling then the three weapons on the machine.
Final Boss: Destroy Ihe four weapons ports above the last boss. Keep shooting at all times, ducking just betore his bullets reach you. You must destroy his shields before he can be defeated.
✘ The sprites soon become repetitive as you shoot yet another bloke in a brown coat.
✔ Lots of colour in the city backgrounds.
✘ Very irritating tune that never changes.
✘ Totally unimaginative sound effects.
✘ Too easy to get bogged down shooting the crooks instead of moving on.
✔ Plenty of new challenges to keep you going.
£29.99 ▼ OUT NOW
MASTER SYSTEM 76%