Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
There's a party going on in Assault City! But it's not the sort of get-together where everyone brings half a dozen bottles of Grolsch, drinks them all and falls over. No, this is the sort of do where everyone gets shot. Everyone except the robots, that is. They've taken over the city, and it's up to the player, as a crack commando of the future, to gatecrash on the droids and show them that humans aren't all into boring classical music - they much prefer blasting at walking tin cans!
Before the battle commences, the player first tests his skill on a firing range. There are two different targets - robotic or human - and, depending on the how many of each you hit, the computer will work out the difficulty setting of the main game, which is an Op Wolf-style horizontally scrolling out-and-out massacre! Shoot the attacking robots, picking up bonus items as you blast, and destroy the large mother-droid at the end of each area. Simple.
At first glance, Assault City looks, to be blunt, a bit naff. But play it for a while and you'll be able to overlook the average, garishly-coloured graphics and flat sound effects and get into what turns out to be a very tough, challenging and surprisingly addictive shoot 'em up. I liked the idea of having the target practice difficulty selector at the beginning - so much more enjoyable than picking a number from one to nine. The end of level baddies are a bit of a pushover but, having said that, you need to be a bit of a whizz just to reach the first guardian on the most difficult skill level. Admittedly, there are better shoot 'em ups on the Sega, but that's not to detract from the pleasure I had playing Assault City, a solid, honest-to-goodness killing spree in the true sense of the phrase.