Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Take down the decorations, stop stuffing the turkey and get rid of that needle-dropping tree — Christmas is cancelled! A dodgy geezer by the name of Dr Maybe has kidnapped Santa Claus and halted all toy production in his North Pole factory. Who on earth can save the day?! Wait — can you smell fish?
Only one secret agent’s fishy enough to rescue Santa and that’s James Pond: codename Robocod. For this special mission, James has been given an Extendosuit to allow him to breath on land. This armoured suit protects him from many knocks and has a stretching mechanism to help James reach high platforms. By pulling his body into the suit, our hero can also make a pretty powerful bouncing bomb for blasting tough enemies.
This cute platform game is almost an exact copy of the highly successful Mega Drive version. The graphics, sound and levels are here in all their glory — nine theme areas with multiple levels, secret rooms and bad dudes in each. The object’s to collect all the booby-trapped toy penguins Dr Maybe has planted around each level then find the exit James’ mission to rescue Santa must be completed in just 48 hours.
Themes for levels include teddy bears, cars, sports and a wacky circus, complete with big top. You must complete the levels then move on to the tough boss who guards the exit A few bashes on the head and it’s off to the next exciting area.
To kick off with, Robocod has three batteries of power in his Extendosuit but he can carry up to five. Every time he’s hit by one of Dr Maybe’s cronies, a battery’s knocked off; when they’re all gone he loses a life. Lives are recorded in a unique way — a James Pond hand in the bottom-left corner of the screen holds up fingers to show the number remaining.
There are lots of power-ups and collectables around the game. Yellow stars add an extra battery, tiny JPs give a life and all kinds of weird and wonderful objects bump up the score.
James Pond isn’t confined to his fins in this cracker of a game. If he searches out the various vehicles and contraptions invented for him by the scientists at F.1.5.H headquarters, he can take a ride. There’s a sports car, bath tub, plane and angel wings to discover.
Robocod is a one-player game and unfortunately there are no passwords, but it’s so addictive you don’t mind playing from scratch each time and three continues are a help.
This game has it all. There’s everything from pink hippos to head-throwing snowmen, all bound together with a distinct smell of fish. I have to admit, I had reservations about Robocod to begin with. Trudging through a slimy old pond and mixing with fish isn’t my idea of a good time. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this cart.
You can leap through a vast array of entertaining levels, ranging from sports rooms to candy cupboards — there’s even a shower room, just in case you’re feeling grubby. It’s not just a mass of stinky old pond weed, after all!
The graphics are worthy of a Mega Drive game. They’re packed with colour and sprites are big and bold. The sonics are wonderful; US Gold have really made the most of the Master System’s sound chip. Plenty of effects and a tune so catchy you’ll be humming it for days. How annoying.
The gameplay’s fast, furious, addictive and sickly-sweet. Although this is a challenging cart, it’s instantly playable. Beware, everything about Robocod spells C.U.T.E. If you’re a big softy, you’ll love it. On the other hand, cynics might just throw up!
I was amazed when I plugged the Robocod cart into my Master System and switched on. This game is nearly identical to the Mega Drive one that came out ages ago — right down to the intro sequences and music! Tiertex, the programmers, should have a big pat on the back for this one.
Levels look stunning and play like a dream, with hidden rooms full of bonuses to discover, cheats built in and various modes of transport for our friend James. Through the game, he can jump into a snazzy sports car, take a bath for a spin, fly a plane and even attach wings to his Extendosuit to take to the skies.
Any platform game fans out there will be addicted from the start. The sickeningly cute tunes tinkle away in the background and drive everyone else in the room mad while you play. They’re brilliant, particularly the remixes of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ and the RoboCop theme music.
I just couldn’t put Robocod down. I just wish I hadn’t completed the Mega Drive game before, as I knew exactly where to go and what to do. If there’s you only buy one game this month, make it Robocod — it’s somefin special!
A perfect conversion from the hit Mega Drive game — buy it.