Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
A conversion of the Megadrive title based on the popular blockbuster movie sequel of the same name.
Guide Harrigan around the game's nine horizontally-scrolling levels blasting away at drug dealers and Predators, collecting evidence and rescuing hostages. Shoud Harrigan's energy bar be worn down or three hostages killed during the course of the game, Harrigan loses one of his three lives.
Sport, eh? On our planet, games involving inflated pigs' bladders and people running around on some grass, rake in zillions of pounds and have fanatical die-hard followings of millions. On other planets, people play sports involving guessing the correct part of a wall and such, and on one particular planet, the main sport is killing things. Anything'll do, small furry creatures, big ones, sapient, sentient or vegetable, see it, shoot it.
Sadly, this sport has been so popular for so long that the inhabitants of the planet, the Predators, have run out of things to kill. They've tried breeding animals in special Death Farms, but it's just not the same. So, to preserve the long tradition of slaying, a few hand-picked scouts hove been sent out to find new killing grounds, ond luckily for us, one of them has found Earth. However, crock narc Harrigan has stumbled onto their fiendish plot and, in between wasting evil drug pushers, is determined to put a stop to it. But are his horizontally-scrolling blasting skills a match for Acclaim's deviously programmed Predators?
Harrigan starts the game armed only with his trusty police issue revolver, but he can pick up extra weapons as he goes along his way. These arms are found lying around on the floor, which just goes to show how sloppy the drug dealer and Predator filing systems are.
Although the hordes of drug dealers with their big guns and gold teeth are quite hard they're no match for the Predator. For this reason, he's keeping a close eye on Harrigan, who looks like a bit more of a challenge. However, every now and then the Predator tests just how hard Harrigan is by forgetting him with his high-powered blaster. As soon as this formation of three red dots appears on screen tracking Harrigan, it's a good idea to run away, because as soon as this locks on, Harrigan is blown into little tiny bits.
Although Harrigan has to deal with the Predator, his primary concern is the mission given to him by the police department. Mostly, this involves shooting loads of drug dealers, but on each level there are a number of hostages to rescue. This number increases as the levels progress. You might think that as soon as Harrigan started his one-man war on drugs all the hostages would have been slaughtered, but luckily for them everyone seems to have forgotten about them. However, the Predator, ever-eager for a spot of target practice, remembers them all too well. Once he sees a hostage sitting about bound and gagged on the street, his little targeting computer gets to work, tracks them down and shoots them. If three hostoges are lost to Preddy in this fashion, Harrigan tops himself out of sheer guilt and so loses one of his lives.
Predator 2 on the Megadrive was pretty good, if a bit easy, and most of the same criticisms apply to this Master System conversion. There are a few differences between the two however — the Master System version only scrolls horizontally instead of the eight-way scroll-fest that was the Megadrive title. The graphics are understandably poorer, although they're still not that bad by Master System standards, and there's no sprite flicker whatsoever. The game moves quickly enough and the controls are easy to get the hang of and pretty responsive. The sound's adequate, the tunes are okay and the effects are alright too. However, although Predator seems pretty tricky when you first play it, after a couple of games you'll just whizz right through to the end. The password system doesn't improve the challenge, as it effectively provides you with infinite continues even once the machine has been turned off. Novice gamesplayers or general hoofboys should give this a bit of a go, because it's a pretty good game, but seasoned shoot 'em uppers should pass Predator 2 by.
Average, reasonable, okay. Pick an adjective really because they can all be applied to this game. It'll never win any prizes for originality or indeed for playability or lastability, but it's not all that bad. The graphics are nothing stunning but adequate, sounds and effects are okay and for a beginner there's a reasonable amount of challenge in there — the first couple of times you take off it seems incredibly hard, but after a while it becomes almost too easy. The game moves along at quite a racey pace and the controls are a doddle to pick up. The main gripe is the way all the levels look just the same with the same baddies to blast in the same way and same the obstacles to avoid — don't get me wrong, ifs still quite a fun game and not bad at all for the Master System. Just don't expect any great shakes. If you're a novice and horizontal shoot 'em ups are your bag, this is worth a look, otherwise, forget it.