|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ COMPILATION: SUPERSTAR SEYMOUR (c) CODEMASTERS ★|
The first compilation starring Mr Lardball offers five blobtastic games. Here's big reviews of the two newies and minireviews of the three oldies. Courtesy of ADAM PETERS, your lardacious host...
Seymour goes to Hollywood
The game that started it all. Dizzy in Movie Land hits a snag when the Oliver Twins say they don't want Dizzy taken out of a fantasy setting. A few minor tweaks to the Dizzy sprite and Seymour goes to Hollywood (or Seymour at the Movies as it's also known) is born.
OK, so it's difficult. Difficult to an almost Spellbound Dizzy degree. (The complete solution fills several pages of A4.) And there are a few nasty instant death situations (the Flash Gordon set is particularly annoying). But at the end of the day, this is easily the best arcade adventure CodeMasters have produced to date.
There's tons of variety in the different sections (treehuts, offices, various film sets) and a lot of very clever puzzles. The last of these games to slip through before the backlash started.
Sergeant Seymour Robotcop
Even the most hardened Seymour-basher will have pleasant words to say about this one.
Robotcop is a brilliant mazey shoot-em-up, with only a measly quota of lives (three) going against it. Oh yeah, and a really naff name.
Sergeant Seymour Robotcop... I ask you!
We love innovative maze games here at AA Towers and Sergeant gives Hi-Tec's classic Insector Hecti a good run for its money in our affections. The game begins in the Ice Zone where a giant snowman gives birth to snowballs, Eskimos and assorted wintery things.
Once the screen is cleared of enemies you can progress to the next level.
To wax the enemies you need to first catch them with your handy Black & Decker extendable arm, then throw them against a wall (ouch). There are loads of excellent power ups to be had, including various weapons (laser, rocks), different types of invincibility, some food and lots of letters of the alphabet, which you collect to try and spell ‘Robotcop' (for untold bonuses).
It's great fun grabbing enemies and throwing them at other enemies, but the distinct lack of enough lives is a major problem. There are a total of 50 levels, split into five zones, but no-one in the Future Publishing offices (and we're talking some of Britain's most experienced gamesters) has got past level eight. Three lives simply isn't enough for a game as strewn with hazards as this one.
There are actually a number of opportunities to prolong your life, though: if a telephone on screen starts ringing, get to it quick for a bonus screen and safe passage to the next level; collect all the letters of the word ‘Robotcop' and... er... you probably get an extra life or something. (You haven't managed to collect all the letters yet then? - ed.) No, but I've come really close. The last six times I've played I've only needed one more letter to complete the word.
Nick Ross: So what does happen when you collect all the letters of the word? Have you or a relative seen this event occurring? If so, we'd like to hear from you on Seymourwatch UK. And don't have nightmares. Have really nice dreams. About flowers and chocolate cake.
Sergeant Seymour is great fun. The sarge's extendable arm is the key to hours of baddie-hurling, power up-snatching lardball hi-jinks. Insector Hecti at the Interchange is still the best maze game of the '90s, but Sergeant Seymour comes in a fairly creditable second. If only it wasn't so... yikes, damn, wooh, oops, lost again... darned difficult.
Incidentally, I will gladly marry the first person to supply Cheat Mode with a cheat for extra lives. (Don't all rush at once, readers - ed.)
An excellent maze game with loads of nice touches. The programmers were a little stingy on the lives side, frankly, but I'm sure it won't be long before some committed cheat-ster finds a way round that.
Some people rate this Bombjack clone very highly. Not us. Sure it's fun, but this really is gameplay at its most simplistic. Seymour has to leap his way round the screen, bedecked in his finest Dick Turpin outfit, collecting radioactive things. (Oh great, another environmental computer game - I wonder how much packaging they've used for this one.) Enemies try to get in his way, but he can jump on their heads a few times to kill them and blag himself a power up or two from their lifeless corpses.
What do you get? You get Spectrum style graphics, big clumsy slow-moving sprites, and one of the most mindless game styles ever. "Gameplay may become repetitive and requires
no thought” said AA of Bombjack back in 1987. Five years on and I, for one, am not going to argue.
Fun for a while. A short while.
Wild West Seymour
There's nothing like a happy medium (and we don't mean Doris Stokes with a smile on her face). And this is nothing like a happy medium. On the one hand, there's the hyper-difficulty of Seymour goes to Hollywood, a game you'll still be trying to finish from the grave. And on the other hand, there's Wild West Seymour, a game that you'll finish within a matter of hours.
Remember Seymour Take One, the mini-game on the AA77 tape? Wild West is the same sort of thing as far as difficulty goes, only bigger.
Poor old Codies. People complain when the games are too difficult, and people will complain that this one's too easy. If only the programmers could find that happy medium. We'd still complain, because we enjoy complaining. But we'd be happy.
Who is the star of this game? Seymour? It doesn't look anything like him. Seymour is a potato (no he's not, he's a lardball - Codies) but the character in this game looks more like a pebble. The game itself is something not unadjacent to DJ Puff with different sprites.
DJ Puff, let's be honest, isn't the most inspiring of games. A slow and jerky platform shoot-em-up with less than a tenth of the appeal of, say, Cauldron: a game which featured the same sort of jumping-round-a-castle gameplay, but with added excitement.
Excitement is a bit thin on the ground in DJ Puff and thinner still in Stuntman Pebble.
There are cowboys and Indians pacing round the place in set patterns (none of that intelligent enemy movement nonsense here) and your Seymour-esque hero has bullets and bombs to despatch them with. When they die they turn into bags of money, extra bombs, food and such like.
This is something that has always troubled me. I cannot believe that these characters really do turn into things like that when you kill them. As far as I'm concerned, if something is a banana when it's dead, then all it could possibly have been when it was alive is... a banana.
One that walked and talked maybe, but a banana nonetheless.
The only other alternative is that the pick up objects actually fall out of the enemies pockets when they cop if. A more convincing argument, but there are still problems with it: objects are often too big to fit in even the most generous of pockets, and (far more spookily) it still doesn't explain where the bodies go.
I have my own theory on that (oh dear. I don't want to hear this - ed). My theory is that some kind of spiritual entity similar to the tooth fairy is at work. The tooth fairy, as you will all be aware, takes your teeth and gives you some cash. The computer sprite fairy, on the other hand, takes computer sprites that are no longer needed (ie an enemy that's been killed) and in return gives you something nice that will be of use to you within the game. The most common objects you're given are sweets and ice creams - maybe the computer sprite fairy has got a deal going with the tooth fairy.
It gets creepier. We all know the tooth fairy collects teeth to make pianos out of (she sells pianos to fellow fairies for a living), but what does the computer sprite fairy do with all the dead computer sprites? Does the idea of zombie sprites gathering as an army in the fifth dimension, ready to invade our world and slay us in act of bloody revenge, scare you at all? It certainly scares me.
Some of you might think this theory is a load of ill thought-out, childish, pointless nonsense. Strangely enough, that's also exactly what Stuntman Seymour is.
A dull and repetitive platform game, with boring walking, boring shooting, boring jumping and not much else. DJ Puff with less to do and graphics that don't give you migraine.
Grumbles and gripes aside, Superstar Seymour is a bit of a bargain, as long as you haven't already got too many of the games. More varied and of better overall quality than either of the Dizzy compilations. Fairly recommended. NOTE: 80%
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CPCrulez[Content Management System]
L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.