Judge Dredd


Title		Judge Dredd
Company         Random Access/Virgin Mastertronic, 1989
Game Type	Platform
Players		1
Compatibility	All With Patch
HD Installable  With patch
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Review
I'm afraid this is not going to be one of my in-depth reviews where I've
thoroughly explored a game, finding out its secrets and learning its inner
charms. The reason for this is that after spending only a couple of hours
with Virgin's Judge Dredd license, I really don't want to spend any more
of my limited time on Earth in its company, and yet I feel I have valuable
information to share with other Amiga game players and Judge Dredd fans:
Stay the hell away from this game, its awful.

In fairness, I must now back that statement up with some reasoned
argument. Initially, there is a competently produced little introduction,
and then quite interestingly you are at Dredd's computer terminal with
the choice of some options, including a couple of very basic computer
games. Ultimately, some mail arrives, and you are sent off on your first
mission.

The game proper is essentiallty of the scrolling platform variety, and the
graphics are not bad, and as far as Dredd goes, suitably colourful.
Animation however is rather poor, and you will soon tire of the awkardly
drawn Dredd as he stomps along the platforms, serving up his particular
brand of Justice to the citizens of Mega City One. .....Well, I say
"stomps" actually, his progress is silent, and there's not much sound in
general unless you decide to start shooting people with your Lawmaster
sidearm. This has three settings by the way, a general purpose round, a
laser, and a heatseeker. As far as I can tell you only have to worry about
the heatseeker ammo, as the others seem to be in an inexhaustible supply.

The levels do at least in some way relate to the original stories, and in
the first level you have to stop "the fatties" from taking over a food
supply building. This is achieved by hunting down four food dispensers,
blowing them up (by walking past them) and then returning to the main gate
at the lowest level. While you are doing this, the fatties will generally
try to obstruct or attack you, they represent a very low level threat, and
ordinary citizens, who like the fatties, look pretty much identical to
each other, will wander past, getting in the way of your gunfire, and
consequently becoming fatalities.

It doesn't matter though, because you can hold the fire button down with
autofire selected, as the game is not concerned about who you kill or
whether they were a "perp" or not.

Another irritation are the ramps that you must negotiate in order to go up
or down a level. The control method is rubbish. You end up jumping about
trying to find the critical position to ascend when you are running out of
time to complete the level. Its not so bad when you are attempting to
descend, but neverthless, the words "Braybookesque", "intuitive" and
"ergonomic" should not be used within at least a mile of this game.

So if you have the patience you complete the first part of the level,
which I found a real challenge, not a challenge in the classic sense, but
an inward struggle against depression, overwhelming disappointment and
shock that such a worthy title for a computer game could have been
implemented in such a mediocre way. I shouldn't be shocked, it is, after
all, the normal way of things with Amiga licenses, but nevertheless, with a
subject so close to my heart, I remain a big 2000 AD fan, it is rather sad
to see such a result.

At the end of a level, you go into a sort of sub-level that completes the
level as a whole. In the case of Level one, you have to jump from one
truck to another along an escaping food convoy, to stop the fatties from
clearing off with the city's grub. For some reason, Dredd's jumping
ability seems to have been vastly reduced since the earlier section, and
you can expect to be restarting from the beginning in fairly short order.
Oh the joy of it!

There doesn't seem to be a score as such, and you can't get killed.
Perhaps this was part of the license agreement, instead Dredd's energy
gets depleted gradually until he has to go to hospital which, means the
crime level rises out of control, and its game over.

There are, I believe, a total of 6 levels in the game, by using a cheat
code I have had a look at all of them, and I have to say that they remain
consistently dull, drab and lifeless.














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