lauantai 5. helmikuuta 2011

REVIEW - RoboCop 3 (1992)

Genre(s): Action
Released: 1992
Available on: Amiga, Atari ST, C64, GEN, GG, NES, SMS, SNES, ZX
Developer(s): Ocean Software, Digital Image Design, Eden Entertainment Software, Probe Entertainment
Publisher(s): Ocean Software, Flying Edge
Players: 1

RoboCop 3 was filmed and ready for theaters in 1991, but Orion Pictures went bankrupt, and the movie was kept under wraps for two whole years. In late 1992, strangely almost a year before the movie was actually released, Ocean Software and a few other developers that had their hands on the license got the green light to publish a game called RoboCop 3 for a total of nine different platforms, among which were Nintendo's two major systems. The games had nothing to promote at the time, and they were horrible! Which leaves us asking the very same question we asked after watching the movie for the first and only time: "why were they made?"

Directive 3: "Go fuck yourself."

A group of mercenaries calling themselves the Rehab Team has been hired by the OCP to clean up the innocent remnants of Old Detroit, so they could go on with their plan to begin construction of Delta City. However, the Rehab Team's methods are merciless, and they are slaughtering innocent people to achieve OCP's goal. After the murder of his partner Anne Lewis - for which he is framed - RoboCop joins a resistance group and rises against the company that created him. OCP's Japanese associates have a deadly contingency plan in case the Rehab Team fails to neutralize RoboCop - a cyborg ninja designed for destroying other cyborgs.

Mmm, acid bath. Sounds good.
OK, so here's my breakdown on the movie. Most people just watch it once, like I said (or half of it), but I stuck to tradition and watched it for the second time in my life, just before testing the game. The movie went straight to video in my home country, absolutely no surprise there, and as a RoboCop fan, I had an obligation to watch it. I hated it; RoboCop 2 might've been a bit boring and bland, but it was a good watch. RoboCop 3, on the other hand, has no value whatsoever. In theory, Robert Burke made for a better RoboCop than the overtly stiff Peter Weller ever did, I'll give the crapfest that much, but turning RoboCop into a watered-down, bloodless, jokeless, family-oriented prime time horse shit, just another cheap American drama about the common man's war against capitalism, was a crime against sci-fi fans everywhere. That Japanese Terminator wannabe they threw into the mix was just pathetic and ridiculous, and killing off Anne Lewis was inexcusable. However, it was Nancy Allen herself who wanted her character to be killed off, or else she wouldn't have taken the role. Smart girl; after all, there might've been a RoboCop 4, and then it would've been too late for her to save face. There were the TV shows, but luckily I missed out on those; the 80's cartoon was perfectly enough for me.

I have two versions of this toxic waste to go, so I'll try to be as brief as possible - it's quite hard when you've got this sort of bad game on your hands. The graphics are pretty much what you'd expect after RoboCop 2 on the NES; a bit smoothed out, but still cheap-looking and flat. Believe it or not, the first game was the best-looking game out of all three, and the first game and RoboCop 3 had four years between them. Think about it. The music's not that bad, it gets better after the horrendous intro piece. No RoboCop theme song, which made its return in the movie. Not enough budget to pay Basil Poledouris, I guess. They didn't even have enough to invest in design, it seems.

The game is very much like the first two games, but like in the movie, Murphy gains this ridiculous jetpack, but for the duration of one single stage. The third stage out of five in fact, although the jetpack was crucial to the "huge climax" of the movie. Speaking of the climax, all the fifth and final stage requires you to do is use the enormous spike inside Murphy's arm, first seen in the original movie, to tap into a computer and get those two J-Terminators to terminate each other. That's it, the whole purpose of this heap of shit was to get those mechanical freaks disabled. What about the Rehab Team? The destruction of OCP HQ? Who the fuck is Keiko? Oh, the computer whizkid? I thought she was called Nikko in the movie. And why is she carrying a machine gun in the title screen? Who cares? The movie sucked ass and so does this game. Thankfully it doesn't last that long at all. What might slow your progress down a bit is the collective of a few things: the controls are piss, the three continue limit is urine, and the fact that your health NEVER regenerates automatically between stages or deaths, is prostatitis. 22% of health left? Either fix yourself up with collected power-ups as much as you can between stages, or bear it. Or simply lose the game. Or simply quit. It's up to you, but I strongly recommend the last option. There ain't no reward for beating this shit demon.

Got to admit, the jetpack's a cooler addition to
the gameplay than it was to RoboCop's gadgetry
in the movie. Which isn't much of a compliment.
You have two weapons with unlimited ammo: your "trusty" pistol and the rocket launcher, which can both be upgraded with certain collectables, but the range of both weapons sucks. You might think the rocket launcher is of great help against those ninjas (the only bosses in the game), but no. Apparently they have some sort of radial missile jamming system, which prevents you from shooting any missiles at them, even though Murphy blasted the first guy's head to oblivion with some sort of projectile in the movie. Oh, well. If I can't shoot missiles at you, I'll just dodge out of your way and find some sort of a vantage point to shoot your brains out... WHAT THE FUCK?! I just pressed LEFT, but walked RIGHT, into the guy's lap and took two or three swings from his sword that sounds like a boombox! Got to be a glitch. Well, as RoboCop 2 taught me, I shouldn't go calling these sorts of events glitches that easily, and no, it wasn't a glitch. You see, between stages, you use the "P-bottles" you gather to improve the defense mechanisms in each part of Murphy's body. For example, if his legs are weak, ducking is even harder than it already is. If his head is damaged, he might walk into the opposite direction from where you're trying to direct him to. Quite neat, huh? Well, get this... you don't have to be hit to suffer damage in any part of your body. It just happens randomly, no matter how much you keep buffing the bastard up - as a matter of fact, the repairs make no fucking difference!

Well, it's not a hard game, it takes about 30 minutes to run through. The second stage is quite long and has the most jumps nearly impossible to execute with what you've given, but the rest of it's basically easy, if you can preserve some health within this chaos and the whole limb damage business. It takes a lot more patience than a casual player can afford, but unlike RoboCop 2, this game's beatable. The previous game was just playable for a set amount of time.

What's worse than a bad game based on a good or even great movie, is obviously an awful game based on an awful movie. RoboCop 3 on the NES is just that; there's not even a small spark of interest, not even before you've played it, since the movie's so bad. It's an epitaph of bad licensing; it was made in 1992, while it could easily have been out before the first RoboCop game in terms of look and gameplay. It's embarrassing.

Graphics : 6.0
Sound : 6.3
Playability : 4.2
Challenge : 3.5
Overall : 4.0


RoboCop 3 for the SNES was not only published by Ocean Software, it was also developed by them, unlike the NES game which was developed by Probe Entertainment. We're safe to expect a different game then... a better or worse one, that's what we're here to find out.

The graphics immediately remind me of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Large, unrefined sprites, not much to look at in the background. The music is repetitive techno, and the theme song is some sort of an extremely poor man's Mega Man theme.

So, does this game suck? Absolutely. Does it radically differ from the NES version? Absolutely, so it sucks in a whole different way. And more. There really ain't no plot to this game. Sure, the first stage has these eviction notices on the walls, which kind of tie the game to the movie, but from a practical point of view, it's like any side-scrolling beat 'em up with a gun, in totally random environments, with totally random enemies. What the fuck are those impossible-to-dodge flying droids all about? This isn't Star Wars!

The controls are slow and awkward, the jumps are stiff and they really start to blow your horn whenever there's the most generic moving platform you can possibly imagine and you just can't make the jump, and bullets are flying everywhere. Every time you die, you need to start the stage over, and just to survive, you need a hell of a lot of luck. Some enemies are extremely hard to hit even with upgraded weapons, some take up a whole lot of more bullets than you can spare, the most fatal enemies can't even possibly be killed before they've touched you and drained you of half of your health bar... yeah, this is another one of those "difficult" games you simply can't stand a chance in.

Haha, ducked ya! You can't hit me 'cause I
ducked ya! Suck on that, bad A.I.!
GameFAQs doesn't have anything on the game, except for a cheat code for full health at any time during any stage, and it's very simple... but it doesn't work. I would've at least tried to beat the game just for the very remote fun of destroying my brain cells with it, if the code would've worked. But no, I'm not wasting any more time with this generic game.

I simply don't have anything else to say about this game... or, now that I think of it, yes I do. I have some respect for Ocean Software, in comparison to its peers in this business. I tried to bear this game's utter impossibility, boring gameplay and the reason why it was made - which I still haven't exactly figured out - out of respect. After all, Ocean has made decent games. RoboCop 3 just happens to be far from them.

Graphics : 6.2
Sound : 5.5
Playability : 3.5
Challenge : 4.0
Overall : 3.7


GameRankings: 64.50% (SNES)

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