Available on: Amiga, Atari ST, C64, GB, GEN, GG, NES, PC, SMS, SNES, ZX
Developer(s): Ocean Software, LJN, Bits Studios, Probe Entertainment, Arc Developments, Dementia
Publisher(s): Ocean Software, LJN, Flying Edge, Acclaim Entertainment, Arc Developments
Everyone who has been patient enough to spend a good part of the last 20 years with me, can tell you that Terminator 2: Judgment Day is one of my all-time favourite movies and that I remember each line from it. Movies like T2 are simply not made anymore. As expected, game developers were drooling over the Terminator 2 movie license when the film hit the screens in 1991, and unfortunately the dynamic duo of Ocean Software and LJN got the biggest chunk of it; you know what's even more unfortunate? I am now going to review a total of three games entitled Terminator 2: Judgment Day. And, they were all conceived by the unholy alliance of two of the worst and most uncaring movie licensees video game history has seen. Sadly, I cannot self-terminate.
Bad to the bone indeed
Sarah Connor has been labelled criminally insane and is locked away at a mental hospital, while her now 10-year old son John is ruining his life on the outside, completely oblivious to his mother's warnings and stories of the Terminator. An advanced Terminator model dubbed the T-1000 is sent by Skynet to kill John - as a countermeasure, the resistance sends a reprogrammed T-800 unit to do what he can to protect John and find a way to outlast his notably superior model.
First up, we have the PC version, and that's a quick one. The graphics are... hmm, OK, I guess, in a slapstick comic book sort of way. I like the idea of adding digitized movie scenes between the stages, but they're over so quickly that if you blink, you can't even see them. There's virtually no music at all, and the sound effects are just absolute murder to the ears.
|Did it quite look like this in the movie?|
|John looks older than he was in Salvation.|
Even if it would only take me 20 seconds to get back to the second stage - the first one's a joke - I have no interest in wasting any more of my time. Terminator 2: Judgment Day on the PC is simply a laughable "game" that has no value whatsoever to even the most dedicated Terminator fanatic. Without further due, let's move on to the console versions.
Graphics : 6.5
Sound : 2.0
Playability : 2.5
Challenge : 2.5
Overall : 2.5
Once again, it was 1992 and I find it very hard to believe the graphics couldn't have been better with just a little more effort. Well, the game is not exactly ugly like Mindscape's The Terminator was, it's just bland all around, and the sprites are tiny and repetitive. The cutscenes look decent, except for the exoskeleton model, which looks like whoever built it was lethally drunk while doing it, and Schwarzenegger looks like an anorectic version of himself. The music is totally secondary and the sound effects are not even worth a mention at this point.
|That's our Terminator? So long, human race. |
It's been a pleasure.
|Arnie probably forgot to ask money for fuel.|
Another one bites the dust. One more version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day to go, and I'm already bushed. By far, the only thing keeping me going is that the versions so far have not been the absolutely worst games based on movies that I've ever played. I'm hoping the SNES version, which I've never played before in my life, wouldn't be one either. I've given up hope for even a mediocre game, but the next few hours will tell...
Graphics : 5.1
Sound : 4.8
Playability : 3.8
Challenge : 4.0
Overall : 3.9
The game has almost exactly the same pastel-coloured, plain look as Home Alone. It's kind of like a mixture of the two games. I don't know why I keep bringing Home Alone up, but I guess it's just the simple fact that it kinda represents the bad movie licenses of all time - what's ironic, is that lately, I've come to realize that neither one of those games on the SNES are even close to being the absolute worst of their kind out there. The music is irritating, to say the least. The same kind of non-stop, badly sequenced, generic rock 'n' roll... Home Alone... had. The theme song is quite good, it's not even close to the actual Terminator theme song, but at least it has some of that same spirit in it.
|Dude, I'm so sorry, I guess my shotgun just |
went off by accident while it was aimed at your
head! "Non-fatal", thank God!
In the first stage, your objectives are to find weapons and John Connor's home address from the bar. First off, the controls are absolutely horrible. Your jumping ability is not much of an ability, and since you don't have any weapons in the beginning, you need to force your way through a hail of bullets or throwing knives to get close - like intimate - to enemies and beat the shit out of them with your bare fists. Once again, it's amazing how a human being can withstand punches from a guy that's made of solid steel. Well, beating up a bar owner might (that's MIGHT) yield a shotgun, and the going gets much easier from that point on... or it would, IF the shotgun would react every time you try to fire it. Some lesser enemies yield Scoremaster pistols. The enemies respawn at a very random, but also very high rate, and there's absolutely no end to them. You have the weapons, so now you need to go outside and destroy a phone booth - why you couldn't just open the door and walk inside is beyond me - and find John's address. After you've done that, you've completed your objectives. You still can't exit the stage, though - you need to find these exoskulls scattered around the stage, marked as "future objects". I won't even try to comprehend what's the meaning behind these objects, I guess it kind of relates to the Terminator parts salvaged back in '84 that were stored at Cyberdyne Systems, collected by John, Sarah and the T-800, and destroyed in the end of the movie to botch the possibility of Skynet ever being built. See? I tried. Anyway, after finding these items, you're ready to go. Next up, not much of a surprise anymore, is a stage which involves Arnie on a motorcycle.
Only this time, your purpose is to find the house John lives in. There are some angry gang members following you from the bar, but they can be easily evaded, once you figure out how to use the bike controls, which are even worse than the standard ones. Once you reach the house, the Home Alone vibe really kicks in. The T-1000 awaits for you in just about every room in the house, timebombs keep spawning out of nowhere, and suddenly, there's a bunch of cops as well as those gang members from the bar following you around the house and its frontyard. All hell is loose in the Voight household, and considering that Todd and Janelle hadn't even been killed yet at this point of the film's storyline, I have to wonder what they have to say about all the damn police department wrecking up their garage, not to mention a guy made out of liquid metal oozing across the floors, invading just about every fashion of privacy there is. The police don't seem to mind him either. You're the suspect here.
|Uh... officer? Are you sure you can't see a very |
suspicious liquid metal form between us?
Yet, it could've been worse. I have to end this on a high note, since I love the movie so much and the 16-bit version is the most faithful video game adaptation of T2 there is. And, it's the last game I ever have to deal with in relation to the best science fiction film of all time... or so I'd like to think. I wish this was a Star Wars game, 'cause then my Yoda quote "No, Luke. There is another..." wouldn't go to waste like this. Anyway, Probe Entertainment, Acclaim and *sigh* LJN were involved with another wholly different game based on the same movie, and it was also released on the Super Nintendo. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to go at it.
Graphics : 5.5
Sound : 5.8
Playability : 4.5
Challenge : 5.0
Overall : 4.7
a.k.a. T2: Judgment Day
GameRankings: 68.50% (GB), 50.00% (GEN), 52.00% (SNES)