REVIEW # 00000000 00111101
Something fishy is afoot in the arctic
My heart says…
This game for me has always be the only one in the James Pond trilogy and is for sure one of the platformer I like the most, even now. It’s on eof the earliest gamnes I’ve got even though, unfortunately, it was inside one of the compilation of doubtful origin,
most likely illegal and, for this reason, some features were missing, like the sound, that I discovered only a few years ago. However I’ve always loved this game and I still find it very challenging. I tried only the MS-DOS version but, since it has been ported almost everywhere I would like to try soon another version. For these and for other reasons, RoboCod has a special place in my heart and it’s a shame for me in these years I haven’t found anyone who love it as much as I do…:(
The thing that upset me the most in RoboCod is that there’s no main menu. No possibility to set your personal options, to define keys, to regulate the music volume. Nothing. On the other side we can see an intro sequence in 16-bit style that partially rewards you for the absence of a menu.
I’m talking about the MS-DOS version, the only one I’ve played so far. It looks like a 16-bit games and in fact it found a house in SNES where it was ported by Ocean Software. RobooCod has wonderful background patterns, very colourful and with interesting effects; the pace of the game is very high and, most important, this doesn’t affect the system with slow down moments. It’s interesting how different shades of coulors, if well placed can give an intense an particulat atmosphere to a particular level. This is a think to b praised even because RoboCod is a huge game and the developers had the possibility to indulge with th brigh palette available.
The game takes place just after the end of first chapter and the evil Dr. Maybe flew to North Pole where he’s holding Santa’s workers as hostages, turning some of thems in evild enemies for James Ponds. He has to free all of them with the help of a robotic suid that gives him his codename, RoboCod.
The decision to base the game character on two of the most famous movie characters, James Bond and Robocop, it could seem awful, but so far so good. he problems sars in he UK version, where Santa’s elves are replaced by McVities’ penguins, in a product placement operation that remind the ones on Cool Spot and Pushover.
RoboCod is a rather straightforward platformer. The protagonist, a muskipper, is one of the many animalesque mascots that can be found in late 80s-early 90s platformer (along with Sonic, Zool, Superfrog, Jazz Jackrabit, Bubsy etc…) and have to wander in Santa’s workshop defeating all his once-goodies helpers and other more “classic” enemies, such as snakes. The only way to do it for James Pond is to jump on them an his only ability is the possibility to extend his body thanks to the robotic suit and stay hanged up to the ceiling. There are no power-ups but a pair of wing every so often but ans, sometimes, some hidden 1-up. During his journey RobCod will face a lot of different enemies and bosses and will collect poins by getting the most diverse items (hearts, soda cans, fruits and even street lamps).
The game is basically easy but luckily is long enough not to be stupid. A good compromise.
As I said, I discovered the sound only a few years ago and even if it’s funny it has nothing to do with the game. It’s like watching Shining listening to London bridge is falling down. And this is a shame because during all the years I’ve passed playing the game I’ve imagined a totally divverent soundtrack, even because the visuals somehow let you think about a specific music. So 6/10 it’s just because this is a light game, better yet a shameless product placement.
Maybe I’m stupud, maybe I’m lazy or maybe I didn’t put all my efforts on this game but I’ve never beat RoboCod. All the times I’ve played it, wandering in the scenario to try to count all the levels, my thought was always the same: this game is inslanely long, 50 levels!
I played countless levels but all the times I was depressed by how many stages I still had to clear to complete the game. I think one day I will beat RoboCod, I’m sure of this but I know it will be far in the future!
Final Score 74/100
Developer: Vectordean Ltd., Millennium Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts, Millennium Interactive
Game Mode: Single Player
Original Platform: Amiga, Atari ST, Mega Drive, later ported on C64, MS-DOS, Amiga CD-32, SNES, Master System
From same developers:
- Thunder Strike (Millennium Interactive, 1990)
- Bad Company (Vectordean, 1990)
- Fire and Brimstone (Vectordean, 1990)
- The Adventures of Robin Hood (Millennium Interactive, 1991)
- Rome: Pathway to Power (Millennium Interactive, 1992)
- Diggers (Millennium Interactive, 1993)
- Defcon 5 (Millennium Interactive, 1995)
- Frogger (Millennium Interactive, 1997)
From same publishers:
- Boulder Dash (EA, 1984)
- The Seven Cities of Gold (EA, 1984)
- Kings of the Beach (EA, 1988)
- Skate or Die! (EA, 1988)
- Indianapolis 500: The Simulation (EA, 1989)
- Car & Driver (EA, 1992)
- Syndicate (EA, 1993)
- Magic Carpet (EA, 1994)
- The Need For Speed (EA, 1994) and sequels
- Simcity 2000 (EA, 1994)
- Crusader: No Remorse (EA, 1995)
- FIFA International Soccer (EA, 1993) and sequels
- FIFA ’98 World to Road Cup (EA, 1997)
If you liked it you can also try:
- Zool (1992)
- Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (1993) and sequels
- Jazz Jackrabbit (1994) and sequels
Other chapters of the saga:
- James Pond: Underwater Agent (1990)
- James Pond III: Operation Starfish (1993)