Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Insert Lots of Coins! - G.I Joe (Konami 1992)

Another coin-op I recall fondly from my youth is Konamis "arcade exclusive" G.I Joe Game...

Yeah, this one was memorable for two reasons...
  1. I only ever played it once, shovelling about £3 into it.
  2. My £3 ran out just before the final boss...and I didn't have any more change to continue...AAARRGGHHH!
The machine itself looked like this...

 Yeah, like most Konami arcade games, it was intended to be a multiplayer jobby, and as is the usual thing with multiplayer intended games...they were FUCKING HARD!

So, the basic plot is that those terrorist bastards over at C.O.B.R.A are up to something suitably evil, cos that their thing obviously, I mean, terrorists would be a bit crap if all they did was write strongly worded letters to their MP wouldnt they?.

Enter Action Force...er, sorry, G.I. Joe, World Police (Fuck Yeah!), who send their 4 top operatives to machine gun down as many Cobra Vipers, B.A.Ts, HISS Tanks and all manner of things represented in 3 3/4" action figures and playsets (sold seperately).
You get to pick from Duke, Snake Eyes (yep, snake eyes for me, both back then and in the emulator replay i just completed) Scarlett and Road Block, who you then use to run forwards through hordes of bad guys, flying lead, missiles, lasers and obstacles, always heading towards the end level boss.

Now, the game play itself is a simple "Run & Gun/Rail shooter" type affair, with the perspective being 3rd person, its sort of like a cross between Space Harrier and CABAL (if you've ever heard of either of them).Your joystick controls both the movement of your crosshairs and where your dude is standing at the bottom of the screen, you'll need to keep jinking left and right to avoid the bullets and stuff zooming towards you.

You start the game with a basic semi auto rifle of some description, and 3 explosive rockets. Now, this is one of my major complaints about this game...your "gun finger" soon gets tired from repeatedly bashing the "shoot" button..so, moral of the story....PUT A FUCKING AUTOFIRE FUNCTION IN THERE... no seriously, with the amount of business that goes on in this game, you need it right from the beginning, and not when you pick up the "Rapid fire" power up...which you lose the second you take a hit...GRRRRRR!
The rocket launcher is a pretty basic "screen clearance" tool, you can pick up extra ammo for it now and then, so its not too bad.

Your guy is also liable to trip over obstacles if you don't smash them, and can also take a hit from running into a bad guy that you failed to shoot, this usually happens when you're trying to dodge the dozens of bullets, grenades etc zooming towards you..pain in the arse and its dead obvious in some places that it was intended for you to lose a life there so you'd shovel more money in.

The visuals though are proper slick, and the game even has some short animated sequences, although these are original bits of animation, and not lifted from any G.I Joe cartoon i'm aware of.

At the end of each stage, your dudes will be attacked by one of the Cobra boss guys, so i hope you saved up those rockets and have a rapid fire cos without them you're gonna be dying a lot. Each one of the bosses is a recognisable character, theres Xamot & Tomax, followed by Metalhead, then The Baroness, then Major Bludd, then Destro and finally, Cobra Commander himself, making for 6 levels of adrenaline pumping and uber patriotic machine gunning action.

My only real gripe with this game is the weapons, as in theres not much by way of variety, just your basic rifle and a rocket launcher, would it have killed them to chuck some other bits in there just for shits and giggles?.

Overall - 7/10

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