Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Blues Brothers (C64)

Another Blues Brothers game. At least they're not grinning like idiots this time.

I'll go with Jake, because he's already highlighted.

Stage 1, the shopping center. Hopefully this means I'm going to be driving through the mall in the Bluesmobile, smashing shops and wrecking cop cars.

Or not.

Sorry granny, you're a danger to myself and others in that thing. Fortunately I was carrying a crate around for just this eventuality.

Throwing boxes is the only way to get rid of enemies in this, so I need to keep going back to grab another one after every takedown. Or I could just jump over them, but that'd be reckless.

Some of these shops have stuff inside them, like these spinning records. If I get 100 of them I get an extra hit point!

The PC, Amiga and Atari ST versions of the game all have the same level design as the C64 version so far and basically look identical to each other (except for the Amiga version's black borders taking away valuable screen space).

One big difference though, is that on the Atari ST and DOS versions the screen doesn't scroll as I walk around. When I reach the edge of the screen, it shifts across to show the next section of level. It's a pain in the ass because I'm always getting caught by surprise by enemies standing right next to me.

On the C64 version Jake can't duck under bullets, which is a bit annoying because he can do it in most of the other versions.

Why are these cops trying to kill me anyway? What did I  do that was so bad that they're not even attempting to arrest me any more? It it because I threw a box at that old woman in the shopping trolley?

Oh that gives me an idea... hang on mate, I'm just going back to get another crate.

Blues Brothers (Amiga)
Sometimes there are ? symbols placed around the level, often in my way. They can be good, they can be bad... or they can make me dance on the spot for a few seconds.

Stop dancing to the Peter Gunn Theme you stupid bastard, can't you see you're in terrible terrible danger?

Hidden on each level is the instrument I came here to collect. If I don't get them all, I don't win the game, so it's a good thing I already knew that I could go into shops by pressing up and fire or else I would have totally missed it.

Blues Brothers (Game Boy)
The Game Boy version scrolls around pretty well, but it's so zoomed in that I barely have a chance to react to enemies.

This version doesn't let me go inside shops, but it does let me duck below bullets. Which is good because this asshole always likes to ambush me outside the music shop.

Blues Brothers (Amstrad CPC)
Best to save a box for him I reckon. Then I can continue my shopping in peace. Except I can't because I can't go inside shops on the Amstrad CPC version either. I guess I don't need the guitar in these versions then.

Annoyingly the CPC version of the game has no scrolling at all, it just flicks over to the next screen when I walk past the edge. It gives the game a very old school feel, but the enemies continue to walk around off screen so it's possible that I'll walk right into someone I couldn't see.

Wow it's lucky this balloon can hold the weight of a grown man carrying a guitar. Well okay I can get up here using the elevator on the right too. I just don't want to.

Blues Brothers (Amiga)
It seems that you'd have to know the level already to completely avoid taking damage in this game. The only reason I was able to throw a box at her and duck before getting hit is because I knew she was going to be there.

And sometimes it doesn't even matter if I know what I'm doing, because the box I throw will just fly right through the enemy, leaving me looking down the barrel of a gun waiting for the lift to go back down.

I really should I have used my second or two of invulnerability after being shot to jump through him, but I was stubborn and went back to grab another crate. It went through him again.

Third one got the bastard though.

Blues Brothers (Amstrad CPC)
Meanwhile on the CPC... this is just ridiculous. I bet I get shot before I can even throw the box.

This umbrella pick up lets me float, but I have to drop it if I want to try throwing crates at that damn bird. And I really want to throw a crate at that damn bird. It keeps flying back and forth, dropping eggs. It's a menace to any skyfaring musician.

But I want to keep this umbrella more.

Blues Brothers (DOS)
All the other versions of the game have a tree on the roof instead. Doesn't make much sense to me, but then nothing in this game makes any damn sense.

It does make more sense than the sequel though, I have to admit.

The umbrella is awesome for jumping across clouds. I have no clue why I thought it'd be a good idea to try jumping on the clouds, but it's the only way to finish the level, so I'm glad I did.

It's just lucky for me that these clouds can hold the weight of a grown man carrying a guitar and an umbrella or else... I dunno, I guess I'd be stuck here and my gig would get cancelled or something.

Falling through floating records seems like it'd be a good idea, but every cracked record I collect destroys 10 records from my collection. So I'm likely to end up with less records than I started with by doing this.

It seems even worse on the other versions though for some reason, I seem to float closer to the bottom of the screen so I have less chance to dodge the damaged LPs

Got my flag, stage one is complete! See Jake, now you can dance, now that you're safe and have something to celebrate. That dancing you did before, well that was stupid. Stupid and reckless.

Stage 2, the chemical factory. Hopefully not the Axis chemical factory, because I'm actually kind of sick of that place now.

Oh crap, I've got myself surrounded. If I don't get to those boxes before the enemies get to me then I've lost another life. Fortunately in the C64, Game Boy and CPC versions I just reappear where I died. On the Amiga, PC and Atari ST I'd get put all the way back at the last checkpoint, with all the enemies back again.

Blind jump into a blind fall! I'll just sit here and wait for the screen to catch up then.

I went all the way around the building, got the instrument and... now I'm right back at the start again!

I guess I took a wrong turn somewhere. WAIT, if I'm at the entrance then surely I should be able to just walk out of here. I've got what I came here for, why can't I just go?


Oh, I see! I had to jump down the large pipe sticking out of the top of the chemical factory. Why didn't I think of doing that earlier?

The next level is in a prison and... this is a dead end. This level is a total maze and I'm so bored of this now.

There's only five levels in the game, so I'm actually at the halfway point, but I'm done with it.

Oh wait, there's another version of the game I haven't tried yet. The NES version.

What the fuck?

It's basically the same level, but they've cut huge holes in the floor. They've taken out the human enemies and replaced them with... bouncing spiky green balls. Worse, they've taken out my crates and given me a run button instead!

They took away my balloons so I'm stuck using the lift instead.

What the fuck? The lift just disappeared beneath me. Can't this thing even hold the weight of one grown man?

It seems I have to wait for another to reappear, then keep jumping on the spot all the way up, so I don't put weight on it for too long.

Uh, why is this whole area flooded now? There was just a couple of water tanks here in the other versions. Also, why aren't I swimming? Also, why is that cop jumping around underwater?

It's like they played the original version of Blues Brothers, thought "hey this makes way too much sense", and started changing everything for the hell of it. I can't even duck under bullets in this.

Oh... fuck. This isn't going to work. I jump so high here that I disappear off screen and can't see where I'm landing, and I'm going to collide with that bird on the way down I'm sure of it.

I miss my umbrella. Why couldn't they at least let me pick up an umbrella?

I hit the bird and fell through the clouds, through a gap in the ground that wasn't there in any other version, and right back into the flooded section again. And now there's a green shark with goggles staring at me.

I'm just going to leave Jake there until he drowns or gets eaten because I'm so sick of this now.

Next game.

1 comment:

  1. Played the CPC version in the early nineties, and the PC version some years later. Not a bad game, but pretty frustrating. And maybe overvalued; I remember some articles in game magazines, giving it too much praise.


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