Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Judge Dredd (Atari ST)

Adventures in Judge Dredd Games - Part 2

This is the second of the Judge Dredd games, released on computers like the Amiga, Atari ST and Commodore 64. They apparently couldn't be bothered coming up for a new name for it though, so they just called it Judge Dredd, like the first game. So to tell them apart, from now on the first game shall be referred to as Judge Dredd '87, and the second as Dredd's Big Day Out.

Oh right, I'm playing the Atari ST version by the way.

Damn, I assumed Dredd's amazing Lawgiver pistol would look a bit more... well, like the pistol he had in the 1995 Stallone movie. This looks like it's used for cleaning pipes or something.

Though it does seem to be the actual design they were using in the comic at the time, so I can't fault the game developers. I'd rather things stay true to the source material if possible, even if the source is a bit weird.

'The Head', you mean. He won't be fighting much crime until the rest of him shows up.

Oh I see, he combines to form 'The Law'. Nice art by the way.

Uh, okay... can't say I saw this coming. You can tell this game is set in the far future, by the incredible number of megabytes available. That's 128 times as much as an Atari ST! A thousand times more than a Commodore 64! And it'll all be mine if I can just guess this logon name.

I'm pretty amazed at how many names I got through here before it occurred to me to try just typing "DREDD". I think I forgot that 'Judge' isn't his first name.

64 megabytes of ram, but only 40 kilobytes of hard disk space left. They need to clean this drive up a bit.

The .exe files just display info about Dredd's gear and city, but there's some other stuff I could try. Like the 'mail' command.

1991's satirical vision of a dark future where companies 'spam' people with unwanted adverts to their 'e-mail' account.

Okay, what else is left me me to try. Oh right, let's take a look at what games have evolved into in the grim dark future.

I honestly never though I'd be playing Snake in a Judge Dredd game.

There's also Bomber, which is kind of like a reverse Space Invaders. My plane is falling by one square every lap of the screen, and needs somewhere to land. Alas there is a city in the way, but this issue can be resolved with some well aimed bombs.

All that's left to do now is format the Justice Central computer, then log off. They needed to free up some space anyway.

I love extra things like this. There's absolutely no point to include a computer that plays Snake in this game, and they did it anyway, and that's awesome. I'm never going to play it again, but it's the thought that counts. Plus this is all entirely skippable.

Excellent, they've given me some proper instructions this time. I had no clue what I was doing in the C64 game.

Right, the briefing explains that Fatties have overrun the Dantanna Block, and I have to destroy their food supply. I'm no doctor, but I think I heard somewhere that human beings actually need food to live. This sounds to me a lot like we're sentencing an entire block's worth of people to starve to death here.

Damn, we really are trying to cut off any source of food for these people. Seems to me it'd be quicker and simpler to just shoot them all, though somehow I get the feeling it'll probably come to that.

Dredd can't quite jump as high as he could in the first game, but he's doing pretty well for a big guy wearing a solid metal eagle on his shoulder.

I can't really call this a platformer though so far, as he continually refuses to jump up to the higher walkway. I have to somehow get him onto the sloping bit of the path so he'll walk up there, and it's a bit of a struggle. There may be some easy trick to it, but I haven't figured it out yet.

My keen detective instincts tell me that this guy might be one of those Fatties I was sent here to take care of. Oh, and there's one of those food dispensers I'm meant to blow up, sitting on the path below me. Sorry, I mean a FOOOOD dispenser. Damn, now I'm going to have to find a slope leading down there.

It seems that the level's basically wrapped around the outside of a cylinder, and if I keep walking right I'll eventually find myself back where I started. It'd take a long while though, (around 40 seconds actually), because Dredd walks painfully slowly.

Damn, these assholes have started pouring in from everywhere now I've reached the higher floors. They even suicide jump off the upper level to try to crush me on the way down. This is actually working out in my favour though, as the crime rate gauge on the bottom right is constantly filling up, and the only way to reduce it is to shoot enemies. Apparently even their existence is a crime.

Sometimes these shield pick-ups will drop, giving me health or armour piercing bullets, but I can't figure out how to get them. My best guess is they're randomly dropped by dead civilians, but that makes absolutely no sense to me. I haven't noticed any penalty for shooting the guys though. You know, accidentally.

Man, Dredd really does walk ridiculously slowly. It taking me forever to get around this building. It doesn't help that there's no music at all, so everything feels miserable and lifeless.

Hmm, I started hitting random keys on the keyboard and this came up. I'm still looking for the 'turn music on' button, but I think I've found the 'interrupt my game with low-res black and white comic panels' key.

Hey, it gave me a bike! Now maybe I can make some progress.

Though even this doesn't actually go that fast, plus it doesn't seem to hurt the enemies. In fact I'm still the one that takes damage. Plus I can't shoot the enemies, so I can't defend myself or lower the crime rate.

This bike's worse than useless, it's a total liability!

Uh, sorry guys! Thought I was facing the other way. Everyone seems to go down in a single hit in this, as long as I've got my gun drawn.

If I fail to shoot at anyone for a few seconds Dredd automatically puts his gun away, and then I have to pull the trigger to get him to draw again. Which is actually really annoying if an enemy's closing in and I didn't realise the gun was holstered. Dredd's a total wimp, so even brushing against an enemy immediately starts draining his health energy bar. Maybe they've got corrosive BO, I dunno.

Crap, Dredd took too much damage. Possibly to his skull seeing as he still has his helmet on in his hospital bed. Fortunately he makes a full recovery and is soon back on the streets at the last food dispenser he broke, with a higher crime rating to deal with.

Seems that I may be able to keep retrying levels until the crime rating maxes out.

The latest food dispenser made a bit more of a noise when I broke it, so I'm really hoping that means I got them all and I can leave through this exit now. I don't much feel like backtracking all the way through the level trying to find one I overlooked.

YES, level one is over with and I'm officially done walking around in circles. At least for now.

This time I'm on some kind of train and I have to walk right and jump the gaps, while hammering the fire button. That is the entirety of what I have to do here.

So of course I went and fucked it up by messing up the very first jump. In my defence, you can't really control Dredd once he's airborne.

Judge Dredd falls off the convoy carrying Mega City One's entire food supply, and the whole city starves to death. Instead of just those people we wanted to starve. You know in retrospect they probably should have sent more than one judge for this one. There's no continues, so that's game over.

Wait a minute, so that single convoy was carrying enough food to keep 400 million people fed for presumably an entire month. Weird, it didn't seem that big.


Anyway I replayed level one and saved the convoy, and now I'm on my next assignment. I have to flick some levers scattered around the map, then arrest Professor Fribb for the crime of reversing evolution.

These things must be the devolved version of those rats/cats that kept nibbling Dredd to death in the first game. These things aren't so bad though, even if it's annoying that I have to stop and duck down to shoot them.

These have to be the noisiest amoebas I've ever had to fight. They're so loud they're drowning out the music I put on to keep me sane. (I'm listening to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMia517H34o in case you were wondering. Honestly it was the first thing that came into my head while playing this and I don't know why. Maybe it's the way Dredd bobs up and down when he walks.)

Well okay I think I know how to reach this lever at least. I'll need to go off to the left and find a slope leading up, then walk to the right on the upper walkway as far as it'll go, and step off the edge. Simple, I hope.

Ooops, accidentally shot some more civilians. In my defence though... damn, I got nothing. I'm just an inept trigger-happy lunatic. Anyway, this is the door leading into the Professor's lab, so I really hope I found all those levers along the way.

Whoa, Professor Fribb really let himself go.

The CR bar is still the crime rate, not the boss's health bar as far as I know, and shooting the floating amoebas or slime or whatever that is doesn't seem to be helping anything. Everytime I shoot a bit of it, it just grows back.

I'm doing a terrible job of dodging the boss's bouncing slime shots so I'll like to finish him off as soon as possible, but I just don't know how.

Well I fucked that up and doomed Mega City One in a new and interesting way, so I guess it's time to retire. In a shocking display of common sense, the game started giving me continues after I'd finished the first level, so I could have actually tried level two again if I wanted to... but nah.

I think I'd have to say that this is better than the first Judge Dredd, but that's not saying much. It's a frustratingly slow and simple game without anything to really redeem it, and I can't say that playing it brought any joy into my life. The best bit of it was the snake mini-game.

Comments and criticism of my comments and criticism is always welcome. Game requests too, though even if I can get hold of the game it'll still take me a while to get around to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Semi-Random Game Box