Adventures in Judge Dredd Games - Part 3
By 1995 there had been already been two Judge Dredd games released, Judge Dredd and, uh, Judge Dredd, both of them only on computers and neither of them much fun. But now it's the consoles' turn to show off what they can do with the licence. This one came out on the Genesis/Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, and DOS, and I'm playing the SNES game. Will it succeed where the other games failed, or will it be as bad as the movie?
Well they've already tripped at the first hurdle by calling it Judge Dredd again.
Luckily I caught a shot before all those boring words appeared so you can get a good look at the artwork instead.
I have to admit I can barely remember anything from the first Dredd movie, but this does sound like a thing that could have plausibly happened at the start of it.
Plus the music doesn't make me want to instinctively put a foot through my speakers, so it's got that going for it as well. So far it's beating the other two games in every department.
But you know what does look good? The reflections in the HUD at the top of the screen. It's amazing attention to detail, and I can't remember ever seeing that in a game before. Also I'm giving the game +500 points for not having a time limit.
Oh and by the way, enemies just evaporate in this when they're killed, even if I just gave them a good kick to the face. No corpses and definitely no blood. I guess they wanted it violent, but not too violent.
I like how it's scrolled over to give me a good view of what's in front of me though. It's the sort of thing I end up taking for granted in games, until I find myself playing something that has my hero's nose pressed up against the right side of the screen, trying to react to things I barely have a chance to see.
I wonder if I can use that computer terminal he's standing in front of. I wanna see if I can play Snake.
Oh crap, this is going to be just like the last Dredd game isn't it? I'll have to search every corner of every level for boxes, or switches or whatever it wants me to find next. That's a clear sign that they didn't put many levels in, and they want to drag things out.
Fortunately I found some more grenade rounds lying in the road on the way back to the other boxes. I guess the game took pity on me. Turns out the mean streets of Mega-City One aren't so mean after all.
I feel like this guy might be someone a Judge Dredd fan would recognise, but if it didn't show up in the 1995 film I don't have a clue, and the game isn't giving away any hints.
And that's all the enemies and all the boxes for level 1. Primary and secondary objectives complete, and I can finally head for the exit and move on.
I think I'm getting better at dodging his Molotovs though. Well, I haven't actually dodged a single one yet, but feel like I could manage it any time now.
I'm not really a fan of bosses in general, so I often find it hard to tell whether it's the boss fight that's rubbish, or just me. But this time I'm leaning towards this being a crap fight.
Well Dredd did end up heading to Aspen penal colony in the film, but not exactly like this. You know, I'm starting to suspect that this actually doesn't have a damn thing to do with the movie.
You know, I've noticed it's rare I have to fight more than one enemy at a time in this, at least so far. They've gone for tough enemies over a screenful of cannon fodder (like the 1991 game had).
The problem I'm having is that Dredd has all these moves, but he's just not very nimble or responsive. I have to tap down to crouch or else he just fires his gun into the ground, I can't duck while moving, and even when I manage to do it right, it still takes just too long to actually dodge anything.
I lost life #4 a second after this screenshot and that was that. You know, it occurs to me that I'd totally forgotten to look for security doors to close, so I was doing pretty terribly anyway.
Well that's the SNES version of Judge Dredd (3) then. Slick, well made, and incredibly pretty for its time, but not so attractive in the gameplay department, unless you really like searching a level for the last box/switch/whatever. Definitely better than the last two games though by far.
But wait, there's more!
If you've played the game and have an opinion, have a game request, or just want to yell at me for wasting your time with so many Judge Dredd games, comments are always welcome.