I actually played this a fair bit when I was younger so it's not entirely unfamiliar to me, but it seemed like a good time to give it another look. Mostly because the music has inexplicably crept back into my head somehow and has been spinning around my brain on a loop this last week, tormenting me (but in a good way). This title music is nothing mindblowingly incredible, but it's catchy enough to be worth a listen I reckon: youtube link.
The internet claims that this was also released on the NES, SNES, Game Boy, DOS, Atari ST and the C64, so I suppose I should investigate them as well. I'm sure you won't mind when this ends up dragging on twice as long as it needs to because of all the extra screenshots.
Here, have some more game music to go with the screenshot: youtube link. Doesn't sound even slightly like it's from any of the movies, but it works for me.
Oh, by the way there's a reason I'm balancing on the edge of this message board, like the world's cockiest, thinnest cat. There's only two things I remember from when I used to play this game you see: falling barrels are not my friend, and that the walls of reality are a little weaker in this area of the office.
Anyway I'm counting this as a cheat and I don't do that, so I'm going to leave these extra lives sitting where I found them and play the game properly.
Actually this is the SNES version of the game, or more likely an entirely different game which happens to have the same name.
I can switch between the two cops at will in either version just by entering the locker room, but sadly there's no way to bring them both out and get a two player mode. A bit of a shame really seeing as seeing the two play off each other was basically the point of the films.
It seems that the game takes place in a slightly different universe to the movies; a universe where cops are routinely sent out on solo missions to confront entire gangs of international criminals and 'prevent' them from smuggling. Permanently. With bullets.
I must work for the Punisher division.
You know, this really isn't a bad looking Amiga game. I love the distortion effect on the water... and the shark. Man, I didn't even know Los Angeles had sharks.
Oh right, here have another song, I hope it brings you happiness: youtube link.
That guy up on the floor above seems a bit shifty, so I should probably go up there and execute him for the state. But first... I want to see what the other versions look like!
|Atari ST DOS|
I can't say the Atari version plays so well as a game though, as the screen doesn't feel inclined to begin scrolling across until you've already walked a good few steps, then it jumps forward by a quarter of the screen and slumps back to a halt again. It's makes the game very jerky and doesn't give you much time to react to enemies.
I wonder if I can go into that door in the background.
When ninjas aren't invading his personal space Murtaugh automatically switches to his gun instead, which seems to get the job done just as well; except that it costs ammo, of which I only have a limited stash. This dumb-ass doesn't even realise he's been shot in the back and the bloke dropping on dynamite nobody in particular seems completely obviously to everything.
Annoyingly Murtaugh has a terrible jump, so I'm going to have to catch the lift to get up to the top floor. Riggs is just as bad, though if I remember right the two of them begin with different attack power; Murtaugh being better with his gun and Riggs having a stronger kick. Though I could be completely wrong about that.
It wasn't a blind jump after all: it was a dead end. I was supposed to collect the pickups then come back out through the door and carry on to the right along pavement like a sensible person. Now I've lost a heart, the level's been reset (minus the pickups) and I've been kicked right back to the start of it.
I think I'll take a quick break to check how the NES version compares.
This seems to be a different game entirely, more like an inoffensive side scrolling beat 'em up than a platformer, so I should probably switch it off and leave it for another day.
I suppose the Game Boy version is a port of this game then?
I like these guys that pop up out of little holes they've apparently dug in the floor of this shopping mall in anticipation of my arrival. I have to respect an opponent who plans ahead and goes the extra mile.
MEANWHILE BACK ON THE AMIGA GAME, I FINALLY REACH MISSION 1 - STAGE 2.
But where do I go from here? It's a total dead end and it'll definitely end with Murtaugh dead if I screw this up and crack his head on the pavement below.
Oh no, they can't be expecting me to jump onto the lamp post can they?
MEANWHILE ON THE SNES VERSION.
It turns out that the SNES game is also a platformer and it does visit similar locations, but you couldn't really call it the same game. It has different level design, enemies, graphics, music, they've added a time limit, and Murtaugh waves his arms in the air like a damn fool when he jumps.
Also it has continues! The Amiga version on the other hand doesn't; something I learned first hand after losing all my lives trying to do an tricky jump from the end of a crane onto one of those horizontally sliding floating platform girder type things hovering around beneath it.
It seems that this time I'm being sent to single handedly take down a group of suicidal terrorists before they can... extort money from the city. Or try to anyway, as 'save the city' kind of implies that they city has no intention of paying up.
So I guess I'd better accept then, if I'm the only man capable of saving the entire city from a huge bomb. Wait, are you absolutely sure I can't bring my partner with me on this one chief? Okay fine.
In the end the rocket launcher guy is just a variation on the pistol enemies. I just have to dodge his shot, then send a couple of bullets his way, no problem. The flamethrower guy on the other hand is a little more annoying as he likes to monopolise the floor space with his wall of fire and deny me a good spot to stand and return fire.
Oh by the way, the exploding barrels in this game are renegades that believe the rules don't apply to them. The enemies like to hide behind them, as they can shoot through them and I can't, which is fine with me as detonating exploding barrels is always more fun when some idiot is trying to use them as cover. But in this game the explosions only harm me.
Really what I should be doing instead is using the barrels as a platform, as I'm entirely safe from guys like this as long I'm not on the same horizontal level as them.
I'm not going to say "here's how they should have done it", as I'm sure they had perfectly sensible reasons for making their important door switch a plain grey octagon and then sticking it twelve foot in the air, unconnected to everything, but here's how I would've done it in a perfect world:
It's a shame because the background art has mostly been great up to this point.
Fuck it, I'm just going to sacrifice some health and run right through this section because this is kind of ass. It's actually making me nostalgic for Castlevania's leaping fishmen.
Well now I know what the ladder's here for, there's nothing left for me to do here but do an action hero jump off it.
And so the loading begins. Actually speaking of loading, there's still a version of this game I've forgotten to play.
The game does have a nice SID chip rendition of the Amiga game theme at the start though.
WHATEVER, HERE'S THE THIRD MISSION OF THE AMIGA GAME.
Is that box over there a safe place to jump to I wonder? That nice solid shadow it's casting is making me think 'yes'.
Oh it actually restarted me back at the start of the jump, well that's nice of it.
Actually this screenshot comes from my next attempt at the level, where I knew about the fence and tried to carefully jump across the pit from the ground level. But Murtaugh is terrible at jumping, so that didn't work out so well either. I have to basically be standing over the hole before I press the jump button if I want any hope of making it across (which is actually 'up' seeing as it's a joystick game).
I gotta give them credit though for getting the shadow right on the falling tiles.
You know, despite the art and music, this might turn out to be the best version of the game to play.
LATER, ON THE WAY BACK DOWN ON THE NEXT STAGE.
It didn't much matter in the end as I messed up my jump and got game over'd before I had time to really think about it. Every failure here is instant death, kicking me back up to the start of the stage. Though at least the switches stay on.
So I turned the game off and decided to watch someone else complete the stage on youtube to see what I was meant to do... and on the level immediately after this there was a perfectly normal and obvious switch looking not so different to the one I just pixelled sitting on the back wall in a semi-sensible place:
MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE NES VERSION.
Okay my opinion on the Amiga/ST/DOS variety of Lethal Weapon is thus: it's alright, looks decent, controls well, but I didn't enjoy it much. It's way too fond of pixel-perfect jumps and surprise enemies. I'm sure I could've put up with a lot of the quirks and frustrations a little longer though if it hadn't been so quick to drag me right back to the title screen every three or four times I fell off a building. It completely kills any 'one more try' appeal the game had going for it, for me anyway.
I can't really recommend the game, though I can recommend the soundtrack. It's by Barry Leitch (Lotus 2, Space Crusade) and Dean Evans (Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues) and it's catchy enough to still be stuck in my head after all these years.
Thanks for reading all those words I just wrote about some ancient movie tie-in game on the Amiga. Huh, you actually just scrolled through the screenshots and then read the last two paragraphs instead? Well that's fine too I guess. Comments are always welcome either way.