was a kid, I used to get a kick out of the Robocop movies. It seemed
like there was always one of them showing at any given time on cable,
and my brother and I would amuse each other to no end with our own
versions of Robo's catchphrase, "come quietly, or there will be
*whiiiiiirrrrr* trouble." I even went to the trouble of
playing a few of the Robocop games that came out, and let me tell you,
movie tie-in games are almost always a blast! Seriously,
though, not all of the Robocop games were so boring as to make me want
to kill myself. Well, one game in the Robocop series of games was fun
to play, and to be honest, it had pretty much nothing to do with the
movies. However, it did evoke the Robocop name, along with another,
equally violent series of films, and so I was practically obligated to
play Robocop vs. The Terminator.
of famous cyborgs? And the
ED-209 roar? You know you're in
for a real treat. And they even give you the plot in its entirety
before the game even begins.
after Robocop's invention, Cyberdyne Systems is contracted by SAC-NORAD
to build the Skynet Defense Network. Computer scientists use Robocop's
revolutionary engineering, the only successful linking of human mind
and computer, to build Skynet's CPU.
Something goes wrong.
Soon after Skynet is brought online, it becomes self aware, and
determines mankind to be the enemy. It launches a genocidal war of
machine versus man.
Attempting to thwart the human resistance, Skynet sends a squadron of
terminators into the past. These terminators arrive in the OCP offices
into a battle with the mighty ED-209. (Note: the ensuing battle
does not involve Robocop walking down a flight of stairs)
Once Robocop defeats ED-209 at OCP, he uploads himself into the
computer and, unknowingly, gives Skynet the technology it needs.
Robocop is brought back online in the terminator outpost and realizes
he must battle his way through the terminator-infested future to reach
the inner sanctum of Skynet.
If Robocop is to save humanity, he must defeat the Skynet CPU...
you have it: the entire plot, laid out before you even get to the
"press start" screen. Well, not the entire plot; there's actually a
whole comic book series by none other than Frank Miller that fills in
the gaps. Also, the SNES version of the game contains comic-style
cutscenes that present the story to you as you progress rather than
dump it all in your lap at the very beginning, but it's missing some
more important things that I'll get into later.
As you may know, Robocop was a surprisingly brutal police officer,
often opting to waste the bad guys even though he's shown in the past
that he has the ability to easily shoot the weapons out of their
hands. Then again, it is a little harder to shoot the gun out of a
perp's hand with a rocket launcher.
there were a number of nifty guns that Robocop could pick up. Nothing
you'd normally expect a cop, robo or not, to have, but still. The
oddly-shaped rocket launcher above is one of the more mundane guns. By
the time you're wielding lasers, plasma rifles, and even the gatling
gun from the ED-209, you'll have forgotten all about it. Plus, all the
guns were semiautomatic, which meant that if you had a controller with
a turbo button you were money. If not, you'd best prepare for an old
school thumb workout.
It's a fun game, to be sure. However, the real reason I remember
playing Robocop vs. The Terminator is not unlike the reason I remember
playing the "classic" game,
Sword of Sodan: the violence.
positively stunned to see this kind of 16-bit carnage when I was a
kid. It's hard to believe that the game was rated as being acceptable
for those as young as thirteen! I was 8 or so when I played it,
though, but that's neither here nor there. It was awesome, and what's
more, the Genesis version of the game included a secret code that,
when entered, would unlock (among other things) even more gore!
wasn't that much more, but it's interesting nonetheless. Apparently,
in the minds of the publisher, a man exploding in a fountain of gore
is perfectly acceptable, but a woman? Absolutely not. Meanwhile, the
SNES version had no gore at all. Can you believe that? In an ironic
twist, however, that version of the game did include female thugs that
would explode when shot, albeit with a fiery explosion in lieu of a
bloody one. Of course, the SNES game is also insufferably boring, so
there's that to consider as well.
Lately, I've been getting quite a few emails from fans wondering why I
typically go with the Sega Genesis version of all the games covered in
the Shorts section instead of the SNES version when one exists. Under
normal circumstances, the answer is simply that I'm more familiar with
the Genesis version of the game, but in this case, the reason was
because of the surprisingly huge difference between the two versions.
Normally, you'd expect the old Nintendo releases to be devoid of
things like blood and gore (at least in the US. There are a few
graphic exceptions to that rule that were only released in Japan), but
the Genesis version had an entirely different type of gameplay, which
focused a lot more on action and presentation, including better music.
The SNES version, on the other hand... well, I guess you could say it
was better at recounting the events from the comics, but come on.
We're talking about video games, here. Having a game with a good story
is great, but if you have to choose between a game with a good story
and a game with good gameplay (which is what you have to choose from
here), you've got to go with the latter. Save the great storyline for
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