Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Guardian Angel

Freddy Hardest is our Guardian Angel for Dinamic's scrolling beat 'em up in the Big Apple, which actually ain't too dissimilar to After The War. Manhattan always seems to be the perfect setting of a grim future for crime and violent gangs and we begin our Death Wish at the docks. From here, we are assaulted by waves of 80s-styled thugs and some have brought along their toys, like baseball bats and knives. Where's Charles Bronson when you need him?

Moving left or right walks us through the crime infested city and the fire button performs a punch, which is best for the weaker Sailors. Pulling down actions a kick for stomping on rats but offers little benefit against the tough dudes! Finally, pushing up will unleash the fury of your infamous high kick, your only powerful move. The difficulty is quite high and made worse because directional jumps aren't possible to get you out of any sticky situations. Interestingly, your energy will automatically replenish itself, well, if you get the chance to stand still for a few moments...

This is a game which doesn't take itself too seriously and will have you laughing at its many silly antics. I love how the baddies turn into zapped skeletons for a split second after killing them, like an old Tom And Jerry cartoon. Watch out for "Death Star", a forklift trucker called Ricky Chang who is probably the worlds worst driver. However, my favourite of all is being kicked out of your cute yellow boots when suffering that final deathblow. Classic!!

The gameplay window is quite small with much of the screen being -mostly- pointless decor but I do like the detailed backgrounds, even if they're far too colourful for a bleak city scene! Sprites are large and well-detailed but the animations aren't the best. However, there are some cool effects and the Ricky Chang scene will always make me laugh! Each in-game sound effect is made from excellent meaty samples with the chainsaw guy being my favourite. Do take a few moments to experience the theme music, which is so bad it's worth listening too.

Guardian Angel sure has some good qualities; a bucket load of humour matched by the responsive controls and superb sprites and sound effects. Sadly, it's simply too hard and only having the one powerful attack movement spoils any long term gameplay potential. However, I did enjoy playing this with a trainer enabled. That's a bad thing, right?


 - Medway Boys #85 features Guardian Angel on their Menu CD, thanks to Stonish.
 - Old Games Finder has lots of other floppy disks available to download.
 - Freddy (and his large jaw) appear numerous times in the AtariMania ST database.

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