Thursday, February 08, 2018

Rambo III

Everyone loves 80s Action heroes!

Rambo III was released by Ocean Software and is an overhead shoot 'em up not too dissimilar to other "Gauntlet" games like Into The Eagle's Nest. I'm incredibly excited to finally own my own copy which I proudly add in AtariCrypt's Box Art section thanks to the tremendous Hollywood artwork. This is also one of few that has both a great front and back cover so I decided to take a piccy of both and double-up on our love for movie legend Sly Stallone!

Sly is our musclebound action hero and is about to infiltrate a Soviet base that has Colonel Trautman held captive. Our mission spans over three levels and the first being the rescue before fleeing for our escape in an over-head game similar to a Gauntlet. The final part is a shooting gallery stage that feels a little like an Op. Wolf.

I can't help but admire this superb screen. Yes, it is superb.

Okay, we're in. Grab your knife because it's time to kick ass!!

Run. Shoot. Kill everything!

Gameplay style on the first two levels is the same. Ironically, you shouldn't run around pretending to be just like Johnny Rambo - this will get you killed! Instead, carefully explore the complex and look for the best route through and any useful items like health, ammo and Infra-Red goggles to detect otherwise invisible boobytraps!

Enemies occupy each room but they feel more like automated drones than the Soviet elite as they robotically patrol back and forth. I imagine these guys also suffer tunnel-vision because they are completely unaware of your presence until you stumble directly in their line of sight. If that happens, an alarm sounds and nearby soldiers begin attacking - but at least you have an awesome health meter! An idea that looks kinda familiar ;) Don't be put off by these silly soldiers because it actually works well to distinguish itself from being a mere Gauntlet clone.

I love the careful tactics that are needed - so play more like the real US Army Special Forces instead of the fake Hollywood claptrap. My only quibbles are trying to memorise the humungous map size. It's easy to lose your bearings plus each room will be blindly entered so try and learn where the soldier's patrol otherwise those Ruskies will gang up to give Sly a good kicking. This is what brings me onto pick-ups, there should be more health packs!

Tread carefully because most rooms are heavily guarded with many tunnelled-vision soldiers!

These guys will patrol back and forth so be slow and make sure you don't set off the alarms.

But is it any good?

Graphically, Rambo has a pretty place to covertly explore - perhaps too loud and colourful? There is no scrolling, which is a shame, but this might actually give a close and more confined feeling - which I prefer. I love the sprites and their movements reminding me of a certain WWII shooter!! Music is gorgeous and suits the gameplay.

I understand why Rambo III failed to capture the hearts of most reviewers back in the day. It's Marmite so you'll either love or hate it but I think it's a belting game albeit with the niggles mentioned above. It's not Gauntlet so use a stealthy approach and prepare thyself to spend many hours sneaking about and mapping the level.

Tear your shirt off and grab Rambo 3 on floppy from either Stonish or Old Games Finder (Automation #47). And for those weirdos who don't enjoy making their own maps: Speccy Screenshot Maps / Hall Of Light.

The back of the box is absolutely awesome. Gotta love Sly!!

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