Gold/Access, £9.95 cass,
£14.95 disk, joystick
long awaited follow on to Beach Head is here.
The saga of the conflict between the evil Dictator (known
as the Dragon) and the allies, led by JP Stryker, continues
in this arcade war game.
year is 1947 and the Dictator has gone into hiding after
World War II and set up his own army on an island somewhere
in the Pacific. In this game you can either play the
Dictator, defending his island against the allied invaders,
or the invading allies. You can also play against a
friend in a two-player 'head to head', the only thing
is sorting out who is going to be the baddy and who
helicopter drops the army.
first screen starts quite violently. If you play the
dictator you have to repel the allied strike force being
parachuted onto the island. You are in control of a
powerful machine gun in a pillbox and have to shoot
down the advancing men. Sounds easy? Well, to make life
difficult there are three sets of walls between the
parachute drop-zone and the pillbox. When the men are
first dropped, they all hide behind the farthest wall.
On the command 'follow me men', they start to advance.
You can shoot them as they run to the second wall. Try
to shoot as many men as possible because the amount
of men reaching the second wall will be doubled by reinforcements.
Then the parachutists continue their advance toward
the third wall, using the walls as shelter. On reaching
the third wall they try to blow up the machine gun by
chucking hand grenades at it. Some men will climb over
the wall and try to draw your fire, others will sneak
round it and lob a grenade. If you don't shoot a grenade
thrower before he lobs, then you'll get blown up.
you shoot every soldier (very hard), then the game will
end. But it's more likely that the soldiers will get
past the machine gun and then you'll move to the second
past tanks, mantraps and rocks.
you have to stop prisoners escaping from the island
prison by killing them. These prisoners are, of course
defended, the machine gun used in the previous screen
has been overrun, captured by the allies and is now
used against you. To help you with your task are four
separate items: a tank (which will squash the escapee),
a half-track vehicle (if it draws level with the prisoner,
it will machine-gun him down), a soldier on the prison
walls can be used to drop a mine on the head of the
man below, and finally there is a trapdoor containing
a mine-laying soldier.
firepower of the machine gun is huge and you'll find
that, even with these four to help you, prisoners will
escape in droves and your forces will be disposed of
quickly and in large amounts.
any prisoners escape then you move onto the 'escape'
screen, which is very reminiscent of the approach run
in Raid Over Moscow. In a one-player mode you
have to take the role of the allies for this round,
even if you're playing the dictator (?).
screen; a bit like Xevious -- the chopp
is just past the bridge.
this Xevious-style horizontally scrolling screen
you have to fly a helicopter full of escapees through
the island's defences. Once you have filled the machine
with a number of men (you can choose how many), the
computer will select one of the tree difficulty levels.
Obviously, the more men you carry the higher the level
the computer will choose. Once the computer has selected
a level it cannot choose that level again, so tactical
helicopter loading is vital.
selection is over, it's flying time. Blast everything,
including buildings, lookout towers and moving firing
tanks to gain points. There are walls with gaps in them
which you have to fly through, and if you don't shoot
the moving tank on the wall before going through, then
it's very difficult to avoid being shot down. If you
are hit then you have another chance on the same level
with the same amount of prisoners. If you get shot down
again then you lose all the men carried on the 'copter,
and you'll have to tackle another level with the men
remaining. When you try level three, beware, everything
shoots at high velocity and tanks move very quickly.
Also on levels two and three the final wall you have
to fly through has doors which open and close, making
past this screen then you'll meet JP Stryker in the
final conflict. The two face each other over a blackened
river in a knife fight to the death. You have to hurl
knives at JP and hit him four times to send him plummeting
into the river and a certain watery grave. There are
nine rounds of the knife fight and bonuses are given
for hits and actually killing your opponent. There's
also a big bonus for totally 'blitzing' him and winning
by four hits to nil.
final showdown (Dictator's on the left), as
the knives fly across the river.
all nine rounds have been completed, the bonuses are
added up and the scores for all four screens are added
together. You then have the option to load in the hi-score
table which (on the disk version) will automatically
save your name, so you've got a record of all your top
you choose the two-player option, then one player takes
control of the allied forces and the other the dictator.
The screens play exactly the same but it's up to you
to destroy the other player's forces (much aggression
with this mode)! There is a hi-score table for both
the allied forces and the dictator, which both load
and save themselves automatically so you can keep track
of your top scores as both the dictator and the allies.
are three difficulty levels to choose from, the higher
the level the faster everything moves. The computer
gets more intelligent too, and scoring potential increases
are demo modes on all screens which allow you to watch
and play single screens so you can practice your weakest
points. Other options include increasing and decreasing
the sound filter, and viewing the hi-score table. If
you want, you can also turn off the digitised speech