Rise of the Robots logo

Tina Hackett used to be a shy, retiring girl... then she played beat-'em-ups and has never been the same since. This month's she's been let loose on Mirage's Rise of the Robots.


A cheeky contender for the beat-'em-up crown has arrived. Challenging the likes of Mortal Kombat 2, Body Blows and Street Fighter 2, Rise of the Robots has many unique selling points over its rivals. For one, its music has been done by former Queen member and guitar legend, Brian May.

For another, it has fully rendered 3D graphics, the first-ever fully morphing character in a game and, to top it all, a publicity campaign that's extensive to say the least!

And I'm sure there are very few of you left that haven't seen all the publicity and hype surrounding this game. Television ads, billboards and a particularly memorable ad in Viz magazine are just some of the ways in which this title has been bombarded to the public. And now it's here... but is it any good?


With a name like 'Rise of the Robots' it'll come as no surprise to find that this is set in the future. A super-tech society, in fact, which is highly industrialised and where the population inhabit huge city-states. Because of pollution, things like water, food and air have to be manufactured. Yes, I know it's all beginning to portray the usual 'dismal city in the future' image, but it does create a good atmosphere for the game.

Robots are used as servants and are manufactured by a huge corporation, Electrocorp, and this is where all the trouble starts! The plant is entirely run by the robots, from the industrial droids to the polymorphic supervisor, but (and as inevitably happens with computers) they go wrong! An Ego-Virus infects the supervisor, turning her in to a psychopath, and she goes through the factory reprogramming the workers.

You are a human-based Cyborg and must go to the Electrocorp to stop her.



Well, it's not Mortal Kombat, is it? And I'm a bit of a traditionalist where beat-'em-ups are concerned - the more blood the better! This didn't have the obligatory guts and gore flying everywhere, which for some will make a nice change, but it didn't give you the satisfaction you would expect after a fight. In fact, it failed to generate as much excitement as other beat-'em-ups can.

Due to programming restrictions, you don't have as much freedom to pit all the fighters against each other. Most of the robots are just too large and would take up too much memory to have them fighting each other, so you must always have one of the opponents as the Cyborg. There aren't as many fighters as you might expect either, with only seven in total, sot he game's longevity is questionable.

The actual speed of the game seems slower than other beat-'em-ups too, even when you take off the shadows and screen shake. Graphically though, Rise of the Robots is a totally new concept and provides a nice variation on the usual approach.

There are not fifty ways of fighting, there's only one, and that's to win.
Andre Malraux


Publicity Stunt, no 2: get a famous rock star to provide the music, in this case, Brian May, but to be honest it could be anyone from the snippet you hear. An anonymous guitar sound screeches along during the game selection, but that's about all you get.

The actual in-game sound effects aren't all that spectacular either. There is a good metal-on-metal sound when the robots land punches on each other, but there is a lack of atmospheric tunes during the fights which could have added some tension.

What do work though are the actual moves of the characters. For example, when they extend their arms to punch you hear the metal screeching, providing authenticity.




The graphics are nothing short of stunning to say the least. The robots have been fully rendered, creating an awesome impression of high-tech 3D robots.
The backdrops show the futuristic environment of the factory brilliantly. The depth of the room looks realistic, with the foreground actually looking like the foreground ad the back looking like the back - you can almost feel as if another robot might actually walk around the corner!

Before each fight takes place, you are treated to cinematic sequences which really do add to the game. Each of the robots walks in to the scene, giving you an introduction to its character. For example, they show some of the moves they can do.

A lot of work has gone in to making the robots as menacing as possible, and with each one completely different in design they really are impressive - from the metallic blue Cyborg with his more agile moves to the heavy Loader droid with mechanical joints and clumsy disposition.

This is re-enforced with the screen-shake, i.e. when the robots are crashing around the ground shakes accordingly, giving the impression of their heaviness. Finally, the use of shadows also helps to create a realistic environment.




While on the surface everything looks the business, the playability is definitely not up to the same standard. It's not entirely bad by any means, but when you've played Mortal Kombat 2 only minutes before, you really do feel like something is missing from Rise.

There are a good range of moves though, so you can put together a nice fighting sequence, and the characters have an array of special moves like 'double fork-slash' or 'Catapult Spies' - unfortunately, on some characters it's too easy just to use the same move on them though. Visually, some of the actions don't work, and at the best they look unspectacular, at worst they make the robots look like ballet dancers on steroids.

Rise of the Robots is a fantastic concept, but somehow it just doesn't come across as well as you might expect. It does have its worthwhile points, and with a fully morphing character (which really does look spectacular) and brilliantly rendered graphics it will sell well. It is also original, which counts for a lot these days.

The one thing many will like about Rise is that it doesn't have all the gratuitous violence in it, so for those who want a change from the usual blood and gore, this might be worth a look - especially if you want to show off the kind of graphics available for the Amiga. However, it's certainly not as playable as other beat-'em-up titles on the market and the asking price is a little on the steep side. Without the fancy graphics it's just a very average game.

You should also bear in mind that the game comes on a massive 10 disks for the A500+ version and13 for the A1200. Fortunately, it is installable, so it shouldn't be a problem if you have a hard disk or a second drive.

Rise of the Robots logo

Steve Bradley plays one of the most looked-forward-to robotic beat-em-ups of the year. But does it live up the hype? Or is it just another mediocre effort?

So the robots have finally risen. After a year of hype and bluster, this futuristic, metallic beat-em-up - and after all, it is a beat-em-up - finally hits the shelves. And before the majority of magazine reviews have made their stands too. Tsk. But listen to the manual: 'Rise Of The Robots is a new 'generation' computer game conceived to combine state-of-the-art programming design and graphics display. Rise was created using the Auto Desk 3D Studio CAD software package. 3DS is fundamentally a rendering package'.

Corks - sounds pretty impressive, eh? And this game looks mighty good. Load up the disks and you are treated to some quality rendered visuals. Not only that, programmers Mirage have got Queen's Brian may on board to execute some axeular wah wah effects. Hurrah! It has taken some time to put this lot together. Rise Of The Robots is, apparently, the first game to be simultaneously released on all formats. History in the making, eh?

Along the way though, it seems that one vital ingredient has been neglected. Gameplay. Stick the difficulty level on to Medium in one-player mode and take on your first opponent. The Loader Droid is a huge, awkward-looking mechanical beast. How can you possibly beat him? Easy. Move your joystick to the top diagonal right position, and if you are feeling lethargic, why not use autofire. Now chat with friends. Or read a book. It does not matter, for you do not need to look at the screen. A guaranteed victory. OK, so the Loader Droid is not meant to be a pugnacious opponent but cripes, you have just spent £43. A teensy bit of action would not go amiss.

Not that beating the other five (phew, count 'em) metallic beasts is so easy, though they still ain't much of a challenge. It is more that this is just a horrible game to play. It takes an age between manoeuvring the joystick and the movement taking place on screen. Rise Of The Robots just feels... well, it does not feel at all.

I cannot recommend you buy this game. You are as well to look at the screenshots in the magazines as to spend over 40 quid. The five-disk intro looks tremendous. But you only ever watch these things twice. The robots look fabulous. The attention to detail is excellent, the movement fluid, in a mechanical sort of way.

They are supposed to have artificial intelligence which allows them to read your moves and act accordingly. So why is it that you can squeeze them into a corner and tap away at them until the bout is yours? Simple moves like crouch and kick are very effective, but after winning five bouts on the trot, you get rather bored.

If you want to buy a beat-em-up then plump for the superb Mortal Kombat II. OK, so it is thin on the ground robot-wise but it is a lot more fun. I really hope you do not get Rise Of The Robots for Christmas.


Rise of the Robots
CYBORG DROID: The only robot you get to play, unless in training mode. The Cyborg is intelligent but a bit soft.

Rise of the Robots
LOADER DROID: An old, and somewhat stupid robot. If you cannot beat this chap, retire to Worthing immediately.

Rise of the Robots
MILITARY DROID: Has advanced artificial intelligence, apparently. Vulnerable to extremely heavy blows. You will beat him.

Rise of the Robots
BUILDER DROID: Huge, ape-like robot. Slow to react, trap him in the corner and kick him until he falls over. Easy.

Rise of the Robots
SENTRY DROID: A tough opponent, the Sentry Droid has few weaknesses. He looks a tad stupid, however.

Rise of the Robots
CRUSHER DROID: This chap has got a particularly long reach, but he is rather vulnerable to the counter attack.

Rise of the Robots logo Amiga Joker Hit

Wir sind die Roboter - und wo wir sind, da fliegt das Blech: Digi-Karatekas, Street Fighter und Kampfelfen legen wir mit der linken Diode auf die Matte, denn wer sich mit uns anlegt, der legt sich mit dem besten Prügelspiel aller Zeiten an!

Seit Monaten werden Mirages Roborecken von Kampflustigen Amiganern herbeigesehnt, jetzt sind sie da und verdienen sich ihre Vorschlussorbeeren quasi mit links. Denn dieses Spiel tritt nicht umsonst auf jedem Amiga-Modell mit einer eigens programmierten Version an: tatsächlich reizt es die Hardware wirklich gnadenlos aus: Die Vorliegende AGA-Fassung kommt einer grafischen Revolution gleich!

Die hiesigen Stahlkolosse und ihre Arenen wurden nämlich weder mit einem Malprogramm gepinselt noch real gefilmt und dann am Bildschirm nachbearbeitet - statt dessen hat man die komplette Optik zunächst als Drahtgittermodell entworfen und anschließend per Raytracing zum Leben erweckt.

Das Ergebnis dieser monatelangen Detailarbeit sind prächtig animierte Kampfroboter mit Rippen, Muskeln, Fingergelenken und allem, was sonst noch zu einer bewegten Mechano-Anatomie gehört. Natürlich geht es in vollen 256 Farben zu Sache, wobei die Sache selbst an traditionelle Kampfsport-Klassiker wie "IK+" oder "Budokan" anknüpft: Statt sich, wie es derzeit im Genre üblich ist, mit einer Unzahl verschiedenster Button-Kombinationen herumzuschlagen zu müssen, löst der Spieler alle Hiebe und Tritte mit einprägsamen Joystickbewegungen und einem einzigen Feuerknopf aus.

Daß das hohe Spieltempo dem geübten Fighter trotzdem eine ganze Reihe von effektiver Special-Moves (wie z.B. Schulterblock, Unsichtbarkeit etc.) ermöglicht, verdient deshalb ein Sonderlob.

Vor der Auseinandersetzung ist freilich darüber zu befinden, ob der Kampf über drei, fünf oder sieben Runden geht und, ob er nach 30, 60, 90 Sekunden oder erst nach dem endgültigen K.O. eines Fighters abgebrochen wird. Außerdem lassen sich der Schattenwurf der Recken sowie das Erschüttern des Screens bei besonders harten Treffen an- und abstellen, was aber keinerlei Einfluß auf das eigentliche Gameplay hat.

Anschließend dürfen sich die Teilnehmer des Zwei-Spieler-Modus auf ein gegenseitiges Handikap einigen und so eventuelle Unterschiede in der spielerischen Kampferfahrung ausgleichen. Abschließend wählen Duellanten wie auch im Übungsmodus befindliche Solisten dann ihr Alter Ego aus einer sechs Blechköpfe starke Mannschaft.

Doch ob von einem Kollegen oder dem Amiga gesteuert, der Gegner ist stets ein blauer Cyborg - was vermutlich mit der herzlich belanglosen Vorgeschichte um diese Mensch-Maschine zu tun hat...

Keineswegs belanglos sind indessen die individuellen Techniken, welche jeder der angebotenen Charaktere hier im Schlagrepertoire hat. So gibt es etwa einen Laderoboter, der sich auf tiefe Kicks und hohe Sprünge spezialisiert hat, eine Mechano-Spinne, die ihre Gliedmaßen über den halben Screen strecken kann, und einen äußerst beweglichen Militär-robbi, der selbst vor einem Handstand nicht zurückschreckt.

Im Missions-Modus muß der Cuborg in Händen des Solisten dann all diese (nun vom Computer gelenkten) Mech-Krieger hintereinander auf die Matte legen, um schließlich im Finale dem im Optionsmenü nicht anwählbaren "Supervisor" gegenüber zu treffen - einem Kampfmonster aus Flüssigmetall, das à la "Terminator 2" morphen und so etwa seine Handkante zur tödlichen Speerspitze umformen kann!

In der Arena stellt die CPU ihre Lernfähigkeit unter Beweis und statte die von ihr kontrollierten Kämpfen mit erstaunlicher Intelligenz aus; doch keine Sorge: Der variable Schwierigkeitsgrad überfordert Einsteiger genausowenig, wie er Martial Arts-Experten unterfordert. Die Wucht der Schläge läßt sich exakt dosieren, und Treffer wirken sich je nach Körperteil unterschiedlich auf die Konstitution bzw. Energieleiste des Getroffenen aus - wie es sich gehört, richtet ein Hieb gegen den Schädel also mehr Schaden an als beispielsweise ein Schlag gegen die Elle. Im Erstfall fliegen dann wortwörtlich die Fetzen, denn nach besonders harten Treffern purzeln schon mal Schrauben und Nieten zu Boden, oder ein Robbi zerfällt gar in seine gesamten Einzelteile.

Zahlreiche Zwischenbildchen und -animationen sowie eine irre Soundkullise aus harten Gitarrenriffs und knalligen FX begleiten das Kampfgeschehen ausgemacht stimmungsvoll; die Musik der CD-Version wird dann sogar Queen-Mittglied Brian May persönlich besteuern. Natürlich hat eine solche Power-Präsentation ihren Preis: Das Game kommt auf satten 13 Disketten daher. Zwar ist es theoretisch auch direkt von der Scheibe spielbar, aber wer ungetrübten Spaß an dieser Starken Robot-Dressur haben will, sollte es doch besser auf eine Festplatte nieten. Die optimale Konfiguration beinhaltet darüber hinaus eine Turbokarte bzw. eine 32-Bit-RAM-Erweiterung, da solche Extras das Spieltempo noch am den letzten Tick beschleunigen.

Weil wir diesem innovativen Produkt gegenüber fair sein wollten, bezieht sich unsere Wertung auf die erwähnte Top-Ausstattung, trotzdem dürfen auch Amigos mit weniger PS unter der Haube relativ bedenkenlos zuschlagen. Immerhin birgt Rise of the Robots schon aufgrund der gewaltigen Präsentation mehr Spaß als jede andere Amiga-Keilerei; daß das Prügelgenre nicht unbedingt neu definiert wird, ist dabei nebensächlich: Mirage hat Standards gesetzt, die so bald keiner übertreffen wird! (rl)

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Rise of the risible, more like.

We previewed Rise of the Robots in AP32, over a year ago. Edge magazine put it on their cover in the same month (an accolade usually reserved for new consoles from Sony or Sega), and ran an eight-page feature on all the effort that was going into creating the graphics using 3D Studio rendering software.

Since then, work on the Amiga version has been delayed by a proliferation of versions for other formats - in total, Rise of the Robots is being produced for 22 different machines, including CD-I and 3DO, and there is even a coin-op version. The music has been written by Brian May, who used to play the guitar for pop group Queen. A multi-million pound market campaign has led to a Rise of the Robots novel from Penguin, and discussions are underway regarding Rise of the Robots toys, Rise of the Robots comics and a Rise of the Robots cartoon series. There's even been some talk of a Rise of the Robots movie.
Meanwhile, here is the Rise of the Robots game.

* The graphics are great. The robots look suitably fearsome and move about smoothly. The backgrounds look good too.

* The scene is set before each round by animated sequences showing your opponent walking into view, while text is written on the screen a letter at time accompanied by a beep-beep-beep noise. It is therefore necessary to switch these off.

* As the two characters then face each other, the battle is begun not by a voice crying "Fight!", but by some more text being written a letter at a time.

* There are 7 different characters in Rise of the Robots. In Street Fighter 2 there are 12, in Mortal Kombat 2, 17.

* In a one-player game you can only be one of the characters - the blue one.

* In a two-player game, one of the players has to be the blue one.

* Each character performs the same set of basic moves, plus as many as two 'special' moves, performed, for example, by moving the joystick Down and Up and then pressing Fire.

* Only one fire button is used, even on the four-button CD32 joypad.

* All the moves involve hitting your opponent in some way - you cannot throw him or crush him or launch a fireball at him, and you certainly cannot pull off his head or tear out his heart.

* Oh, except there are 'secret' moves as well. These involve becoming invisible (so the other player cannot see you) becoming invincible (if you manage to do this before the other player, you can then kill him without him being able to do anything to prevent it), and - watch out for this one in a future Kangaroo Court - reversing the other player's controls.

* Because of technical limitations, the characters cannot turn around and face in the opposite direction. This means that in two-player mode you cannot jump over your opponent's head to, for example, avoid being trapped at the side of the screen and helplessly killed.

* The backgrounds are static, rather than scrolling, so the playing area is only as large as the screen.

* The impact of these huge metal warriors striking each other is indicated by a couple of small triangles floating to the ground, and a crunch noise.

Because of technical limitations

* The shadow beneath your robot overlaps your opponent when you approach him. There is an option to switch the shadows off.

* Brian May's music consists of a guitar going "kerrannnnnnnng, kerrannnnnnnnng, kerrannnnnnnnng" and is confined to the options screen. During the game there is no music at all.

* For some reason you have to 'fight' the first group of five baddies twice before you can take on the sixth and final one.

* In Beginner mode, you can complete the game by pushing the joystick up to the right, and then holding the fire button down for about ten minutes.

* In Easy mode, you can complete the game in the same way, although to beat the last character you have to repeatedly press Left, Right, and Fire.

* In Medium mode, you can defeat the first five characters in the same way, but then you have to fight them all again in Hard mode.

* In Hard mode, none of your moves have any effect on the other characters unless your power bar is charged up to maximum when you make contact. You charge it by pressing and holding the fire button for a couple of seconds. Unfortunately, as soon as you hit your opponent (which is what tends to happen when you press the fire button), the bar stops charging, so it is difficult to see how the game could be completed in Hard mode.

* As you hold Up, Right and Fire, the robots initially try to fight back, but then simply cower in the corner of the screen until they die. This is presumably owing to the "unique combat intelligence system that adapts to and learns your style of play".

* In a two-player game, if Player 1 holds Up/Right and Fire, Player 2 loses the match every time.

* The Amiga 1200 version comes on 13 disks, 7 of these are required to play the game, 5 contain the introductory sequence, and the other installs the game to a hard drive.

* The CD32 version of Rise of the Robots costs £35; the ordinary Amiga version, £40; and the AGA version, £43

We fear for the immortal souls of those quoted on the packaging who would have you believe that Rise of the Robots is worth 93%. ("You will wish all your games were this good". For pity's sake...).

We only hope you have not already been swayed by them, by any 'exclusive' Rise of the Robots 'reviews' you may have already read in rival Amiga magazines, by the 60 second Rise of the Robots TV and cinema ads, by the national Rise of the Robots billboard poster campaign, by the 'controversial' Rise of the Robots ad in Viz, by the six-foot-high cardboard Rise of the Robots cut-outs in computer game shops across the nation, or by the big, exciting Rise of the Robots box it comes in.

Copies of Rise of the Robots were only released to the press a couple of days before the game went on sale, so it will have been in the shops for a month before you have had a chance to read this.

Rise of the Robots is terrible. I am not exaggerating. Ironically, it is probably because the graphics are so good that it plays so poorly - every move the robots make takes so many frames of animation, and so much memory, and so many months of rendering with 3D Studio, that is simply would not have been possible to make the gameplay any more complicated than it is. What an astonishing waste of time.

Rise of the Robots logo

Price: £34.99 Publisher: Mirage/Time Warner 0604 602800

Will humans never learn? You just can't trust machines and that's final... claims Alan Dykes as he chokes on yet another plastic cup of synthetic coffee. From (you guessed it) a machine!

You are now witness to a true multimedia event. Rise Of The Robots was originally instigated by Mirage for the PC in 1993. Then Time Warner Interactive stepped in with wads of multinational cash, waved its giant marketing wand, roped in some other software houses and, lo and behold, Rise Of The Robots became a 21 format game, all destined for a simultaneous launch before Christmas 1994.

With beat 'em-ups all the rage, and the undisputed king and pretenders roles being swopped between the Streetfighter II and Mortal Kombat series it was going to need something sufficiently different, original even, to stand a fighting chance.

Enter the robots. With the runaway juggernaut success of films like Terminator, T2 and RoboCop it seemed reasonable that people would welcome a decent opportunity to test their mettle against metal, so to speak, in a game.

The basic premise behind Rise Of The Robots, if you hadn't guessed from the title, is that they are trying to take over the world. Well, one robot is anyway: a super 'she' robot known as The Supervisor, who's in charge of production at one of Earth's major corporations 'Electrocorp'. An Ego virus got loose in The Supervisor's binary system and the only way to stop it is to destroy her.

Enter you and I as a 'loyal' cyborg. But The Supervisor isn't alone. She has five subservient robots who stand in your way, ready to lay down their, er... batteries I presume, to protect her. The idea, in single-player mode, is to beat them and then her.

You've got to get past each of the five robots twice to confront her and it gets more difficult second time around. Speaking of difficulty there are four levels: beginner, easy, medium and hard. And options on whether to play to the best of three, five or seven rounds with 30, 60 or 90 second or infinite bout times. The idea being that a bout of three rounds each lasting 30 seconds is much more difficult, requiring fast offensive action and lots of special moves; longer bouts and more of them give you time to adapt to the enemy.

And moves? There are actually not that many. Each character can execute about seven different types of hit and one or two special moves which, in fine shoot 'em up tradition, can be difficult to grasp. The theory is simple enough: down, up, fire and all that, but as usual timing is critical and thus five in a row is possible at times while even one can be difficult at others.

There are two ways of playing Rise Of The Robots: To complete it, or to gain points. While both of these are not mutually exclusive, you tend to go through a phase at the beginning of every game where all you want to do is show off and finish it.

With Rise Of The Robots the party doesn't end until you enter the second round of bouts on medium level and, then the hard level. Up until then a simple combination of moves will suffice to despatch all corners - including The Supervisor.

The second way of playing is the fair way: maximum points mode. Here you try to maximise your own score and beat your opponent's using special moves and maximum power hits. You'll notice an awful lot of junk being typed onto your screen at beginning of every bout but are only four things that really matter, apart from the robots that is; the life bar, the power bar, the timer and some little red squares which signify how many bouts you or your opponent has won

The life bar starts off green, becomes yellow once you've had a whopping great thump off Droid 2, progresses to rusty red and further. Soon, in a manner of speaking, your nuts are numbered. The power bar is blue but only lights up once you press the fire button. If you let it reach its furthest, bluest point and let go it'll create a much bigger hit than simply stabbing the button. However, building up power leaves you vulnerable to attack.

And so, it's great eh? Well, yes and no. The best thing about Rise Of The Robots, and the thing you'll hear most about, is its graphics. It arrived in three forms; for CD32, A1200/4000 and all other Amigas with 1Mb Chip RAM (so A500 owners are out of luck). Of these the one which stood out most was the 1200 version. This is because, using the RGB output and a decent monitor, the colours were gorgeous, the animation smooth and detail excellent. This game has been beautifully rendered.

The CD32 version, using its TV output is nowhere near as sharp through a monitor and only half way there on telly - granted the A1200 version isn't as good on telly either. And - unbelievable though it may sound - the A1200 'version seems to be faster too, by a whisker. But it's not faster loading!

Read this carefully: Rise Of The Robots comes on 13 - THIRTEEN disks! Of which seven are game disks and six are for the intro animations. If you have a hard drive and want to install it you can kiss goodbye to 40Mb. If you don;t you can kiss goodbye to the intro animation and say hello to six spare blue diskettes.

It's recommended on the box but I'll recommend it here too: a second disk drive. Luckily Rise Of The Robots has been very intelligently programmed though. There is a start-up disk which contains your original cyborg and then one disk each for the other six competitors. This format remains the same for the non-AGA version too, though there are only 3 intro sequence disks and it just takes up just 30Mb on a hard drive. Just 30Mb! (Agggh).

Where Rise comes in for most criticism is its gameplay: or lack of it. One problem is what I guess the Tories would call 'press cynicism' - oooh it looks good, but it can't be much cop. Playing it for the first time doesn't remove this doubt, it merely reinforces it. 'It's too easy', 'There aren't enough moves', 'Reaction is too slow - look, I've pressed the fire button and nothing happens for ages'. Those are the sort of opinions that were readily bandied around the office. Rise is viewed as being the gaming equivalent of a bimbo - all looks and no personality.

And that's probably the main problem - it really has no personality. Human or humanoid game characters from Streetfighter II or Mortal Kombat I/II have got personal traits, good and bad, that we can relate to. They shout curious phrases, make a fuss of their special moves, they visibly recoil from pain and blood is liberally splattered in a mum-worrying fashion. Robots have none of these characteristics. They don't shout, they don't adopt stupid postures when they defeat their opponent and they don't bleed. They just lose nuts and bits.

In terms of moves and playability, if you go for a high score and if you play at the most difficult setting then you will find Rise Of The Robots challenging and quite difficult. At this level opponents do not succumb to constant battering with the same old move - they will fight with different combinations and readily take power points off you. The only chance you have of winning is to use special moves and hit them with full power in their vulnerable parts. But experienced players will still sort it pretty quickly.

After a couple of two player bouts with reluctant opposition, I had to go it alone. I was determined to give Rise Of The Robots a chance. And you know, I began to like it. The challenge outlined above was enough to keep me playing for quite a while. It's too easy to dismiss this game becaue your attitude to playing is what makes the game enjoyable. But this is a bad thing - you shouldn't have to really try to like a game to get something out of it. What makes it worth buying should be immediately apparent and in this case, graphics aside, it isn't.

The non-AGA version must be praised for the skill with which it has been converted. All the moves are there and it still looks good, but not great. It's also rather jerky so it's a good idea to enter the options menu and switch off shadows and screen shake to speed things up. Incidentally, this is also possible on the AGA version and speeds it up too.

Science fiction writers have made a big thing about how controlled and sterile things would become if machines took over the world and Rise Of The Robots almost proves this. Yes it's better than the average beat 'em up title but just doesn't match the best.


Rise of the Robots logo CD32 Amiga Joker Hit

Was sich vorher auf sagenhafte 13 Disketten verteilte, bringt nun die CD-Laufwerke kräftig zum Glühen - aber auch die Zornesader des Kritikers läßt diese futuristische Robot-Klopperei hier mächtig anschwellen!

Denn Mirage hat uns gleich drei Dinge vorenthalten: die zusätzlichen (Intro-) Animationen des entsprechenden PC-Silberlings, die versprochenen Musiktracks von Queen-Gitarrero Brian May - und irgendwelche Unterschiede zur bereits vorliegenden 1200er-Version...

Ein weiterer Kritikpunkt betrifft das stotternd abgebremste Spieltempo, wenn man beim CD32 die höchste Grafikdetailstufe wählt; nur wer den Roboteraufstand am AGA-Amiga (plus CD-ROM und Fast-RAM) niederschlägt, bleibt vor solchen Ruckeleien verschont.

Mit der optimalen Konfiguration im Rücken schlägt Rise of the Robots jedoch gewaltig zu, denn wenn sich die sieben farbenfrohen und wunderbar animierten, von der Statur her sehr unterschiedlichen SF-Kämpfer gegenseitig auf die Blechnase hauen, dann fliegen nicht bloß die Schrauben und Nieten, dann stimmt auch der Spielspaß!

Das Optionsmenü kennt neben den üblichen Practice-Modi für Single und Duospieler (dabei steuert man einen beliebigen Kämpfer) auch den sogenannten Storymodus: Hier schlüpft man in die Haut eines blauen Cyborgs und legt die CPU-Athleten der Reihe nach mit diversen Kicks, Tritten und Special-Moves flach. Erfolg hängen dabei von der per Knopfdruck variierbaren Schlagkraft, dem getroffenen Körperteil und dem eingestellten Schwierigkeitsgrad ab.

Sicher, die Power-Präsentation mit den gerenderten Kämpfern macht die Schlacht erneut zum Hochgenuß - aber wir hätten mit der CD halt gerne noch ein Stückchen höher hinaus gewollt... (rl)