Rise of the Robots (1994)

There’s something about robots that makes them perfect for combat with each other. Maybe it’s because they are powerhouses that can ‘think’ but can’t necessarily feel pain. Seeing robots duke it out is prime entertainment, especially if you’re behind the wheel. In 1994, a fighting game, set to add a cool metallic edge to the booming fighting game market, by letting the machines do the combat in the ominously named Rise of the Robots.

Turns out even machines not built for combat, are good at combat!

You are a Cyborg infiltrator sent deep into the bowels of Electrocorp, a big mysterious megacorporation. While inside you must battle with various other automatic assistants ranging from delivery and building tools to unstoppable hunter-killer enhanced weapons of destruction, in order to uncover a deep dark secret.

The menu is simple, but lets you get straight into the action.

You and the other robot duke it to in a best of Three, Five or Seven match to determine which droid shall reign supreme. You can take the reins of one of six bots with self-descriptive, but menacing names like Gorilla, and Military Droid. They each have their own strengths and drawbacks that impact on their play. You can hone your skills in a practice mode or go straight into the main story. There’s a tad more meat on the bone than in other fighting games but not too much that it gets in the way of the gameplay. If you’ve got a partner, you can play as any of the robots featured in a two-player versus mode.

The diagnostic text between each round adds a nice layer of verisimilitude to the fights.

I liked the U.I. and its attempts to add more immersion by giving you a terminal inspired log of essentially your fighter’s thoughts. It harkens back to that level of immersion that games of the time tried to invoke. It is also simple enough to get a quick overview to see who is winning and with the control scheme allowing combos that are quick to learn, quick to master, and just as devastating. The game also has the honour of showcasing the musical talents of Brian May, with one of the tracks from his solo album, being recreated here. As a fan of the Amiga’s sound capabilities, it was nice hearing the rendition.

The interface is sparse but gives you exactly what you need to know, while letting you enjoy the fight.

With Robots being one of the best ‘participants’ to have their own fighting game, and with the Amiga being the powerhouse of showy graphics and sound. Rise of the Robots is a terrific showcase of what made the console so awe-inspiring back in the day. If you got two controllers, I’d highly recommend a round or two of cybernetic combat, it would certainly put you in great practice for when the Robots do rise.

You’re treated to a shot of your opponent reduced to scrap metal, if you win

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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