I've been a little quiet on here lately mainly due to conducting programmer interviews over on my ZX Spectrum Games site (with Mark R Jones of Ocean Software) but it's back into those classic 16-bits again with a decent conversion of a once popular arcade game, Operation Wolf.
When this came out for the Commodore Amiga (along with the ZX Spectrum, C64 and Amstrad CPC 464) late in 1988 home computer conversions of arcade games were still popular.
The original arcade game by Taito had been more popular than neon blue lighting effects in a James Camron flick - with gamers loving the pseudo 3D viewpoint and control via the force feedback cabinet mounted uzi machine gun.
|Time to kick some butt|
The arcade game (at the time) featured state of the art graphics (large animated enemy soldiers, helicopters, tanks, sizeable buildings with breakable windows etc) and superb sterio sound.
Couple this with the actual uzi machine gun you used to play it with and you were onto a sure fire winner. Converting such a game to a 16-bit machine was never going to be that easy - and Ocean software stepped up to the task.
It was possible to replicate the large full colour graphics on the Amiga quite well, so Ocean decided to go for a similar look - and it ended up working pretty well but just not quite as smooth as the arcade original.
The game began with you (as a double-hard crack commando with 'enemy mow down capabilities' in the realm of John Matrix) being parachuted into hostile territory to locate an enemy concentration camp and free the captives.
|I eat Green Berets for Breakfast|
You began the game with seven clips of ammunition and five grenades - so straight away you had to get used to short controlled bursts.
The mission was split into six sections which matched those of the arcade game.
The sections were as follows:
Communication Setup, Jungle Area, Jungle Village, Powder Magazine, The Concentration Camp and finally the Airport.
On each level the landscapes slowly panned from right to left before you in first-person perspective as looked down your gun-sights (represented by a cross-hair).
|That beardy bloke doesn't stand a chance|
Vehicles required a barrage of shots to be destroyed - but could be taken out in one go with one of your precious rocket propelled grenades. The characters from the arcade game were re-created pretty faithfully - those huge Schwarzenegger type badguys who appeared right in front of you were even included. Waaahhh!
On later levels some enemies wore kevlar jackets and had to be hit with a headshot to dispatch them. Also requiring fast reactions were the daggers and grenades lobbed at you, these could be shot out of the air to prevent them from hitting you and reducing your energy.
To the side of the playing screen was the ammo counter, a damage meter and three icons. The latter told you how many men, tanks, boats and so on had to be destroyed before the current level was cleared.
Extra ammo and grenades were available (by shooting them as they appeared on-screen) and a power up was available which gave you double rapid fire and unlimited bullets for around ten seconds. This was always good for a laugh as you mowed down huge amounts of the enemy with ease.
There were also items which would reduce your damage level by a few points - which could make all the difference in completing a level.
Apart from human targets various animals appeared (like birds and pigs) from time to time and shooting them would occasionally give you an item of food to boost your energy or extra ammunition. Just how shooting a pig yields more ammunition is anyones guess, but for some reason I never even questioned it back then!
Shooting any prisoners, villagers, nurses etc took a fair bit of your energy away - so you needed to be accurate in your shooting.
|I'm the demolition maaaaaan!|
All in all this was a decent enough version of the arcade game, but without that force-feedback Uzi it just wasn't the same.
But that's it, I am finished..... here.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Operation Wolf. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade Game
RELEASE DATE: 1988
RELEASED BY: Ocean Software
DEVELOPER(S): Christophe Gomez, Benoist Aron, Phillipe Chastel, Marc Djan, Jean Baudlot
PRICE: £24.95 (UK)
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