RoboCod (aka James Pond II: Codename RoboCod), is the sequel to the first James Pond game, with enhanced visuals and greater fun! It's one of the best platform games of its kind and was initially released for the Amiga, Atari ST / STE (in 1991) and later for a variety of platforms, including the Commodore 64, DOS (1993), Sega Game Gear (1993), Sega Mega Drive / Genesis (1991), Sega Master System (1993), Nintendo SNES, Nintendo GBA and PlayStation!
STORY / GAMEPLAY It's nearly two years since 1990, when the original "James Pond" was developed for the Amiga computers, scoring a massive 9 out of 10 in almost all major video game magazines of the time. The story begins with Dr Maybe (!) who's holding a toy factory to ransom in the North Pole (Santa's toy factory actually) with the intention to cause present-less Christmas for every child! The nasty doctor has been manufacturing a range of lethal playthings in an attempt to take revenge for his defeat in the previous game's story. And he will finally succeed unless James (our little fish-Bond hero) steps in! A high-tech RoboCop style suit enables Pond to expand his torso to preposterous heights! This comes in extremely handy during gameplay as very often you'll have to reach platforms and grip on them with your "fishy" fingers! During the game, you will find loads of power-ups. Hostile creatures lurk in these levels, and they come in many forms. There are no weapons in the game, so James must jump on them to kill them. The whole action takes place in rooms fully decorated with huge toys, candies and other kid stuff. Ok, the action is a stereotypical platform mayhem and basically all you have to do is to run, jump, squash, stretch (!) and generally splash your fins around, defeating baddies and killing massive bosses every two stages or so, in a joyful and very colorful wrap!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The STE version has some minor enhancements over the original ST. The graphics are slightly more colorful (with 27 colors on screen) and the STE version uses more shades at the backdrops compared to the ST (that has up to 22 colors on screen). As for the animation, the action is only an...inch faster on the STE but unfortunately there are still some major frame-rate problems (where is the Blitter chip anyway?) Also, on the STE (and the ST) version there are some background details missing in all stages, compared to the original. Soundwise, the game is quite good, having all the original (Amiga) tunes. The truth is that we expected more from the STE's sound hardware as the quality of the wave-tables is low and the developers did not use the enhanced DMA-capable sound chip, so they finally preferred a direct sound-port from the classic ST machines.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit @ 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512 (520STE) -1024KB (1040STE) upgradable up to 4 MB / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 12-bit RGB palette (4096 colors) supporting resolutions of 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). Also features BLiTTER chip for copy/fill/clear large data blocks in memory (fill rate 4 MB/s) and Hardware-support for horizontal and vertical fine scrolling and split screen. SOUND: DMA sound chip with 2-channels stereo 8-bit PCM sound at 6.25/12.5/25/50 kHz, MIDI in/out