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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Advent Calendar - December 19th.

19 Part One - Boot Camp (Commodore 64)

There can't have been many video games made that were based on music. I remember there was a Blade Runner game on the Commodore 64 that was based on the soundtrack rather than the game... that was a weird idea. But at least that was a film soundtrack so technically they had something of a story to tie it in with. In the case of 19 Part One: Boot Camp, the game is based entirely on a hit single.


Oh, stop monkeying around...

With that in mind, I can't help but wonder if the game was written first, and it was then decided that it might be a good idea to attach a licence to it. Whether there's anything in that or not, 19 Part One: Boot Camp is set the era of the Vietnam war. Rather than play through the horrors of that war though, you're dumped into a Combat School-style training camp. Odd decision.

Now, I really enjoyed Combat School. In the arcades, I can't tell you how many times I got my skin caught after a particularly vigorous effort with the trackball. By Christ that hurt, and didn't half put you off your game and make your opponent crease up with laughter. The Commodore 64 version, whilst stripped of its trackball controls, used the good old waggling technique to good effect and provided a large dollop of fun.


I've got him... in my sights.

19 Part One: Boot Camp doesn't reach those heights. It's split into four events. The first is an assault course, which is most in the spirit of Combat School... except it plays horribly. You hold the joystick right to run, and then when obstacles appear, hold down the fire button then let go at the right time to pass the obstacle. It's cack, but it kind of works... until you reach the monkey bars, at which point I think you have to waggle the joystick. I couldn't get past that because I'm playing on an emulator and I'm using a D-pad... waggling ain't easy on that"

After that is a weird target shooting stage. Your gun stays in the middle of the screen, with the zoomed-in scope section visible. The shooting area scrolls around in the scope sight, but it feels wrong because the gun itself never moves. Don't like it. Following that is a jeep training course, where you drive a jeep down an obstacle-littered Buggy Boy-style course. It's not too bad... as long as you don't try and go fast. Finally, you get to take out your frustrations on your drill instructor in a one-on-one fight. It's no International Karate, that's for sure.


On the road again... I just can't wait to get on the road again...

Generally speaking, I like games that try and add a bit of variety. Unfortunately, in the case of 19 Part One: Boot Camp, none of the parts is any good. There was supposed to be a 19 Part Two, in which you'd take your player and the skills he'd learned into battle, but that never made it to the market. It's probably just as well, given how lacklustre this game turned out. It's not something I'll be playing again.

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