Suspended without play. Effective immediately.
PUBLISHER: Data East
DEVELOPER: Painting By Numbers
RELEASE DATE: April 1991
Words from Robocop 2‘s Game Over screen: “Robocop is taken away for calibration. But he will try again!” Good for Robocop. After he gets re-calibrated, he can try all he likes to make sense of this maddening game. Collecting Nukes? Arresting citizens? Robocop can’t touch metal or he dies? He is metal! Robocop 2 deserves nothing but the purest vitriol; not just from myself, but from any brave soul who dares to insert the cartridge into their NES.
Robocop 2, like the first game, is a side-scrolling action death romp, but with two key differences: you collect bottles called Nukes throughout the stage, and arrest criminals by running into them. The criminals will usually have a distinguishing feature to set them apart from the other nameless drones, but since Robocop is programmed to shoot anything that walks, it can be hard to stay your shootin’ hand when they’re walking towards you with regular bad guys. You must collect sixty percent of the Nuke Bottles and arrest sixty percent of the criminals in each stage before you can move on to the next stage. Criminals aren’t usually an issue, but it’s borderline impossible to collect sixty percent of the Nuke Bottles, especially when you’re not allowed to go backwards in the level and search for more. Worse yet, you won’t know what the amount for sixty percent is (Ten Nuke Bottles? Twenty?) until you actually reach the end of the level. You might feel like you’ve collected enough, based on what you were able to find, but the game could dictate otherwise. Fail to collect or arrest (and you will, several times) and you go to the shooting range, where you engage in a Hogan’s Alley-esque shooting gallery. Shoot cardboard-cutout bad guys and the game allows you to pass to the next level; this option is only available twice, though. Robocop can jump, something he couldn’t do in the last game. But if you don’t get a running start, don’t expect to jump anywhere.
Like the worst NES games, Robocop 2 actively hinders you from progressing. There’s absolutely nothing worthwhile about this game. The graphics are washed-out, the music doesn’t even keep time, the controls are abhorrent, and the gameplay… oh, the gameplay. For tricking gamers and parents of gamers into spending their hard-earned dollars, Robocop 2 is suspended without play. Effective immediately.