The heat is on

Despite knowing it’s considered utterly contemptible and racist to say you don’t find former Saturday Night Live star Eddie Murphy funny, I never have. His rapid-fire, sweary Brooklyn ghetto talk schtick simply irritated me from day one. And if he tells me he’s black and proud of it one more time I’m going to stick a banana in his exhaust. No idea what a tailpipe is. He’s black, other people are white, we’re all people. Whatever, I don’t care.

 

All of which explains why I don’t have fond memories of his supposedly classic ‘buddy cop’ movies including Beverly Hills Cop, or its accompanying multi-platform computer game. I say that, and now, watching it again after all these years Mr mofo-ing Murphy is melting my resolve. He’s such a charmer! Maybe it was his stand-up routine that turned me off initially.

I’d insert some quotes from the movie except I can’t be bothered censoring out the million and one f-bombs, n-word references and other multifarious profanities. Oh, what the hell, Shrek it!

Sergeant Taggart: Why didn’t you identify yourself as a police officer when you were arrested?
Axel Foley: ‘Cause I was mindin’ my own business. Hey, where the Norbit do you guys get off on arresting somebody for getting thrown out of a window?
Sergeant Taggart: We have six witnesses that say you broke in and started tearing up the place, then jumped out the window!
Axel Foley: And you guys believe that? What the Donkey are you, cops or doormen?
Sergeant Taggart: We’re more likely to believe an important local businessman than a foul-mouthed jerk from out of town.
Axel Foley: Foul-mouthed?
(Taggart nods)
Axel Foley: Dolittle you, man.
Detective Rosewood: (Taggart stands up and draws himself to full height) Hey, Sarge…
Sergeant Taggart: You watch your mouth.
Axel Foley: (standing) Hey, man, don’t square off on me with some Boomerang.
(shoves Taggart)
Axel Foley: You wanna start some static?
Sergeant Taggart: Hey, don’t push me!
Axel Foley: (shoves Taggart again) Klump you, man!

It would have been interesting to see how Mickey Rourke or Sylvester Stallone might have defined the leading role had they persevered with their involvement. Sly went so far as to rewrite the script to compliment his strengths, transforming the action-comedy into a special effects laden pure action flick (ultimately making the proposal so expensive it became unfeasible to produce), while Mickey’s take on the starring hero never got off the starting blocks.

Whilst the video game shares the name of the movie Tynesoft paid to acquire the license to piggyback, it has little in common other than a vague cops verses criminals premise and a few backdrops. Not that this was Tynesoft’s fault; the game’s conceptualisation was subcontracted out to American consulting firm, Subway Software, founded by video game journalists Bill Kunkel, Joyce Worley and Arnie Katz in the mid-eighties.

In the movie, Trading Places and 48 Hours co-star Eddie plays wise-cracking ‘loose cannon’ Detroit cop, Axel Foley, whose childhood friend, Mikey Tandino, has been murdered in Beverly Hills in connection to his involvement with dodgy German bearer bonds. Axel, knowing the case is beyond his jurisdiction, takes a period of leave to travel to California to investigate, off the record. I’m told ‘fish out of water’ hilarity ensues, although my mind kept wandering towards Axl Rose and Spaghetti.

Gallery owner, Victor Maitland, the employer of Mikey and the mutual friend he shares with Axel, gallery manager Jenny Summers, is believed to be the nucleus of the shady operation that extends to cocaine smuggling, which I believe is illegal and extremely naughty. Hence the police’s interest in his activities.

The crux of the movie concerns nailing the head honcho for his misdemeanours, so why Subway Software decided to completely sideline the character played by Steven Berkoff is perplexing. Instead, on the small screen we’re in pursuit of generic top banana, Mr Big, who is in the police’s cross-hairs for crimes of the gun-running variety.

I suppose dropping the bearer bonds angle makes sense; how many kids would know or care about those? There would have been nothing wrong with crow-barring in a ‘Winners Don’t Use Drugs’ message, however, by adopting that aspect of the movie. Courtesy of then FBI director, William S. Sessions, who forged a deal with the American Amusement Machine Association, the didactic slogan appeared in the attract screens of all arcade games imported into North America between 1989 and 2000. Home conversions of such too, NARC for example. Par for the course then that Subway didn’t get on-board. ‘Missed opportunity’ is a theme we’ll be returning to at regular intervals.

I don’t often set out to find awful games, they find me. Today’s tawdry specimen under the spotlight is one of the best-worst examples. Due to tight budgets, small teams and miserly deadlines, terrible Amiga games aren’t a rarity sadly. This one, however, is perhaps the only entry in the back catalogue to be commissioned by the administrators of a burnt out games studio undergoing the humiliating process of receivership.

“It was a bit of a shock when Tynesoft went bust. It was a bit unexpected, even though there had been cashflow problems. They were brought down by their sister company, a printing works.

What happened was that they tried to become a big printing operation, bought loads of hi-tech equipment (stuff that cost hundreds of thousands of quid) and then couldn’t pay for it. They tried to use non-labour workers and got blacklisted by the local unions. It had to be the stupidest move you’ve ever seen.

They had a good staff of programmers and artists, low costs and a good user base. People bought the games in the thousands every month. Tynesoft had a party once because their turnover reached the 1 million mark. It was a fantastic feat at the time and it was all thrown away on a whim …. really sad.

However the fun didn’t end there – there was still weird stuff to happen. The staff heard the receivers were on the way, so there was a massive free-for-all. Typical – all happened on the day I wasn’t in. Twats (again). However, the stories were entered into legend about the number of trips Gary Partis made in his car that day, ferrying stuff to his house, never to be seen again.

Anyhow, within weeks I was approached by the receiver to finish Beverly Hills Cop, which I did with Stephen Robson who was a Spectrum programmer back then. As you can guess it was a bit of an abortion from start to finish. A side story to all this was that everything that got done on the game got seen personally by Eddie Murphy, which excited us at the time. Tynesoft was showing no signs of impending doom, so we regularly sent stuff to the States. Unfortunately, one of the programmers thought it would be funny if he drew a bone through Eddie’s nose as he sat on the bonnet of the car (on the game cover). It was missed by him and almost went to duplication like that!

When Tynesoft went bust, it split acrimoniously into Flair Software and ID Ltd (no, not the Quake lot!). I worked for both up until 1997 when the majority of the staff were laid off by Flair Software who, strangely enough, only do religious or hunting games for the U.S. – work that one out.”

Retro Isle’s Kevin Blake author spotlight

Ironically, development of the Beverly Hills tie-in game began five years after the movie – winner of the People’s Choice Award for Favourite Motion Picture – hit the cinemas, so careful timing wouldn’t have been an issue. The same couldn’t be said of other movie license games of the time such as Batman, Back to the Future II and III, RoboCop and The Untouchables, all of which had to be rushed to market while they remained hot properties, with varying degrees of success across the multitude of release platforms.

Tynesoft’s loose interpretation made an appearance on all the popular 8-bit and 16-bit systems of the period, even some that should have been relaxing in their comfy slippers and reclining armchair with a steaming mug of hot Horlicks by 1990. The BBC Micro for instance.

That shouldn’t really be too surprising, the Blaydon-on-Tyne based softco founded in 1983 were after all best known for developing and/or publishing educational software – and later games – for the 8-bit home micros. They went bust before truly finding their feet in the 16-bit realm, BHC being their parting gift. Tynesoft still exist today as publishers, only not in the games industry.

Their logically titled Beverly Hills Cop offering is a ‘multi-type’ mishmash of various disparate genres aimed at pleasing everyone, whilst not actually hitting the high notes in any. Or, as the manual lies…

“Beverly Hills Cop is a thrilling arcade contest controlling Detective Axel Foley through wild and wooly antics in the ritzy atmosphere or Beverly Hills.”

Each of the mini-games with their alternating perspectives and vacillating control schemes appear to have been developed in isolation and bolted together at the 11th hour. To that effect, in the Spectrum and Amstrad versions you can choose to jump in wherever takes your fancy for practice purposes. Nevertheless, not on the Amiga unless you’re playing a ‘trained’ copy.

Proceedings kick off promisingly enough with a well drawn rendition of the movie poster featuring Axel perched on the bonnet of Jenny’s Mercedes, and a faultlessly accurate replica of Harold Faltermeyer’s iconic theme tune playing in the background. Musician Ron Klaren – also the man behind the acoustics accompanying Battle Squadron, Cyberblast and The Plague – doesn’t miss a note! Michael Landreth, Phil Nixon or both were possibly-maybe responsible for the still Eddie caricatures (it’s not exactly clear because full credits for the Amiga version aren’t available). They also deserve a name-drop if that’s appropriate. I won’t mention the in-game graphics here because I don’t want to ruin the positive vibe… savour the moment, it’s all downhill from here, and nothing could prepare you for the abhorrence that is the DOS version’s soundtrack. Go on, I triple-dare you!

Ron’s title tune is sadly the only music to be heard throughout the game – a real shame considering it’s pitch-perfect, leaving you slathering in anticipation for more of equal calibre. In the manual it states that pressing the Q key on level 4 activates the music, only all it achieves is to mute the sound effects, which then need to be re-enabled by pressing the S key. It would be interesting to know if Ron composed additional music to the track inexplicably linked to Beverly Hills Cop and it’s only the playback mechanism that’s broken.

On most platforms our first mission begins in a warehouse located on the outskirts of Beverly Hills that’s being employed by the (notorious?) crime lord Mr Big to stash ammunitions. Whilst out on night patrol Axel is called in to prevent his mooks from loading further vans with shipments bound for ‘gangland’. Of course this will entail giving them a good ticking off and politely requesting that they buck up their ideas. With a Colt .45.

A bonded warehouse features in the movie – the one where ironically ex-con Mikey was employed as a security guard before being whacked – though on the silver screen it belongs to Maitland and he’s (on the record at least) using it to store precious artwork. A perfect example of the game’s designers taking inspiration from the movie, yet veering off course at a tangent in terms of plot. If only there had been a few bytes spared for a pixelated adaptation of the cop’s extracurricular field trip strip bar scene. What might have been.

 

Upon entering the lock-up pea-shooter at the ready, Mr Big’s henchman scurry back and forth unleashing flurries of neatly packaged parcels of lead-based death from all angles. I believe they’re known as bullets in the trade. Are they still made of lead? Isn’t that toxic? 😐

As if the conventional means of cop-killing aren’t sufficient, they also hurl dynamite and rolling barrel mines at us, which is a bit of a bugbear seeing as we can’t jump to dodge out of their path. Well that’s certainly one way to workaround the ‘up for jump’ issue if you’re a bit pushed for time. In RoboCop you’d push down then up to leap into the air. That aside, the platforming sections of both games share a lot in common.

An inability to jump also means we can’t climb on top of the endless rows of crates to get a better shot at the bad guys. Instead we must rotate our aim through a 180 degree arc, shooting diagonally and horizontally, yet not directly upwards. Maybe Axel has a bad neck so this is off limits. Curiously he managed to find a cure in time for his C64 performance.

Barrel acrobatics in the C64 version!

Targeting is extremely fiddly because you initially need to press fire to whip out your gun and you’re rarely in the right line of sight to make a successful hit possible without a lot of shimmying. It’s also difficult to judge the trajectory of your bullets since the only angle available to you isn’t the usual 45 degrees as found in similar platformers.

This is complicated further by Axel’s confusion over the difference between standing and crouching. He’ll stand when you want to crouch and vice versa, making ducking beneath volleys of bullets and shooting at mines a real haphazard chore that’s likely to land you in the morgue.

There’s a novel twist to the control system to be found in the C64 version that prevents you from repeating the same method of attack indefinitely, forcing you to alternate between various types of punches and kicks that aren’t even an option in the Amiga iteration. Guns? Who needs guns? Aren’t they dangerous? This thwarts the old Double Dragon style elbow-a-rama means of completing a level that gets the job done in the most effective and safest way possible, yet feels deeply unsatisfying because there’s little impedance. Clever stuff.

For a game produced in 1990 level one on the Amiga looks passable graphically. That’s in spite of amounting to nothing more than a single screen copied and pasted ad infinitum, randomly peppered with storage crates creating an effect reminiscent of Ocean’s Untouchables. You’ll be so busy wrangling with the iffy controls and cursing at the unfair premature deaths (lose three hearts and you’re a goner), you may not even notice this lazy layout bodge. No mention is made of bug testers in the manual shockingly enough.

There are three effective layers of parallax scrolling to imbue a sense of depth, and the colours are more vibrant than you’d expect from a drab warehouse setting.

Unfortunately any goodwill earnt thus far is rendered null and void by the awful protagonist sprite who neither looks or moves like Axel; he’s weedy, there’s no arrogant swagger and at no point does he indicate that running might be in his repertoire. As such the scenario crawls at a snail’s pace, clearly anathema to a game and movie supposedly falling into the action category.

Worse still, in the BBC Micro version you actually slide backwards as if stuck on a conveyor belt unless you continually haul yourself forwards!

Collision detection and internal logic is equally poor. Bullets will sail straight through baddies and into your guts if they’re the ones on the safe end of the gun, yet there’s no reciprocation if you shoot through a dying perpetrator. Some you can shoot in the legs until the cows come home and they won’t incur an iota of damage until you adjust your stance and try again. Coupled with the similarly fickle aiming mechanic the episode is a lost cause. Very occasionally you’ll shoot in the direction you intend. If this occurs often enough it’s onto the next level.

Level two’s premise revolves around the goons from the warehouse having managed to load three vans with arms and escape to the highway with us in “hot pursuit”. Accordingly the game now flips into polygonal driving mode, something akin to Hard Drivin’, in appearance at least.

Amiga to the left of us, DOS to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you…

Where it falls down, once again, is the controls. Mouse or joystick, steering is far too sensitive so you’ll soon find yourself careering off the road, where you have just nine seconds to correct your position before your windscreen cracks (?) and you lose a life. Easier said than done when Jenny’s dainty Mercedes decides it’s not compatible with neatly manicured grass and takes an eternity to maneuver itself back on track. Considering her pristine, nippy sports car clearly isn’t up to job, I have to wonder how Axel’s “crappy blue Chevy Nova” would have handled the same course.

While there’s also a high velocity truck chase in the movie, the way it transpires is nothing remotely like the game’s portrayal of it. Instead it’s Axel being pursued by the police as he clings death-defyingly to a dangling chain inside one of the vehicles. Detroit’s finest are under the impression he’s a criminal involved in an illegal deal, and Axel can’t put them straight because that would blow his cover… his under cover. When they’re caught red handed, the driver takes flight, fleeing the scene in the delivery truck Axel was negotiating inside, and he’s dragged along for the ride whether he likes it or not.

 

Assuming you can stay on the road, your mission is to shoot each of the three trucks five times in order to blow them up and sabotage Mr Big’s logistics operation. Not reading the manual for this stage is synonymous with shooting yourself in the foot, blindfolded, in the dark – anyone would quite reasonably assume you’ve entered the fray cross-hairless because you are by default. You have to press the A key to enable it.

This is made all the more arduous by the gun-runners’ propensity for flinging open the back doors and launching boxes at you. Hmm, the same boxes containing the weapons they intend to sell I wonder. Deploying them to fire bullets and whatnot might have been a better plan, and they’d get to keep their stock. Clearly these guys skipped too many gangsterology classes so are having to wing it.

Over on the C64 this level is a top-down affair, albeit with the same goals. Analogous to the Amiga version you perish as a consequence of a single collision.

‘Bruno Bardolino’ the text in the manual covering this section reveals is the real name of their boss, Mr Big. All I can imagine is that conjuring up their own antagonist and plot freed Subway from the burden of having to watch the movie, or reproduce it for an audience of nit-picky fans who knew it better than they did. It’s as good an explanation as any.

Next up is the Overlook style grounds of Mr Big’s luxurious mansion (you know, the Colorado house from The Shining); a level which takes the form of a slightly askew top-down run and gunner similar to dozens of army ’em ups like Mercs or Ikari Warriors. A similar configuration can be found in the movie, except the plush suburban mansion belongs to Victor Maitland and Axel is trespassing in a bid to rescue Jenny who has been kidnapped having been caught snooping around the warehouse with Axel. Maitland sees the party approaching (Axel is joined by BH cops Rosewood and Taggart) via the security cameras and orders his goons to apprehend them.

Battle of the monster HUDS – Amiga verses DOS

Battling through huddles of his lackeys like a deflated Rambo imposter we navigate the hedge mazes to reach the front door of our nemesis. Curiously, in the C64 version these were replaced with long expanses of moat-like structures, or water features if you prefer. Maybe that was to allow you to shoot baddies across the barriers where you can’t in the Amiga version. They can turn you into a bullet-riddled colander despite their ammo not visibly penetrating the foliage, but you’re unable to return their really rather rude welcome gesture. Zero marks for host duties there methinks. Wall mazes are the order of the day over on the Speccy, Amstrad and BBC Micro. This trio were clearly cut from the same mould, only the various colour palettes distinguish them.

In this level our movement as well as targeting sight is controlled with the directional movements of either the joystick or mouse, which is supremely awkward, not least because you continue moving forwards without necessarily wanting to until you switch direction or shoot. In mouse mode both buttons must be clicked to fire your Colt; left to control the target followed by the right to shoot. Rapid fire mode is enabled by picking up rifles.

If you suffer from zombie-induced anxiety syndrome you’re on safe ground here; dead goons de-materialise rather than turning to corpses that remain where they fell so there’s no chance of them returning from beyond the grave. All of the 8-bit versions except for the BBC Micro put the Amiga in the shade in this regard because they do the opposite. A tad more realistic I feel unless you’re playing a Star Trek game.

Climbing the steps to Mr Big’s playpen abode we opt for the slightly unconventional means of entry known as pulling the pin out of a grenade and lobbing it at the door knocker. So that explains what that unthrowable grenade icon was doing in the HUD all this time.

 

 

 

Once inside we find ourselves on level four. Hocus pocus alakazam, now we’re playing an FPS, just not one you’d recognise as such, believing Wolfenstein 3D to be as primitive as these could ever get.

This one has more in common with a bare wireframe prototype, the fundamental building blocks of a shooter to be spread across five floors. It’s no coincidence that I should allude to vector graphics such as those used in some of the earliest Star Wars games because that’s exactly what the DOS version of this level looks like.

It could also pass for an architect’s ground plan of a new build construction that doesn’t require a ceiling, carpets, wallpaper, furniture or any of the other ornamental trappings that make a home homely. Yet we’re to believe this is the pad of the numero uno godfather of Whereversville. Beverly Hills, that’s where we are, it’s in the title. How could I possibly forget?

This level in C64 BHC is much more convincing in that it features proper walls, ceilings, floors, shelves full of books, chandeliers, hanging artwork and even a roaring fire and hearth, all set in distinctive rooms. Rooms such as the drawing room, plant room (?) and play room (?). This is also the case in the Spectrum, BBC Micro and Amstrad interpretations where this portion of the game similarly outshines its Amiga counterpart.

We’ll press on regardless because that’s the kind of unphaseable, hard as nails crime fighter we are. In any case we have hostages to rescue and you know what that means? No, not sparing innocent, precious lives, but points. 2500 of them to be precise for each gagged and chair-bound damsel in distress who requires our assistance. This entails walking into them, at which point they spontaneously vanish into the either to be replaced by a levitating number indicating to what extent our score will rise.

On route we must take out the guards using our shotgun, the massive ‘elephant in the room’ looming in our HUD I’d imagine. Yep, that one that says ‘cartridges’ under it while not actually indicating how many of our seven rounds we have remaining. Come on, if we have to have that obliterating half the playfield let’s at least make it useful. Could we not squeeze in a rolling Twitter feed down there? On depletion of each round we must reload, incapacitating our ability to defend ourselves momentarily.

Joystick control plus the z and x keys to rotate left and right is your only option here. No cross-hair is evident and this time one can’t be enabled with a toggle key as in level two so you may as well be shooting wearing a Knightmare Helmet of Justice. Awful controls have already been established as a running theme so don’t expect any improvement here. Letting go of a direction key or relaxing the joystick axis fails to bring Axel to a halt as you’d expect, so you’re forever swivelling back and forth attempting to rectify his position to align him with the guards or hostages. Squaring up to the former in close proximity it should be like shooting fish in a barrel. Ha, no chance! You can blast them in the face repeatedly without them so much as batting an eyelid. If the Death Register Randomiser (a well-worn Tynesoft in-house dev tool I’d imagine) decides it’s your lucky day they perish by dematerialising as in the previous mini-game set in the garden.

Adversaries are few and far between, and when you do encounter them they tend to go about their own business walking into walls and sinking into the floor, rendering them invulnerable until they can claw their way back from the other side and into the same plane of existence. Navigating the labyrinth-esque corridors while the screen blinks in out of sight poses more of a hindrance than the guards.

Actually, I tell a lie, there is some furniture in Casa de Big; the main man’s desk. At the end of the line you’ll find him sitting behind it waiting for Axel to introduce him to the business end of his shooty death-dealing gizmo.

I’ve been expecting you Mr Rose, erm, I mean Foley.

Mr Big has rigged the place to blow sky high should he be rumbled by the fuzz, so our final challenge is to find the lift and make a swift exit. We have three minutes.

A tad defeatist, no? A whole army of gangsters verses a single stand-up comedian and he’s ready to throw in the towel at the first sign of interference, sabotaging his pride and joy in the process. And what if a stray bullet or explosion accidentally detonates the bomb before Big Bruno is apprehended? I suspect he’s not thought this through property.

 

 

 

If we can terminally duff him up (he doesn’t pose much of a threat actually), and evacuate in time we’re congratulated with a still of Axel giving us the A-OK sign. Like the intro and interstitial screens it’s competently drawn. Still not much of a finale considering how much we’ve endured to get to this point though is it?

We’ll just have to assume we aborted Mr Big’s underground arms operation because that doesn’t get the briefest of mentions. With the final pixel sticky-taped in place Tynesoft pocketed their unexpected supplementary pay cheques and headed off to the coast to work on their tans.

Beverly Hills Cop is a hastily cobbled together train wreck that was never truly finished to a standard worthy of what would have been a golden goose of a license had it been capitalised upon back in 1984.

In a generous mood it’s merely an engine upon which to hang what should have been a far more refined game, an inadequate, broken one at that. With hindsight the kindest thing to do would have been to put it out of its misery long before it reached the shrink-wrap stage. And that’s not just my opinion – refreshingly honest, the author of possibly the worst iteration of all agrees entirely.

“Hilarious … I did a big chunk of the BBC Micro version of this game and it was incredibly rushed and chopped to pieces. What actually happened was that Tynesoft went bust during development and an official receiver was brought in to get as much out of the literally burning remains (yes there was a fire as well … arson) of the company as possible. The game was about 1/3 in and the staff were offered lump sums just to get something finished … hence the utter bag o crap …. 30 years after all I can say is sorry on behalf of the Tynesoft staff … did get get a good holiday out of the payoff tho. ;)”

Tynesoft coder, Kevin Blake

Given what a shambles Beverly Hills Cop is right across the board, the critics were peculiarly lenient, mostly awarding mediocre to above average scores.

The Games Machine decreed the Amiga incarnation worthy of 57% in March 1990 concluding…

“Five quid more for the Amiga version! Why?! It’s certainly no better than the ST version. The action kicks off to a good start with a decent rendition of the Harold Faltermeyer theme, but apart from the driving section with its polygon graphics, I feel the machine isn’t even trying. Beverly Hills Cop is a game that, unlike the film, at the end of the day doesn’t deliver the goods.”

Contradicting themselves in the same issue, the Atari ST edition conceded two percentage points making it – statistically speaking – marginally more dire than the hideous Amiga game.

“Graphically, both 16-bit versions are very similar, with Eddie Murphy looking more like Daley Thompson (or is that Marshal Rosenthal?) than the tough, wisecracking cop we all know and love. Sound consists of a tinny version of the Harold Faltermeyer theme with simple effects.”

Zzap were even less inclined to hold back, belittling the lame duck with a more credible 42% in the same month.

“Amiga BHC has some appalling main character animation (the garden scene is unbelievably basic). Sound effects aren’t all that hot either. The Hard Drivin’-style scene is a good idea but the car drives like a brick and is amazingly slow when it hits the grass. This scene is the best ot the game but even this fails in its execution, summing up the whole game in the process.”

“The Hard Drivin’ level is much improved over the C64’s vertically scrolling version, but gameplay sadly fails to match up to the graphics.

Level one has a nice parallax scroll, but simply walking right and shooting the baddies is too limited – you can’t even jump. The two other levels lack this graphic sheen, and more importantly the simple playability needed to succeed.”

“Promising ideas are spoilt by poor implementation.”

Over on the 8-bit systems the game mostly fared slightly better. Slightly. Zzap in February 1990, for instance, pegged it at 68% declaring BHC, “A nicely structured package of five playable but somewhat dated sub-games.”

Five, you’re wondering? Yes, the C64 version begins with an extra, isometric driving mission, followed by the four levels found in the Amiga game.

48% was the damning verdict from The Games Machine in March 1990 with regards to the Commodore 64 offering.

“The graphics leave a lot to be desired. Small, splodgy, tired looking sprites do their best to entertain – but sadly fail miserably. Fans of the foul-mouthed cop won’t be impressed.”

They liked the Amstrad version 8% less in April…

“The title screen is very well drawn but in the game itself Axel Foley is terrible. Graphics are blocky and gaudily coloured, scrolling is slow and juddery, and animation is almost unheard of. Music is warbly, effects rough. A bad license.”

ACE were less offended by the C64 game in February 1990 – in bingo lingo it received a middling ‘musty hive’. That’s 55 to anyone under the age of 100. Why do I know this stuff?

“There is an extra driving section, but this doesn’t make up for the poor playability of the game as a whole. Certainly nothing to write home about.”

Your Sinclair in April 1990 settled on an appraisal of 62 degrees, rather than percentage points. That being their thing.

“So, seeing how the movie was so good Beverly Hills Cop is a bit of a let-down. On the plus side, you’ve got four very different games here, catering for a variety of tastes, and linked together quite well. On the minus, it’s all got that very rushed, unfinished ‘budgety’ feel to it (even though it can’t have been rushed, because they’ve been harping on about it for ages). But, worst of all, there’s simply too much of it that has zilcho to do with the film. What a disappointment.”

Sinclair User delivering a 48% bottom line in April 1990 left us with this to mull over…

“Considering the movie came out about five years ago, the wait for the game really hasn’t been worth it.”

“Eddie wouldn’t be pleased.”

Regrettably Mr Murphy was too busy on set shooting Beverly Hills Cop 4 when contacted for an opinion of Tynesoft’s video game interpretation of his second blockbuster buddy cop movie. For the rest of the sane world the jury isn’t so much out as AWOL, last seen running for the hills …anyone’s but Beverly’s!

Anyway, he wouldn’t talk to me because I’m white. Pfft, racist. 😉

Leave a Reply