Friday, September 22, 2006
Rampage - The One That Was Released
Just to compare things, here is the later version of Rampage that was eventually released on the Lynx. As you can see, it's more clearly patterned after the arcade game, expanded to include 4-player action. It's also a real step backward graphically.
I don't know if that affected the popularity or success of the game. It was a real turn-off for me; enough so that I never played it until the Lynx was gone and reincarnated as the Handy emulator. That was really too bad, because I missed out on a genuinely fun and solid game, and the Lynx circa 1991 was seriously running short on solid titles.
Still, I wanted the earlier Epyx Rampage that I was promised. I felt like I got screwed. At that time, 1990, going into 1991, the Lynx was already in decline and the writing was on the wall.
All the Atari Games arcade translations were superb, and brilliant achievements for a small handheld, but the second and third wave of Lynx games were lacking the depth of the original Epyx titles. They lacked the ambition, never really surpassing the visual standards set by Slime World, Gates of Zendocon, Gauntlet 3, Electrocop, Blue Lightning, Chip's Challenge.
The later titles were arcade games, meant for short sessions. A couple quarters here, a couple quarters there. That's great for a lot of reasons, and I can't imagine the Lynx without them, but the depth was lacking. It was also pretty easy to tell that Atari struggled with original games. The Atari Games roster was already coming to a close, and that pretty much meant the end of the road.
All of this is just a long-winded explanation for why I passed up Rampage back then. It really doesn't have much to do with the game itself. Heck, you can fire up Rampage on Handy and see for yourself - it's a pretty fun arcade romp. A little cartoony and a little slow, but good. I'd imagine that it truly shines in multiplayer, but, as you can guess, I've never found that out.