Rambo: First Blood Part II
Release Date: December 1986
Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Rambo: First Blood Part II on Sega Master System is a tie in to the movie, I guess. You play as John Rambo and you’re on a quest to kill everyone who gets in your way. All Rocky… I mean Rambo… needs is his trusty M60 and assortment of arrow-bombs. He then uses his savage strength and steel nerves to take out his enemies and save his fellow countrymen from randomly placed concentration camps.
Rambo advances up screen as he shoots his way to the end of each level. There are six levels proceeding from the jungle, to the forest, followed by a swamp, then the desert, followed by the last acts in town, and finally the coast. Rambo shoots his M60 with the 1 Button. It can receive two upgrades during regular play. A long shot, which allows the bullet to move to the edge of the screen and a strong shot, which allows it to shoot through enemies. These are helpful, as Rambo can only get two bullets on screen at once.
There are flashing buildings that can be destroyed with arrow-bombs from the 2 Button. Each one that you destroy gives a power-up. The first adds to your arrow-bomb total. The second destroys all enemies on screen. The third gives the arrow-bombs an extra powerful explosion, which helps destroy things like tanks that populate the levels. You also need to make sure to have an arrow-bomb at the end of the level when you must defeat a squad of enemies and then blow up a wall to advance to the next level.
Enemies come in a few varieties. The main one is the infantrymen, there are slow moving ones and the quicker variety, as well as grenadiers. There are rocketmen and prone snipers, who shoot long, quick bullets. Flame throwers who shoot flames. Knife throwers who attack in many directions. Rocket launcher infantry shoot incessantly. Policemen, who seek to stop Rambo, and more. There are also tanks which shoot rockets while trying to mow you down.
Rambo moves pretty slowly and can only shoot in five directions. This is contrasted to Commando, which allowed shooting in all eight directions. I’m going to say that this was the only area that Commando did better than Rambo. Everything else, Rambo shined in. The game wasn’t particularly long and there were passwords to start at the level that you last died on. This was welcome on the final level, which was pretty difficult.
The different levels are differentiated and they look pleasant enough.
They put some work into the title screen theme. The stage music is fine and the sound effects are, too.
It would be better if you could shoot in the three directions behind Rambo, but that isn’t possible. The arrow-bombs can be shot in multiple directions, which make them useful.
The different enemy types create some tension with how to get through the levels.
Fun Factor: 2.0
I’d say this game is fun enough for a quick playthrough. I wouldn’t have been as happy if I spent 50 bucks on it in 1986.
Overall Grade: 1.9
Rambo earns a C. This isn’t a great game, but it was certainly better than its contemporary, Commando.