First of all, this is a review of the Gameboy version, not the home console or arcade version.
Secondly, there is little to nothing written about the Gameboy version, so I will take this opportunity to write RoboCop into the Gaming Canon.
Ocean picked up the rights during the script stage of the film, so thankfully, we got a game that tries to incorporate all the key moments, and means the game feels like a RoboCop game, not some reskin of another game.
It is also worth pointing out that the arcade version is a port of the console version, not the otherway round.
The transitions between the levels REALLY grate, particularly if you have a long session playing it. IE, if you die and have to restart.
It is generally considered that RoboCop had great music, sadly the Gameboy version doesn’t. In fact, it is dreadful. From listening to the soundtrack, you can here some of the correct notes of the Robocop Theme, but they clearly didn’t buy the rights, so it is more a pastiche.
The arcade version has pretty shit hot music, but the GameBoy version… EWWWWWWW
While the shooting offers a nice 360 arc of firing (at 45 degree intervals), shooting up is a little clunky, due to the angle you stand and the animation of the arm (above), you shoot slightly to the side of where you’re standing. It isn’t a game breaker, but it means you will take a lot of hits until you get fully used to the control mechanism.
Due to graphical limitations of the Gameboy, it is not exactly clear what some of the enemies are. For example, there is a guy who looks like he has a baseball bat, that if he hits you, he does immense damage. It is only from watching a ‘Lets play‘ of the arcade version, that I realised this guy has a chainsaw.
RoboCop is also a little short, your play through from start to finish, will take 22 minutes. If you’re good, 22 minutes, if your bad 22 minutes. It isn’t as short as Kirby, but it is a brief game.
Ok, fine. I’ll talk about the positives, and there are a few!
The variation in level design is damn good. Levels 2, 4, 8 and 10 are cracking!
Level 2 and 10 are “hostage” levels, where you have to shoot a bad guy holding an innocent person in front of them (basically the shooting the rapist in the nuts scene).
The 8th level is the shooting range scene, level 2, 8 and 10 these levels operate in a first person mode. Which gives a new dimension to the game and helps with the pacing, it also helps to break the monotony that builds during the run and gun levels.
The 4th level is a photo-fit level, the controls are a little fiddly, and you get a very short time frame to complete it, but it is a really nice feature. Plus, it randomises the faces each time. This means you can’t just remember the order to press the buttons, you actually have to pay attention. However, if you fail, it is gameover, and you have to restart!
The boss fights are decent too (level 6 and 9). You fight ED-209 a couple of times, the first is a fist fight, reenacting the first encounter in the film, the second is the penultimate level you take ED-209 on again as the last “boss fight”. This a little easy, but it is fun to take on somebody like ED-209, it does feel like living a dream!
Overall, the game is pretty average. It isn’t terrible, it just isn’t very good. I get the feeling if I was playing the console or arcade versions it would be scoring much higher, however the Gameboy port is pretty poor . If you can, get a console version, and avoid the handheld versions.
Pros: Level variety, ED-209
Cons: The bloody song is almost non stop! Standard levels are boring, the ending