Games based on movie licenses are a dime a dozen, these days. Most of them are just attempts to cash in on the popularity of the movie - and often they manage to do so, at least until the general public catches up on to how much they really suck.
Every now and then there's an exception from this rule, but these are few and far between. And then there are those few who don't aspire to being exceptional but manage to hold their own anyway.
Terminator 2: The Arcade Game is one such title, taking the Terminator 2 license and turning it into what would otherwise be a pretty regular arcade shooter.
Don't expect to be blown away by realistic graphics or incredible music, but don't expect to be scared away by horrible blotches instead of sprites nor insane screeching instead of sound.Neither exceptional nor sub-par for its age, both the game's graphics and sound are acceptable even today, fifteen years after it was published.
The game casts you as the T-800 Terminator (in the movie played by - you guessed it - Ahhhnuld) reprogrammed by the human resistance to protect John Connor. Before you get to replay the events of the movie, however, you'll find yourself sending dozens - if not hundreds - of enemy Terminators to the scrap heap over the course of three levels set in the future, culminating with an assault on Skynet's time displacement facility. After that, it's pretty much all gunfights from the movie replayed with you in the place of Ahhhnuld.
Gameplay-wise, it's quite the same as any arcade shooter: move the targeting reticle around the screen and shoot the enemies who sometimes leave powerups you can use. To avoid monotony, each level of the gameplay is divided into varied scenarios.
Most of the time, you're simply fighting massive waves of enemies - either on the move or from a fixed position. The real fun starts when you have to protect John Connor (or, at one point, his mother) from the approaching opponents. One of my favorite parts of the game is protecting Connor's car in third level - during the ride the vehicle acquires damage as the Terminators attack it, and at the end it's little more than a wreck (worth seeing at least once).
Of course, no good arcade game could do without boss fights. There are very frew of them here, but all are insanely tough - you'll find yourself wondering just how much more can they take quite a few times when battling them.
Overall, T2: The Arcade Game is not an exceptional title. It didn't revolutionize the genre or even was particularly popular... but who gives a damn about that?
It hits the spot just right when you have fifteen minutes of free time to unwind through some virtual mayhem - and in the end one thing that really counts is whether the game's fun or not.
So consider giving it a try. Being a killer cyborg with sunglasses and heavy Austrian accent is not neccesary, but it helps.
The game is cracked. When copy protection comes up, just press ENTER to bypass it.
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