Kid Gloves 2 (Second Review)

Title		Kid Gloves 2 (Second Review)
Game Type	Platform
Publisher	Millennium, 1992
Players		1
HD Installable  With WHDLoad Patch
Compatibility	With Patch
Submission	Martin Smith Profiled Reviewer

Kid Gloves was an innocently C64-esque game, which was later given away
free with Amiga Power magazine. Kid Gloves 2 started life as Little Beau,
which was to be released by Digital Magic, who folded before it hit the
shelves. Millenium picked it up and redesigned the main character to look
(vaguely) like Kid Gloves (although he doesn't look like the type to have
a girlfriend to rescue, which is the plot), and tried to pass it off as a
worthy sequel. I've never played the original, but I suspect its better
than this.

The levels he must get through are inhabited by some fairly timid-looking
enemies, many of whom don't even move, but a combination of the required
millimetre-perfect sword-fighting, the difficulty of avoiding some of the
surface hazards, and the fact that making a big jump seems impossible,
make things far harder than they should be. The inability to jump far also
leaves the visible 'secret bonus' areas off-limits.

The design is inconsistent and shoddy. As an example, level 2 starts with
a single baddy before a gaping abyss you can't cross. Fortunately, the bad
guy, when killed, releases a balloon (the most logical explanation of why
a snake would possess a balloon would be gratefully received) which can be
used to clear this section (which contains a number of hidden items). When
you hit something with the balloon, you lose it - but not while in the
chasm, as this would leave you unable to escape. The end-of-level doors
look the same whether you need a key or not. These keys are held by
particular enemies, who look and act identical to the others, but are
often located in side-lanes halfway through the level - meaning that you
can reach an exit but not be able to go through it, and the levels are
often much harder to negotiate backwards, especially due to the reliance
on ladders and trees.

The first end-of-level boss requires some 30 hits to kill, which can be
administered by cornering him Streetfighter 2-style. However, the
stalactites at the top of the screen (which were harmless there and on
previous levels) now fall on you and must be avoided, again for no logical
reason, making losing a life possible. The level starts with 15-20 seconds
of empty walking before you reach the boss, incidentally.

By 1992 Amiga platformers had evolved considerably. Titles on the shelf
included the cuteness and character of Rodland, the AI and adventure
elements of Gods, the humour and surprise of Robocod, the technical
supremacy of the Turrican titles, and the gloriously balanced gameplay of
Rainbow Islands. This title offered none of that, and was deservedly lost
in the crowd. If you like platform games which look and feel like 1987
Sega Master System releases, you might not mind it, as the control
response is okay and the difficulty curve allows you to make gradual
progress, but there are dozens of better examples.

Overall 45%

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