Title		Rubicon
Game Type	Platform
Company		21st Century Entertainment/an ESD conversion
Players		1
HD Installable	With Patch
Compatibility	All (With Patch)
Submission	Pretentious Nickname Profiled Reviewer

 I first came across a one-level playable demo of Rubicon on a UK-mag's
coverdisk, way back in the early 90's. My impression of the game back
then was "My GOD! What a horrible game!", and in all honesty, it was! The
graphics were well-drawn but murky, in the sort of "cartoony" style
popular in Europe at the time. There was no in-game music (a BIG minus in
my book), and the sound effects were rather lacking. The enemies lacked
personality, had little animation, and every other step you were faced
with a mini-boss creature.

Yes, I soon tired of Rubicon.

 Early last year (Jan/Feb 2002), I noticed a copy of Rubicon on eBay
Canada for 99 cents. I figured "What the Hell, my tastes have changed
over the last decade, maybe I'll actually enjoy the game now..."

 Well, the graphics are STILL murky, the sound effects STILL suck, and
there's STILL no in-game music score. However, once you beat the first
level, the game gets a bit better. In fact, I found it to be quite a bit
of FUN!

 As stated previously, the graphics are fairly well detailed, especially
in the later levels, each corresponding with the level's theme. The first
level has you battling across a primeval world under a volcanic sky. The
second has you running through a medieval castle, dodging boiling oil and
falling blocks. (My personal faves are the fourth and final levels, but I
won't spoil the surprise!)

 The enemies themselves also correspond with the levels on which they
appear (Dinosaurs on level one; goblins, ogres, and knights on level two,
etc). Their attack patterns never change, and after going through any
particular level enough times, one can almost play it with one's eyes
closed. Although I wouldn't recommend doing so, as you'll miss some of the
more humourous touches inherent in some enemies. Graphically, the enemy
sprites are well detailed (especially the bosses), but exhibit little to
no personality (or animation, for that matter).

 Rubicon controls well. Granted, all you do is run, jump, and shoot, but
I find the controls are very responsive and have had no difficulty puting
my bald-headed, unshaven proxy where I want him at any time. Your
character has an array of weaponry accessed by function keys 1-7.
Power-ups/weaponry are dropped from the sky (a la Bionic Commando) once,
twice, even thrice per level, and you'll find some items are more useful
than others. For my money, nothing beats the Jetpack or Laser!

 In short, Rubicon is a passable game. It's not horrible, but it's not
Turrican 3 either. If you're a fan of the side-scrolling actionplatform
genre, you could do worse. Would I recommend it? Only if you can get it
inexpensively. I'd give it a 6/10

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