Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
I worry that one of gaming’s most infamous releases may be being forgotten by history. Almost never do I hear its name raised when people talk about great gaming disasters these days, so let’s remember once more lest we be doomed to repeat it. Rise Of The Robots was the beat-em-up you could win by just doing flying kicks to the right.
It was a mess on such a grand scale. Millions and millions of dollars went into marketing it. It was supposed to be this massive, breakthrough franchise, spun off into toys and movies and theme park rise no doubt. Heck, there was even a novelisation. Except, when it came out, it possibly didn’t quite live up to expectations.
ROTR was so graphically advanced for those Amigary days that all previews had been breathaking. However, when it came to running it on home machines, it staggered about badly, unable to cope with the rendering. And that was the least of its problems. So poorly implemented was the fighting that it was a game easier to play on Hard than Easy, a game in which you couldn’t turn your character to face the left (quite an essential feature in most fighting games), and most famously, you could win any fight against the AI by holding up, right and kick.
And to prove things were never any different, the extraordinary hype that came out before the game’s release sure helped with the ol’ review scores. While the legendary Amiga Power gave it a perfect 5%, it saw some absolutely astonishing scores elsewhere. Scores that, well, didn’t really make sense. 90% in Amiga User International, for instance. Europress’s Amiga Action gave it 92%! That’s right, 1995 Amiga magazines, I’m calling you out. Right here, right now.