Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Budget Day - Raging Beast (Commodore 64)

The matador.

Noble.  Proud.  Cruel.  Foolish.  All adjectives that can and have been used to describe the bullfighter in years gone by.  In today's "civilised" society, the matador is often considered barbaric.  However, the sport and tradition is an ancient one... it's tough to know, in this day and age, when something like bullfighting should be abandoned and when it can justifiably continue.

Or if you don't want to enter that debate, you can play Raging Beast.

A timeless battle is about to begin...
Proving that truly nothing was impossible, Firebird brought us a computer game based on the sport of bullfighting.  It seemed inconceivable that it could be any good, or even that it could be done, and yet here it was.  How could they get away with the slaughtering of bulls for computer entertainment?

They didn't even try.

In fact, the bull is the true star of Raging Beast.  As soon as the two protagonists enter the ring and stare each other down, you know that it's probably not going to end well for you.  When your only form of defence is a little red hankie, you need to be really good... because this bull knows what he's doing.

It appears as though the bull has the upper hand in this bout.
It's quite amazing just how much character has been packed into the few pixels that make up Alfonso the bull.  As soon as you start waving your red rag at him, he'll snort, he'll paw the ground, and then he'll start to approach you.

It's at this point that I make like the weedy guy up against the mighty gladiator in Monty Python's Life of Brian... I turn and run.

Doing this will not win you the game, but it's funny.  You will genuinely laugh as you're haring around the bullring with a hefty bull chasing after you.  But it doesn't get anything done, so at some point you have to grab the bull by the horns (not literally) and attempt to confront Alfonso.

Now... who exactly is in charge of this situation?
I used to be half-decent at this back in the day, and could "Olé" with the best of them.  But I don't mind admitting that I struggled to get to grips with it this time around.  I don't mind admitting it because, again, it was funny.  Getting stomped into the dirt, thrown into the air or flung onto the bull's back for an impromptu ride around the ring is good entertainment.

It can only last so long though, and eventually you get a little bored and want to move on to something else.  But for a unique, amusing and entertaining experience, Raging Beast hits the nail on the head.  And there's not even the slightest risk of injury!

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