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Barbarian II: The Dungeons of Drax

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Released: 1987

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC

Publisher: Palace Software

Developer: Palace Software

Submitted by: Gavin Eke

This was what he had been waiting for. Barbarian sat back in his chair & looked at the invite to an opening night bash to celebrate the release of Barbarian 2. He & the princess were guest stars of a party to co-incide with the release of the sequel to one of gamers most beloved fighters. The attendees would be members of the gaming public eager to hear about the game in which they starred.

His Goblin sidekick, flushed with his success from kicking decapitated heads out of Drax’s arenas, decided to retire and go into politics. However, he was soon fingered by the Daily Telegraph for claiming MP’s expenses on a years supply of twiglets & suppositories. With the Goblin in disgrace, the princess joined the fray on a brand new adventure.

They decided to arrive fashionably late to the party in their honour that would heighten gamers anticipation. At the party, gamers were speculating on how the original could be improved. More opponents, limb damage, maybe a wider variety of weapons & shields. Perhaps even a training option to improve Barbarians stats & help him overcome more powerful adversaries in an RPG style.

The party was in full swing when Barbarian & Princess arrived, gamers were clamouring to ask them questions about the game.

“So what’s it about” asked one. “Well it’s how me or the Princess travel through three environments trying to track down Drax, defeating him, thereby freeing our land of his tyranny. Whilst searching for Drax, we hack/slash our way past mutant birds, Neanderthals, funny flying beetle thingies & other fantasy creatures. There are environmental hazards too, such as large holes that have to be jumped & rivers of lava to avoid”

“What about decapitations & limb removal?” asked another gamer “Yes, head’s will roll” laughed Barbarian. “So this is an adventure, not a one on one fighter like your previous game?”

“Yes, this time you’ll fight against wondrous creatures of the likes which you’ve never seen” Barbarian exclaimed “oh & you’ll see me in a green thong” chipped in the princess

Gamers looked puzzled, they liked the original format. They didn’t want to traverse frustrating landscapes filled with creatures they couldn’t relate to or fight as. “Anything else?” exclaimed another gamer.

“Well I am a Barbarian, what more do you want? A seminar on string theory followed by a magic show?” The gaming public looked awkwardly at each other. At this juncture it dawned on the muscular one. Although they’d expanded the game, they forgot about what made it popular in the first place. Dejected, with head bowed, Barb turned towards the exit. As the door closed behind him, a gamer exclaimed “Well that was a right pile of arse!”

“Indubitably my good fellow” responded another.