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Green Beret

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Released: 1986

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4

Publisher: Imagine

Developer: Not surprisingly uncredited

Submitted by: Barry Lendrum

This arcade coin-op needs no introduction, so onto a very brief review.

It looks like it was written in BASIC.

There is no proper title screen, and no in-game intro sequences.

You only have a knife which you can't use lying down and there are no collectable weapons, whilst the enemies have bullets.

The sound is awful and just consists of 1 puny stab sound effect.

The graphical backdrops are horrible and the characters are ill-defined, blocky with glitches throughout.

The playing field just scrolls to the next screen when you reach the edge so you can't see what is directly ahead.

If you thought other versions were hard, then this game is just impossible.

If somehow you manage to get through this multiload mess of a game using the 255 lives cheat, your only reward is a "The End" message in small font on the top left of a blank screen. What, you expected something more?

There are no redeeming features.

Need I really say anymore?

OK then… This is the worst example of Green Beret you'll ever have the fortune never to play. If you want a better C16/+4 Green Beret clone, then forget this ever existed and play the far more superior in everyway Bridge Head instead not that it's saying much.

Green Beret

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Released: 1986

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Imagine

Developer: Jonathan Smith

Submitted by: Alex Reeves

Based on the Konami arcade game of the same name, this was a great conversion for the spectrum following on from similar miltary "run and gun" titles like Commando and Rambo.

Using (at first) your commando knife, you have to stab and jump your way through (left-scrolling) waves of attacking Russian soldiers, on a mission to liberate you captured comrades.

The controls were memorable in that you could stab whilst jumping and even lying down, which was handy to avoid the enemy fire.  Killing a mini-boss would be rewarded with a machine gun, flame thrower or rocket launcher.

Once you have battled through four distinct areas, you reach the prison camp and rescue your buddies.

Although the game suffered from a bit of a monotone colour palette due to speccy colour clash, the animation was great, and the gameplay addictive.

Also released on the MSX and Amstrad CPC, in glorious full colour, but I loved the Spectrum version.

Green Beret

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Released: 1986

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: MSX I/II

Publisher: Konami

Developer: N Ford / P Green / S Ruecroft

Submitted by: Graham Tutt

First released on arcade machines, Green Beret was swiftly ported to numerous different platforms including the MSX.

Even with reduced colours, suspect sound (way beneath the standard that could be achieved on an MSX) and staccato sideways scrolling, it was fiercely addictive and very challenging.

The game took place over four different levels, each with an end of level challenge (helicopters, trucks full of soldiers, dogs etc.) all of which the player had to complete armed only with a knife. Help was at hand in the 'guise of rocket launchers, flame throwers and hand grenades that could be acquired at various stages throughout the game by taking them from their recently diseased previous owners.

I was lucky enough to have the game on cartridge which meant no lengthy cassette loading process: just whack in the cartridge, turn on my MSX and get ready to break the shift key with my frantic attempts to stab communists. In hind sight, a game based almost solely around stabbing people probably wouldn't even get released now.

Should you complete your mission, the MSX version rewarded you with a show of patriotism from the hostages, the release of whom is the aim of the game.

If you've never experienced the MSX before, I highly recommend picking one up complete with a copy of Green Beret. Just thinking about that escape siren at the start of the game makes my palms sweat…

Green Beret

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Released: 1985

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

Submitted by: Darran Jones

A Japanese approximation of Rambo, Green Beret leapt into eighties arcades armed with little more than a kebab knife. Essentially a running, jumping platform game with added camo gear, Green Beret  was also known as Rush 'n' Attack – possibly one of the worst puns in arcade history.

The titular Green Beret charged and stabbed his way through four levels of enemy soldiers and attack dogs, picking up the occasional heavy weapon (flamethrowers and grenade launchers, for example) along the way.

Green Beret is rarely mentioned with the hushed reverence of other eighties action games like Capcom's Commando, but it's still a minor classic in my opinion – I wasted many, many coins on the arcade machine as a youth, and the Spectrum conversion was surprisingly faithful too.