ROG Retro Review: Robocop Arcade


Robocop is a classic of the 80’s. It was a satirical film in an over the top violent sci-fi setting, and in many ways was a better adaptation of Judge Dredd than the one with Sylvester Stallone. The NES received a video game adaptation of Robocop, that was not very good and disappointed many fans. I myself was incredibly dissatisfied, but a discover I made some years later showed me there was an alternative.

Robocop for the NES turned out to be a terrible conversion of what was actually a great game for the arcades. Robocop for the arcades was a Run’n’Gun game that also incorporated Beat’em’Up elements and was actually of very high quality. The problems I found with the game, turned out to be problems in the NES version and that become more apparent the more I played the arcade release. In fact, this caused me to appreciate more the games for the NES that truly did capture the spirit of their arcade originals.

The game had excellent sound quality and music compared to that of the horrible NES conversion. There was great action and actually, responsive controls that made the game feel fun. The music is good even by today’s standards and was far more varied.  The NES version butchered the soundtrack and only used part of it, namely the opening theme of the movie, whereas the arcade game had more variety which made for a much better experience.

This had be upset that there was not a good home port of the game at the time. So imagine my surprise when I learned even later that there were great ports of the game,  just that they were mostly in Europe for microcomputers ( with a release on the Commodore 64 in America as well). These were absolutely incredible ports, with special mention going to the Amstrad port and the ZX Spectrum version, which were among the biggest selling games of all time on the system, topping the charts for years.

The microcomputer versions also had another advantage, and that was the music. The music was well done in almost all the versions, and the intro theme has become iconic in its own right, even being featured in commercials and internet videos.

For example


I would like to see the arcade game get an official digital re-release as it was an amazing game. Obviously the fact that it is a licensed game would make it tricky, but it can be done. Gamers today should get the chance to play this awesome experience

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