Ghost and Goblins has a lot to answer for as far as this game is concerned. Considering it was the same software house that got the licence for that Capcom original and made a complete botch job of it, making a shadow of its arcade parent. Needless to say that they realised this and hired Dave Perry and Nick Bruty to see if they could make amends. The result of this was Beyond The Ice Palace. A horizontally scrolling arcade game taking a lot from Ghosts. It has the graphics to give Ghosts a good kick in the teeth for good measure. It was a semi decent year for the company so were they able to deliver the goods this time around? Well time will tell as I quit the chit-chat and get on with the show and see what Beyond The Ice Palance has to deliver.
Mutant Woodcutter prepares to get a mace in the he
End of level dragon. The fight begins
The scenario is very similar to Ghosts (or couldn't you tell by the time you loaded the game up?), A land has been overtaken by the demon and you are the chosen one to get rid of him once and for all. Easy enough, right? Well lets see, you're armed with your fists and have a choice of what weapon you wish to use, Dagger, Sword or Mace. This of course can be changed if you're lucky enough to find them lying around. You're given nine lives to attempt to complete all three levels. Nine lives may appear too many for some but trust me, this is a game where you'll need to keep them, as well as try and find as many more as you possibly could! Not exactly an easy task but it is possible to do. Extra points, lives and weapons are up for grabs but a lot seemed to be trapped to add more challenge(!) to the game.
Ok, now for the loading, if you're a tape user then find a gun and shoot yourself now, because either way the end result isn't going to be pretty. Disks are fine. But whoever though of this loading sequence needs their head read! Not too sure if this different from the original as I'm using the Story So Far v2 compilation version but what basically happens is, It loads for 20 minutes and then stops while an intro plays along, but it won't finish automatically and continue loading, it waits for one to hit a key. Once this is done, the game presents itself a further 10-15 minutes later. I suppose we're thankful it's not a multiload, although it does only have three levels. The music for the intro is quite nice I have to say, however appreciate it while it's there as there's no sign of in-game music at all, just rather dull sound effects.
Not at all like Ghosts and Goblins
Graphically it's easy on the eyes and makes good use of the CPC's colour palette. But depending on the type of gamer that you are, you could also end up beating the living daylights out of your CPC in frustration as it can be very easy to lose lives over one slip. The weapons are also not very convincing in the way of their power at all. I found precious little difference between the mace and the sword. There's a magical sword that can be found on the second level but by the time you get your hands on it, you've lost about two lives already. Being realistic you're doing well if you get off the first level on your first day of the game. This one, along with most games Perry was involved with suffers a high difficulty rating for most, and as I said before, if it's too difficult, then most people won't be bothered with it.
Too bad really because it could have had a lot more going for it.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Nice to look at if not a little awkward to control.
Impressive tunes, but bad effects.
Could have been better with more thought involved.
THE END RESULT: 68%