Sunday, 11 June 2017

Random Retro - Duck Out (ZX Spectrum)


Duck Out (ZX Spectrum) :  

I thought it was about time I started writing about some non-Gruesome-Game-type-games on the blog again, as I've been meaning to cover such things ever since I started and have only ever really covered Tusker on the Speccy! And whilst we're sticking with the Speccy for the first Random Retro, I plan to cover games on a lot of different systems in the future....

But what is this oddity that I'm bringing to the table for starters? Well, it's Cartoon Duck a l'speccy...a dish that initially looks quite appetizing but ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth!




The game starts with our hero (who bears a striking resemblance to a certain daft duck from Warner Bros.) trying to escape the clutches of a bloodthirsty chef who's been trying to cook him! Taking control of Dafty (which is what we'll call the duck from now on) you have to run from left to right through the level, battering enemies with a handy frying pan and dodging flying kitchen utensils as you try to reach the exit of the restaurant!




You're not just trying to stop Dafty from becoming a feathery-flamegrill though! You have another good reason to hurry along, as you're late for an appointment to meet your girlfriend in the park! So you have to battle your way through the streets, avoiding or battling tramps, rats, bats, street cats and ferocious dogs to reach the Park before the impatient lady-duck decides to leave!




It's still not over once you get to the Park either, as to get to the pond you'll have to deal with some thugs, lizards and more rats, bats, cats and dogs before finally making it to your girl and, hopefully, some smootchie-smootch-style action!




As you can tell from the screenshots, programmers Fernando and Ignacio at Dro Soft were really trying to get the cartoony-vibe right with this game, and they pretty much succeed as the graphics do indeed make you think back to lazy Saturday mornings spent watching cartoon animals inflicting torture on each other with whatever implements they could lay there hands/paws/feathers on....



There's just a few problems though. First, dodging and hitting is literally all you'll be doing as you progress through the three levels....and it gets very repetitive, very quickly! Especially when you consider the second problem...the difficulty!! Like most Spanish games I've played on the Spectrum, its just too damn tricky! Touching anything will drain your energy, and the enemies come at you thick and fast which makes the third problem the one I found most frustrating...




In order to batter the enemies you have to first hold the fire button and then press the direction you want to swing the frying pan in. However, pressing down and fire will aim the pan low in whichever direction you're facing, whilst pressing fire and up will aim directly in front of you. For some reason I found this very tricky to nail, and often when trying to hit enemies that I had to aim high for, I'd hit up before pressing fire and jump right in to them instead of smacking them!



Maybe I'm just rubbish at the game and need to spend more time with it, but the difficulty of it all makes me not really want to bother...which is a shame as it does seem like a good game is hidden in there somewhere!
Luckily, someone did indeed finish it with the help of an emulator's rollback feature and there's a play-through on Youtube at RZX Archive, which I used to get the screenshots from the later levels and which you watch below...





If you're too lazy to sit through that though, (or even lazier and don't want to skip to the end of the video) I present here some screenshots of the duck of Dafty's dreams that awaits at the end of his quest....




At least she starts off as a duck, but then bizarrely changes into a human, which suggests a melding of species the likes of which hasn't been seen since Howard The Duck...




Ultimately then, a disappointment...but still worth giving a go out of curiosity! Hopefully the next game I try will turn out better...join me again soon to find out! Later, stuffers!