|Title||:||Rampage 2: Universal Tour|
|Platforms||:||Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation|
|Review by||:||Ken Gagne|
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the city… After a successful World Tour, the bad guys are back in Midway's Rampage 2: Universal Tour, for Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation. [N64 version reviewed here]
Rampage 2 gives rise to a new wrecking crew: Boris the rhinoceros, Ruby the lobster, and Curtis the rat. Their mission, beyond the obvious destruction and mayhem: free George, Lizzie, and Ralph, their predecessors from earlier Rampages who are now being held captive on continents across the Earth. Beyond that, who knows where they'll go!
One to three players can choose the order of continents to attack (Asia, America, and Europe). Progress from city to city is broken only by the occasional bonus round — dull interludes that don't work nearly as well as they should. Game saves come irregularly, and require the controller pak to already be inserted; I found that reaching a game save with the rumble pak plugged in gave no opportunity to switch.
Once a comrade miscreant has been rescued, a password allows him to be selectable in new games, but not switched to in the middle of a saved game. Plus, he may not be any stronger than the previously-available monsters — so why save him?
Punch, kick, and jump comprise the simple controls. It's easier than in World Tour to control the monsters' movements to scale a building and demolish it from the top down or bottom up. Some powerful moves upset the gameplay that made the original Rampage of the 80's such a hit, and new super moves are clever but are implemented poorly. The slow building-up of the necessary power meter makes them even less valuable.
The graphics are colorful and comical. Power-ups and -downs are easily recognizable despite their small size. A variety of backdrops set the stage for the current city, from deserts to mountains to cityscapes.
The music is completely forgettable, though the sound effects are more effective. The screams of citizens fleeing the doomed city, only to find their fate in the bowels of monstrous brutes, are thoroughly enjoyable.
With plenty of food, power-ups, and bonus lives to go around, it's unlikely the rampage will end anytime soon. With the life-sharing option enabled and damage friends disabled, one good player can carry the weight of his friends.
Rampage 2 gives us nothing worthwhile over Rampage: World Tour of a year ago. The gameplay is essentially identical, and the trappings have changed in no significant way. Rampage: World Tour may have been a worthy update to a classic, but Universal Tour never gets off the ground.
This article is copyright (c) 1999, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.
Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 26-Apr-99