Probotector review - Nintendo Entertainment System
Intergalactic peace seems to be a very unlikely event, at least according to game writers. In Probotector, Alien robots have invaded, and it's up to one man - or two, if wanted - to stop the conquest and destroy the mother alien and her island bunker. To achieve this the commandos are armed with the latest peashooters - although power-up token are available at certain points during the action.
Most of the eight levels are left-to-right scrolling blasters, with the heroes jumping, somersaulting and ducking their way through the platforms that make up the battlefield. However two levels are viewed in 3D, similar in style to Dynamite Duke or even Operation Wolf. Here the heroes dodge a hail of bullets and bombs until they blast through the walls, leading on to the next challenge.
The trail of devastation finally leads to the source of the invasion, an island fortress infested with Aliens (yes, those Aliens!) and assorted nasties. Getting to this stage is far from easy, though, as there are Ice Worlds, bunkers, and bases to fight past. But who said destroying an alien race was easy?
What the Mean Machines staff thought
This is one of the Playchoice Ten games to be found in many pubs and arcades, although the name is Contra on that system - are Nintendo starting to show some political sensitivity? Anyway, Contra was a boring and repetitive game, and changing the name and the look of the sprites hardly alters that fact. The commandos are awkward to control, and have an annoying habit of crouching down facing in the wrong direction. The graphics improve throughout the game, but then again they have to; the early levels look primitive in the extreme. So considering the NES games coming out at the moment - games that have outstanding graphics, sound and playability - this really can't be recommended.
The problem with this is that it's not particularly challenging. It takes a few goes to get used to the slightly ropey control method, and after that it's simply a case of blasting your way through the pretty weak alien defences. It's fun at first, due to the fact that you can get pretty far into the game, but once you've completed it, it all gets rather predictable. Gryzor fans might enjoy the action, but really you'd get far more out of something like Snake, Rattle 'n' Roll or Megaman 2.
Chris - 28 Feb 2008, 14:42 GMT
Hmmm, this didn't score very highly back in the day did it? I thought this was fun to play, especially when you had a friend playing along, and featured a sound track that, although a little repetitive, I absolutely loved! And the 2 3D levels added a nice bit of variety to the game. It was however a touch on the easy side to any average gamer!
James - 10 Jan 2009, 12:19 GMT
This review was very surprising! It's weird how the review mentions several times that the game is too easy: everyone says it's one of the difficult games of all time now!
Stayrsaigh - 24 Mar 2011, 12:54 GMT
Yikes! I came across this review yesterday in the old mag and I was really surprised at the score. Probotector was one of my favorite games on the NES with some of my favorite music.
I certainly didn't find it easy nor did anyone I know. I sometimes think the Mean Machines boys forgot that they were all expert gamers who lived, breathed (and got paid to play) video games as opposed to your average teenage (at the time) gamer. Of course they will find most games much easier then most people, but I think they forgot to take that into account sometimes.
Still, can't agree on everything. Possibly one of the hidden beauties of the great magazine?
Chris Mcevoy - 03 Oct 2013, 01:34 GMT
They were blown away with megaman 2 at the time, but probotector was one of the finest 2 player shooters for the nes
YawnBoyPest1957 - 23 May 2015, 09:28 GMT
I can understand that they weren't terribly excited over what was at the time a 2 yr old NES game, with naff robotic replacements for yer Sly & Arnie. But still, calling a game repetitive when it offers two distinct gameplay styles, in days where 99% of games offered just the one. And criticizing the control in the game that offered just about the most flexible scheme of any 8 bit platformer/shooter.. a rare off day for the MM staff. Anyone who tries to show off by claiming this is a relatively easy game, just makes themselves look stupid in the process.