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|7.32 points at 22 votes (rank 246).|
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||04th May 2011 - "satisfactory" - 5539 downs
||20th July 2013 - 93 votes
||04th May 2011 - 6984 downs
||04th May 2011 - 13 votes
"Com-panyyy AAAAtteen-shun! - Also you with the red hat!" "It's a hydrant, Master Sergeant." "There is no exception for academics!"
Combat School is a multi-event sports game by Ocean Software from 1987. It is a conversion of the arcade machine with the same name by Konami, which is a continuation of their earlier titles Track & Field and Hyper Sports. The joystick shaking already known from the C64 version of these forerunner games comes also here in operation in plenty, only the setting is different: instead of sweating in an Olympic Stadium for precious metal, the player absolves in Combat School a tough education program in a Boot Camp of the US Army.
Seven disciplines need to be absolved before the immature recruit has become a warrior made of steel, who can instantly be useful for the home country. Because a US embassy has been occupied by terrorists, whereupon the player attacks only equipped with its glowing patriotism to rescue the hostages, true to the motto "dead or lieutenant". Well, if this has a good ending...
The graphics are mostly of a higher standard, the scrolling - if present - is smooth. Especially the well-amimated player sprites detailled by the use of HiRes overlays catch the eye in most of the disciplines. In other areas (Iron Man Race, arm wrestling, rescue mission) on the other hand everything is more blocky. However, slight weaknesses in the collision query make a bad impression in the first shooting gallery discipline and the rescue mission. Concerning the colour the game is kept sober: the predominant colours are grass-green and concrete-grey, in between a few spots of brown.
Martin Galway runs a proper riot in the title screen with digitalized drums and makes a powerful version of "I wanna be your drill instructor" ring out. Each discipline has its own exhilarated-nervous mini tune and jingles and fanfares with a military touch announce the start and the successful finish of a game section. During loading the "Ocean Loader 3" by Peter Clarke is played.
After successfully finishing the sixth discipline the second part of the programme is loaded, consisting of a close combat with the instructor and the rescue mission. Before the start of the rescue mission the player can see his reached score and the rank from a table. But it is incomprehensible why the highest score is set to 0 after reloading the first part (and it is also not saved).
Each discipline must be finished successfully within 30 seconds or the end of the game is near. If you make it to finish a discipline in less than the given time or gain more hits than required, you are awarded bonus points and extra time for the next discipline. If you miss the target only slightly, you get the possibility to be allowed to continue nevertheless by doing pull-ups by shaking the joystick (see below).
This short obstacle course is equipped with walls of different sizes and a horizontal ladder. By shaking the joystick you gain speed and by a press on the fire button the jump over a wall is initiated, if possible "before" you run against it. Especially perfect jumps are awarded with 500 bonus points.
Shooting gallery 1
You need to hit 35 targets, which appear for a short time and disappear after a few seconds, with the MG. It is especially score-raising to clean up a complete group, as the last disc of a group of three or four gets you 1000 points and the last disc of a group of five 2000 points.
Iron Man Race
This vertically scrolling track is covered with rocks, puddles and canals that need to be jumped. This time you speed up by moving the joystick very fast from top to bottom, which you steer with left and right. You jump by pressing the fire button. The last third consists of a water area through which you need to swim. You can use a canoo to be able to move faster, but drifting logs can overturn the boat, whereupon you have to swim again. Additionally, each collision with an obstacle slows your speed down to zero.
Shooting gallery 2
This time you shoot on moving targets: mini tanks dashing in single file formation over the field of fire and need to get eliminated as completely as possible, which each gets you 2000 bonus points. 50 of them need to get hit.
In the solo game this discipline is played through with a minimum of shaking effort within less than a second. In the two player mode, the loser is the one that runs out of puff first. But the defeat in this discipline does not lead to a Game Over.
Shooting gallery 3
The target of this discipline is to hit 30 target dics. At the same time you need to take care not to hit a disc with the portrait of the instructor, as then the crossline will freeze for a short time. This is the only discipline, in which you have "no" possibilty to be able to proceed by doing punishment pull-ups, if you fail closely. After this discipline the second part of the game is loaded.
Close combat with the instructor
To top off your training you now have the possibility to show your instructor (a certain Sergeant J.T. Tail Kicker) of what stock you are by knocking properly his lights out. Each fighter has a damage display and when this is full he is defeated. Of course the time limit is added as a difficulty: After the 30 seconds have run out, the player loses automatically. The instructor has the advantage to be able to share out enormously many hits and kicks in a short time, as a compensation the player can hop around off the cuff with virtually phantastically appearing jumps.
: walk to the left/right
: duck (useless?)
: jump in viewing direction
: high kick if in viewing direction left or respectively right
: low kick if in viewing direction left or respectively right, in opposite of viewing direction: middle kick
: high hit if in viewing direction left or respectively right
: low hit if in viewing direction left or respectively right
So, now you have successfully beaten up your instructor and also want to use the learned skills fruitfully in daily life? Couldn't be simpler: Let's get into the embassy occupied by terrorists, bring out the hostages and collect 100.000 bonus points for it. But your enemies are not quite in the mood for a fair fight and are armed with knives which are deadly at the slightest touch. What helps here is jumping or kicking away with fast reaction or your still fresh military career respectively your life will be ceased abruptly and prematurely. The destination of this mission which scrolls to the left is in the cellar where two evil rowdies await you. This time there is no time limit.
: walk left/right
- During the training you should of course try constantly to exceed the requirements to get bonus time for the following disciplines.
- In the fight against the instructor it is recommended to give the guy some hits from the distance, then jump over him and let him come near anew to repeat the manoeuvre. He is not to be let come too close or the most attacks will be either effectless or he will get several hits on you in a short order.
- During the rescue mission, blind storming ahead is inappropriate, because this way you will walk into a flying knife. Wait to jump at the right moment over approaching knives (do not kick them away: too unsafe), and then only kick down the enemies, this is more effective. Terrorists that come towards you from the right need to be eliminated first, before you can take care of the others. Trying to jump over a terrorist does practically never work and ends deadly most of the time.
The version by Lurid&Tricycle has trainer options.
Game critics in the Happy Computer 2/88.
Robotron2084: "This conversion is for me a rare case of "better than the original", in my opinion it is played better than the hazy original on the machine and does not have this naff "kids having fun at the army" aura, which slightly got on my nerves there. The touchy collision query in some disciplines is my only critic points, otherwise everything is well: mainly good graphics, an excellent title melody and a pertinent (slightly unfair) difficulty grade in the resuce mission. Combat School is a convincing shaking orgy concerning the technics and the gameplay, in which you can well break your joystick or smash the keyboard and is especially in twos great fun. In the direct comparison, however, I still like Hyper Sports a bit more. 7 out of 10 points."
Bamse: "If you keep stuck right at the first wall, you will be able to confirm the high potential for frustration. Despite of that I have played this game every now and then and also with fun. The sprites are drawn nicely (unfortunately the animation is not that great) and the music is saucy. In twos it is a fun joystick killer - provided that the co-player makes it over the first wall..."
TheRyk: "I never shared the hype about this game. Nothing against Jump&Run&Shoot&Wiggle&Kill Joystick, but wiggling is really exhausting here, shooting requires a lot concentration and the race track just goes on my nerves due to collision control. All in all, a little too tough to make it a true must-have classic. More gout and hurting arms than fun, but the design is fancy enough to score 6 points."
Screenshot comparison of different conversions
From left to right: ZX Spectrum, Amstrad, PC-DOS
Complete walkthrough through the game.
- PAT - 151.070 (26.07.2015)
- Robotron2084 - 147.300 (04.05.2011)
- Werner - 29.890 (12.05.2011)
- FXXS - 25.350 (12.10.2013)
- Keule - 17.400 (09.11.2017)