Taito has found a way to keep you out of the arcades: It has brought Sky Shark, Renegade, and Operation Wolf into your home.
Sky Shark is a faithful conversion of the arcade game. You must pilot a World War II P-40 fighter plane through enemy lines, blowing up everything you see, including enemy aircraft, ships, and ground installations. There are five missions to complete, and many bonuses that increase your firepower and survivability.
Operation Wolf is an extremely gory game. As in the arcades, you play a commando on a rescue operation against terrorists. You start by blowing away bad guys in the enemy camp. Fire up your machine gun and toss your hand grenades. Then it's off to jungle hideouts, and eventually to the rescue plane. All the while, you're shooting and being shot at, and the body count is enormous. Graphically, the game is extremely strong, but this is a mixed blessing. If anything, the graphics are too good: Many games emphasize killing people, but few show them collapsing into bloody heaps as this one does.
Renegade leads you out of the forest and into the big city, where you take on street gangs. Like Operation Wolf, Renegade is somewhat gory. You begin by battling punks in a subway station, and they are extremely difficult to beat. So difficult, in fact, that I quickly became discouraged and stopped playing. Eventually I went back to the game and progressed further, but I would have appreciated an easier beginning.
If you didn't like the arcade versions, you won't like these games on the Commodore 64/128, either. But there's a lot of play here and a wealth of saved quarters.
Sky Shark and Operation Wolf retail for $29.95 each, and Renegade retails for $14.95. For information, contact Taito at 267 West Esplanade, Suite 206, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7M 1A5.