- Terminator 2 -




HotRod FAQ

Terminator 2 - November 19, '99 by Dorsola
Game:Terminator 2Company:Midway

Say hello to the mother of all first-person gun shooters. In association with the actual producers of Terminator 2, Midway has put together what perhaps is THE most stunning arcade game ever made. You are the Terminator, reprogrammed and enlisted to assist the human cause in the grim future brought about by Skynet. Your mission: Protect John Conner at all costs.
Now, before I get too heavily into describing the gameplay, I just wanna drool over the graphics for a moment. Midway did one helluva job designing this game - the graphics are extremely detailed, very VERY high-quality, properly anti-aliased for scaling (your enemies can walk or fly toward you without looking pixellated), and never before has so much debris flown about on the same screen without slowing the machine down! Woo! Just about everything you hit can be changed in some way, whether it's by leaving bullet marks, blowing up walls, knocking out lights and fire extinguishers, etc... and in Midway tradition, you are presented with a constant onslaught of enemies marching toward you by the dozens. Often, you must destroy them all, or they will destroy you.
Sound, too, is excellent - the game has a large bank of explosions, gunshots, and recorded voices (most particularly a good number quotes from good ol' Arnie himself!), and between the two, you would swear you were immersed in the movie itself, were it not also for your score and game statistics showing up here and there.
Going back to the gameplay: A number of powerups (usually bombs and ways to keep your gunpower up) assist you in your quest, which begins in the future. You must first help the humans fend off as many of the Terminators and other machines, then assist the grown-up John Connor as he sets off on a daring quest to destroy Skynet and send you back in time... why? To protect himself, of course! The second part of this game relives many of the best scenes from the movie, giving you the chance to save the young John Connor instead of watching somebody else do it.
Okay... now you're probably wondering: Just how the heck do I play this game? With a gun, silly! The original machines had either one or two guns (allowing for two-player simultaneous play) mounted on a deck in front of the screen. Unlike many other games with guns, though, you won't be seeing any bright flashes of light every time you pull the trigger. Instead, the cursor, controlled by a set of gears within the base of the gun mount, moves around on the screen to show you exactly what you're aiming at. Because of this, emulating the gun with a mouse is not only easy, but intuitive. Play control therefore gets a high rating from me. :)
T2 is one of the most challenging games around - it usually takes three or four tries to get through certain areas of the game on the original machine (and/or lots of quarters). Its challenge factor is such, though, that you'll WANT to pump more money into the machine - there's always more to see beyond the point where you died. (I will allow myself to put out a spoiler here: Destroying Skynet is one of the most satisfying gaming experiences I have ever been through - I will do it again and again and again!)
The only reason I'm not giving T2 a perfect rating for performance is because, as of this writing, the game currently has emulation problems. The TMS34010 speedups in MAME 0.36 beta 9.1 make the game a lot easier and more fun to play on a fast computer, but it is impossible to progress past destroying Skynet (and into the present day for Mission 2) - the machine freezes up while playing the short movie clips in the cutscene. Level 3 is also messed up - you're supposed to be defending John Connor's truck from Terminators and HK, but instead, the side scrolling is jerky and doesn't keep up with the truck, and therefore you have nothing to shoot at. At least nothing appears to attack the truck when this happens, so you're still able to get through.
So until these things are fixed, you'll be stuck with the future experience, but unable to complete the game. Even so... I feel my trigger finger itching for more action. Hasta la vista... baby!
Play Control
Replay Value

Screen Shots

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1999 EmuViews