Did Lord Ivanhoe really have long, flowing blond locks, a quiff and a walk which makes Julian Clary - also known as The Joan Collins Fan Club - look as butch as Rambo? Is that fact? What is a fact, according to Ocean France, is that he rescued Richard the Lionheart who taken hostage while on a crusade in Middle East. And that is the scenario of this game.
In true French style the graphics of Ivanhoe are large, detailed, bright, colourful, cute and amusing. Check out these screenshots and you'll see Ivanhoe has more character than a lot of other beat 'em ups I could name. The scrolling is also fast and silky smooth. But there isn't much in the way of animation. Sure, each character has a large variety of moves but they seem to flick between positions instead of moving smoothly.
As Ivanhoe you must undertake several quests before, hopefully, rescuing King Richard. First, you must run through a forest to a port, capture a ship, then sail to the island where Richard is held captive. Next you must cross the island on your trusty steed. Stinger, avoiding axes, floating bombs, and finally search through the castle maze and free the King. Your reward will be a knighthood.
Each level is in two parts. The first is, in most cases, a left-to-right hack and slay. Attacks come from all round - and even from above! All have to be disposed of with your mighty sword. Some will fire missiles which can be deflected with your shield. The second part pits you against one very tough, hard opponent. Win and you'll be granted an extra life.
The sound isn't too far behind the graphics in the quality stakes, either, with nice tunes and good screams, groans and smashes. But what about Ivanhoe's play-ability? Basically it isn't bad but some of the controls are a little slow to respond. But it is challenging with each opponent getting harder to defeat. However, the game play is a little repetitive and I found myself bored at times.
Ivanhoe is fun to play and worth seeing for the graphics. But what about buying? Yes - but you might not be playing it in two years time.
People used to like this game a lot when it was released in 1990. I had no chance to play it back then (high software prices made me carefully select the games) but when I finally did i found this game to be nothing special. It is a typical arcade with a blonde hero armed with a sword and a shield. The graphics are cartoonish and cute, but too many colors were used and it doesn't look as good as it could have been. If you like arcades you might like Ivanhoe.
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