Situated thousands of miles away from 'Nam in America (right hand over heart, look at sky
patriotically) you (and up to three unlucky buddies) have been drafted to fight for freedom,
democracy and liberty. But before you get to kick the hides of some Commie pinko subversive Charlies,
basic training has to be mastered.
Cascade's 19 provides players with some Combat School style gameplay based loosly on the Paul
Hardcastle 'Nam song.
First off is the assualt course, a must for all would-be cowards. A variety of obstacles,
as the name suggests, assault you. To save you getting all hot and smelly pounding on your
joysticks, to clear an obstacle you have to time your movement by using a little bar at the
base of the screen.
Pressing fire starts a small marker moving to the right of a bar and releasing fire when the
bar goes red at the precise point on the approach to the obstacle will start the appropriate
However, the bar only stays red for a short period of time so you can't cheat by keeping fire
permanently depressed. On the monkey bars, nudge bar and the concrete pipe, precise left and right
movements are also needed to swing, shuffle or crawl depending on what you're trying to traverse.
If you can make it past the assault course with both legs and your head intact you are then
skilled in the art of 'plugging' the enemy with a 7.62 bullet on the shooting range. This is
a task for real men (and woman). No poofy cross hairs here, the targets spring up and you can
scroll the view through your sight using the directional controls.
There is no indication on which bit of the screen you are actually targetted on apart from
the scenery which is expanded in your sight, so it takes a good guess and quick reactions to
get to the right bit of the screen before the targer drops.
Jeep driving is the third event, a section that falls flat on its face compared to the other
stages. Drive your jeep, avoid the obstacles and collect bonuses.
Last is the unarmed combat between you abd the drill sergeant - hardly IK+ but it passes. Only
a small number of moves grace your joystick, including jabs, kicks, headbutts and punches, and
as with all the other events you get a time limit in which to beat merry hell out of your opponent.
At the end of your training you get the final ratings based on your performance throughout the
stages, ranging from abysmal to exceptional. You can save out your character for use in 19 Part Two,
whenever that appears. Nice gimmick.
On the title screen and most of the stages an excellent rendition of the tune 19 is played,
converted by Rob Hubbard no less. The graphics are quite effective for the most part: the scrolling
and backdrops of the assault course and the gun sight in the shooting range, though the scrolling
on the jeep section leaves a lot to be desired.
When you go up a hill, the bottom half of the play area blanks out and oncoming objeacts are
impossible to see.
There is enough in 19 to keep anybody going for a substantial amount of time. Each event has eight
rounds (though only one needs be completed to advance to the next section) and every round
needs to be completed to gain a full rating of 'Exceptional'.
19 is surprisingly good - not fantastic, but still a darn good game.