Combat School
Copyright/Publisher: Konami/Ocean, Coding By: David Collier & Allan Shortt,
Graphics By: Simon Butler & Sean Ridings, Music By: Martin Galway,
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Multi Events, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

A superb conversion of Konami's blistering arcade game

The long-awaited conversion of Konami's Combat School has finally arrived, giving everybody a chance to have a drill instructor all of their own.

There are seven 'events', starting with the assault course. The player waggles the joystick as fast as possible to make his marine run, and pressing fire jumps over oncoming obstacles.

Next is the first firing range. Thirty five pop-up targets are hit within a set time limit to qualify, using the moving machine gun sight.

After that is the iron man race, in which the player waggles the joystick up and down to run, swim or canoe over treacherous terrain. Obstacles are dodged by moving left or right, or jumping over them.

Following this is the second firing range. A hand-held machine gun is used to destroy fifty robot tanks as they appear at the top of the screen.

An arm-wrestle with the instructor comes next, and is a test of left-right waggling. Simply, the faster waggler wins.

The player tackles the third firing range next. A mixture of normal and prohibited targets pop up. Should the wrong ones be hit, the gunsight freezes until the current batch of targets have disappeared.

The final event, a hand to hand fight with the instructor, is loaded separately. For successful graduation, the instructor is beaten within a set time limit.

Should the player manage to graduate, he is asked to partake in a secret mission in which he must use all of the skills learned in school to rescue a hostage from the American embassy.

Failure to meet the qualifying requirements in any event except the arm wrestling ends the game. However, if the player only fails by a small amount, he may still qualify by performing a fixed number of chin-ups within thirty seconds by waggling left to right on the joystick.

Julian Rignall
Combat School is brilliant - definitely one of the best arcade conversions around. It combines a wide variety of gaming skills over seven military 'events' and one combat mission.

Even the most straightforward waggling screens are made difficult, with the obstacles to avoid or jump over. The three shooting events require a mixture of speedy reflexes, good hand-to-eye co-ordination and precision and the fight gives the player a chance to test his beat'em up prowess.

The final mission is similar to Kung-Fu Master, but it's very hard, and the instructions are deliberately vague about how it should be tackled. The multiload system isn't too painful, although it is annoying when you last about three seconds on the final mission and have to start all over again!

Adding even more value for money is a free Gryzor demo! Combat School is definitely recommended, but make sure you've got a couple of new joysticks in reserve!

Considering the problems by the lack of a trackball, Ocean have coded magnificently in converting Combat School, losing none of the original's feel!

In addition to the excellent graphic detail, there's also a short but brilliant Martin Galway tune on the title screen - and as you might expect, he wants to be your drill instructor!

The only criticism I have is that in the target shooting scenes, the joystick control feels very awkward, and the timing of shots is a bit strange compared with the arcade. If you like your games a little on the physical side, go out and get Combat School.


One or two player options, and the Gryzor demo on the 'B' side.
Nicely animated sprites, but a little crude at times.
Brilliant title tune, and good music and effects throughout.
Easy to pick up and play, but challenging nevertheless.
Even when the final mission is solved, the action remains appealing.
A very faithful conversion that offers exceptional playability.