Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Darkman

Darkman is a combination of mini-games all strung together in that Ocean style we love so much. However, the first thing that struck me was the quality of the artwork and I instantly knew this was going inside our PixelArt section. The title picture and cutscenes have a dark and mysterious theme that perfectly captures the movie's atmosphere.

    

There are various movie scenes like dodging the oncoming traffic and covertly sneaking pictures for our disguise (which will produce hilarious results). But, no matter how much Darkman tries to hide it, this is mostly) a generic arcade-style beat 'em up. Sadly, there aren't too many different moves and I noticed a few issues along the way with collision detection. There also some annoying mechanics, and I will always hate that rooftop dash, but I admit to getting a kick out of punching Durant's hoard of henchmen which is so fast and furious with responsive controls.


The artwork continues right to the end with a short comic strip showing our savage victory. Okay, it's hardly a mind-blowing finale but it's better than many other games that looped back to the beginning or simply displayed a 'well done' message. A great example of extraordinary artistic talent - and I imagine those blunt spikes must have hurt!!





Darkman is far better than I originally gave it credit but it's a little rough around the edges and I don't think it plays quite as good as my personal beat 'em up benchmark, Double Dragon 3. It's great fun and highly recommended but it's the artistic talent of James Clarke/Mister X that sees Darkman enter into our PixelArt hall of fame!!

LINKS

 - Floppy disks can be downloaded off Stonish and I recommend Now 5 #7.
 - A hard drive installable version of Darkman is available via D-Bug.
 - AtariMania list the other works of James Clarke and the ominous Mister X.
 - Grit your teeth Atari fans but here are excellent maps thanks to the Hall Of Light website.