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Game Review: Premiere

By Donnambr @_mrs_b

Review: Premiere (1992)

Is it really 20 years since this game was released? There’s nothing like an anniversary to make you feel your age and nostalgic at the same time. Core Design released this platform game based around movies to generally favourable responses but two decades on does it still retain and of that previous charm?

The opening sequence to the game shows our hero, Clutch Gable, working late at a studio going through some film. Unfortunately, poor Clutch is tired and falls asleep on the job, leaving a mysterious assailant to sneak into the office and make off with six film canisters! It is down to Clutch to retrieve all six canisters but in order to do so he has to work his way through six different film sets, populated by a myriad of enemies akin to their respective themes.

After the great intro, you soon get going with Premiere, beginning on a set straight out of the Wild West with Cowboys and Indians and even the odd cactus that throws a punch. The other themes include a black and white setting which is divided firstly into Ancient Egypt and then a typical 1930s cops and robbers theme with rotund policemen and gangsters in long coats and sporting tommy guns. The third level is all about horror and includes a haunted house with ghosts and some great cameos from the likes of the bolt spitting Frankenstein, werewolves and even the Hunchback of Notre Dame with a bell rope and some very large bells he tries to drop on you! The fourth level is all about cartoons and puts you up against cute and colourful puppies, fish and even a mouse with a large hat that conceals a machine gun toting gorilla, while the backdrop is one giant kitchen with flaming hobs for good measure! The fifth level is all about sci-fi so plenty of space ships and aliens to keep you on your toes though sadly not Darth Vader. The sixth and final level sees Clutch enter the world of fantasy with armoured knights and fire breathing dragons all standing in his way. This is a game with some great variety. Each theme is accompanied by a different piece of music with the accompaniment for the third level – horror – being by far the best one.

The layout of the levels is quite similar. Clutch can collect burgers and popcorn to keep his energy levels up while he has a different weapon on each set to use against the enemies such as holy water on the horror level and the ability to cast magic in the fantasy world. As you work your way through the levels you’ll need to pull switches to open new doors and have to decide whether to fight or dodge your way through proceedings, the latter being unwise of course. Each level interweaves between the film set and behind the scenes with coats on pegs, sand bags, and even stars’ dressing rooms in abundance. To boost your points tally you can collect items such as Oscar statuettes but remember to keep an eye on your health and keep your ammunition topped up as well.

 

Once you have cleared the level you get your hands on a film canister but have the small matter of a boss to contend with first. These vary in difficulty too. The Wild West boss is a burly cowboy who challenges you to a duel but there is an art to taking him down. It’s no good just shooting first, you have to wait till he goes for his gun in the holster and then take your shot. If you time it right then great, if not you’re a goner. Other bosses include a high speed train chase on the black and white level while in the cartoon world you are pitted against an artist who draws a series of different enemies for you to defeat!

 

Premiere still looks and plays great today. I feel it’s weakness is in the similarity of some of the levels. Having the same layout for the behind the scenes sections does sometimes give it a feeling of monotony. The levels themselves are at their best in the first half of the game. My favorite level is the horror one and given that I’m a big fan of fantasy that may surprise some people. My issue with the fantasy level is Clutch’s attacks are somewhat slow having to cast magic spells each time but this is a minor quibble.

Premiere is great fun throughout, the graphics are great, the film sets have some great enemies and the background music is terrific. A lack of variation in places and less interesting levels later on hinders the game a fraction but not enough to give this anything other than the thumbs up.

Verdict: 4/5

Game Review: Premiere | Thank you for reading Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave

 


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