COMPETITION ENTRY #57: PSYCHO 3
Sequels. Unless they were planned in advance as part of a trilogy or similar multi-part series, they never quite live up to the original, do they? Look me in the eye and tell me you prefer Speed 2: Cruise Control with the cruise ship to the proper Speed with the bus, and do so without putting on your 3edgy5u fedora. Or, to put it in a more Spectrum-friendly context, look me in the other eye and tell me you prefer Count Duckula 2 to the original. In both cases, you can't. And then there are the other sort of sequels - the ones that are clearly done as a weird parody. You know, like Renegade III (because there's no way that wasn't a joke) or Speed 3.
Blend all this together and what we get is the weird parody sequel in Crap Spectrum Game form, to a legendary film whose sequel wasn't the disaster that every critic must have been expecting. Psycho needs no introduction; Norman Bates, lives with his mother's corpse, lots of attractive young women get killed. I'd seen the original, and though I can't quite remember the context (maybe it was on TV one evening and I had nothing better to do), I was drawn in by Psycho II expecting to trash it. How could it live up to the original? Alfred Hitchcock died in 1980 and whoever thought "hey, wouldn't it be a great idea if we made another Psycho?" in the aftermath must have been met with utter derision. But Richard Franklin took on the job of stepping into the gaping hole that Alfred Hitchcock left, and strike me down with a feather from the world's tiniest bird if Psycho II didn't turn out to be a cleverly-written approach to how Norman Bates would be reintegrated into normal life after 22 years in a room with rubber wallpaper, as well has how it all, inevitably, went wrong.
A further 38 years after Psycho II, we have a parody sequel to the well-written sequel. I've been writing all that waffle above because there is very little to say about Psycho 3. In retrospect, I should have been warned. Luny had trouble sending it to me, but I knew he'd contributed something to last year's competition, so I needed to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, it was Explosion - which did exactly what it said on the tin and very little else.
Lather, rinse, repeat. To cut a long story short, Norman Bates - who must be pushing 90 now - will kill you. At least I'd assume it's him. There's nothing you can do to stop it. You're going to die, and you're going to die very soon. Such is life, or the soon-to-be-end of it, at the Bates Motel. That's not exactly a spoiler give his previous record, is it?
The Chunk-o-Vision title and the spit-pop-bang random border effects on the title screen - made with OUT rather than BORDER to kill two birds (sound and colour) with one shovel - are as good as this gets. These are what keeps the Goolus away, but one command does not make a Magenta Challenge. Otherwise, it's two Ricks - I'm saving one-Rick scores for misdemeanours such as copying a previous game and barely modifying it - and one voodoo-mask, thus failing to snatch the prize for Most Crap Game Of The Year at the last gasp.
Three days I have to run this competition for - three more days.