The Rube’s Review: Judge Dredd (SNES)

Judge Dredd SNES Game

When I heard that we were going to do a few reviews on various Judge Dredd-related subjects I was so excited. I love Judge Dredd! I grew up reading the comics and have always been a big fan of the monthly magazines (Judge Dredd and 2000 A.D.). Since I just got a copy of the Judge Dredd video game for SNES, I automatically called dibs for the game review… boy did I pull the short straw on this one.

This pile of electric dogcrap is loosely based on the Stallone movie with very little reference to the comic which pissed me off since the first thing that you see in Level One is an Otto’s sign. Since Otto Sump is one of my favorite Judge Dredd Characters I was like “Yes!” Then, once I figured out that he wasn’t in the game, I was just disappointed which sorta sums up this entire game… one big disappointment.

The first level is quite simple. Your goal as Judge Dredd is to go around shooting/punching/arresting MegaCity’s criminals while destroying cache of weapons (aka Blue Square Boxes) to stop a block war. Sounds easy right? BULL-CRAP! Why? Because while you fire the 30-40 shots it takes to down one criminal, they’re busy kicking your ass and knocking your health meter down to nothing. Each of these mind-numbing battles guarantees you lose one tenth of your health bar every 5-10 seconds.

When you’re not getting your ass handed to you, you need to find and destroy all of the weapons caches. You can only do so with “grenade shots” which are hard to aim and are in limited supply, so once they’re gone you have no choice but to hit the reset button and start over. There are computer terminals throughout the level, but they only give you basic info on how many caches are left, how many special bullets you have, and other useless crap. You want to know another messed up thing that will make you look for your screaming pillow? In the first level there’s a point of no return that if you missed ANY cache boxes before that point, you wont be able to go back to destroy them, guaranteeing that you’ll have to once again press the reset button and start anew.

Since I didn’t know this, I was stuck at the end of the stage, with my Judge under an “IN” arrow, screaming at my TV and destroying the UP button on my controller with the full force of my body, hoping to complete the level, but no dice. Then, after going online to see what I did wrong, my computer mockingly tells me that after only destroying all the blue cache boxes, the IN arrow will start to blink, letting you know that you can continue to the next level… huh? If you need to destroy all the boxes before continuing to the next level, then why would you have the game show you an exit that you cannot use? CRAP!

All the other levels suck just as bad since you lose health every time you try to apprehend someone, get lost in each level’s mini maze, or just get confused while trying to figure out that level’s objective. For example in Level 2, one of your goals is to close cell doors at the Aspen Prison Colony. Ok, so while on your journey of pointless ass-kickery, you see open jail cells with switch plates next to them. You line up your Judge to the plate and press up, hoping to lock the jail door but nothing happens. Why? It’s because the open cells are just part of the foreground and you need to find a computer terminal (which you thought were useless at this point) to make steel beams come down on certain passageways. Boy, do I feel like an stupid asshat.

Let’s quickly talk about other things that pissed me off about this game… The music is horrible. The only way to describe it is a digitized version of what I could only imagine one of the songs from Autobahn (The Big Lewbowski) to sound like. The bad guys just get too hard to beat with each level, like flamethrower-man which his fire blasts take up 2/3 of the screen, guarantees your death in a matter of seconds. Oh, and speaking of death, you start with three lives and no continues which is totally messed up since there’s a total of 14 levels in all – 14 levels of disappointing horsecrap!

To top off this shit sandwich Level 14 is in this fantasy world with a lava floor, Jack and the Beanstalk platforms with castle towers and weird ghosts, brown muscle freaks and a man on fire with a pitchfork… WHAT THE FUCK?! In conclusion, all I can say is that I hate this freakin’ game and I feel sorry for the gamer who will buy my used copy when I sell it for $5 at my arcade.


0/10 Gold Badges

Written by The Rube

The Rube is co-owner of Rusty Quarters Retro Arcade & Museum in Minneapolis, MN. He is also a Special Effects Artist, Master Chef, and Multiple Threadless Design Winner. Other than writing reviews and doodling, he enjoys watching bad movies, building monster model kits, and collecting games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

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  • It can’t be as crap as the film though, surely! lol