Enticed to move to Sensible by promises of ridiculous amounts of cash and the chance to make his own game, and general dismay at magazine politics, Stuart withdrew from AMIGA POWER and became a Chief Executive Co-ordinating Development Director with Special Responsibility for Gameplay.
His first (and, as it turned out, despite, for example, what the credits to Sensible Golf insist in gigantic letters, last; his rapid disillusionment with the lovable eccentrics of Sensi perhaps best illustrated by the adoption of a company fruit machine as the effigy of a particularly unprofessional programmer and the battering of it into tiny non-working bits with a lump hammer) game for the company was a sequel to the unstoppable smash hit Cannon Fodder. The traditionally craply-subtitled Cannon Fodder 2...
(That's The Gallup No.1 Cannon Fodder 2, thanks.)
... was more of the same, but harder, with (oh dear) a plot about time travel, and violently horrible purple graphics on the alien levels. Cam, who awarded the original game 94%, until AP44 the record all-time highest AP mark, thought the sequel excellent...
Quotes extracted by Stuart from Cannon Fodder 2 review, AP44
("The level design is consistently better than the original."
"It's harder and has more challenging levels (a plus)."
"The original game went in pulses of fiendishly hard and stupidly simple levels, but in CF2 the difficulty curve's, well, more of a curve."
"Fewer sprawling and empty levels, and a good mix of tricky and brutally gung-ho phases creates a much smoother, altogether more entertaining set of challenges for you.")
... but not as excellent as the first game, and gave it 89%.
Ooh, this one cheesed me off and no mistake. Firstly, Cam admits all the way through the review that, basically, CF2 is a better game than its predecessor, but that he doesn't like some of the graphics much.
Fair enough. But to then score it 5% less, well, graphics being more important than the game design wasn't the AP I used to know. But THEN, the inevitable backlash, with a load of tedious whingey letters about it being just a rewrite of the first game, and being too hard. Sorry? Here are some quotes from the first-ever preview of Cannon Fodder 2, in AP40.
Cannon Fodder 2 preview, AP40
FACT: Some Scottish bloke called Stuart Campbell is using a lifetime of extensive games knowledge to make sure that the 70-odd new levels are funky, playable and extremely hard.
It was Jools who originally coded Cannon Fodder... however, he's now devoting most of his time to Sensible Golf, and consequentially finds any additional coding he has to do "a bit of a pain in the bum." Not to worry, though, because with the basic game engine in place, the buck has been passed over to Stuart Campbell and John Lilley to create new and exciting levels.
It's going to be Cannon Fodder - only more so.
Do you see? It was ALWAYS going to be basically just some new levels and graphics stuck onto the same game engine. It was ALWAYS going to be extremely hard. We SAID SO. Right from the start.
If you didn't want to buy an extremely hard rewrite of Cannon Fodder, you shouldn't have bought CF2. It's not as if we didn't warn you. Nobody was conned. We delivered exactly what we said we were going to deliver.
Certainly, there were flaws - the Alien World graphics were a bit duff, rushed in the dash to get the game released on time (overall, though, the graphics were still miles better than the original), a communications breakdown with Virgin meant that the proper storyline explaining all the time travelling antics never happened, and we weren't too happy about seeing it go out at £30 (although it was discounted, like all Amiga games of the time, to £20 from the first day of release anyway).
But the graphics? The manual? The price? I always thought AMIGA POWER was about the games.
Well, that's us told, eh, readers?
(Attentive viewers will recall from the following issue Stuart's righteous anger at Cam's "no air-to-air combat" gaffe. I now feel it is safe to reveal the error was mine, added during "review editing" when I thought Cam's "I haven't, say, seen any air-to-air combat so far" example of unfulfilled potential extended throughout the entire game. Honestly, it's a good job I was brutally slain in the final episode.)