Review of Rambo: First Blood II Slots
What teenage boy in the early 1980s didn’t love Rambo? The films were basically their wildest fantasies come to life: rebellion, shooting cool guns, blowing things up, and everything tied together with witty one-liners. John Rambo was the human embodiment of teen testosterone so of course I loved him and his movies back then: truth be told, I still have a major soft spot for them today. Not to mention, Sylvester Stallone was one of the best in the world at this time.
Normally my biases for the pop culture items of my youth seep into every review that we publish. If the game is about something I idolized as a child, chances are I will absolutely find something to love in it as I’m always searching for the positives. Unfortunately, with Rambo: First Blood Part II Slots there’s not a lot to sing about and things are going to get rough. But as we learned years ago…
“To survive a war, you gotta become war.” – John Rambo, 1985.
This expert review of First Blood 2 Slots will clearly explain how the software developers massacred what should have been an easy home run.
The problems with this release begin with the lazy design and boring symbols – there just isn’t much going on at all. Believe it or not, the screenshots below show some of the more “exciting” parts of it and this isn’t an exaggeration. Click on the images below to make them bigger so you can really start to get the blood boiling.
After video stores had to reorder First Blood numerous times due to tapes wearing out, it was obvious that movie execs would demand a sequel to the film. But what to call it? After quick deliberation the imaginative title of “First Blood Part II” was chosen for the highly anticipated follow up.
The movie of course centers around John Rambo, who has been sprung from prison and dispatched to Vietnam to investigate the rumor of POWs still being held in captivity by the Viet Cong. He agrees to the mission on the condition of receiving a pardon for all of the crimes that he committed during the first film, which were a whole helluva lot.
The people in charge make it clear to Rambo that this is strictly a reconnaissance mission and not an extraction mission, however, John Rambo is a man that makes his own rules. After discovering a camp with POWs deep in the jungle, you can guess what Rambo does next.
This version is based entirely on this second installment of the movie franchise and vaguely conveys partial storylines from the film in the form of movie clips and images. Sadly, the plot of this machine is one of its weaker points.
The unique symbols we got are downright disappointing but at the same time they’re kind of what you’d expect to find. Unfortunately iSoftBet made the terrible decision of using playing card symbols from the Ace all the way down to the “9”, and as you’ve read numerous times on Queen of Online Slots before, any game that has a 9 is probably going to be pretty boring.
They could have chosen to add a ton of great ones like Richard Crenna as Col. Samuel Trautman, Steven Berkoff as Lt. Col. Podovsky, Charles Napier as Marshall Murdock, or even Julia Nickson as Co-Bao. There you go…4 more and it took less than 30 seconds to come up with them.
Here’s what they settled on:
- J (Jack)
- Q (Queen)
- K (King)
- A (Ace)
- Golden Grenade (Bonus)
- Rambo Arrow (Wild)
- Rambo (Scatter)
First Blood II is a 720 payline machine so obviously the individual amounts for each combination aren’t going to be that great. The Jeep is the highest-paying and gives you 500 coins for 5 of a Kind, with the Cobra next at 100. These are followed by the machete and the bullets at 50 coins each for five in a row.
We finally get to a huge strength of this release with its astounding four different jackpots, with one of them getting triggered by 5 or more Golden Grenade Progressive symbols falling anywhere on the reels during a spin. The number you ultimately get will determine which prize you receive:
- 5 Progressives triggers the Stealth Jackpot
- 6 Progressives triggers the Bravery Jackpot
- 7 Progressives triggers the Honor Jackpot
- 8 Progressives triggers the Explosive Jackpot
You can check the current amounts at any time by going into the Information section. All four will be updated based on how much money has been contributed from across the network by the various online casinos who are participating and it will display the total dollar amount on offer in each of the prize pools.
One of the few nice features of this release is that any of these can be won during free spins mode as well as in the regular mode, so you never know when your life might be changed forever – much like unsuspecting Viet Cong soldiers in Rambo’s path.
In a plot twist that would have Rambo himself exploding in rage and unleashing unholy hell, this machine does not have a bonus round of any kind. Given that the subject matter is all about shooting things, you would have thought that there would at least be a Pick Em’ style area where you blew up enemies who were hiding cash prizes.
Sure this title is a little older now but that’s still no excuse to cut corners…on John Freakin’ Rambo, no less. For shame.
There are three different options for free spins depending on how many Rambo Scatters you get to trigger it. The more that land, the better your feature will be:
- 3 Scatters awards 5 spins with a 5x multiplier
- 4 Scatters awards 10 spins with a 10x multiplier
- 5 Scatters awards 15 spins with a 15x multiplier
The round begins with 10 unique images rotating on the screen until it stops on one and then that will act as the Expanding Wild for the feature. It will then stretch out over the reel giving you more winning paylines each time.
If you hit another three Scatters while freerolling you will get more spins and keep the same Expanding Wild that was chosen in the beginning of the round.
There are tons of crazy movie clips from First Blood Part II included, like red hot metal being hammered by Rambo, people being shot by a handgun fired by Rambo, a cobra getting twirled in the air by Rambo, and heavy machine guns in a jeep getting manhandled by Rambo. They’re clearly not the most imaginative video clips but they’re very entertaining all the same.
Sadly, the animations of the symbols in winning paylines are pretty weak, with the one most often used being exploding fireballs. It feels like the software designers ran out of ideas very early on in the process when making it and it’s hard to believe that any true fans of the film were involved in the project.
Audio & Soundtrack
The soundtrack is both extremely aggressive and whimsically uplifting at the same time. This song is definitely from the original movie so it’s nice that they brought a little bit of the original source material into the game.
Also, the sound effects of the reels spinning and payline wins during the normal mode are heavily accentuated in a militaristic way and totally fit the mood of what’s going on. In the background you will hear all of the noises of battle: sirens, choppers, machine gun fire, planes, and explosions, to name a few.
The other sounds of note are those of the unique symbols when used in a payline win: snake tails rattling, hot metal being hammered, and of course, guns of all shapes and sizes being fired. It’s quite the aggressive audio onslaught.
Most of the fans of the original movie are going to be sadly disappointed with Rambo: First Blood II Slots for many reasons. First and foremost, there just isn’t any storyline or fun action whatsoever, which basically kills the novelty of it 10 minutes after first starting to play. Of course, chasing the games’ four unique jackpots will keep many entertained for a while.
In addition, most rabid fans will just be happy to see a First Blood-branded gambling game, which is absolutely understandable. It’s pretty shocking that they even chose to release this in the first place.
It’s just a shame that iSoftBet didn’t try a little harder to entertain casual fans of the films or players who demand a bit of action and excitement. This is actually the second Rambo-branded slot that’s been put on the market so perhaps they’ll get it right with Rambo III if they ever decide to make it.
Until then, this game is basically expendable…and we all know what John Rambo’s definition of expendable is…
“It’s like someone invites you to a party and you don’t show up. It doesn’t really matter.”
Random Video of Rambo: First Blood II
Well, there’s only one way to end a review of First Blood Slots and that’s with Frank Stallone’s heart-wrenching song from the soundtrack, “Peace in Our Life“. By the time this film was released Sly had become a huge action star and a cash cow at the box office and if you thought that his brother Frank wasn’t coming along for the ride, you were sadly mistaken.
Frank Stallone might be remembered best for his fantastic acting job as Eddie in Barfly but we all know that his personal career highlight was getting to perform the theme song for Rambo II. Try to refrain from weeping as you watch…