Last Action Hero
Image: Columbia Pictures

Back in 1993, Arnold Schwarzenegger was on top of the world. The phenomenal run of blockbuster movies such as Predator, Twins, Total Recall and Kindergarten Cop had propelled him to the forefront of Hollywood's highest earners, and after Terminator 2: Judgment Day made half a billion at the global box office and earned rave reviews, everyone was hyped for what he would do next.

That would be Last Action Hero, a movie which is often cited as the most infamous misstep of the Austian's career. It made $137.3 million off a production budget of $85 million and was lambasted by critics, and while it has since become something of a cult classic, it was a significant critical and commercial disappointment for the seemingly unstoppable Schwarzenegger.

Amiga Power Review
Amiga Power's review of Last Action Hero awarded it a score of 3% (click to enlarge) — Image: Future Publishing

However, before its release, the movie was naturally treated as something of a sure thing, and that meant merchandise, toys and – of course – a flood of video games for all of the major formats of the period. Sony's Columbia Pictures, the production company behind the film, was closely involved during development, and even Schwarzenegger himself had input – he famously stated that his character, Jack Slater, could not use any offensive weapons in the game because he was fearful that children playing it would identify too readily with the on-screen violence.

Publisher Sony Imagesoft commissioned Teeny Weeny Games to create the NES version, while Bits Studios was put in charge of the SNES, Genesis / Mega Drive, Game Boy and Game Gear versions (the latter of which was ultimately cancelled, alongside a Sega CD version which was in production at Psygnosis). The outlier in all of this was the Commodore Amiga version, which was developed by The Dome.

While all of the versions of the game met with a frosty reception, the Amiga version has been singled out over the years as one of the worst video games ever made. The famously vitriolic Stuart Campbell of Amiga Power said that Psygnosis (which published this version) and The Dome "should be utterly ashamed of themselves" for the game, while Amiga Action branded it "utter trash". The One Amiga called it "without a shadow of a doubt, the worst game ever."

While we could argue at length about whether or not this truly is the worst video game ever made, the retro community is never one to turn away from the challenge, and AmigaLive has created a hack for the game (thanks, Indie Retro News) which aims to improve it in a wide range of ways, including:

  • Unlimited continues
  • Selectable lives up to 9 (from max 5)
  • Health is 100% restored with all food types
  • First level enemy attacks cause less damage
  • Increased move speed left/right (from 2 to 4)
  • Increased move speed up/down (from 1 to 3)
  • Decreased flying distance when hit
  • Decreased flying time when hit
  • Decreased backflip self damage (from 5 to 1)
  • Decreased backflip damage to enemies (from 16 to 4)

You can download this revised version here. Does it make this otherwise unremarkable title any better? We'll let you decide on that score.