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Certain aspects of Cyber City are appealing. The animation consumes the entire screen and there's something enjoyable about the cheesy anime style. The action unfolds rapidly but sometimes you can pan left or right to select your path. The gameplay is purely aim-the-cursor-and-shoot. Fortunately your ammo is unlimited so you can spray bullets liberally. During a typical scene a bad guy will appear in a building window and you'll need to react in a split-second or lose a life. It's not humanly possible to drag that cursor across the screen to the right spot, so memorization is crucial.
The problem is, bad guy locations are occasionally randomized, and even when you know where to shoot the clumsy cursor control makes it hard to aim. Once you get the patterns down you can make gradual progress. Yes, I tried using the CD-i light gun but it didn't work. Escape from Cyber City isn't terrible but it's certainly not good. At least the games tend to be brief, so if you hate it rest assured your suffering will be short-lived. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.
My initial impression was one of disappointment, as I was looking forward to hearing that catchy Felix the Cat theme song ("Felix the Cat, that wonderful wonderful cat...") Instead the music sounds more like a creepy barbershop quartet ("Do you wanna hear a stooo-ry?") Yikes!
An intro video featuring Don Oriolo (yes the Don Oriolo) welcomes you to this "world of fun". Don is the son of Joe who created Felix the Cat. There's also a plug for the Felix Fan Club in New Jersey. I checked the web site and it hasn't been updated since 2009.
This disc is an interactive storybook with a hodgepodge of content. There are several comic-book style stories where you have the option to read certain parts out loud. We're talking snoozefest here. Two vintage Felix cartoons are also included, although limited to a small window in the center of the screen.
The mini-games are the standard connect-the-dots, mix-ups, magic squares variety. A few are moderately fun to toy around with. I was annoyed with the paintbrush game because I couldn't paint the characters, only the surroundings. I also struggled with the "how to draw Felix" activity, until it dawned on me I was supposed to tape a piece of paper over the TV and trace him!
Felix may be long in the tooth, but the cat has demonstrated ample staying power over the years, starring in a 1989 feature film and an NES game in 1992. More recently the feline has fallen on hard times, doing several well-publicized stints in rehab for substance abuse. I hate to speculate but I think we all know it's catnip. The question is, could this CD be his last hurrah, or the first stage of a 100-year anniversary tour? © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
The action is fast and smooth, but the game lacks polish. Your ship slides around and there's a lag when trying to reverse direction. The collision detection is weak, and half the time when you die you have no idea what hit you. There are a lot of white dots bouncing around the screen to represent a variety of effects, including explosions and enemy missiles. If you feel like you're in constant danger, that's because you are! The best way to make progress is to move slowly and keep an eye on the radar.
The second game is a wacky Space Invaders knock-off with aliens that scream in anguish as you blast them. When you get on a roll, the constant shrieks and moans sound like a really bad adult movie. You need to keep moving because these invaders dump a [expletive]-load of bombs. You'll be lucky to survive the first wave! The game ends with the message "Game Over Lad!" Who talks like that?
My friends were not impressed with either of these, but I liked the sharp graphics, digitized sound effects, and pumping techno soundtrack. The high difficulty results in quick games with a "one more time" quality. A high score table is displayed for Guardian but it is not saved. These games could never measure up to the classics they're based upon, but if you're in dire need of arcade action, these will scratch that itch. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
The graphics are sharp but my friend Chris noted that the animation is minimal, with most objects (like the huge spider) being static images. It feels like a Flash game, and the explosive sound effects would be better suited for a WWII shooter. The second game is Breakout at its core, but its use of different screen configurations and power-ups make it more similar to Arkanoid. This is probably the best title in the Golden Oldies series. Controlling your paddle is no problem, and it's possible to take out two or three blocks at a time.
Better yet, some blocks drop capsules that provide power-ups. These might unleash an extra ball, let you catch the ball, or even fire missiles directly at the wall. Juggling the balls and power-ups requires as much strategy as skill. The game also shows an odd sense of humor when you miss a ball and your paddle morphs into a skull, screams, and then blows up in a mushroom cloud. These games may lack the charm and fine-tuning of the originals, but they are still fun in their own way. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
Like any Mario game, there's plenty of jumping, and the doors provide additional strategy since you can hide behind them. That's critical, because there are some really annoying creatures (like the caterpillar) that you'll want to avoid altogether. Hotel Mario's graphics are decent but nothing spectacular, and each level is introduced with a low-budget cartoon cinematic. Upbeat music plays constantly throughout the game and it does get annoying before long.
Hotel Mario is easy to learn but supremely difficult to master. Although there are only seven hotels, each has ten stages that all look and play pretty much the same. I felt like I was playing the same stages over and over. It's no classic, but if you're looking for arcade action for your CD-i, you could do far worse. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
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Screen shots courtesy of Old Games, Dimo's Quest, The Black Moon Project, YouTube, Moby Games, The World of CD-i