Food items tend to clump together in groups, making it easy to rack up big points but at the risk of accidentally ingesting a nasty purple pickle. Eat six of those and it's game over. Fast Food 64 may be shallow but there's something about its weird, offbeat style. The bumping techno beats sound like something from the 1990's but the audio quality could be better. The psychedelic backdrops can be pretty mesmerizing if they don't make you sick.
Each frantic game only lasts a minute or so, but you'll want to play over and over for high score. My friends were highly dismissive except for Brad who became hooked on Fast Food 64, rightly pointing out it required no buttons to play! How many games can you say that about?
Secondary modes include a chaotic two-player variation and a confusing first-person "VR mode". Classic mode mimics the original's graphics but throws a lot more food your way. The box comes with a little laminated menu (and overlay) which is a nice touch. This homebrew doesn't try too hard, but if you're in the mood for something light Fast Food 64 might just hit the spot. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
The game has a mesmerizing quality but a few new elements get in the way of the fun. The new "power-up" icons make the game feel sluggish and buggy. One icon freezes all the food in place, encasing them in ice cubes. Okay, so now what? Another makes your lips downright tiny, which only serves to illustrate how erratic the game's collision detection is. The framerate struggles to keep up when these power-ups are in play, so I started avoiding icons even more than the pickles!
The bonus catch-the-Oreo-in-a-glass-of-milk mode is less ho-ho-ho and more ho-hum. The stiff controls won't give Kaboom! (Atari 2600, 1981) a run for the money but I did enjoy the cozy scenery. Hey wait - are those Jaguar games burning in the fireplace!? Oh the humanity! Fast Food 64: Holiday Snacks is the type of game you pull off the shelf once a year... and promptly place it right back up there until next year. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Special moves are available for "star players", but apparently there aren't many stars on my USA team (*sad face*). The action is too frenzied to get all that creative, but I do like the ability to bend shots (like Beckham). It's not hard to score, but since the goal is usually off the screen, it can be hard to tell where to aim. Goalies usually get their hands on the ball but rarely make a clean catch. When someone scores you're subjected to a "celebration" screen featuring a pair of players that look more like hideous, overweight mutants. It's disturbing!
Tie games are decided by shootout rounds, which are fun and well-designed. The sound effects include a crowd that increases in volume as the ball approaches the goal. The players grunts sound clear but the sound of kicking the ball sounds more like a shotgun blast! It's not perfect, but Fever Pitch Soccer is easily one of the more playable sports titles for the system. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
The characters can side-step and evade attacks, but they move like snails! Could they possibly take smaller steps? There's minimal technique involved in the fighting action, and each hit only removes a tiny sliver of your opponent's life meter. As both fighters endlessly trade punches, generic guitar music loops in the background. After what feels like an eternity, your opponent finally falls to the ground.
But the sense of relief quickly turns into despair when you realize you're just beginning round two. NOOOOOOOOO! The one amusing aspect of this game lies in its instruction book, which claims you can save your game up to 100,000 times (sorry, you'll need to reset the cartridge after that). Is that supposed to be funny!? Did Atari really expect this to compete with Virtua Fighter and Tekken!? There has to be more to life than this! © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Then you start playing and wonder if this is even a finished game. Frog Feast is a contest between two amphibians leaping between a pair of lily pads, snagging flies that flutter over the pond to earn points. The game is timed and ends after two minutes. In the original versions you could control the height and trajectory of your leap, but not here. You always jump the same height and distance, which is lame. One button is used to both jump and stick out your tongue. It occurred to me there are 22 buttons on my Jaguar Pro controller, yet this game uses one to perform two functions.
The frogs are well-defined but the forest background looks like it was drawn with Microsoft Paint. The sky darkens slightly as you play but never actually turns to night. The sound effects are basically limited to periodic croaks. Only the Jaguar could mess up a can't-miss concept like this. Frog Feast is actually a watered-down version of an already simplistic game, prompting my friend Scott to proclaim the Jaguar as the "reverse King Midas" of game consoles. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
The high-resolution, pre-rendered scenery looks good, and the otherworldly soundtrack would be quite effective - in a good game. Unfortunately, your pixelated character is composed of about five triangles, and he moves like a turtle. You'd think a 64-bit powerhouse like the Jaguar would be able to handle a 3D adventure, but it struggles mightily. Simply wandering around the village is a chore due to sluggish, awkward controls.
Making matters worse are the constantly changing camera angles. Not only are these disorienting, but take forever to render! Once the soldiers get close enough attack with clubs, you'll take a beating regardless of whether their blows actually make contact. This causes you to temporarily lose control, making you susceptible to further beat-downs. When will the hurting stop?! You can punch and kick until the cows come home, but your foes are always about a millimeter out of range.
You'll find items in huts around the village, but just when you think you've come upon something useful (like a stick), you're told "you can't use that here". Attempting to flee the village causes you to be shot dead by an unseen assailant, but take it from me - that guy was doing you a favor! If there is a decent game buried deep down in this CD somewhere, I'd be surprised.
Highlander is beyond awful - it's embarrassing. Why is the main character's hair blonde in the cut-scenes, yet bright pink in the game?? Equally shameful is the box art, which depicts Highlander as a blonde woman in what appears to be a cheap Aquaman outfit. If Atari expected garbage like this to pass as a legitimate game, perhaps the company deserved its untimely fate.
. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
All the missions take place at night, which serves two purposes. First, it helps alleviate the "pop-up" problem found in most Jaguar polygon games. Second, it makes it impossible to tell where enemy shots are coming from! The graphics are very average, and the frame rate gets pretty choppy, especially when you're crossing rough terrain. A few stages are almost pitch black, and you'll be begging for them to end. On the positive side, you can select your missions, the music rocks, and their explosions are very cool. There are some neat camera options that let you view the action from different angles, but these aren't very useful during the game. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
The stage designs are a bit uneven, with some that are difficult to clear and others that seem to end prematurely. The small switches you need to pull can blend into the surroundings, and you'll sometimes find yourself going in circles looking for them. Hyper Force has a LOT of secret areas, so always feel around the walls and ceilings.
Your enemies include a wide array of robots, and they look pretty cool. Some look like odd top-heavy droids, while others resemble stormtroopers from Star Wars. Your firepower is very weak to begin with, but you can purchase better weapons between stages. Unfortunately, the weapon-buying screen is confusing, and it's hard to tell what you can buy and what you already have.
You'll find bunches of money signs and other bonus items throughout the levels, and it's satisfying to walk or jump through them. The traps include your standard timed fire and spike mechanisms, but these aren't too tough to avoid. The controls are responsive, although touching a robot will send you out of control, and sometimes you get bounced around like a pinball. Fortunately, this damages the robots more than it hurts you.
The gameplay starts to feel somewhat repetitive after a while. Although the scenery changes every five levels or so, the stages at each location don't differentiate themselves very much. The understated music is amazing, and the sound effects are also distinctive. You can save up to three games to cartridge. Hyper Force is a quality game that fills a void in the Jaguar library. Get your copy at Songbird Productions. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Some stages contain simple puzzles that require you to hit switches to access new areas. As a first-person shooter, I-War needs a strafe button in the worst way. Most confrontations amount to trading shots until someone blows up. There are some nifty explosions, but they tend to slow down the action considerably.
I-War does feature some respectable techno music, and I like how you can save your place between stages. There's also a bonus stage that lets you collect pods as you fly through a tunnel, but it's hardly what I'd call exciting. I-War is a playable game, but there's not enough here to make you want to come back for more. It's one of those games you forget about the instant you turn it off.
. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
The control scheme is pretty well thought out. Once you start moving, you can change direction without stopping. That works out well because your robot walks at a slow pace, and having to hold down a button to move would be tedious. Missions usually involve destroying certain landmarks. The cities are full of rectangular block buildings without much detail. You can destroy the buildings to find weapons or power-ups.
Your enemies, which include tanks, helicopters and other robots, look great. Unlike games like Cybermorph, the animation here is very smooth. But I think the best part of Iron Soldier has got to be the explosions: they look awesome. They make destroying things all the more fun, especially when you throw a big grenade into a group of tanks. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
There are twenty missions this time around and more weapons too - including a chainsaw. My main problem with this game is that the missions are sometimes a bit ambiguous. It's not always clear what you're supposed to do, so you end up leveling the whole town! Also, I sometimes had a hard time controlling my mech.
This game really requires a good investment of time before you can really sink your teeth into it. Although it's a CD game, you won't even notice the loading time. The futuristic soundtrack is solid. Iron Soldier is a tough game, but Iron Soldier vets will feel right at home with it. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
A jumpy red crosshair lets you aim your shotgun or flamethrower. Button C is used to reload and you'll press it constantly. There are digitized growling and screaming sounds, but they are messy and repetitive. The gameplay could be a lot tighter as well. The difficulty is so low it's quite possible to beat the game on your first try. As if to compensate for the choppy reticle movement, the collision detection is ludicrously forgiving. Sometimes zombies appear to be sucked into the cursor.
The graphics are glitchy with splashes of blood often appearing in the wrong spot. The nonstop shooting is tiresome, and it culminates with an exhausting battle against a "bat king" boss with 1000 hit points! JagZombies is a mildly amusing seasonal diversion but you're not likely to play it twice in a row - or twice ever! The good news is that Corpse Killer (Sega CD, 1994) is suddenly looking a lot more respectable. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
The roster of eight fighters is uninspired at best. The two obligatory "ninjas" are dressed in cheap jumpsuits that make them look more like hospital orderlies! Most of the others are extremely unattractive, including the Scottish fellow who shoots fireballs from under his kilt. Kasumi's visuals aren't bad at all, with smooth animation and picturesque exotic backgrounds. The sound is less impressive however.
Each fighter is introduced by a guy with a laughably fake Asian accent, and sound effects during fights are sometimes out of sync. The music is an odd mishmash of styles, but most of it sounds like some guy goofing off on a Casio keyboard. Kasumi Ninja is a sub-par fighter, even for the Jaguar. This game caused my smart-assed friend Scott to quip, "I never thought I'd ever utter these words, but can we play Ultra Vortek?" © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
There are also chubby little guys on balloons you can "rescue" for bonus points. Shooting the balloons will release the little fellow, so try to position yourself below him first. After a while a large "boss" airship will make an appearance. The bosses are unique in design but easy to defeat once you position yourself behind them. Beating the first stage takes practice, but after that things get easier - probably because you earn a free life for completing each stage.
One thing lacking from Kobayashi Maru is variety and a sense of progression. Time Pilot created a sense of anticipation as you worked through the distinctive ages of time. In this game each stage features only slightly different skins and color palettes. The "warp" animation between stages is nice but unspectacular. Kobayashi Maru is a perfectly playable shooter but I can't shake the feeling that there should be more to it. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Screen shots courtesy of Atari Age