Anyone who would purchase KISS Pinball would certainly own a KISS CD or two, right? Sure enough, I had a few on hand! So after loading up one of the two pinball tables I paused the game and inserted KISS Alive 2. After fast-forwarding to Calling Dr. Love (via the R2 button), I soon realized that the game's guitar-riff audio effects completely butcher any music you play - no matter how kick-ass it may be.
The pinball action itself is some of the worst I've ever experienced. The uninspired tables are grainy and the ball travels too fast to follow. Responsive flipper control is critical in pinball, but these flippers are sluggish and tend to "stick" after you trigger them. If you want to return to the main menu to save high scores or switch tables, you'll need to replace your CD with the game disk. That's a lot of trouble to go through just to play a cheap product designed to cash in on the band's popularity. Giving this game a second chance only cemented my hatred for it. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
Depending on whether you're player one or two, the creatures are identified by different names which seems confusing and unnecessary. An announcer kicks off each battle exclaiming "Reach around!" (whatever that means). Killing Zone's character models aren't terrible. The creatures look fearsome enough and some moves surprised me, like when the mummy grows twice as big or stretches his arms like Dhalsim in Street Fighter. I noticed that characters actually turn their heads to keep an eye on their opponents.
Unfortunately the fighting action is marred by stilted animation and erratic collision detection. The screams and sound effects have a nice resonating quality but the mountainous backdrops look awfully grainy. The soundtrack incorporates a perfectly good rip-off of the Mortal Kombat theme. The game's ultimate undoing is its lack of replayability. The normal mode doesn't keep score and the bizarre "auto mode" only lets you suggest moves as the action plays out. The options are sparse with no save capability. A remarkably bare-bones fighter, Killing Zone is playable but you probably won't want to. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
Scramble is one of my favorite arcade games of all time, and I remember it well from the local bowling alley. This side scroller lets you shoot missiles and drop bombs at the same time, and you'll need to destroy fuel tanks in narrow caverns to maintain your energy. Super Cobra is actually the sequel to Scramble, but this time you pilot a helicopter and it's much harder.
Time Pilot is a classic shooter that lets you fly a plane in any direction, shooting down aircraft and rescuing soldiers in parachutes. Each stage takes place during a different time period, pitting you against biplanes, jets, and UFOs. Gyruss is an unconventional space shooter with a ship that moves around in a big circle, firing at enemies that emerge from the center of the screen. That catchy music is classic Bach, believe it or not.
Pooyan is a cute, cartoonish shooter with a pigs vs. wolves theme. In Roc N Rope, you scale a mountain by shooting ropes at cliffs and climbing across them. The poorly-named Road Fighter is a basic racer where you attempt to pass as many cars as you can. Circus Charlie offers six unique circus challenges, including tight-rope, trapeze, and flaming hoops.
In Shao-Lin's Road you face gangs of thugs, but your arsenal is limited to kicks and jump-kicks. Yie Ar Kung-Fu is an early one-on-one fighter, and although it's pretty bad, it does remind me of Street Fighter in some ways. You can save your high scores and settings to memory card, and analog control is also supported. When you're in the mood to get back to the basics, this is the collection you need. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
The first-person shooting gameplay feels like an advanced version of Cybermorph (Jaguar, 1993). Enemy robots materialize from nowhere but it's fun to blast them with missiles and machine guns. They're easy to destroy and they often release captive soldiers you can collect for points (I thought I was running over them). There are enemies in the air too, but using L1 and R1 to aim up and down is awkward as hell. You can't see particularly far into the distance but the animation is smooth as you navigate the mountainous landscape. There are some frame-rate and audio hiccups, especially when your female commander appears in the corner of the screen.
Each stage requires you to defeat several mech warriors and then destroy a shield generator. The mechs come in an interesting assortment, some resembling robotic wild animals like a gorilla or tiger. The sound effects that accompany these beasts can be pretty unnerving. Strafing is integral in battle, but instead of continuous movement you tap the shoulder buttons to "shunt" one step at a time.
Between stages you're treated to some video clips with comedic elements to keep things light. When your mech is destroyed the game abruptly ends and prompts for your initials for the high score screen. I like Krazy Ivan. It's a pretty solid shooter and its cheesy video intermissions make it all the more endearing. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.