The game's fun factor never rises to its level of charm and good looks. The rapid-fire shooting is satisfying, but aliens are often hidden behind rock walls. Jim can leap pretty far, but he sometimes fails to grab hold of ledges. The stages tend to wind their way all over the place, making it hard to tell if you're heading in the right direction. In the stage entitled "Lorenzo's Soil", you're equipped with a special gun that lets you burrow through dirt. It's a boldly original concept - and one I hate with a passion! It's actually more painful on the Saturn version than it is on the Genesis. That stage lasts an eternity. Several other stages tested my patience as well, including the excruciatingly slow "blind cave salamander" maze.
Still, Earthworm Jim 2 offers a wide variety of stages loaded with surprises, funny animations, and wacky digitized noises. There's a password option, but the fact that it's a series of random objects makes it really hard to write down. The graphics are obviously sharper than the Genesis, and some of the planet-scapes are visually arresting. The audio is clear and the music has a relaxing, laid-back vibe. Despite these upgrades however, I didn't find this any more enjoyable than the Genesis game. In fact, I think I enjoyed it less. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Your movement is severely limited and sometimes you push in a direction and nothing happens. I learned to use the sound of my Saturn's spinning drive as an audible cue. You enter and exit rooms through airlocks, and watching these repetitive entry scenes is tiresome. You can move freely in hallways, ducts, and large rooms, and this is where encounters occur. Unfortunately the aliens are invisible which is remarkably lame. Your beeping motion detector alerts you when an alien is near, but not in what direction.
You're armed with the most clumsy, worthless weapon ever devised. You must power it up at a charging station, and a single charge only holds two or three shots. To fire, you must energize your gun for a few seconds and release at precisely the right time. Why does everything have to be so complicated? It's bad enough I can't see what the [expletive] I'm shooting at!
And don't get me started with these confusing stage layouts. Computer maps save you some heartache, but maps are not always available. To navigate the endless maze of ducts an FAQ actually advises you to draw your own map! It sounds crazy but my friend Scott and I actually tried to do it. After a while however we decided we didn't have the time nor patience.
It's a shame because Enemy Zero is pretty scary! The atmosphere is ominous and your beeping tracker instills a sense of panic. The audio is understated but the voices and jarring sounds are effective. I was intrigued by the futuristic computer interfaces which look much like those of the present day. You can save your progress at any time, but your saves are limited (what?!) and that's the final straw. Enemy Zero should have been an epic space adventure but somebody overengineered all the fun out of it. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
Tracks include Hockenheim, Suzuka, Monte Carlo, and three fictional Neo City courses (novice, advanced, expert). F1 Challenge bears a resemblance to Virtua Racing (Sega, 1995) with its vivid colors, smooth framerate, and chunky scenery. You toggle between two views: behind the wheel and behind the car. I couldn't help but notice that my wheels look extremely angular from the first-person perspective. The bright scenery is pleasant but unspectacular and exhibits substantial pop-up. A steering wheel accessory adds realism but the standard controller works surprisingly well.
The gameplay is pure arcade mayhem as you bounce off rails and other cars without losing speed! When jockeying for position on the Monaco track it feels like you're playing bumper cars! Each race is eight laps, and while I would prefer three I guess that wouldn't be enough to work your way up 24 positions. You always have the option of pulling into the pit-stop but I don't know why you would (except maybe to switch to your round tires). The lack of a two-player mode is disappointing. F1 Challenge tries to bring out the fun of the sport but it just doesn't feel representative of F1 racing. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
Jane might as well be G.I. Jane because she's a real bad-ass. Grace is a roller derby girl and Candy is a hottie with a fierce butt attack. Raxel is the obligatory rockstar and Sanman is a rotund police officer who can roll your ass like a bowling ball. The three-button block/punch/kick scheme is easy to grasp while still offering dozens of moves per character. The animation is impressive and the character models are finely detailed. If they appear a little chunky it's because of their protective armor. I find the armor to be unnecessary but I guess they were trying for something different.
In my experience Fighting Vipers rewards those who take an aggressive approach. If you bum-rush your opponent with a flurry, you can trap him with a juggle against a wall before he can lay a hand on you. When your opponent is on the ground, be sure to add insult to injury with a gratuitous foot stomp. A well-timed finishing move will send your opponent crashing through the closest wall (sweet). The arcade mode challenges you to complete eight matches in record time, and with 30-second rounds you can finish in well under ten minutes. You also get versus, tournament, and a playback mode that lets you replay your fights.
If you enjoy city skylines at night, Fighting Vipers has got you covered with some extraordinary backdrops that make the game look spectacular. I only wish that majestic bridge wasn't obstructed by those cheesy cardboard walls. My favorite stage takes place on an elevator riding up a skyscraper, and it's possible to send your opponent plunging over the side! Fighting Vipers in an inspired slugfest that will appeal to both button mashers and purists alike. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.
The title screen of Revenge boasts an awesome electrified die-cast metal design, and the character select screen is also slick. Prepare for a letdown however when you actually start playing. The characters are rendered with chunky polygons, no textures, and lousy definition. Revenge also feels dog slow next to comparable Playstation fighters like Rival Schools. Weapons are lying around and you can position yourself over them using the side-step button. Grabbing weapons seems like a good idea but most are surprisingly ineffective. You'll need to perform a special move just to shoot the gun, and the damage is minimal.
Don't hesitate however to snag any "bludgeoning" weapons like the iron pipe or hammer, as you can really lay into your opponent with those. Revenge isn't the best Capcom has to offer, but its deliberate pace gives it a more strategic quality. I love the attention to detail, like when you run out of bullets and your character throws his gun. After getting defeated by the cop, he writes you a ticket. The game is full of bizarre surprises, including special moves that spawn police cars and helicopters. Andore's hand can become huge (reminiscent of the Foo Fighters Neverlong video) and bitch-slap the hell out of his opponent. There are even bone-crunching "x-ray" attacks (!) like those used later in Mortal Kombat (Xbox 360, 2011).
But my favorite part of the Final Fight Revenge are its stages, which include a city park, Chinatown, an icy meatpacking plant, and a junkyard at sunset. The scenery looks digitized, and the night stages are downright spectacular. The jazzy musical score calls to mind classic side scrollers like Streets of Rage, and the arcade mode records high scores. Final Fight Revenge won't win any awards, but I found it a lot more interesting than your garden variety fighter. Note: This Japanese import requires the Action Replay Plus 4M cartridge. © Copyright 2014 The Video Game Critic.
The fielding isn't so bad, with tight controls and realistic animations like first basemen that stretch for errant throws. In contrast to the fielders, the base runners look positively awful. Not only are they incredibly pixelated, but they scamper around like they're running on ice! After each play there's an uncomfortable pause as the computer attempts to figure out if the play is really over. I find it interesting how the CPU player will pause the game and peruse the menu options right before your eyes (to manipulate his bullpen or rosters). That's pretty cool, but at first I thought my controller was broken!
Big Hurt's commentator does a respectable job, but his sentences tend to be disjointed - a common issue for early CD games. Actually, it's quite humorous to hear stuff like, "At the end of. The third inning. Baltimore. Four. Toronto. ZERO!!" There's also a PA announcer who inexplicably doesn't know how to pronounce many players' names (John Olerud is a prime example). Worst of all, there's no instant replay - a definite no-no for a game made in 1996. Don't let this game put the big hurt on your wallet. To be frank, I'd stick with World Series Baseball instead. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
The game itself is played from a first-person perspective. You assume the role of a surprisingly well-spoken reanimated individual named Philip. Once you get up and start moving around the doctor played by famed actor Tim Curry drops by every now and then to offer words of discouragement. I love the look of the game. The pre-rendered castle looks amazing with photorealistic stone walls, elaborate contraptions, and plenty of shadowy corners. This game may be too dark; half the time I didn't even know what I was looking at.
As you wander the grounds you'll move a hand-shaped cursor around the screen to examine items, pick up objects, and solve puzzles. The user interface leaves much to be desired. Pressing start brings up the save screen but it's very counter-intuitive. Navigating the rooms and hallways is tedious as all get-out. The doors all look the same and most are locked. You'll see a hallway with doors ahead but when you click to move forward you never know where you're going to end up. You might be facing a door or a black wall. With no map or compass it's hard to get your bearings, and getting stuck in a dark passageway is a fate worse than death itself.
Head-scratching puzzles... having to write down clues... moving a little hand all over the screen... I can't take it any more! This game makes Myst look like Mario Party! You know a game has issues when even the freaking FAQ doesn't help. Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster is a slow, thought-provoking adventure about a tortured soul. But while trying to play it I suddenly became painfully aware that the tortured soul was me! Note: I played this on my American system using an Action Replay cartridge. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
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Screen shots courtesy of Moby Games, Shinforce, Games Database, Video Game Museum, GameSpot, Rotten Tomatoes, Racket Boy, GameFAQs.com, Old Games News, Hardcore Gaming 101, IGN.com, Alvanista.com