June 7, 2013

Xenophobe for the NES

Xenophobe… a person who dislikes foreigners. Maybe dislike is too nice- let’s try hate. This game was made by Sunsoft, so already we need to be cautious. I’m not sure what alternate universe we’re in here, but there’s a duck man, a guy I can’t even describe and Captain Ahab’s reject cousin. There is no real goal to the game… you just shoot at stuff supposedly before the base self-destructs. I like the intro music, but it is only 5 or 6 seconds long- and after you hear the repetitiveness of it all, it gets boring real fast. There’s no music in game either. A lack of music; a lack of originality.

I’m not sure why the developers thought it was necessary to blank out one half of the entire screen- making the game window much smaller than it needs to be. Second, the controls are effing awful. You can’t jump and then move over like in a normal platformer- you have to move to the left or right then jump- otherwise you are locked laterally. You can’t turn quickly to fire in the other direction, and turning is sluggish. You can kneel your character, but it does no good.

You can move through each door, but if you aren’t careful the blue metapod will kick you back into the other room, where everything resets. I’m not sure what the green alien/jaguar is supposed to be, but other than darth vader probes and leeches-this game seems to not have any more enemies. In fact, why hurry? The base is supposed to self-destruct but I see no timer anywhere. Speaking of ducks, did you know there is a phobia for them? Dedalophobia? It’s a fear of a duck always watching you. If this is a Japanese game translated and refitted to appeal to Americans, anthropomorphizing ducks and old war heroes combined with bad controls and near impossible barriers isn’t going to coat the icing on the cake, catch my drift?

What I mean is this. If I’d rather play Duck Hunt and Mario Bros. over your game, you’ve failed. This was 1987- a time when we should have learned from 85’s Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda- even Metroid even? But no. I can think of many things to do, alone by myself than play this game. This isn’t fun, it isn’t cool- and there are a ton of other games that I would rather be playing. Why bother with this hunk of junk, and why bother putting a chick on the intro cover? At least the spaceship was kind of cool. I’d give it a 23/100. Stay away from it. It’s not enough to piss you off if you dabble with it for 20 minutes- but any longer than that can cause hair to grow on your palms- and insanity.

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