Let me start by doing some reminiscing. Being the only kid on the block without a Genesis was no fun at all. The pain endured while sitting on a friends couch during an amazing round of Thunderforce 2 or MUSHA is a pain that I pray never returns. I was still gaming on the nes in 90', and as a 2d shmup lover, the genesis was forever on my mind.
Enter Zombie Nation...
Don't think that because I mentioned my yearning for 2d shmups followed by the fact that I got this game, means that this is going to be a positive review. All Zombie Nation assured me off was that I needed a genesis, and as soon as possible. On a bad day, and by bad I mean silly drunk and half passed out, this game could be considered a poor man's thunderforce. But what makes Zombie Nation so bad you ask? Let me count the ways.
Sort or like thunderforce 3, 4, and 5, you can select your stage from the beginning.of the game. Level one is the city, level two is the mountain range, level three is the army base, and level four is the dark cave. A rather generic line-up, even for a nes game. But the problems arise before you even get into the game. Without going into the other areas, I'll just come out and say it. Your vessel of destruction is a giant head. Yeah, no cool ship, no cool name like vic-viper. Just a bald orange head that shoots pellets out of its forehead and spits chunks of nastiness as missiles. And this head is big, bigger than the tanks and ships that populate the game. But that's just the beginning.
The gameplay mechanics are just horrid. The head is slow, but the enemy bullets are fast. Every level has some sort of background graphic that can hurt you, like the electricity that comes out of the tops of building in level one, or the smoke out the smoke stacks in level three. You can also blow through buildings and mountains, leaving fire in your wake. Blow up the right spot and a man will fly out screaming help, which you can pick up for energy. The head shoots agonizingly slow, like one bullet at a time, and spits missiles at the same pace.
Then there's the enemies. Honestly, the tanks and the planes don't look half bad. You can tell what they are supposed to be. There are even a few mechs that assault you later in the game. But then you get to the 'gasp' zombies. Imagine stick men with two frame animation and you may have a clue as to what this game offers. These are your zombies. They shoot some sort of red balls at you, and run back and fourth. The army zombies just sit there, and there are some zombies that ride horses too. The fact is, zombies don't even make up 10% of the game, so you're left to fight flying ships, birds ( they could be zombies) and flying spiders. I guess zombies are driving the vehicles, but I can't see them. That would be like resident evil having only cars and tanks, you'd be pissed.
The graphics are OK for about ten minutes, that is until you play metroid 1. For a 1990 game, this is pathetic. The backgrounds are OK, since I knew I was looking at a city and a mountain, but I would have liked to see some more imaginative levels. The fires that start from your destruction have more animation than every enemy in the game. The flying head even has some stop-motion animation: the face frowns every two seconds. This is a nes game, so don't expect multiple plane backgrounds, since this game has enough problems with the plane it's on.
And the music, now that's nasty. Imagine awesome Zuntata tunes, or even heavy Thunderforce synth rock, then throw all that out the window, cause that's not what you're going to get. Hell, you won't even be getting good nes sound. This may have the worst nes soundtrack of all time. Other than playing this game, the only way to truly understand how horrid this soundtrack is to imagine your favorite soundtrack played in high pitched bleeps and blips. Now imagine your most hated soundtrack and you'll be that much closer.
But I said this could almost be the poor man's thunderforce right? Well, the game does have a shifting screen, like TF 2 and 4, and as I stated earlier, you can select the stages from the beginning. Also, the games throws tons of bullets at you once. Yeah, I'm reaching, so you know you have to be desperate to compare this to thunderforce. This IS the game that made me give up on the nes, since I hadn't discovered any of the Compile gems, sadly.
only thing that was great about this game was the box. I remember it
had zombies in the streets, and they were made of clay, like zombie
gumby. Other than day, I can guarantee you'll have more fun scooping
up dog droppings than you'll have playing this game. It's that bad.
Oh, and it's hard as nails too. You get one man, five continues, and
no weapon power-ups. So you'll be playing this gem of a shooter for
a long time. Add that to the fact that some stages have three sections,
and you'll see you really got what you paid for. Have fun.
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