Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

Archive for the ‘Horizontal Scrolling Shooter’ Category

First Impressions: Zombie Nation

Posted by Tracy Poff on March 24, 2008

This time a shoot-em-up, Zombie Nation, known in Japan as Abarenbou Tengu.

The plot of Zombie Nation is odd, and I doubt that it matters. You’re a flying samurai head, and you are apparently charged with rescuing America, the population of which has been turned into zombies. Maybe.

There were lasers scattered liberally throughout the level which reduced me to one life unit, so I died quite often at first. You have only one life, and limited continues, each of which returns you to the beginning of the level. Therefore I relied on save states to explore.

It seems that you are meant to rescue people who will occasionally fly out of buildings and things as you destroy them. Collecting four such people allows you to have more shots on the screen at a time, and eventually allows you to use a special attack which targets the whole screen. The first level culminates in a battle against the Statue of Liberty, which seems to have become a medusa at some point.

Abarenbou Tengu is rather different. In a stunning display of needless changes in localisation, the samurai head you play as in Zombie Nation is not present in the Japanese version. Instead, you play as a tengu head. The Statue of Liberty, too, was changed in localisation: in the Japanese version, it was not a medusa, and was red besides.

I played further on Abarenbou Tengu than Zombie Nation, so I do not know how things changed after the first boss, but I do have to wonder how they might have changed the second boss:

Perhaps it’s better not to know. Still, despite the odd localisation and initial difficulty, Zombie Nation is a pretty good game. Certainly worth wasting a few minutes on.

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Posted in 1990, First Impressions, Good, Horizontal Scrolling Shooter, NES | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Abadox: The Deadly Inner War

Posted by Tracy Poff on December 8, 2006

A shooter this time, and a pretty good one, at that.

Since this game incorporates powerups, you begin, as in most similar games, with nothing but a pathetic little pea-shooter and no armor, moving very slowly indeed.

I had quite a bit of difficulty dodging the shots from the–very bizarre–enemies at first, but then I got a speed powerup and a couple of options and the dodging was no longer necessary.

After progressing through a level that looked like it was made of worms, or possibly intestines, and fighting enemies like flying mouths and eyeballs, I reached the first boss: some sort of skeletal dog with bits of flesh still clinging to it.

This boss just jumps around a bit while releasing a few shots, so it was no problem to kill. After defeating this boss, we proceed to the second level, which is rather like the first except in much closer quarters and with various obstacles which required dodging. At the end of this level was the second boss, a face made of intestines, with its eyes floating about in front of it.

This boss, too, was no trouble to beat, although it did destroy my options. However, after destroying this boss, the game changed from a horizontal scroller to a vertical scroller–which scrolled from bottom to top, just to make it more confusing.

I died a bit into this level, since I had no options and some enemies are only half-destroyed by a shot. This game is much better than most of the others I’ve tried. I liked Super R-Type for the SNES better, but this is also a pretty good example of the genre. Worth playing.

Posted in 1989, Full Review, Good, Horizontal Scrolling Shooter, NES | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »