perjantai 4. helmikuuta 2011

REVIEW - T2 - The Arcade Game (1991)

Genre(s): Shooter
Released: 1991
Available on: Amiga, ARC, GB, GEN, GG, PC, SMS, SNES
Developer(s): Midway Games, Beam Software, Acclaim Entertainment, Probe Entertainment
Publisher(s): Acclaim Entertainment, LJN
Players: 1-2

An arcade rail shooter by the name of Terminator 2: Judgment Day arrived about the same time as the first, very different home versions of the game shipped. Nearly every home port of the T2 license flopped, so what did the companies responsible for them do to balance up their checkbooks? They came up with the idea of bringing the arcade game to the home consoles as well, under the moniker T2 - The Arcade Game. Released in 1993, the SNES version is one of the few games to support the Super Scope, as well as the Super NES Mouse, so it's kind of a curiosity. Is it any good? Just as good as any Super Scope game out there. With a particularly foul stench of boredom.

Another wasted Judgment Day

As T-800, your mission is to protect the survivors of the nuclear war, then travel back to the year 1995 to guard the life of young John Connor, who is destined to become the leader of the human resistance in the war against the machines, from a highly advanced Terminator model dubbed the T-1000. Your final mission is to destroy all of Cyberdyne Systems' research to prevent Skynet from ever being built and becoming self-aware, and thus save the future of mankind.

The game utilizes digitized graphics, like most of its kind... and man, do they look awful. It's OK as long as you're not shooting at people or the most awkward Arnie lookalikes this side of Total Recall on the NES - so the Terminator endoskeletons and other robotic menaces of the apocalypse look quite decent. Every moving object is totally detached from the array of boring backgrounds, a part of which seem to be recycled from earlier Terminator games. The music's very ambient and almost unnoticeable, I guess that's better than it being unbearable. Seeing how all of the game consists of shooting a machine gun and blowing shit up, you can just imagine how pleasant and varied the sound effects are.

Some resistance you are. What the hell's this
guy doing in my personal space?
The game must be more than familiar to guys and gals that have spent more than a hefty sum of quarters in the arcades playing Konami's Lethal Enforcers, Sega's Virtua Cop or Taito's Operation Wolf, or made the mistake of buying some game usually associated with the allegedly crippling Super Scope light bazooka for the SNES. Hell, anyone who's ever played Duck Hunt knows what this is all about, only the Nintendo Zapper was a cool light gun - the first of its kind, and the last that really made a difference. The SNES version of T2 - The Arcade Game has a lot of choices - it's optimized for the Super Scope, but alternatively, you can use the Super NES Mouse originally designed for use in Mario Paint, or simply the standard controller. There's no need to get otherwise useless peripherals - which is an extremely good thing since the game is hardly worth even the price of the cartridge.

I used to love these sort of games in the arcades, and if my memory serves me correctly, I have actually played T2 in a real arcade hall, a long, long time ago, when these brothels for kids were more common. It was simply because I loved shooting, I even went to a gun club for under 10-year olds (really lame guns) for a year or so, before I got fed up with it. Shooting at the same cardboard targets week after week with no real purpose, not even a point count, just ceased to interest me. Back to the arcades, I went. When I heard that they were releasing a light bazooka by the name of Super Scope for the SNES, I was ecstatic. I didn't have a SNES of my own at the time, I was just waiting when my best friend's mom or dad would buy the Super Scope 6 bundle for him. Well, they never did. Years later, I tried a game called X-Zone. I was soiling myself - I was about 13 years old at the time and I was still excited about the Super Scope, even after hearing nothing but trash about the peripheral itself, and all the games optimized for it. The words that came out of my mouth after ten minutes of playing, were much worse trash. It hurt to use the Scope, and the game sucked. Which brings us to T2.

As far as I'm concerned, I have two choices. The standard controller or the mouse, and I'll take the pad. It's really all the same. Some people that are into shooters might choose the mouse, but then again, people who are really into shooters should know better than ever waste their time with a 16-bit rail shooter, let alone one based on T2 and touched by LJN. Any one of your choices won't affect the gameplay experience in any way. The game starts out well. You simply shoot everything you see, from Hunter/Killers to Terminator endoskeletons, to power-up crates. The only targets you should avoid hitting are the members of the resistance. Like you would care, since they are usually in your way point-blank... but shooting too many people will eventually take its toll on your own health meter, like in most rails with these innocent by-standers loafing about. You don't have to advance more than two or three screens to realize that the whole game is going to consist of THIS. It isn't much of a surprise, I know, but the stages are long as hell. You'll be bored out of your socks in three minutes, tops, and the game has seven stages, the longest of which take 20 minutes to beat. The only stage which demands a half of thought from you is Cyberdyne, since there are two different endings, and getting the "good" ending requires you to destroy absolutely everything you see, to the tiniest pixel. I got the "bad" one, but it's simply because I was nearly asleep! By far the only thing that kept me up was the annoying sound of my gun. I ain't exactly devastated.

Hey, this isn't The 6th Day.
The first stage tells you everything you should expect from this game, from all possible angles and not just its two-button gameplay (you use the other button to launch grenades or other projectiles of mass destruction). It's kind of pointless to start nitpicking about the plot, but I have to fill out the empty spaces somehow, even in the case of a simple rail shooter, so... you're playing as the T-800 from the very beginning, and the first four stages (out of seven, just to remind you) take place in the future, in 2029. The T-800 never actually took the resistance's side in the movie. He was intercepted by the resistance and reprogrammed for one single purpose only, to be sent back in time to protect John Connor as a child. Here, he destroys almost 300 units of his own "people", in the first stage alone. The first stage out of the three that take place in the past is Cyberdyne. After you've gotten rid of the SWAT team there, by far the only true enemy you have left is the T-1000, and two whole stages are built around fighting the liquid bastard from hell. This is quite all right, since the shootout at Cyberdyne was the only extensive Arnie vs. the world scene in the movie, but why in the hell do workers at the legendary mill attack you? If I remember correctly, and I sure as hell do, they ran as far away from the mill as they possibly could right after that nitrogen truck crashed on their doorstep. Oh well, we've seen hotel staff from maids to cooks trying to kill a defenseless, little ugly sprite of Macaulay Culkin in a SNES game. Oops, I did it again!

You'll get a raping of a lifetime in this game, no doubt. I'm not even sure if the game can be beaten with flying colours without the right sort of hardware, but moreover, a second player - a kid, or someone otherwise oblivious enough to bother. After the first stage, the amount of health just one bullet drains from you increases by a heap, and there are way too many enemies on the screen for you to handle alone. What's most challenging about the game, of course, is that it's distinctively boring.

T2 - The Arcade Game is, in my experience, the best Terminator game out there... however, that's not much of a compliment. Simple, decently responding controls raise it above the rest, but in turn, it's boring and generic, and altogether a trifling effort to milk a long-dead cow.

Graphics : 5.9
Sound : 5.5
Playability : 5.0
Challenge : 4.8
Overall : 5.0


a.k.a. Terminator 2: Judgment Day, T2: Judgment Day

GameRankings: 66.50% (GB), 80.00% (GEN), 65.75% (SNES)

The original arcade version is known as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but each home version was renamed T2 - The Arcade Game to separate it from the 2D action game.

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti