Monday, February 4, 2013

Zombies Ate My Neighbors Review + Hardware Updates

    Hey everyone, I know...this is much later than the "up by end of tonight" posted a few days ago. Sorry, life happens! As promised though, here is my ZAMN review! Before we get to that though,  I want to cover some hardware projects I'm taking on soon as my tax refund check gets here. As I said before I have 2 Game Gear units needing a fix. Mine has sound that's pretty much inaudible, and my friend Melanie's has sound , but the picture is all whitewashed looking. I will be finally ordering the components needed to fix those. Also with my multitudes of Genesis model 1's and 2's laying around, I will finally be getting around to modding one with the Crystal Clear Audio mod , as well as do an component connection mod. This should give some nice clear audio and picture. I will make sure I take plenty of pictures showing the process, as well as video so you can see/hear the difference. For now lets get to that review.

Box Art

Main Screen

Character Selection

Gameplay Screenshot

The premise is that your in a living horror movie. 55 stages of classic monsters trying to kill you. Don't be fooled, because there are much more than just zombies in this game. 

You play as one of 2 wholesome teenagers who are pretty much trapped in a real life horror film. Some how all the big movie monsters ended up in your neighborhood. Zombies, blobs, Aliens, Giant name it. Your neighborhood is being terrorized and its your job to save the good neighbors from these monsters. Use whatever you can find laying around to fend them off. Your squirt gun is just as effective has those corn dogs you picked up last stage! 

Pretty cool plot I think, even by today's standards. 

                                            Overall Plot Score: 9 out of 10

Gameplay is extremely basic. Sometimes though, simple is better. In saying that, this game is hard and pretty unforgiving. You move around shooting things and walking into your helpless neighbors to save them. You can switch between all the different weapons you pick up. Each will help against different monsters. For example; Zombies take one shot from anything and they are dead. However  masochistic chainsaw guys who look like Jason will need something more potent to blow them away. Same as the Mummies, ideally using a fire extinguisher to freeze them then blow them to bits works nicely. You also have secondary items you pick up which can range from medical kits to special weapons to potions that turn you into a crazed monster. You always move at one speed and can't jump.

Now I think the games simplicity is what makes this game so tough. Being that you move at one speed and can't jump..your option is to kill everything, or run away from it. If you go down a dead end...that can hurt you quite badly. As the levels go on you come across new enemies which are much tougher to beat. This game is tough even today. Some people say its one of the hardest video games ever made. I believe single player is tough, but not crazy tough. 2 Player a different story. Try playing this game with a friend who you know will try doing his own thing..then see how fun it is! 

Overall I think the simple gameplay is what makes this game so hard and so fun. There are games that frustrate me and make me rage quit..then there are games like this, that keep me coming back for more. No matter how many controllers I break. Why not a perfect score? Easy. I think the simple gameplay is also it's biggest downside. Honestly, the addition of a simple run/walk mechanic or even just jumping...would of made this much less of a frustrating challenge!

Overall Gameplay Score: 8 out of 10

Zombies has fun graphics. Why? It's funny because I never paid much attention to game opening credits or publisher/developer logo's when I was a kid. So I didn't recall this being developed by LucasArts. Soon as I saw the logo I did a double take. When you see the game you can definitely tell it's a LA game, it shares many similarities to many of their PC games with the art style.

Overall Graphics Score: 9 out of 10

 Let me start by saying...I LOVE the music in Zombies Ate My Neighbors. It obviously isn't as elaborate as some of the big blockbusters of the time like Super Metroid or Final Fantasy, but the music has a certain charm.....a crazy over the top creepy circus charm that is. It fits the game perfectly and you will enjoy it!

                                           Overall Music Score: 9 out of 10

9 out of 10

 Some final thoughts and fun tidbits. Zombies Ate My Neighbors wasn't a blockbuster in its time, but has become a cult classic favorite among a lot of gamers like myself. With its 55 levels an average length for games of its time period, it's scaling difficulty, and fun atmosphere, this game will keep you on your toes and you will enjoy every moment of it. Even if you break a controller or two in frustration.

The game was originally planned to have a battery backup for saves, but due to budget constraints they went to the password system instead. Also like many other games - this was out before the ESRB ratings came out. You will notice by the lack of a rating on the cover. The SNES version had the blood taken out and made into purple goop...sounds like Mortal Kombat no? Also over sea's there were many other changes. The European version was just called Zombies, and had the chainsaw massacre guys replaced by lumberjacks with axes! I hope you all enjoyed the review. Now go slay some monsters!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Incoming Review and Updates

Hey guys and girls, small update. I will have a Zombies Ate My Neighbors review going live by end of today. Also, I hope to post some Game Gear repair guides as soon as I get the parts I need. One of my GG's has extremely low sound and the other has a whitewashed screen, but plays sound. I know I promised repair guides a while ago, but I haven't had any systems to repair. I really want to do it right with pictures. Stay tuned!