Zero Wing (1991 - Sega Genesis, reviewed by Cramulas)

Released in 1991, Zero Wing provided innocent children the opportunity to learn a new form of English. Classic lines like "we get signal" and "move every zig! you know what you doing?!" indeed provide us all with fond memories of childhood. But what about the game behind the base? So many have been consumed with making there time that they have forgotten there is an actual game to play here. Unfortunately, all your base sucks and you really have no chance to survive playing this awful....awful game.

Gameplay


Zero Wing plays very similar to the Gradius series of video games. You play as military hero Musashi Alfred Quebecistan, a man on a mission to move his zig to obtain his revenge against the antagonist Cats. Cats has the sole purpose to take your base, and that's about it. He set up you a bomb and now you're pissed. That's all for story. One must consider that revenge tales weren't as common in 1991 as they are now in 2005, but even considering this one cannot find any form of originality in this game. The side scroller/topdown airplane game had already been done to death in 1991 and this game provided nothing new to the genre. Throughout the game, one will be able to use one of four available weapons. These weapons include the default red pixel ball, laser beams and homing missiles. Further upgrades include multiships add-on, and a speed-up powerup. There are no further powerups beyond that. The game plays very slowly, and pointlessly. The constant non-sensical enemies that continually appear are dull, and the extremely pointless long levels get boring very quickly.

Graphics


The opening scene has some interestingly drawn characters. Cats, in particular, has a very Borgish feel to him/it. The game itself hardly looks 16-bit. The colors are very grainy, enemy design is awful and backdrops are ignorable at best. NES games could provide better graphics.

Sound


The sound is uninspired and basic, comparable at best with the NES's sound cabailities. There are a number of bleep and blops used for weapons and such. The music score is offensive. The opening scene has a decent enough theme, however in-game I find myself wanting to purge my bowels of its excrement all over my speakers. Completely un-satisfactory.

Presentation


There is a nice option menu, and the controls work fine. The translation is, of course, awful. This does benefit the game and has made this game legendary all over the internet. No apparent bugs or frame-rate drops. No Multiplayer available, an option that could have made this game somewhat decent.

Closing Comments


Not worth the time. The only reason to buy/emulate/try this game is for the opening scene. If you're looking for a side/top scrolling airfighter game, go for Gradius 3. If you do own the cartridge of the game, save it. It may be worth something someday on Ebay due to its online fame.

2/7 Yannis:



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