Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Money Wasted on this Horrible Game #3: Platoon

Note: My usual picture of the clown holding the game didn't happen since the sticker of Platoon was no longer on the game making it look like an untitled cart.  So, I decided a picture of Charlie Sheen's mug shot seemed fitting.

When I was a young child, ok I was in my early teens, my parents decided that the perfect game to add to my NES library would be Platoon.  Why any parent would think it is a good idea to give an impressionable child the gift of the recreating of the Vietnam War is beyond me, but there it was - the clusterfuck that it still is.

Maze from Hell
I popped it in today just for some nostalgic bliss and I once again was transported to a simpler time when all I would do is walk around a pixilated jungle trying to find the right way out of the pixilated jungle but can't because every damn screen looks identical to the screen before it.  It is a never ending loop of hell.  I was impressed with myself because I found the explosives right away but the next 20 minutes found me wandering aimlessly until I said, "screw this" and turned it off.

What is an up jump?
After gaining my composure, I resumed the torturous jungle.  The biggest problem that I found was that you had to push up to jump.  Not a button, but up on the controller.  Why would they do this?  You are walking along and trying to jump over a tripwire and instead you go up to the next level of forest.  Go back down and the tripwire is gone.  But the enemies keep falling from the sky. 

I finally made it to the bridge and blew that bastard up and continued onto the village.  I know, don't hurt the villagers.  But, if this was to live up to the movie wouldn't Charlie Sheen be making the villagers dance around on one leg while shooting at the floorboards?  Anyway, I snagged the map and the torch and was ready to go into the sewer.  And, I totally forgot about the hidden bomb and got blown up (if you can call it that, you just sort of fall drastically on your back).

My, most likely clouded, memory was that the sewers were my favorite part of the game because of the 3-D aspect that reminded me of the SMS' Phantasy Star.  Now, Phantasy Star was one of the best SMS games and it was because of the 3-D dungeons.  This actually did have that flair and graphically, it wasn't too bad.  But, again, plagued by the controls.  It was too slow to fire and wandering around was a nightmare - everything looked the same.   Are these mazes the result of the developers losing a bet?  They are repetitive as hell, and just plain painful. 

All in all, a pain in the ass to find the items without dying over and over because the reaction time of the controls is slower than that of the enemies (the knife wielding badasses that pop out of nowhere are pretty cool though).  But, like the first stage (if you can call it that, they really don't go into stages or levels), the repetition made the level suck more than the graphics or the controls.  Just not much variety.

Wait, that was it?
After you finish up in the sewer, you go to a level where you basically just move the crosshairs and shoot blobs from your bunker.  Some are tough to see but overall, it doesn't take a whole lot of skill.  Takes a good minute or two (at least that's how it felt) and you are done.  So, after all the BS to get through the jungle and through the sewer, this level (one that comes after those two) is the easiest.

"This is the end" (I know the song is from Apocalypse Now not Platoon, but it fits here)
This is a combination of hard to control 3-D movements, the annoying jungle maze of stage one, and second stage of Contra-esque horizontal shooting enemies thrown together to build a Voltron of annoyance.  There is no rhyme or reason to the enemies' movements or shooting patterns and that is coupled with snipers shooting from the sides.   If that isn't enough to piss you off, they time you so you have to find your way through the maze before the time expires. 

I moved around in circles for a bit and then ended up at, what I guess, is the boss, who I assume from the movie is Barnes.   He wasn't too tough to beat and the whole final boss kind of reminded me of Commando.  Anyway, the ending was average at best and I wasted a few hours of my day.   

Final analysis. Graphics: ok, at best. Audio: repetitive annoyance. Playability: the first level sucked.  The last level sucked.  The second level sort of sucked.  The third level is just a waste.  Controls: some of the worst there is.  Realism: now I was too young for Vietnam but am willing to bet any vet that plays this game will think it misses a few things. Worth $0.49 on eBay: for some reason, my memory of Sunsoft has always been held in such high regard (I think it was Batman that did that) but the last couple Sunsoft game's I have played have been a real waste  This game would have been better if I had done a bunch of drugs with Elias via his machine gun.  I would give this a D and say not really worth the time.  Thanks mom and dad.

More Money Wasted Reviews:
- Money Wasted on this Horrible Game #2: Championship Bowling -
- Money Wasted on this Horrible Game #1: 10-Yard-Fight

1 comment:

  1. Oh man... sorry you had to endure so many levels... that all sucked.

    Still can't beat that Charlie Sheen mugshot.