Genre: Platformer Developer: BlueSky Software Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1 Released: 1995
VectorMan was released in late 1995 for the Sega Genesis. Developed by Blue Sky and published by Sega, it’s a unique game in that is as much a platformer as it is a shooter. The game boasts some stunning rendered visuals, which give it a look all its own and were really advanced for its time. VectorMan is set in a post-apocalyptic world (circa 2049) that has been overrun by evil and it’s his job to defeat the evil scum WarHead and return the world to normal.
Consisting of a unique blend of both shooting and platforming aspects gives the game a style of game play that is truly unique. You’ll spend half of the game shooting through foes, and the other half jumping platforms to reach them. The sheer depth of this rather simple game play setup is staggering. You can do numerous types of jumps within a single jump sequence to get to places you never thought you’d be able to reach, therefore attacking foes that you perceived as untouchable. The platforming and shooting aspects of the game compliment each other perfectly because you’ll need to incorporate aspects of both in order to progress. For example, if you blindly run off of a high platform, you run the risk of falling right into enemy attacks, VectorMan allows you to shoot downward during your descent so you can not only slow yourself down, but take out enemies as well. You’ll go through over 10 massive levels incorporating two-pronged game play elements as you go along. All in an effort to vanquish your foes.
The controls are among the finest on the Genesis. The game features simple two-button controls that are easy to use, yet they don’t limit the game play in the least. With just two buttons, you can jump and shoot in any direction at any time. No matter what task you need completed, the controls make it that much easier. They’re extremely responsive and they’ll never get in your way.
The graphics are absolutely stunning. Everything has been rendered in 3D and the addition of the third dimension has done wonders for the graphics. The characters feature intense shading that not only gives them depth, but adds a touch of realism at the same time. The character models are made up of multiple spherical sprites that feature some of the smoothest animation I’ve ever seen. Each sprite is animated independently and when they come together to form an animation, it’s truly a thing of beauty. Few games feature animation as fluid as this. On top of the stunning characters in the game, the environments are another visual highlight. They are chock full of small details, such as pennants flapping in the breeze, and flashing lights, that help to enhance the feel of the game. You really feel as if you are in a real world thanks to small touches like this. The entire game is a visual tour de force that must be seen to be believed, and appreciated.
The sound is on par with the game play and graphics. The music has a futuristic edge to it that fits the setting perfectly and helps to set the mood. The sound effects are done with the same level of care as the music. They all fit their actions seamlessly, especially the explosion and weapon effects, which really get you into the experience. The sound effects do a great job of complimenting the game’s non-stop action. For example, when you shoot repeatedly, the sound of the shots fades the more you shoot, as this is going on, the frequency of the shots sounding off speeds up. On top of complimenting the action on-screen, this also does an amazing job at showcasing the effort that player has put into the game.
The replay value of VectorMan is sky high. The challenging gameplay will keep you glued to your seat for hours on end, and the game is a blast to play and never gets old. There’s always something new to discover each and every time you play.
Overall, this is one title that is a perfect blend of shooting and platforming that gives you the best of both worlds. The controls is as smooth as silk, as is the animation. The graphics on the whole are breathtaking and, just like the sound of the game, must be experienced to be appreciated.
Owners of the Nomad can be just as proud of the game as Genesis owners are. It plays like a dream on the system. The game play, sound, and control are brought over perfectly on the Nomad but the graphics do suffer from some blurring. Thankfully, it doesn’t get in the way of the game.