Genre: Action Developer: Midway Games Publisher: Acclaim Players: 1-2 Released: 1995
“Remember, music is the weapon.”
Legendary rock band Aerosmith has been kidnapped by a fascist organization that is hell-bent on destroying everything Aerosmith-related in its diabolical plot for global domination… or something. Naturally, it’s up to you to save the band and save the day. Personally I think we’d all be better off if we just let the bad guys take down Aerosmith, but that wouldn’t make for much of a game now would it?
Released in the waning days of the Genesis’ life cycle, Revolution X is one of a number of Midway’s digitized light gun shooters (like Area 51 and Maximum Force), the only difference being that this one features a big-name band lending their likenesses and music to the game. Sadly though, the Genesis just didn’t have what it takes in terms of tech to really do the arcade version of the game justice, and the port that we are left with here just feels overly sloppy.
The digitized video between stages looks so badly pixilated that Steven Tyler resembles the Rocky Dennis kid from the movie Mask more so than anything else. Then again, these days you don’t need to play Revolution X to notice that, just tune in to upcoming episodes of American Idol, but I digress. The rest of the game’s graphics are decent enough to be fair considering all the loss in animation frames for the conversion from the arcade original to the Genesis, with some spots looking just plain ugly as a result.
In regards to the audio, the Aerosmith songs used for the game’s soundtrack sound so awful that you’ll mute your TV. We are given a handful of Aerosmith songs between and during stages that can barely be deciphered as hits like “Dude Looks Like a Lady” and such, which can’t really be blamed too much on the game designers themselves, as these songs were never meant to be done in cartridge form to begin with. In that respect, much like the game’s graphics, the soundtrack of Revolution X is basically a kind of affair where you’ve just got to take what you can get with it.
The gameplay is so ungodly simplistic that it will not take you long to breeze through it. Besides your main weapon, you can also shoot CDs at enemies, which you’ll find in abundance. There’s also a good deal of secrets and Easter eggs to locate throughout the game, including finding all five members of the band throughout different stages (which you’ll have to do in order to get the “good” ending of the game). Truth be told though, regardless of having Aerosmith be the featured attraction of the game, there really isn’t much here to hold your interest. Revolution X is enjoyable to a degree, but it doesn’t take long for its novelty to wear thin, and by the time it does, you won’t be anywhere close to completing the game. Granted that doesn’t necessarily take long, which may be a blessing in disguise.
Something else I also want to take the time to talk about here is the fact that Revolution X is incompatible with the Sega Menacer or Konami’s Justifier. Yes folks, you read that right, a Genesis light gun game does not work with the Genesis light guns. That the game doesn’t work with the Justifier really isn’t much of a surprise. However, the fact that it’s not compatible with the Menacer is a complete shock to me. This is a light gun game we’re talking about here, and it doesn’t work with any kind of light gun, specifically the first-party one! I’m aware that the Menacer wasn’t the best light gun of its time, but the fact that Revolution X doesn’t even offer the option is just plain unheard of.
All in all, the Genesis can do so much better in terms of light gun shooters (the Lethal Enforcers series and T2:The Arcade Game come to mind) than what you’ll get with Revolution X. Also released on the SNES as well as the Playstation and Saturn, you’d be better off checking out either of the 32-bit versions to find a more polished product, but regardless of whichever console version you end up getting your hands on, you won’t stick around too long for this revolution to conclude.