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Demolition Man

Genre: Action Developer: Alexandria Inc. Publisher: Acclaim Players: 1 Released: 1995

It was just any other day. You spout off a few catch phrases, blow up a car or two, go home, eat Taco Bell, sleep, wake up, and continue your quest to quench the evil known as Simon Phoenix.

However, an evil plot twist sends you into deep frozen sleep. Many things have happened since you’ve been on ice. There’s been an earthquake that took your wife. This earthquake has also destroyed the entire U.S. Western seaboard. Instead if the Los Angeles and San Francisco you once knew, it has become a newly formed utopia named San Angeles. San Angeles is a peaceful city, run by Dr. Cocteau. Unfortunately, Your long time rival Simon Phoenix has also returned, and is turning this utopia into his former hellhole of a playground.

Basically, what you’ve got here are two game styles in one. There’s the basic run-’n-gun game and then there’s also the isometric shooter. The former is a nicely controlled game, but there’s always going to be that huge jump-here-or-die gap that should take away a few lives. The latter is simply a shooter that can be won by just holding shoot the whole time, and maybe throwing the occasional grenade. While the second can get tedious, the first is where the game shines.

You’ve got the basic controls of grenade, shoot, and jump. You can do a tuck-and-roll too, but it’s a useful as the super punch in Pikmin 2. Don’t let the first level discourage you into thinking this just one giant easy platformer. By the third level, you will start throwing controllers when you can’t figure out what to do. But the learning curve comes in to play here. All it takes is a few hours and soon you’ll figure out the right pattern, allowing you to slowly beat the game for its wonderful ending.

The graphics are pretty good for the console. The isometric parts do seem kind of squished together, which I guess is to be expected. The movie shots look pretty good for a Genesis game. What really makes the game shine graphics-wise is its faithfulness in detail to the movie. Los Angeles has the projects and cheap restaurants in the background, and the dilapidated buildings you are walking around on look great too. The sprites are nicely sized, but the amount of stuff going on does cause slowdown in certain parts, especially in the isometric shooting levels.

What I really like about Demolition Man is the music. Crappy game reviewer or not, Tommy Tallarico can make some fine music, especially with the Genesis’ sound chip. The first thing you hear when you turn on the game is the opening theme, which already gets you in the mood to really get down and play; great level music. The stand-alone FX are great too. Gunshots sound like gunshots should. The movie’s many catch phrases (Bad aim blondie!, I’m a blast from the past!, etc) are beautifully done; barely any digitization there.

If there’s anything bad about the game, it could be how certain parts can seem almost impossible. Of course, proper practice eventually fixes this; it can just be frustrating at times.

And since you’re hanging on to my EVERY word, you should go see the movie this game is based on. It’s a great underrated action movie.

SCORE: 8 out of 10

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1 Comment

  1. londonraven says:

    Good review of a decent licensed game, the music is awesome & the SEGA/MEGA CD version is worth tracking down for the enhanced audio tracks.. the subway stage is particularly cool and the tone of the movie is captured well, and it plays (& sounds) way better on the Mega Drive than super nintendo, which is always satisfying.

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