Genre: Shmup Developer: Taito Publisher: Taito Players: 1 Released: 1991
The Genesis is famous for its lineup of shmups like M.U.S.H.A and Lightening Force (Thunder Force IV). While the majority of Genesis shmups were great, there are some titles that are just simply garbage beyond belief. A port of the mediocre arcade game, Master of Weapon qualifies as just such a disaster. The arcade game had some serious issues like the annoying sound effects and mediocre graphics, but when I decided to play the Japan-only Mega Drive port of the game, I simply couldn’t believe how bad the port was. The problems that were in the arcade game were just simply ten times worse in the console port.
The gameplay is mediocre at best. A is for the main weapon, B is for the ground bomb attack (Xevious-style), and C is used for the special attack. Various power ups will upgrade the main weapon to be a powerful wide shot. The ground bomb attack can also be upgraded into a more effective attack against ground enemies, and the special attack can change into different types of weapons. The special attack can be useful but is limited by a green meter bar on the right side of the screen. When you run out of green bars, you have to wait for them to refill in a few seconds. There are different special attack icons scattered throughout the game, so depending on the stage you can change it to the level’s needs.
A huge flaw with the gameplay is the hit box, which is way too huge. If you’re moving with a bullet, it’ll most likely hit your ship. When the game gets harder, it’s just becomes a pain in the butt to dodge anything. When the bosses fire, it’s easy to dodge, but the bosses themselves are pain to kill with your weapons. You’re most likely going to continue to battle them for a little while until either you or the they die. Unlike in Lightening Force, where a long boss battle is fun, the boss battles in Master of Weapon are just boring and a waste of time. It took me five minutes to kill the first stage boss, and by the end of stage one, I was about to stop playing the game.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I just want to put my hands over my face and shake my head with disbelief because the graphics are crap. Poor color use makes the game looked washed out, and when you add in the too few animations of many of the enemies ships, it makes the game look even worse. It looks to me like Taito was trying to port this mediocre arcade game onto the Mega Drive as quickly as possible, because it really could have used more effort in the animation department.
The sound is definitely the biggest flaw in the game. For starters, the music is horrible and makes you nauseous after hearing it. Worse, the sound effects have to be the most annoying things you have ever heard. Your ship’s shot is annoying enough, but when its bullets hit an enemy, it just hurts your ears. Also, you can tell that the sound was completely rushed for the Mega Drive release, because it just plain sucks!
OK, let me claim down for a minute. You’ve got a mediocre arcade port that was hastily ported by Taito, and it turns out to be one of the worst Genesis shmups. I don’t know what Taito was thinking when porting this game onto the Mega Drive, but it should have known that the game was not going to even sell well in the first place. Thank god this garbage never was released in the United States, because it would only have gotten horrible reviews and lackluster sales. I just don’t know what to do anymore with this game. Everything about it is horrible and I want to puke right now even as I’m typing up this review. You owe it to yourself not to purchase this game or even play it on an emulator because trust me, you’re going to get horrible nightmares from Master Of Weapon.
SCORE: 2 out of 10