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Toxic Crusaders

Genre: Action Developer: Troma Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1-2 Released: 1992

It seemed like on of the most unusual instances of Saturday morning cartoons to make a quick buck. After the stirring Toxic Avenger movies of the ’80s, Troma landed a cartoon deal which would bring the Toxic Avenger to the small screen, along with a whole new set of friends. Along with this came the usual occurrences of toys, school supplies, coloring books, and of course, video games.

A cartoon was put together involving Toxie’s fight to keep Tromaville clean from villainy and pollution. In only thirteen episodes, Toxie and his gang of NoZone – a mutated pilot, a mutated hobo named Junkyard, a two-headed creature named Headbanger, Major Disaster, a being with the ability to control plants; and then there were Toxie’s girlfriend Yvonne, and his mother – fought the food fight.

That’s the last you’ll hear of more than half of those characters. After thirteen episodes were produced, the show was suddenly cancelled, and everything was put on hold, something that appeared to be a major victim of this was the Toxic Crusaders video game. Evidence seems to prove that this could very well be an unfinished game thrown out on the market anyway.

You start off with the intro, complimented by the slightly generic music. As you begin, you get a choice between Toxie, NoZone, and Junkyard. What’s the difference? Not much at all really. Maybe you could count Blobbie running around the screen when you select Toxie, but that’s about it. You start off on the street and take out Dr. Killemoff’s henchman, the hunched-over hazmat army.

Soon, after fighting the game’s crappy engine, hit detection, and the seemingly endless attacks of the enemies, you’ll hit the next level where the fun begins again! But now the actual buggy-as-hell controls come out and play! The second level involves various pools of instant death slime, which are usually easy to get around, but you’ll be wasting more than one life while falling into the pits, or trying to knock and enemy into them.

The controls and the actual fighting of enemies are the real reason I believe that this game was still at 85-90% when released. It may LOOK like you’re hitting the enemy, but you’re most likely just swinging at air, when suddenly some hazmat army official starts shooting or swinging his gun at your head. You’ll be more frustrated with moving around and trying to attack instead of the sometimes cheap antics of your enemies.

More proof of this is how when each level starts, there’s a small intro being spoken by Toxie. The thing is, when you select NoZone or Junkyard, it’s STILL TOXIE’S WORDS! I wonder what the other two would have even said if they had gotten the chance. The levels don’t even fit together! When you enter a cave that becomes a SPACE SHIP, you start to wonder about how the game came to be.

Overall, if there had to be a best thing about Toxic Crusaders, it would probably be its graphics. Though still sub par compared to other games at the time, I kind of liked its cartoony look, including the intro animations and the background art. It really helps keep this from being a TOTAL waste of computer board.

After all that, I still LIKED this game somehow! I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s because I’ve played it for years and beat it when I was seven. Maybe I just miss the cartoon. Maybe it’s because it’s one of those games that becomes SO bad, it’s actually fun and worth a play at the same time! I think it’s the Mystery Science Theater in me.

That’s why I am NOT giving Toxic Crusaders a one like I had originally planned. It’s still playable and can actually create some fun when you really go at it. Sometimes the simple laughs from playing something so absurd as Toxic Crusaders can raise the rating score a couple points. I leave you today saying “I know it sucks, but go ahead. Have some fun today!”

SCORE: 3 out of 10

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1 Comment

  1. Greg Jurkiewicz says:

    Definitely not as bad as the review makes it out to be. This game isn’t perfect but despite its technical shortcomings it still manages to be a lot of fun. The gameplay is a little simplistic, but it’s easy to get into and once you start playing it becomes pretty addictive. Some of the levels like the hover craft stage look really cool too. So, it’s not all bad, and the fact that it manages to be fun despite the flaws counts for a lot.

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