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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Crossroads of Time

Genre: Action Developer: Novotrade Publisher: Playmates Int. Players: 1 Released: 1995

Station Log: 3.14152539

I first tackled this semi-RPG title way back when I was in eighth grade, when the Genesis games were on the discount racks at the video stores, and I tell you I was wickedly disappointed with it. I love Star Trek, but little did I know that this game would turn out to not be as bad as it was back then. There was not much for the average middle school student to grasp onto, so I returned it and never saw it again.

Or so I thought. I picked this game up again about a month ago and worked my way through it. It took me about two days to beat it, which is a long time considering my lack of attention span. So, lets put on our Star Trek uniforms and fake Spock ears and check out what this game has in store.

Well, Crossroads of Time doesn’t have very many levels; it really just has chapters. Those chapters are: DS9 Docks, Wormhole, DS9 Chit-Chat, irritating Bajor level, go back to U.S.S. Saratoga, and a Cardassian Warship. Its kind of cool how they try to make the game play like an episode would play out, and to figure out how each of these chapters works sometimes takes a lot of trial and error. Sometimes that trial and error results in instant death (minus five points). Don’t expect this game to be cool like Sonic or Mario are with dying; this is the “major leagues.” You go all the way back to the beginning every time you die, which will result in either the game going back to the array of titles that just collect dust and look cool on your shelf or force the extensive use of save states. Also, most of the time, it will mean having to redo redundant and irritating conversations that you can mouth the words to like you’ve seen them a million times.

Yeah, its one of those games, where you have to pass a number of “checkpoints” to get to the actual gameplay. You’ve seen it before, the “go talk to this guy, then find this out, then go to here and then start the actual level” type of deal. Not cool. If you are in a level that’s a space ship, then the rest are all the “find certain items, avoid the (insert random cliché video game term (spikes, poison, plasma)) and get to the exit.” If you’ve played the TNG game, then think of this as kind of a variation of it. Also, the number of people on the station rarely changes, so if you don’t remember who you have to talk to, you can just go through the five rooms that it basically has and talk to everyone. And if they aren’t a required checkpoint character, then chances are that the person’s lines are irritating and lame.

Speaking of irritating and lame, lets talk about the music. I know that I am a musician and therefore I have a high standard for music, but seriously, a third grader could write this stuff. Its not more than thirty two measures long and just loops. At least it varies with every scene. Hey! I found something good about this game!

The varying levels are a real breather from the gray-earth tones space station and are somewhat various in design, if not by objective. Every level will always have you being on DS9, then you discuss the objective or how to get it, go to said location, return to DS9, and advance to the next level. There is one cool level where you have to keep the Runabout (little shuttle) in a certain area while things come hurling at you. If you have ever played the Star Trek 25th Anniversary video game for Game Boy, then its similar to that, minus the ability to fire or recharge your shields.

The controls in Crossroads of Time are fairly standard but kind of fall into that same trap as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where you think you will hit the ledge and you don’t. The controls will bother you, but you should not surprised by them. On a few of the levels, your survival will depend on them, and you will have to make split-second decisions otherwise you will not make it. That’s a cool idea, I guess, though it took me a couple of hours to beat the end of the Bajor level.

Overall, Crossroads of Time is fairly disappointing and mostly irritating adventure that didn’t stir the gaming pot up at all. It kept the tradition of being a Star Trek title and also being pretty awful. Its not worth buying, its not worth playing, what it is worth is being run over by a semi truck, unless you’re one of those people who has to beat every cart you pick up. And if you are, I have no pity for you. This game sucks. Wait, space doesn’t suck. But this game does. Er, you figure it out.

SCORE: 3 out of 10

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