Genre: Shmup Developer: Code Monkeys Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1 Released: 1995
WOW, if there were ever a game to make someone want to yell their review at you the whole way through, Surgical Strike is probably the one you would want to read about. This game was the first TruVideo FMV title I had ever played, and I was really honestly distracted for the most part. But, enjoying watching people blow stuff up is a man law, so we can’t disappoint, now can we?
Surgical Strike is yet another game with a crew full of B-movie actors overacting their parts and getting mauled in front of a green screen, and it’s all up to you to save them. The whole game opens up with the scene being set in a semi-Terminator-ish tone, but I don’t feel like it really gets its point across. Yadda Yadda, we don’t need to know about the story. No one cares about the story. It’s one of the givens about FMV games on the Sega CD – the video will be grainy, and the story will be cheesy. If you think about it, this game feels just like R. Lee Ermey meets the Terminator with a confusing story.
But we get to blow stuff up, so keep your hopes up! After the intro movie is over, a basic menu is given, and we can get under way. The whole game starts with another long video describing your vehicle (which looks like a train on the Disaster Transport ride at Cedar Point) and another reason to skip the video. You meet your wingman and get your mission, and we begin on the city streets. It seems like the last intro video goes a little too fast and you don’t quite know what you are supposed to be doing.
When I first played it I couldn’t pay any attention to anything except shooting anything and everything in my path! It doesn’t even matter what you shoot with! A fires missiles and B fires the gun. You have ammo, but for the most part you won’t run out of them very easily. The main part of the missions is to go around and shoot strategic targets, but most every new screen you go on will have new random targets to fire at. Some of them are clearly marked like the shooters in the windows or the tanks, or they will be tiny little mines on the ground. That’s one of the things that gets to me. There are nearly a million different targets, and they are all hurting you if you don’t hit them as soon as you see them.
The point of your missions is to seek and destroy missiles that are placed on your map that can be accessed by pausing. I always feel that I am so close, but then the annoying missiles move, or I get to a dead end or something! Something from this game reminds me of that Nimbus three planet from Star Trek V. A quote from the review of that movie by my beloved Roger Ebert pretty much sums up my feelings for this game: “…it’s only going to be interesting to Trekkies (in our case Segaphiles), and only then so they can analyze what’s wrong with it.”
So, you’re doing all of this fighting, and you’re driving at the same time. I believe that they did the driving part here really well. It’s not distracting like the rest of the game is. Even with all of the sweet and amazing stuff blowing up, Surgical Strike is too fast paced, and before you know it there’s a shooter that’s not marked on the screen while you are chasing an on-screen tank or something, and then you are dead. Not even that overactive annoying ADD kid who hangs out at Play-‘n-Trade could keep up with the pacing of this game – “like… I heard that the 32X is like the worst system ever made, and have you ever played ET for the Atari 2600?” (and for the record this video shows you ten games worse than that). It’s just like ba-bam-ba-bam-ba-bam and your dead. But stuff blows up!
By far, the worst part of Surgical Strike is the quick camera cuts when you fire your missiles EVERY TIME YOU FIRE YOUR MISSILES. Aren’t they ever tired? Frankly, the maddening pace of the camera whooshes and cuts is sickening after a while on an almost Virtual Boy-ish vain. Overall, I just don’t like Surgical Strike. It looks like it’s BA, it acts like it’s BA, but it’s the same old tired, TruVideo-game-meets-some-sort-of-Lethal Enforcers-in-the-future trash in the end. I’d pick it up only for collection purposes, and this game is not one of the Sega CD bright spots. Unless you set it ablaze with a few missiles.
SCORE: 3 out of 10