Saturday, January 3, 2015

#134: Gods

The name didn't ring a bell but once I started playing the game seemed rather familiar. You play a muscled dude in a platformer. Climb ladders, throw knives at enemies, collect gems from their corpses. Get some keys, open some doors. Pretty straightforward stuff.

Bird are jerks!
One of the things I often complain about is bad use of the SNES controller and this game has that covered! One button is for jump. 4 buttons are for nothing. The last button is for attacking, activating switches, picking up items, and managing your inventory. And it's particularly awkward how it decides which thing to do. If you're upright or jumping then you attack. If you're ducking and on top of an item then you pick the item up. If you're ducking and not on top of an item then you switch to a different inventory slot. Stand up with an item selected and you drop it so you actually only have 3 item slots, not 4. Note that this means there's no way to attack while ducking. Enemies often fire projectiles that you need to duck under and it sure would have been nice to be able to hit them! And then to activate a switch you need to be facing the wall, which you accomplish by hitting up. You can't attack while facing the wall, but you sure can get attacked!

This may seem like a pedantic argument, but when you get game overed you get to put your name in for the high score screen. But you can't use vowels, and you can only use 3 letters. Ok, fine, maybe it's a weird restriction from arcade machines... But then to have them use vowels and full names for the sample scores... STUPID!

The game also suffered from having enemies spawn on top of me and gank me. It has annoying clunky controls too, so enemies coming from multiple sides at once was a real pain. Both are things you could learn to deal with by memorizing the spawns and knowing when to switch directions and such. But I didn't like it.

I feel like this game would have been a fine Commodore 64 game. Those had awkward controls because joysticks only had one button. Clunky movement made sense too. But to have those in my SNES game? I am not a fan.

Turns out this was initially an Amiga game, but it came out in 1991. So the SNES port was only one year later. No excuse for not using all the buttons... 

Rating: C-

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