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Updated June 15 2010:  This title has been de-listed on XBLA due to copyrights changing hands, or something like that.



June 25 2009


This game is a prime example of the classic games coming out during the 1980s. The easily recognizable graphics, sounds, and the now-XBLA common "dual-joystick", or "dual-mushroom" control (thanks, Berserk!), the wave after wave after wave of absolute insanity.  Along the way, you take your character, and send him through 99 levels trying to save Mom, Dad, and Mikey, but good luck with that one, as the waves get progressively harder and throw more and more enemies at you. You start out with Grunts, the cannon fodder of the game. Then you graduate to Grunts and Hulks. Hulks are indestructible square beasts that wander the screen, killing off the humans, and only slightly slowing down when you shoot them. It's best to just avoid them.



Almost every enemy you face is on-screen at the start of the wave, the Tanks and Enforcers will pop up or be spawned, respectively, and add to the challenge. The first few waves will lull you in, they're not too difficult, not much going on. This soon goes away as the waves get increasingly harder, throwing everything it has wildly at you, and the big "Brains" will even turn the "remaining human family"  into quick-moving, glowing blue lightning balls of death that.. yep, come flying at you. The gameplay is incredibly simple, there are no special weapon power-ups or super machines to jump in. It's you, your 8-directional blaster, and lots of enemies, who are more than willing to annoy the crap out of you. The graphics are very simple, even with the HD reworking, it does look pretty for a game that had some minor tweaks and is about 25 years old. It stands up to the passage of time.




Speaking as somebody who has never gotten passed Level 25, and who still plays the game and its offspring (Total Carnage and Smash TV come to mind quickly), this is a fun and a quick pick-up-and-play game, and at 400, a rather inexpensive one. If you're looking for something with easy gamer score and achievements, then forget it. This is not your game. Likewise, the cutting-edge graphics are circa early-1980s, so if you want something modern, forget it. But, if you want to jump in and blast away just to see how far you can get, by all means, a perfect buy. This game currently resides in the Four Tokens Home Arcade Hall of Fame.


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