The Arcade Graveyard: Ghoulishly We Play
Mad Alien, Mad Shark, Mag Max
What to say about Mad Alien. I've got no idea, but here goes.. This game is obviously some kind of bootleg. It's got a Space Invaders style alien set-up of alien attackers, a Galaxian style of downward attacking aliens, it's fought by a police car that shoots at them (that's the player's ship,) there are race cars that attack from above and behind that require you to shoot their wheels out, the road changes widths like a racing game, and even has driving in the dark complete with headlights and invisible aliens. The controls are not very responsive and feel like you're racing, err, flying, driving, attacking (?) in mud, the sound is horrible, the colors are puke. This isn't a good game, there's just no way around it. It boggles the mind.
Mad Shark is a typically generic shmup, fly through an unremarkable stage and destroy the big enemy at the end of the level. It's old, so when you blow up you start from a little ways back from where you ate it, which is always annoying. It's not terribly far, but it's far enough to be annoying. The interesting thing I noticed, the usual score bonuses hidden on the level randomize the score bonus, sort of like a slot machine. Trying to land on the good point score, however, leads me to die a lot. Not bad, but sort of bland, like the astronaut drink Tang or something like that.
Mag Max is a pretty cool idea in the evolutionary chain of shmups. You start of as a lone ship attacking in a horizontal scrolling shmup, shooting enemies along the way. There are pieces of a robot that you pick up and eventually turn into a bipedal machine that can take multiple hits before being destroyed. Good thing, too. This game is a bitch in the difficulty level! Your ship doesn't really move that fast, and swarms of enemies are moving pretty (relatively) fast. If the enemies are stationary or ground-based, they are bunched fairly close together making maneuvers difficult, and your ship is pretty much screwed. There are holes that allow you to go underground and fly around shooting enemies, which pretty much plays like the above ground levels as you have freedom of movement. The first time I went underground I wasn't too sure if the turdlagmites or turdlagtites (the poop-looking rock formations that come from the ground and ceiling) would destroy my ship (they don't,) but it would have been nice to know just in case they didn't allow you to fly right past them. This game requires patience. This game might piss you off. Nice try.
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