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The Arcade Graveyard: Ghoulishly We Play

Smash TV, Total Carnage

Smash TV came out a long time ago, back when bloody violence was just a glimmer in the eye of gamers, and two years before the introduction of the Mortal Kombat series.  It is also the evolution of the twin-stick shooter Robotron and is more familiar to us these days by any number of downloadable twin-stick shooters on any platform, from XBox 360 to PC to GameBoy.  Sort of like the movie The Running Man, you're not a player, you're a "contestant!"  You take on hoards of crazies in different rooms leading up to an epic boss battle while picking up cash and prizes on the way, all in an effort to stay alive, or to reach the fabled Pleasure Domes.  A fun, mindless romp, and definitely a quarter-muncher, this is an arcade game that grows on you, and takes a poke at a cash money prizes society in a goofy way.  And the announcer is awesome, points to what you would come to expect from the NBA Jam and NFL Blitz series.  We love this shit!  Smash TV was also available later on for the NES (awful version,) the Genesis (OK,) the SNES (almost perfect,) and on several other platforms like the original PlayStation, the Sega Genesis, the XBox, the PS2, the XBox 360, etc..

Smash TV on NES:


Smash TV on SNES:


Super Smash TV on the Genesis.  Cool thing on an emulator, you can map controls for Player #2's movement to the Player #1 controller, and in-game you can have Player #1 control movement and Player #2 control firing.  Perfect arcade experience with controls!  The odd thing, on Genesis it's called Super Smash TV, on the SNES it's called Smash TV.  Aren't SNES games the ones with the word "Super" in them?


Total Carnage was a semi-sequel to Smash TV, but it took the battle to a fictitious middle eastern country run by General Akboob, supported by the Russians, overrun by Saddam Hussein clones and mutant-aliens, and lots of kidnapped tourists, women in bikinis, news crews, etc.. all in a military installation disguised as a baby milk factory.  Surely offensive for its time, but no protests held (thankfully) and us gamers were able to sit back and enjoy.  Did I mention the gratuitous bloody graphic violence?  This was also available on the SNES (near-perfect) and later-generation consoles.

Total Carnage on SNES:

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