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Escape From Cyber City

Phillips CDI

Notice how the cover artwork has noting to do with the actual game.





Get used to seeing this scene.




For a little while in the mid 80s laserdisc games breathed new life into the arcades. Along with Dragon's Lair and Space Ace a few lesser known titles made their way stateside. This game uses footage from the anime movie Galaxy Express 999, which is supposed to be pretty good, even though it is anime. In the arcade the game used a  mounted pistol to move around a cross hair. Gameplay consisted of shooting various robots and such, and occasional Dragon's Lair-type path choosing by pointing the cross hair in a certain direction.

The game translates pretty decently to the CDI. The machine uses a few tricks to cut down on load times, such as overlaying animated characters on still backgrounds. The game manages to look halfway decent for an early 90s FMV game even though it doesn't use the CDI's optional Mpeg card. Sound is pretty much identical to the arcade.

What brings this game down is the controls, which is utter baloney. It's almost unplayable with that ridiculous one handed-thumb pad piece of garbage that comes with the system. The 3 button pad is somewhat more decent. But it never really hits the sweet spot, your cross hair still moves too slow no matter what controller you use. This really makes a difference later on in the game when you start getting more and more path choosing elements that have to be executed with exact timing. There's this part where you have to jump on this box while on a moving train, and the cross hairs are just too slow to make it in time. Another part has you shooting robots from a moving car while simultaneously dodging large cracks in the road. Even in the arcade with the responsive pistol this was hard, with the CDI controller it's nearly impossible. You will be seeing the "Punk Plastered!" newspaper headline very often.

Gaming options aren't too numerous for CDI collectors, and despite the game's flaws this is one of the best titles the machine has to offer. Which isn't saying much.


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