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Heavy Nova

 

 

1991 Holocronet

Sega Genesis

 

 

Side scrolling beat'em up type game, except instead of a Ninja you're some kind of robot or something. The thing about this game was that the main character had a very complicated walk cycle. Back in the day it was difficult to make a videogame character walk, if you look closely at games like Final Fight you'll notice the characters actually slide thier feet accross the ground to give the illusion of walking. Anyway here the robots actually lift thier feet and walk, and have smoother animations in general.

Sadly the graphics and animations are all this game has going for it. Due to the high amount of frames of animation the robot controls very slugishly. Sluggish like a one-legged potato sack racer with Down's Syndrome. It can be a labor to even turn around in time to avoid cheap hits. Becasue for some reason the dumbasses making this game thought it would be cool to give the robot a 17 frame turning-around animation that takes a year to do. Thus the game comes off like a very slow version of Kung-Fu Master, with you walking very slowly left to right, avoiding lazer turrents, little droids, and beating up the occasional big droid.

So you're this big killer cyborg, but for some reason instead of quickly blasting the bad guys with lazers or something you decide to take them all on hand to hand. Fine, but problem is your high tech robot knows a total of three moves: one punch, one kick, and a jumping-type kick. Talk about wasted opportunity. Also for some reason instead of jumping like a normal robot you have to launch into the air with rockets, which like the laborus task of turning around is too hard to control. What the hell kind of kung-fu robot can't jump or even turn around quickly? Add to the fact that every five seconds some little R2-D2 thing is annoying the crap out of you, knocking you into otherwise easily avoidable spikes and lazers... damn this game sucks.

Playing this game reminded me of that old TV show Battlebots, where someone would show up with this huge awsome looking chainsaw robot with articulated spider arms and periscope eye-stalks and shit and it would get it's ass beat by some fool who put a remote control car under a pie-tin. If you actually controlled a pie-tin robot in this game it just might become playable.

Despite the rediculous control flaws I found myself getting into this game somewhat. The levels are short and of just the right difficulty (made harder by the stupid control scheme.) Bosses are not too hard once you get past the getting stuck facing the opposite direction thing and they animate just as well as you do. The game has a lot going for it but most people will be turned off by the slow paced action and stupid controls.

The story here is probably very interesting, but really who cares.

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