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Rampage: World Tour

 

Midway 1996

Nintendo 64

 

 

More Giant monster fun with this 90's remake of the classic original. All of the same city smashing and tank crushing fun is retained with the addition of nice 3D rendered graphics that was the big thing at the time. Our heroes George, Lizzy, and Ralph return to stomp monster ass and take names. And also eat a lot of people along the way.

The first thing you'll notice besides the updated graphics is that the game moves a lot faster than the original, like four times as fast. From the begriming things fly at you from every direction. Little army men shoot you with rifles and bazookas. Tanks charge you down, the annoying helicopters and their friends the UFOs have returned to swoop down and shoot you off buildings. What makes a game like this are the in-jokes little touches from the original, like what happens to you when you make the mistake of eating the flamethrower trooper. And when your friend bites it and turns back to human you can still gobble him up like always, which even after all these years is still extremely satisfying.

There is a time limit now to each "town," as in after a few minutes the army does a bombing raid which destroys everything and you are awarded a percentage score (like "Cincinnati 79% destroyed.) There seems to be a plot to the game now, your monsters are three disgruntled employees of Scum Labs, which is lead by a hot female scientist and her disgusting boss. Inbetween level screen have them tracking your progress across the globe. Now your monster travels to wreak cites abroad, which is accomplished by collecting a country flag icon in a building, whereupon your beast takes a ride on an intercontinental ballistic missile to the country of choice. This is realized via a short flying stage where the limit of interaction involves collecting bonus items. A fun little diversion but the whole concept could have been integrated a little more into the main gameplay.

There are also "boss" characters now which consist of two giant robots, one called the Fryborg (which is like ED209 and fries you with extremely cheap flamethrowers) and another called Beetleborg who's main attack is punching. Although you get the usual high score for destroying these characters it's much easier to just avoid and destroy the city around them. The final boss is the fat CEO of Scum labs himself mutated into giant bouncing monster form which you fight on the moon of all places. Surprisingly because of his size the CEO is much easier to defeat than his smaller compatriots. You are not defenseless though, your monster can now get an assortment of power up icons such as fire breath and sonic screams, very usefully for destroying entire buildings or taking out an annoying robot or two. The ultimate power-up turns you into VERN (which stands for Vile-Evil-something-or-other,) an invincible flying purple demon thing that can destroy everything with a singe claw-swipe, which is of course extremely satisfying.

Graphics and sounds are pretty close to the arcade version, although the voices and sound samples have gone through a noticeable downgrade of quality. The main problem with this game has always been the gameplay itself. Rampage is a game that is best played in small doses. While smashing things and eating people is always cool it does get old real quick. Only the most dedicated will make it through all 100+ levels to the final confrontation on the moon.

Second problem with this game is that it moves a little too fast. There is too much stuff going on at once, too many army units attacking you, too many people running around, too many bonus items in the buildings. It's still fun to punch in a window and find a fried chicken or guy in a bathtub but not behind every single window. It makes the game feel chaotic and tends to force you to rush through it as there is not enough time to collect/eat everything.

A good modern update for fans of the classic, however repetitive and chaotic gameplay will turn most people off.

 

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