GAME REVIEWS

Monday, March 22, 2010

Energy


~ ENERGY ~
NCS/Masaya / Quasar Soft
HuCard
1989

Energy is a sidescrolling action/quest affair sort of along the lines of Shape Shifter and Night Creatures. There are no proper levels, but you have to beat bosses, talk to certain people, and solve minor-league puzzles in order to obtain items that'll grant you access to new areas. I'm sure the designers would have us believe it takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting, but for the most part, you'll simply be running and shooting your way through a bunch of caves.


And the game is famously awful. Its graphics are of the caliber of horrible NES visuals.


The abysmal opening "cinema" can't be skipped, and the ending blows.


The action proceeds one screen at a time a la the very first Zelda game, which isn't exactly suitable pacing for an adventure of this ilk, and the "scrolling" is very slow. The quest is quite short, but you'll have to do plenty of dull backtracking. The controls are unresponsive in the most fundamental ways: you'll often have to press a button multiple times just to get a freakin' dialogue window to advance or leave the screen. And after some bosses are killed, shots continue to come from the voids they leave behind.


It's just a thoroughly buggy and shoddy affair, and to make matters more irritating, there's no way to continue or save (that I know of, at least), so you must begin your journey anew after suffering a single death.

Of course, being that the game is utterly abominable, I do enjoy it (somewhat). I liked the challenge of figuring out where to go and what to do next. The soundtrack is kind of decent--even almost good at times. And Energy does have its charm in places: find a girl alone on a ledge and the music will change from action-game fare to a fun little number as she dances and, in the process, heals you.


A thrifty buddy of mine got this game for $1... plus $12 EMS. Don't do that. In fact, you probably shouldn't purchase or play it at all. But if you do, try to get past the horrifying opening moments and see if you can make some progress. It's not a quality product; in fact, the designers did a HORRIBLE job with it, and it's shoddy as hell. But it can still be kinda fun.

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