GAME REVIEWS

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Last Alert

~ LAST ALERT ~
Laser Soft / Telenet / NEC
CD-ROM
1990

I've been praising Last Alert for years, and every now and then I decide to take my own advice and revisit it. I inevitably roar right through the game, as I can't stop playing once I've started, and I'm always left wanting more despite the impressive number of stages (over twenty). It's an elite "run-and-gun-and-explore," proving time and time again to be worthy of the lavish praise I afford it.

It's just one positive after another with this title...


The hero, Guy Kazama, is a true badass who goes from exploring jungles in a Rambo outfit to wrecking ocean liners in a tux. He gains access to powerful brands of weaponry as he earns experience points and advances in rank.


The gameplay is much deeper and more exciting than what can be found in many similar games, including the Turbo's own Final Zone 2 and Bloody Wolf. There are lots of different missions to complete, with plenty of variety in mission objectives. For some levels, a time limit is imposed; for others, you have to achieve your goals surreptitiously, as utilizing powerful weaponry causes enough of a disturbance to draw enemy soldiers to your location.


Of course, there are also straight-up, kick-ass action boards that simply ask you to plow through enemy lines and defeat big, tough boss characters.


The stages look nice and are, at times, expansive. You may have to conduct a fair amount of exploration as you attempt to rescue hostages, place bombs, or garner intelligence about the enemy.


The cinemas are extremely well done (who could ever forget burning Kazama?), especially compared with those in most other early Turbo CD games. Plus, the music rocks, particularly the urgent boss-fight track that has an alarm sound mixed in.

Last Alert's only possible weakness (as I don't give a damn about the famously goofy voice acting and can't see it being a true deterrent for anyone) is that it's pretty darn easy. But I can easily forgive it for that since it's so enjoyable, and rather than an increase in difficulty, I'd like a few dozen more stages--perhaps then I'd get my fill. Alternatively, a sequel would have been nice!

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