The Snake Becomes The Key

Retro Gaming Humour

SBTK in 16-Bits. Issue 1. Prt1…Revolution X: MegaDrive.

Words:Stuart Hunt

Ok, here’s the first part of our 16-bit column. Aerosmith fans, turn away now…

Set in a dystopian 1996, you must overthrow an evil Aerosmith hating government by ridding the world of one black and yellow solider who has the power to clone himself over and over and over again. It might sound like an election winning mandate to you and me, but back then it seems people actually paid money to save Steve Tyler…it’s amazing how much the world can change in 11 years.

Revolution X is the video game equivalent of a coconut shy, in that you’re given one brainless object to shoot at over and over again. Actually, on reflection, that statement is doing coconuts a great injustice because they actually prove a more enthusiastic to wave a gun at. The soldier you must continually destroy has been blessed with the ability to stand motionless, as he waits to get sapped, and lie on the floor smiling, knowing another forty copies of himself will pop up on the screen before his flashing corpse vanishes.

An exclusive image of the game’s lost level

Now I don’t know if this is intentional but strangely the game gives you infinite continues from the point you die, yet it will still take you a few months to complete…it’s not because it’s a long game, it’s just that the human brain is incapable of enduring such a long drawn out repetitive experience in one sitting. The furthest point I have ever sucessfuly reached in one day is the games convoluted helicopter boss, which somehow manages to absorb an absurd amount of firepower and patience before it finally decides to play fair and blow up.

To play Revolution X through to its end, it’s best to finish a level, pause the game, and then return to it after a week – by that time I find its groundhog-day gameplay just begining to wear off.

Possibly the scariest thing ever written

During the game Aerosmith will appear and continually remind you why you’ve put 50p into the arcade machine, or, if you forked out the money for the console version, why you should dry your tears and get on with the mission at hand. The game is ungraciously pleased of its use of ‘music as a weapon‘, a feature which is more perplexing than inspired.

Your primary weapon in this game is blatantly a gun, your secondary option, a compact disc. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble here but I went to the trouble of picking up a dictionary and looking up the definition of music, just to be sure I hadn’t been fed a cruel lie over the years.

Music: The sounds of voices or instruments arranged in a pleasing way.

Strangely, when I put the radio on in my car I never notice my ears being repeatedly ambushed by a flurry of red bullets or CD’s being tossed at my head from my CD player, maybe things were a little different state side in 1996?

In its rawest form, Revolution X is simply an exercise of holding down a button and moving a cursor around a screen. Sending a text message while waving your phone in the air proves to be equally as entertaining – at least you can listen to your own music and not Feed the Rage on loop!


April 12, 2007 - Posted by | SBTK in 16-Bits, Stuart Hunt

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