Category Archives: Review Amiga
I have a hatred for this game. A hatred that has burned within my since childhood. A hatred that feels deeper than any ocean on this planet. A hatred that transcends racial, social and religious boundaries. As long as I have breath in my body I will maintain my hatred of this game.
This game has scarred me deep.
I won’t beat about the bush with this. I don’t like this game. I despise it even. And you may think this is harsh. Maybe even a little unfair. But trust me when I say it’s not worth even playing to investigate. As if this is one game hated across all the Amiga communities. For a very valid reason.
Now I am going to be reviewing both the OCS/ECS and AGA enhanced, or so they claimed, CD32 version as apart from a load time difference they are both the same.
Graphics are ok I suppose. I couldn’t tell much difference between the OCS/ECS graphics and the AGA graphics of the CD32 version. Except for the between level cut scenes looking slightly better on the CD32 version. However if I am totally honest then I suppose I could say they have done at least an alright job trying to keep the level designs to match the scenes from the film. However this praise is instantly kicked in the teeth with the final level. Because I am sure, nay 100% positive, that the final battle did not happen in some cyber spaceish looking thing with a floating red blob. With electronic chips and random crap from the game as a background.
Game play is just non existent. The difficulty curve is far too great and even getting off the first section of the first level seems like a task too far, or even worthy of making the effort. On one of the later levels, where you are flying the hover bike thing through a sewer, there is so much crap either been shot at you or flying towards you that it’s impossible to avoid or shoot it all. This also applies to the platformer style levels. Where things respawn back in the same place the instant the screen scrolls past where it was standing. The collision detection is appalling with shots sometimes just flying straight through the enemies. However this is all coupled into the next thing that’s terrible about this game.
This section is a nightmare to get through. The collision detection and controls are terrible.
The controls suck. They suck so bad that I am trying not to allow this to go into it’s own dark little rant. The vehicle sections feel like your trying to drive or fly through sludge. The platforming sections constantly feel like your walking on ice from a Mario game. Firing takes so long that I could have walked up and kicked them in the shin before the attack decides to activate. And jumping has a terrible delay and clipping issue. Where I would make a perfectly reasonable jump and end up falling right through the next platform.
The sound is the only thing that seems to be alright in the game. I actually kind of enjoyed some of the music in the game and it feels fitting and in keeping with the music heard in the film.
I have tried several times now to write a somewhat respectable review. I tried to weigh the merits of attempting to develop this game against the overall quality of the finished product. But you know what, stuff this game. As in all honesty I am having trouble even identifying this game as anything other than a rotten, terrible, flaccid, pathetic, mind numbing, putrid, broken mess of a game. Hell I would play Running Man over this game and that one stank lousy.
But not as lousy as Akira.
It should have been a good game. It should have been one of the great tie-in’s ever created. It should have been any Amiga owning Akira fan’s wet dream. But instead we have a game that just barely manages to register as a game.
The controls suck to the point that it would be easier to smash your head against a brick wall through the other side of 3 inch thick steel. The graphics look just ok even on the AGA CD32 version. The level designs just manage to resemble the scenes from the film, though I am 100% sure that the final battle in the film was not against a giant blob in cyberspace. The game is so difficult I could probably learn esperanto with greater ease. And I am pretty sure that even Buddha says a little curse word every time someone plays this.
Let’s have a look at the intro:
A word is needed about the intro: It’s made in a minimal way, but the music fits the effects on the screen perfectly. The song by Nation XII is nothing short of brilliant and the style of the graphics used for the intro too. Yet there’s just a still picture with a scrolling text. For me it’s a lot more effective than most of the animated comic intros of other platform games.
You start as a sturdy Greek that sets out to become a… god or at least a Heraclidian half-god ;-) Once you start moving two monsters pop up behind you and you have to pick up your first knife to defend yourself. So instead of just giving you the damn weapon the Bitmap Brothers give you the first survival lesson right away :-D This will come in handy later in the game, as it’s quite a hard one. You will also notice a lot of text messages at the bottom of the screen that give you hints about secrets or tell you what is going on right now. You’ll also notice four item slots that you use to carry keys and other useful stuff. That’s why I mentioned that it has a certain action-adventure character. Some trigger for bonuses and secrets only work when you carry the right combination of items at a certain time.
The level design starts rather linear, but already in the second level you have to back track to finish the level. Of course a lot of secrets are only revealed if you go back through the levels with the items found in them. Even pulling a lever with certain combinations in your inventory might have different effects. There are a lot of ladders you have to climb as well ;-) Overall the 4 different worlds and even the different levels within them have their own distinctive design.
Remember that knife I told you about? Well, that’s the only the weapon you get at the start. Of course there is more than one type of weapon you can find in the game. You can pick up more than one weapon of each type and then you’ll throw multiple projectiles at the same time. More so you can’t only pick those weapons up, but also buy them in a shop that shows up at the end of each second level. The shopkeeper also offers other nice things like extra energy and extra lives. Just like in real life, it’s hard to decide what you want to buy with your money at times ;-) Fighting the enemies is just a matter of reacting soon and tapping the fire button fast enough, since they just move towards you. Still the fact that they can show up anywhere will keep you occupied.
Mark Coleman who made the graphics for this game really created a unique style for it. Both the backgrounds as well as the enemies are drawn with great attention to detail. The contrast between the geometrical look of the background and the plastic design of the enemies really works nicely. Again the Bitmap Brothers show that the limited number of colours on the Amiga is no hindrance to make great looking graphics :-) The game only uses half of the possible update rate for scrolling (25 FPS instead of 50), so some people say the scrolling is jerky. For me it’s just slower than other games, but it’s not jerky so that you think about it all the time. Especially since it’s a constant 25 FPS and not something that only happens in certain areas. Since the controls are responsive the game still plays really well if you don’t mind it being no Sonic for the Amiga ;-)
Time to talk about the sounds in the game. As I said earlier, there’s only the brilliant title track for music. So within the game itself you will only hear the various sound effects. Those are really well made and also add a lot to the atmosphere of the game. There are even short melodies playing for certain actions. Yet the fact that there’s no kind of music in the game is a bit of a letdown, especially since other versions have ingame music. Still it doesn’t affect the gameplay that much to really destroy the game ;-)
What makes Gods special? For one it’s just the graphical presentation of the game, but then again there’s a lot more to it. The replay value is very good since there’s a lot of secrets and bonuses to discover if you search the levels carefully and try various things. For example halfway into level one there are 5 levers you can pull and almost each combination of them has a certain effect. Also the sounds effects suit the action really well and the fact that there’s no background music can always be fixed by playing some music of your choice in the background ;-) Another Bitmap Brothers classic that everybody should have played and even if it’s just for the incredible title track :-D If you like platform games with a certain amount of both action and adventure thrown in, don’t miss out and play this fine game :-)
Game entry on HOL