Night of the Emus

In the mood for some TurboGrafx 16 today, though I may come to regret it…

I’m just going to come right out and say it. This game is shit. It always looked so cool back in the day with it’s fancy 16-bit robot fighting, but in reality the robot fighting is actually a very small part of the game, and the game is just a shoddy production all around. There are 7 “worlds”, each with an overworld level and an underworld level, or playing a slow human in a town setting level and being a cool looking robot guy in a robot fighting level. Thing is, not only do these levels just copy and paste the same exact locations and enemies over and over again, just in slightly different order and with different colors (hell there’s only 2 damn songs that play on a loop for overworld/underworld for the entire game too), but you’re also going to be spending more time grinding for gold in the overworld than you will anything else. The only way to get weapon upgrades is to buy them at ridiculously high prices, and gold only drops from overworld enemies, and only at a rate of something like 1 in 10 kills. There’s no other way to get gold and you absolutely will not make it through the game without the upgrades, so get used to a shitload of boring grinding and fighting the same enemies over and over and over again. This game does not hold up one bit.

Looking back on it, Astyanax totally ripped this game off. This game gets a hell of a lot harder than Astyanax though. It’s a basic, but fun little hack and slash platformer, though it requires a lot of patience in the later levels. You’ll have to do a lot of standing around, waiting for your attack meter to fill back up to maximum, because you’re just going to get your ass beat otherwise. You get to fight angry bears with an axe though, so it’s got that going for it.

The sequel seems like an entirely different game, ditching almost everything about the original other than the fact that it’s also a side scrolling hack/slash platformer. The attack power bar is gone, the pace is much faster, and instead of some dirty caveman, you’re some Egyptian looking guy with a sword for some reason. It seems like there’s some kind of story here, but the game never bothers to tell it to you. Whatever. It’s a fun little game and it was actually a bit better than the first one.

Holy shit is this game bad. I knew I was in for a bad time right from the beginning when they got the theme song completely wrong, and it was just downhill from there. Horrible platforming that has you awkwardly jumping and slamming your ass into enemies to beat them, instead of you know, using the gun you’re carrying around. Awful, unfinished sounding music. It’s just a mess. If you ever get the urge to play a Darkwing Duck game just stick with Capcom‘s NES version, it’s much better than this.

This game always looked so cool back in the day, but I never got a chance to play it. Eh. It’s not that great. Nice graphics for the time, but it just feels like a weird mash-up/knock-off of Ninja Gaiden 2 and Legend of Kage. The bosses are kind of cool, but in between you’re just running in long straight lines every level, mashing the attack button over and over again, occasionally tossing a jump in there. It’s just very stale and repetitive. Not feeling it at all. Ehhhh I give up. No more games tonight!

8 thoughts on “Night of the Emus

  1. TG16 was a blast back in the days. Lots of people had no clue of what it even was. Dungeon Explorer, Devils Crush, Alien Crush and Splatterhouse were always my favorites. Lately I found the story of Bubble Bobble 3, Parasol Stars as a hoot of a game when you get the concept.

    I did happen to play Keith Courage a couple weeks ago and it was stupidly repetitive.

    1. I think everyone knew what it was, it’s just that it came out at the same time as Genesis and so when most people ended up having to choose between one or the other they picked Genesis. It tried so hard, but it could never catch up to Sega.

  2. It was much more common in Japan as the PC Engine (like the Sega Saturn). I remember failing for the Turbo Grafx when I went to E3 as a kid and saw how it looked and that you could actually get a portable system to play games on the go. I was sooo hyped.

    Nintendo and Sega dominated the States after Atari’s mess.

    1. Yeah, Turbo Express looked amazing, but it was one of those things that no one ever actually had, like Neo Geo. Who the hell was gonna buy their kids a $300 portable system back then? Especially when you could get Game Gear for half that much and Game Boy for under $100.

      I imagine it probably wouldn’t have been as fun as it seemed either. Remember how fast Game Gear ate batteries? Turbo Express would probably have been even worse, so you wouldn’t have even been able to play it outside of your home anyway, and so what would be the point?

  3. I had one for a little while years ago and the screen was laughably small. Couldn’t play any shooters on them. For that price, I would have invested in a Neo Geo AES machine! Now that’s the Cadillac of systems right there!

    1. I imagine there must have been some kind of rights problem since Capcom was handling all those Disney games back then, so they ended up having some obscure third party dev no ones ever heard of do it and it was a mess.

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