Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review #39 : Amagon

Title : Amagon

Publisher :  Sammy / Vic Tokai

Genre : Platformer Action

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1989

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$8

Ah, Amagon. Also known as Tostuzen! MACHOMAN! in Japan. Ahem, I think the game would have sold much better if it had a name like that in the US. Anyway, I remember first seeing this game at RKO video, which was a local video rental store about 10 blocks away from my house. The cover art pulled me in as a gullible six year old kid. I mean, come on. Dinosaurs, robots, machine guns, and giant schwarznegger-esque warriors? How is a kid to resist! I rented it at least a half dozen times in my meager attempts of beating this game, but never did when I was a kid. It was just to damn frustratingly hard.

So how did I fare 24 years later?

Pretty much the same. I sucked.

You play as the stranded marine, Amagon, in search of your rescue ship located on the other end of a mysterious island teeming with evil creatures. With your trusty machine gun at your side, your job is to blast your way through each level. 

Enemies swarm you from both sides of the screen, ammo is limited, and while you're in marine form its a one hit kill. So be quick, and be careful. Just get your arse to the end of the level as fast as possible. No dilly dallying around here. Although, it is important to collect as many points as possible since it helps with your macho man upgrade. 

But if running around collecting ammo and firing your machine gun isn't your cup of tea, you can always collect the MACHO MAN power ups and shoot sonic booms out of your armpits!

No seriously, you do. Don't believe me?

See - sonic booms.

So, what is it about AMAGON that makes this game so damn hard? Well, it's a combination of a few things. The one hit deaths in marine mode doesn't help, since enemies are everywhere. Limited ammo is torture, since you have to make every shot count. Controls feel slippery, and its hard to judge where you're going to land when you're jumping over gaps.

I mean, other than that it isn't terrible. It's just frustrating. One of the most rewarding things you get out of this game are the clever boss designs. That is, if you're good enough to even make it to the first boss. I remember when I was younger, I thought the first boss was the last boss because it took me THAT many times just to get up to it.

Sad, huh? Lion heads, hippos, aliens, dragons. They were awesome...and impossibly difficult.

Ah well, the sonic boom armpits made it worth it.

The only reason this is getting a 3 out of 5 is because of the armpits...can't get over it. 

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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