Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nerdicus Genesis Review #30: Bio-Hazard Battle

Title : Bio-Hazard Battle

Publisher : Sega

Developer : Sega

Genre : Side-Scrolling Shooter

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1992

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $3-$5

One thing is for sure, there certainly isn't a shortage of side-scrolling shooters on the 16-bit systems. I'm roughly 60 reviews in, and I think I've played at least 10. Might be a bit of an exaggeration, but certainly feels like it. Probably because they all feel the damn same. Listen, I know these games are quite possibly the easiest to reproduce and pump out, but come on. They get SOOOO OLDDDDDDDDDDD.

Oh, and don't be fooled by the name BIO-HAZARD. This has nothing to do with Resident Evil. The game probably would have been better if it was a side scrolling shooter based on resident evil. Imagine, flying on the back of nemesis, screaming "STAAAAAAAAAAAARS" while you're blowing up Raccoon City Police. Right? RIGHT!?

I can dream....
Checking out the box art, it looks like someone stopped skinning an eel halfway through. That's kind messed up. Then again if I saw that thing charging at my spaceship I'd be freaked out too. I'm hoping that the other monstrous designs of these viral monsters is just as cool looking at that thing.

You have the choice of picking from four different organic-based space ships named Orestes, Electra, Hecuba, and Polyxena. What the heck is this? PokemoN? I'll admit, they look pretty damn good. Maybe a bit like prehistoric monsters, but you know, it's different? A little mixture of bugs, and sea monsters? I really think the designers just took a bunch of different creatures, slapped them all together, and said "boom, organic spaceships."
Each ship has a few different statistics such as speed and the form of your attack and special attack, so it really comes down to preference. The faster ones are typically weaker, but better equipped to dodge enemy fire, while the slower ones are heavy hitters. Me like the heavy hitters.

We've got eight levels to get through and a few lame bosses, so let's make this quick. But first, let's take a look at our weapons selection! I feel like I'm on the price is right for some reason.

Each ship has their own basic attack of a plasma beam which you can either rapidly fire, or hold down the fire button to charge up a power attack. Power attack is really only effective when you're able to clear a lot of enemies at once, so in most cases you can just spam the fire button.

You'll also have a cute little power star following you around. This little guy also attacks critters on the screen, but you can also use it to block incoming fire. Not a bad idea, and it at least adds another element of gameplay to an otherwise over saturated game market.

On to the lovely pods. As you play through each level, you'll notice different colored pods floating throughout the game. These are you power ups, and each ship has a different pod ability based on the color. You can keep on upgrading these pod powers by collecting the same color over and over again, so be sure if you like one you stick with it, otherwise you have to start over with the new power.

Green pods are the same for everyone, which sends little imploding blobs out to the enemies in increasing numbers.

The blue pod is either a super nova explosion attack or a an attack that sucks in enemies and explodes. Both are pretty damn good, so I'd be sure to upgrade this bad boy as often as possible.

Orange pods can be plasma rings which bounce around the screen until they make contact with enemies and explode. Or, it can be a seeker laser, which is basically a homing missile but not as powerful as you might expect. Good for clearing out a lot of enemies though.

Finally, there are the yellow pods. You can get some pretty looking fireballs out of this guy, or a twin laser beam. I personally hate both of these, but take what you can get at some point.

So, those are the basics. But here's the problem with this game; it feels very stale compared to other side scrolling shooters I've played. Visually, it's not even that great. The designs looked better during character selection, and even the monsters and level designs are a bit lackluster. The music however is pretty damn good. That classic BOOM BOOM BOOM techno-styled chip tune music. It seems like Sega liked that type of music...more so than SNES ha.

In terms of difficulty, the game isn't even that hard. Bosses tend to be more challenging in other games from my own personal experience, and with the sheer number of weapon availability int his game, you won't find yourself struggling to upgrade.

BUT, for those two major negative aspects, it's still a decent side-scrolling shooter. At least they tried to be a bit creative with their designs, but it just falls a bit flat. I'll put in the middle again, just like most of the others. Not bad, not great. Just meh.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next time - Keep on Gaming!



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