Friday, October 31, 2014

Nerdicus SNES Review #47: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Title : Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Publisher : Konami

Developer : Lucas Arts

Genre : Run 'N' Gun

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Release Date : 1993

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $25-$30

Happy Halloween you GHOULISH GAMERS! Ah, tis one of my favorite time of years, where I just sit back, relax, and play a good 'ol fashioned horror game. Of course, me and my retro gaming obsession, I always look back to the games that really made an impact on my young and tasty brain. There was one particular game that was victim to my blockbuster rental card at least twenty times. Why I rented it so many damn times, and didn't decide to buy it until it was for sale as a pre-owned at the very same store, is beyond me. I actually ended up paying for this game three times over.

But, the game was that good, and was definitely worth every penny I put into this sucker. I've still been looking for an original SNES box to go along with my loose copy. It just feels so lonely and empty without it's box. Oh, what game am I talking about? Well, if you didn't read the above information, or you somehow MISSED the giant image of the box art, I am in fact talking about one of the greatest Super Nintendo Zombie-based games. 

It's hard to imagine that there could be anything wrong with this game. It's almost absolute perfection. First of all, the box art is just oozing with epic-zombie goodness. The throwback to the good ol classic horror films with that 50s woman freaking out and a trail of Zombies behind her reeled me in from the second I saw it. Not to mention the font which is bloody brilliant. I wish I could use that font for my own purposes ha.

Then we look on the box and we see two VERY important companies that are practically known for creating the best games in video game history. Lucas Arts, and Konami. HOW CAN YOU BEAT THAT TEAM!? The development was primarily Lucas Arts, and you can really notice their influence almost immediately. There was something about their games that was just so unique...damn them for not being around anymore. I blame Disney.

Oddly enough, the game was NOT that big of a commercial success. What the hell is wrong with people? HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE A GAME LIKE THIS!? Despite the lack of profit, this game has garnered a huge cult following over the years, and has even blown up in popularity thanks to the retro gaming craze. It has turned into one of those gems that every gamer needs for their Super Nintendo library.

Enough talk though, lets get to it. We've got giant babies to shrink down to size. That's right....GIANT BABIES.

As soon as this game loads up, you just know you are in for the trip of a lifetime. The campy, spooky music playing in the background. The swirling vortex of the main title screen, and of course that perfect design of the Zombies font. Man...I'm getting goosebumps just playing this game again.

The plot is downright absurd, and is practically pulled from those old sci-fi/horror flicks of the 40s + 50s.  Don't get me wrong there are some modern movie monsters in here, but it's the oldies that set the tone. In Zombies Ate My Neighbors, The mad scientist, DR. TONGUE has created an army of movie-monsters in the depths of his castle and has unleashed them against your small, seemingly ordinary, town. You take on the role of ZEKE or or JULIE, tasked with the impossible mission of defeating the monsters with an arsenal of insane weapons, and rescuing your kidnapped neighbors...and babies..and tourists...and other weird people. Truly bizarre.

The layout of the game is simple. It's an overnight run n gunner that has your main character traversing various levels of absolute epic design. I am talking levels that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat and appreciating the true genius of the game designers. You've got pyramids, shopping malls, normal town streets, castles. alien spaceships. The list goes on and on. Even when the levels use the same "design", it's the way the levels are built that make each one so different than the last.

And don't even get me started on the NAMES of the levels. I was sold on INVASION OF THE SNAKEOIDS. Seriously, you'll be cracking up before the game even starts.

In each level you have one major goal. Rescue as many hostages as possible, and find the damn exit before the monsters overwhelm you. And trust me, they WILL overwhelm you! You technically don't have to save all the neighbors, but you do have to rescue at least one or you won't be able to move on past the stage. But don't dilly dally. I know part of you wants to explore the level, and you can, especially if you want to pick up some of the awesome weapons and items the game has to offer, but you need to focus on rescuing your neighbors.

After all, the game is called ZOMBIE ATE MY NEIGHBORS. And the zombies / monsters, WILL eat your neighbors! And it's always sad to see their ghosts float up into the sky.

Let's talk a little bit about the monsters you'll be facing, and there are a TON of monsters. You've got zombies, aliens, fish me, werewolves, vampires, giant blobs, ants, and of course GIANT BABIES. Giant babies are the worst...and probably the scariest....*shudder* big giant babies that step on you. What the hell were they thinking.

Fear not though! Even if you are outnumbered, you do have an arsenal of weapons at your disposals from fire extinguishers, exploding soda cans, bazookas, water guns, lawnmowers, distracting blow up clowns, and of course my personal favorite...the ability to transform into a monster yourself and WAIL on the enemies. *Sigh* The doesn't stop.

This is one of those games that if you haven't played it before, hearing someone talk about it won't do it any justice. It's a game that HAS to be played to be appreciated. The visuals are stunning, the music is superb, and the gameplay couldn't have been better.

The one problem I have with this game is that it is INSANELY difficult. This game will beat you to a bloody pulp if you're not patient or if you don't have a game plan on how to find the neighbors and fast. The game becomes easier the more you play it because you are able to come up with your own strategies on what weapons to use on which enemies, and you pretty much memorize the best route to rescuing neighbors.

It's all a lot of trial and error, but it's a game that you will have no problem revisiting due to it's incredible replay value. 

So forget about getting candy this Halloween. Turn off the lights, and play some ZOMBIES ATE YOUR NEIGHBORS. You shall not be disappointed.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time, keep on gaming!



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