Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Reviewed by Yoshi-M
The B-Movie Horror flicks sometimes make the best inspiration
for video games. Such computer/video games like It Came From
the Desert were popular not too many years back. Konami came
out with a fun little number called Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
The player must travel from level to level, saving victims and
killings throngs of zombies, mutant midgits, mummies, and
clones of you. This is also a two player simultaneous game, and
reminds me a lot of the original Gauntlet in which the game is viewed
from the top down and that the players must stick together in order
to navigate through the level. This game is extremely wacky, from
one of the player characters wearing 3D glasses, to using common
household items as weapons (weed wacker, squirt gun, tomatoes,
silverware, etc.). The cast of enemies are cliches' to old horror
movies: slobbering zombies, chainsaw wielding murderers, killer
plants, 100 FT babies, etc. The levels get fast and furious as the game
moves on, with each level titled like "It came from Aisle 9". There
are a variety of levels, taking your crusade through department stores,
pyramids, backyards, and more, with each level becoming more difficult
as you go. Luckily, you get a password every 4 or so levels to get back
to the beginning of the next level set. This game is very fun to play, not
just because its goofy, but because the levels set up and types of items
used are very imaginative. Who would have thought that I could use
popsicles as weapons? On a not so important note: you can even select
which of the two main characters you get to play: a spike haired, 3D
glasses wearing boy, or a stylish squirt gun toting girl. Very PC, well, sort of.
Graphics 4 out of 5
For its time, it had decent graphics. Everything is cartoony looking,
with lots of colors and detail. A lot of detail went into this game,
where you can see the muscles of the purple monster you become after
drinking a potion, to the individual pieces of clothes on a rack at the store.
Music and Sound 3 out of 5
Decent little musical scores and sound effects, but nothing that broke
any barriers. The music, while good, is repetitive and could grate on
the nerves a bit. The type of music is hard to describe, it kind of
reminds me of songs heard in old slap stick movies. The sound effects
do their job, and that's all you can say about that. Explosions are good,
the sound of the chainsaws is believable, but nothing that made you
go "ooo" or "aaaahh".
Game Challenge 4 out of 5
Yes this game has challenge! You start out kind of slow, but it works
up to a frenzy as you go on. There are a lot of zombies to kill, with
occasional levels of homicidal chainsaw wielding wackos that are
hard to kill and KEEP COMING AFTER YOU!! Luckily, you do get an
arsenal of weapons and items to keep you alive, which are selected
and used using the A, B and X, Y buttons (X and A are for weapons, Y and
B are for Items). Some weapons are very effective and their use is
pretty straightforward (the bazooka comes to mind) while others take
practice to use (the six pack of soda arcs and makes a splash, hitting
enemies in its splat radius, not good for close combat). The items you
get are first aid kits, a magical cross, an inflatable punching bag clown
(a decoy), and body transforming potions (turns you into a big muscle
bound monster). The weapons can also be used in other ways: for example
the bazooka can blow open locked doors or destroy a section of cracked
wall. About the hardest thing though is finding the victims and saving
them before a bad guy goes and offs them. Some levels are downright
mean when it comes to the victim's location. Luckily, you are given a
"victim radar" that will show you their location within a certain
radius from your character.
Every 8 or so levels, a Boss appears, and they are hard to beat. Luckily,
you are able to find shelter to rest and recoup. One boss that came to
mind was the 100 Ft (give or take a few feet) Baby that stomped
around a football field.
The password feature is a great help, especially since this is a LOOONNGGG game.
Game Play-Fun 5 out of 5
This game produces lots of laughs as well as challenge. The levels
are well though out, the items are varied, and the bad guys range
from the very easy zombies/clones to the incredibly tough chainsaw
murderers. With a lot of the levels, when you get beat, you say to
yourself "I KNOW I can pass this level" or you say "just one more
level...just OOONNNNEE more...". This game keeps you coming back for more.
Some of the enemies are sometimes too tough, like the frequently
mentioned chainsaw murderers. They are fast, about as fast as the
player character, they can take a SEVERE pounding, and can chop
through hedges to get at you. That and the difficulty of finding the
victims, but that usually a matter of retracing your steps.
Replayability 4 out of 5
While the victims stay in the same place every time you replay a
level, the added bonus of another player fighting along side you
bumps the replay up a bit. I have not beaten this game yet, but I
still enjoy playing through the levels I passed through before.
Game Value 5 out of 5
I have seen this title sell used at various trade in shops for less
than $10. If you enjoy shooters, you must get this game. It is
definitely a fun ride, from the pure game play elements to the
sheer wackiness of it.
Overall 4 out of 5
It should be in every shooter fans collection. Its a good title to get
other people not into shooters to play and at least have a laugh at
the theme of the game. With its decent graphics, good sound,
amazing level design, and hilarious theme, it'll keep you saving the
neighbors from a gristly yet humorous death.
Definitely a Konami classic.