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Zombies Ate My Neighbors

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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.

Frustration

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.

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