It's amazing what a person can do with old hardware. No, I'm not talking about the Nintendo 3DS-- I am talking about the MSX, which you may know one of its popular titles under the name of "Metal Gear." Even to this day hobbyists who have chosen their trade as coders are building brand-new games with the limited capabilities of older hardware. One such example is Nenefranz, a Spanish developer who created Zombie Incident. Now, Nintendo 3DS owners get the chance to try out this game thanks to the porting duties of CoderChild. Is the end result one that successfully reaches for the stars?
In Zombie Incident, your goal as Nana, the player character, is to seek through 64 rooms of a citadel in search for eight special stars. Once these have been collected, the goal then is to return to the beginning area of the game. Of course, nothing can be simple when your game's name is Zombie Incident. No, infesting the corridors and rooms of the citadel are undead creatures, such as bats, birds, spiders, caterpillars, and yes, zombies.
Zombie Incident is a bit like a Metroid game just without gaining new abilities. You run and jump around the citadel's 64 rooms with limited power, but as you defeat enemies you earn experience that allows you to grow stronger. However, at the beginning of the game, most monsters will be invincible to Nana's attacks. Depending on a creature's color, it is determined whether Nana can take that foe out or not. As Nana acquires experience and gains levels, she can take out foes that were previously too strong for her offensive advances.
|Under a crescent moon, who knows|
what horrors await Nana?
In Zombie Incident, there are eight rooms that have gated doors in them, and the primary objective is for Nana to defeat all of the enemies inside these rooms for the doors to open. Inside these doors are one of eight stars that are required to beat the game. These rooms also serve as save points, though there's the caveat that when you save, your exact health is saved, too. What this amounts to is that if you have low health when you reach one of these rooms, you can essentially screw yourself over on beating the game. Running around with one or two slivers of health is basically suicide in Zombie Incident. Not fair and not fun.
|One of the eight stars that Nana must acquire.|
For flying foes, this is especially annoying because they will often move while invincible to a location in the room where the ceiling is too low, making trying to attack them a fool's errand. Worse yet, they'll stay in an area where you can only damage them if you take a hit yourself in the process. Seeing as many enemies can rejuvenate health, this can become mighty annoying.
|Get away from me, you bag of bones!|
The transition between rooms is instantaneous. There's no time to get your bearings, so in the case of jumping up from the top of one screen to the bottom of another can easily result in falling back to the screen below because you couldn't correctly guess where a platform was. It's a limitation of the MSX hardware perhaps, but that doesn't make it forgivable nonetheless.
|You can knock Zombie Incident for a lot of |
things, but don't talk bad about its presentation.
Even with all of its problems and all of my gripes with the game, Zombie Incident can't be blasted totally. It's mighty impressive how one person coded and developed the MSX original and now being able to play it on the Nintendo 3DS. The game is only $1.99, and it can be viewed as a small price to pay for the annoyances that come into play. Still, they add up, and leaping on enemies over and over again and backtracking through rooms repeatedly can grate on the average player. It just depends on whether you have more patience than I apparently did.
[SPC Says: C-]
Review copy provided by CoderChild.