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 Review: Zombie Incident (3DS eShop)

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DiscoDriver43
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20150531
PostReview: Zombie Incident (3DS eShop)

A Funny thing Happened along the Way to the Citadel


8-bit retro inspired platformers are a staple of Indie Gaming for a couple of reasons. These games do not require high quality graphics, thus making them easier to make. There is also an audience of gamers who are nostalgic for a simpler time before big budgeted, ultra realistic games began to dominate the market. Zombie Incident, a port of a MSX game, is one of those retro inspired games. Can this zombie adventure survive, or is it as dead as its zombie enemies?

Zombie Incident’s story is simple enough. An anime girl named Nana is out to restore the Citadel of Harmaritia to its former glory before it became the symbol of human sin. In order do so, Nana has is collect 8 stars hidden in the Citadel. The story is little more than an excuse to go out and explore and defeat zombies, but that is alright. Gameplay is obviously the main focus.


The game is a platformer in the vein of Metroid and Symphony of the Night, a nonlinear  experience. While the main objective is to collect all 8 stars, there is also a secondary objective to defeat all the enemies in the Citadel. The Citadel itself holds 64 rooms on a 8 by 8 scale. Nana doesn’t carry around weapons, nor does she can use any power ups. Her only defense against the living dead is jumping on their heads. Nana is very athletic, she can jump fairly high, she has a decent speed, and can also wall jump.

One of the more interesting, yet potentially annoying feature of the game are its light-rpg elements. Some enemies at the beginning of the game will be immune to your jumping. This is because your strength level is too low. By defeating weaker enemies, you level up. While this can be annoying, admittedly it is fun to get back at an enemy that previously seemed invincible. As you level up, you’ll be able to defeat stronger enemies. If you jump on a enemy, they will change color. However, if one leaves the enemy alone, then it will begin to regain its health.

Check out this image on your 3DS to experience the stereoscopic 3D effect firsthand!


Nana can take a large amount of hits before becoming zombified. However, do not think the game will be a cakewalk due to this fact. The only way to replenish health is to defeat all the enemies in a single room, or to hope that an unlocked room contains a star, as these replenish health.

Throughout the Citadel are a series of doors to locked rooms. These rooms are only unlocked after defeating all the enemies in a single area. Not all the rooms will contain a star, however they are areas for the players to save their progress, so exploring these rooms isn't a total loss.

As with retro platformers, it isn’t a long ride. It should take veterans of platformers a few hours to complete, assuming that they haven’t been zombified a few times during the experience. The game’s life is extended for those wanting to show high scores to your friends online. This can and will encourage more competitive players to play again just to improve their score.


The game’s music does its job very well. Though there are only a few pieces of music they manage to capture the spooky haunted setting of the game. This is helped by the chip tune, which is used to it’s advantage. Expect the main music to stick in your head for hours. The 8-bit retro graphics are very good as well. It is detailed and has a fun haunted house atmosphere to it. Amusingly enough Nana looks a little bit different in-game than what she looks like in the title screen.

The game is entertaining, but it isn’t without it’s flaws. The game doesn’t scroll in between rooms. Instead, the screens instead flash back and forth. This is normally not a big deal, but when jumping vertically, there might an enemy you wouldn’t see until it is too late. As a result, the player will be taking cheap shots every now and then when they really shouldn’t. This could be excused as a limitation of the MSX where this game originally came from. Still, expect to take some cheap damage every now and then.

The game’s enemy placements can be frustrating at times. Some enemies are placed in positions where the player will have little choice but to take damage in order to kill them. While in cases where the player still have a lot of health, it isn’t much of a problem, it’s a concern for those with a small bit of health left.


Lastly, jumping can get rather repetitive as depending on their color, enemies have to be jumped on a certain amount of times before they bite the dust. Constantly jumping on top of one particular enemy can slow down the pace of the game.

The game supports the feature 3D, and the visuals really pop out. Strangely enough though, Nana herself seems to go a bit into the foreground. As such, it can seem that she is behind a platformer that she is actually on at times. However, this is a minor flaw in the 3D implication and can be easily ignored.

Zombie Incident is a good little game. It is visually impressive, the music is very catchy and it is for the most part a very fun game. The game can be frustrating at times, but otherwise it is a neat little tribute of platformers of old. If you are looking for a trip to gaming’s past, then this game is a good choice. Just prepare to be frustrated.

7/10

Review Copy provided by: Coder Child


Last edited by DiscoDriver43 on Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Review: Zombie Incident (3DS eShop) :: Comments

Re: Review: Zombie Incident (3DS eShop)
Post on Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:38 pm by Zalbet
Solid and informative review. Some paragraphs could be combined due to their very short length and the final intro sentence would benefit from some extra words to make the transition smoother. Other than that, it's all good.
Btw, you're right, i can't get the music out of my head Very Happy
 

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