Posted by Darren Calvert
The forces of evil are abroad - ghastly, slimy creatures from the depths of your very worst nightmares.
Heavily inspired by the Jason Voorhees character from the Friday the 13th films so popular in the 80's this game is a hockey mask wearing, butcher knife wielding gorefest! For those who aren't familiar with the game it is basically a 2D scrolling fighter. Unlike it's contemporaries like Double Dragon (and it's Megadrive sequels) the action takes place on one plain so you can't just weave up and down to avoid the nasties. This may sound restrictive but it makes for a much tenser game as a result.
From the start to the end the pressure is on as your character Rick sets out to save his girlfriend. You'll come across all manner of horrible fiends who you can take out with punches, sweep kicks or a sliding attack. In addition to that there are loads of weapons on offer. First a wooden stick to splat bad guys against the wall, then a butcher's knife and before you know it you're taking out chainsaw wielding freaks with a shotgun!
The visuals and sound are spot on. The weapons make convincing sounds when they connect and the music is suitably eerie. The backdrops are very gloomy and suit the mood of the game nicely. The boss fights are one of the best elements to the game. All of them are set pieces and feature tactics you must learn to get through them unscathed. Whilst this game is not easy by anyone's standards it is wise to resist the urge to use the continues. Take a defeat as it was intended and start again, that's the only way you will master the nuances of this game.
Perhaps the only criticism we can level at this game is by today's standards the main characters movements are a little sluggish meaning sometimes it's difficult to react as speedily as you would like to oncoming attacks. Still that is a minor gripe. This game is heartily recommended to anyone who likes a good beat em up, they don't come much better than this.
Fact fans: Rick's mask is red rather than white in the TurboGrafx version of the game. Presumably this was to play down the likeness to a certain Jason Voorhees!