Welcome to Regular Retro! What is Regular Retro you ask? It’s the series mentioned previously here.
Regular Retro is going to be a daily series where we play through a game for about an hour on my way into the office. Using my GPD XD, I’ll give YOUR suggestions a shot, give my thoughts on the game, and decide on if I’d complete it in my free time.
- I request that any suggestions are fit for an hours play. As much as I love JPRG, I’m not sure I can size up something that is meant to played over 50+ hours in just 1 hour.
- Please make sure the games in question are Retro and can be played on a GPD XD. SNES, NES, N64, GBA, etc. I can’t emulate a PS4 game on this handheld sadly!
As per the suggestion from our General Manager Andy Pearson, I’ll be tackling the SNES classic: Zombies Ate My Neighbors! Surprisingly, I’ve never had a play of this game before. Despite all of my friends nudging me on to give it a shot. I just coasted on it for some reason, so when Andy prompted me to give the game a go to start this series out – I got pretty excited!
So with nothing but my GPD XD and a small space on a somewhat crowded Northern train bound from Doncaster to Sheffield. I booted up my GPD XD and started the game up for the first time in my life.
Let’s not waste any more time and jump right into the first ever… Regular Retro!
The first thing that struck me about Zombies Ate My Neighbors was the gameplay. For some reason, I tuned out the start of the game. Went past the neat little intro screen and picked my player. Naturally, I picked the kid with the huge hair. Looking straight up like Paul from Tekken or Bart Simpson, how could I not choose him? (Why are the high top characters blonde?) 3D glasses as well. No brainer. Upon being thrown into the game, I released just how fluid it felt. It was a bit like picking up Super Castlevania IV for the first time. Something that looks like it’ll be rigid, but turns out to be rather fluid in its mechanics.
Where it also surprised me was how you play the game. I figured my goal would to be a rad kid and mow down a sea of zombies and bask in the glory that was my 10-year-old zombie killing self. But I didn’t think about the title enough to realise that my neighbours would be involved in some fashion. Instead of a SNES zombie killing simulator for the badass 10-year-old in me, I got a game where I was tasked with adventuring around levels, searching for keys, and saving the poor masses from the zombie menace!
But I enjoyed it! It felt like a puzzle game mixed in with an action shooter. It made me think! The moment you start up a level, you have to prepare yourself for who to save. I breezed through the first level and found myself thinking “Well, that was easy.” Then, the second level suddenly starts off with one of my neighbours right in front of a zombie. I end up hesitating, and they died. No second chances, no warning. Simply – Here is how the game is going to be. Don’t sleep at any point and be ready for anything. I was gutted. My first reaction was “No. I wanted to save that guy!” and had to deal with the pain of not being able to do anything and try and remember to just run right for any survivor with no hesitation.
I was having issues finding a particular key. I couldn’t get my last neighbour to finish the level and was scratching my head like mad. I started to press various buttons and noticed my weapon icon change. I got it. I have a plethora of weapons at my disposal! Rock launchers! Grenades! Oh heck yes! My inner child went pretty bonkers as I blasted through a wall to get my fabled key and started to blast through many zombies. It felt great. The choice of weapons in Zombies Ate My Neighbors had me like a kid in a candy store! You’ll want to experiment with each selection of the weapons the game has to offer, and each feel like a great weapon of mass destruction.
The only thing that I didn’t actually walk away enjoying in the game was the score. The music was a bit… repetitive. It didn’t invoke the feeling of excitement that some games have done for me. Castlevania and Act Raiser stand as hallmark examples of fantastic gaming soundtracks, but Zombies Ate My Neighbors left something to be desired. It wasn’t awful, far from it. But it just wasn’t memorable. More often than not, I found myself bored and hoping for a change in track. They set a good tone, but they just don’t have that kick that some games have. It’s unfortunate, but by no means a large fault that would render the game unplayable.
Would I keep playing Zombies Ate My Neighbours? For sure.
I thoroughly enjoyed my hour with the game. It was nothing short of classic video game fun. I’ve been bouncing around the modern landscape of things, from Conan Exiles to For Honor, and to jump back into something like Zombies Ate My Neighbours had me smiling from ear to ear.
I swear at one point, I wanted to shout in joy after acting on my feet and saving a neighbour that was placed in a position that was made for me to fail and test my skill. It just brought about a childlike wonder to my mind, and it is a game I will be playing in the future as there seems to be a lot there to enjoy!
I got a great deal of suggestions from you all and have decided to go with Twitter user ‘TheSniperGecko’ and his suggestion of Aladdin on the Mega Drive!
@FunStockGames or Aladdin on the Mega Drive. That game was hard back then. Is it any easier now we're all grown up?
— Paul Sims-Thickett (@Thesnipergecko) March 7, 2017
I actually played the SNES version, but have yet to touch the Mega Drive version. So this will be interesting! Remember as well, you can suggest anything you want! So don’t hold back and let me know what you’d like to know my thoughts on!
Check back tomorrow for my next edition of Regular Retro!