Rampage review
A mindless boredom killer

The good:

Simplistic gameplay
Fun 2-player action
Fun in short bursts
Looks good
Soundtrack is catchy

The bad:

Shallow gameplay
Gets boring after a while
Too long of a game
Not many building models, and no landmarks


Rampage is that series of games that everybody talked about back in the 80's when it was an arcade classic, and continued on from there, though the main reason that this series is overlooked nowadays... is it because every game is basically the same thing over and over and people these days don't like that? You tell me! All I know, is that this is the Sega Master System port of the arcade classic, though this port is not as classic as the arcade original.

Anyway, this game is basically a 'balls to the wall' action game where you (and a mate if you got one and a second controller) can choose one or two out of three monsters (who are mutated out of human beings - monsters ranging from a giant ape, to a giant bipedal werewolf, and finally to a lizard - though they all play the same so it's a matter of what looks better) to smash buildings and cause chaos through the many cities of the game (which are based off real cities). There are people attacking you because you're destroying everything in sight, plus...well, you're a monster. What else is there? Nothing else. That's it! If you don't like it, you never will.

But you have to admit, smashing buildings up is pretty fun. Climbing on them and punching them like hell while soldiers shoot you and some random guy comes and tries to bomb a building down. Sometimes, tanks and other vehicles decide to come and play...and you smash them! The problem is that this game is too long - to be completely honest, I haven't had the patience to finish the entire game. With 2 players, the game goes quicker, but unless you both have the patience of a Zen master, this game will wear thin on you.

How is this? Because every level in this game plays a lot like one another. One would argue that Mario does too, but Mario at least tries to mix things up. In Rampage, you...what, smash up more buildings? More artillery and vehicles come? Well, it's nice to play with some new toys, but for a game with more levels than I care to count, the novelty will wear off quickly. In fact, this game is best played with your best friend. Both of you cooperatively trying to beat the game, causing chaos together, is much funner than playing alone.

The controls themselves are pretty slick. They're as simple as the game itself. You have button 1 for jumping and button 2 for punching. The d-pad moves the monster and holding up while pressing button 2 will allow for an up attack, while holding down while pressing button 2 will allow for a diagonal attack that's down and towards the direction the monster's facing. They're very responsive and perfect for these sorts of games, where you just pick up a controller and kill some time before something happens.

Oh, before I forget - these monsters aren't immortal. They can get hurt. Getting shot, bombed, taking fall damage, hitting a toaster, you name it. Throughout the game, you'll be shot at more than 50 Cent and bombed even more. You'd be thinking "oh damn quick game overs", though the monsters don't seem to take too much damage, plus they can heal themselves anyway by eating people. When you inevitably die, you revert to a human stage butt-naked and eventually mutate back to finish your mission. If you lose all your lives, you get to keep going, but your score goes back to 0.

Speaking of scores, wasn't the whole point of an arcade game...to get a high score? Until yesterday, I thought you had to actually finish it, but then I realized that you're supposed to just get a high score. The end of each level doesn't show the high score just for shits and giggles. They actually want you to try and beat that. You score points by causing chaos all around...easy enough. Sadly, you don't get any more lives by getting a really high score.

There isn't much else to talk about in this game in terms of how this plays, because there isn't much to it or any variety, but does it mean it sucks? No! If you and someone else want to kill some boredom, this game is just for you and a friend (hell, some people actually play this alone...whatever, it's a good boredom killer). If you're looking for a whole lot of content, play something else. This is just a boredom killer.

So to sum everything up:

Gameplay: 3.5
Basically, you're destroying buildings while eating people and not getting killed yourself. Quite shallow, but simplistic as well. Has the whole "if you don't like it now you never will" feeling to it.

Controls: 5
Slick, responsive and simplistic. Not much else you can ask for.

Graphics: 3.5
The game itself looks good, but what it doesn't have kind of annoyed me. I mean, yeah, you're going to destroy it anyway, but wouldn't it make sense to have some landmarks to specific cities? Hell, I don't think the building models have much variation to them! But really, every city looks and feels the same! I guess it's because of the Master System's limitations, or they just thought nobody would care. Well, some people will eventually care!

Sound: 3.5
There isn't much variety to the soundtrack. I mean the title and intermission songs are passable and the level song is catchy as all hell, but wouldn't it make sense to have a few more tunes? I'm aware this was made in 1986, but I'm just saying a bit more variety would make this game shine more. As for sound effects, they're passable, though the one where you're about to die (8-bit heart thumping) steals the show. The others, like getting hit, are decent at best. There aren't that many sound effects though, but that doesn't matter as much as the lack of variety to the soundtrack.

Lastability: 2.5
If you can stand to play this for a long while...put it this way: The game repeats itself...over and over again, much like the arcade original did (which was alright). If you like doing the same thing over and over, good for you, but if you don't, this won't last too long.

Funfactor: 2.5
As I said, it's to kill boredom. It's fun enough to do that, but not fun enough overall. The game was fun at first, but once the repitition kicked in, I got bored of it. Not sure about you though.

Bottom line:
Rampage is mindlessly fun (and somewhat addicting), although since every level play 95% like each other, it will get stale and repetitive. If you got nothing to do, give this game a shot. If you're asking for a lot in a game, pass this one up.


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