Wolfenstien 2600 Review
Ah, now this is going to be interesting. Wolfenstien for the Atari 2600, another home-brew game I've taken an interest in. I played Wolfenstien for the PS3 for a while, and that was fun (you could literally shoot anything with a reaction ^^). Of course, this isn't going to be a cover on that, but rather, and more accurately, Wolfenstien 3D for the Super Nintendo. It won't be in a 3D perspective, nor will it feature Doom like qualities, but it looks like an average Atari game. Lets have a look.
The title screen looks promising. It's a castle, so maybe your storming it and taking out every Nazi there is. *presses enter and nothing happens* Erm....*presses enter again, only harder, and nothing happens*......Lets try this.... *presses every button on the keyboard, one at a time and bunches of keys at the same time, trying to use the menu using ALT and enter about four more times* What happens if I right-click? *right-clicks, and nothing happens, apart from making the little cursor on-screen disappear*.....The game must be broken. There has to be a flaw in it or something that makes it unplayable. What more can I do? I have pressed every key on the keyboard to simulate what I would do on an Atari console to make it work. I wonder if it plays itself as a demo. That way, I can semi-review it. *waits five minutes for it to play a demo, and nothing happens*....I don't know what to do. In truth, it looked promising, but it just won't play.....No, this game will play! What about the debug menu? Nothing. Reset? Surely not, surely the creator can't have been that stupid to....*clicks reset, and game starts up, and jaw drops*.....
.....You need to click on reset......to start the game.....Reset......to start the game?!? I'm sorry, please let me quote something from the Nerd again.....WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!? That's almost like you have to press the reset button to play Kid Icarus! (funny story about that, my copy is a little buggy, and will show "press start" with no music. You have to press restart to get it to start properly. But that is buggy, this (maybe) isn't). So enter wasn't enough to start up the game? You had to make to so cryptic to a extend that you would have the player press every key on the keyboard, search every possibility until they try reset? RESET!?! Well, if you are having problems starting up this game, then remember press reset to start the game!
Well, now that I have uncovered the mysteries of how to get into the castle via reset (WHY?), lets see what this game has to offer.
The story, as far as I'm concerned, if you are trapped in a castle, and you must escape it. There are five levels (I think), each one has four rooms that you can enter. Each room contains one item, and you must collect all items in that level to progress to the next level. These items can range from ID cards, to a new weapon, to even a medikit to give you an extra life. You start off with a knife for a weapon, which is a short ranged attack. to be honest, this "knife" looks like a short range gun. Was it so hard to animate the knife attack so it didn't look similar to a gun shot? You can collect a gun, which is a very long range item, but it has limited ammo. They don't show you how much you have, so you have to be wise with how you use it.
There are Nazis and BloodHounds that are out to kill you. If they touch you ever so slightly, then you die and lose a life. You have five lives, and if you die, you just return to the hub world where you can choose a room to infiltrate. But careful. If you stay in the same room for too long, some giant robot will appear and chase you. You can't kill it, but it can kill you. Leave the room, and it'll lose interest in you. If you have already collected the item in that room, then dying will let you keep that item. If you kill an enemy, then the game will give you 7 points, and the enemy will indicate it is dead with a skull and cross bones, which will fade away smoothly. I don't think this is intended, but if you hit the skull and cross bones before it had faded away completely, it will come back and restart it's fading process. Shooting is a little fiddly, as you can only shoot in the direction you are pointing in. If you want to shoot someone behind you, you have to press in the opposite direction, and risk touching the enemy. But it's Atari, so the controls can't be more complex than that. Lose all your lives and you are shown the castle from the title screen with the title of the game. You know what this means, don't you? That's right.....**speaks through clenched teeth*, press reset.....
The graphics, again are simple, but has that Atari charm. Even though pretty much all Atari games had a black background and could possibly not produce anything better due to the systems capabilities, it annoys me. It makes me feel like I'm in a void of some sorts. Like there isn't anything but the game and me, and the game will take over my live. The game and me, nothing more, nothing less....there is nothing outside the game and me....nothing....*starts to fall asleep, but then awakens himself* But thankfully, it's a dark and stormy night at the castle, so the background is very appropriate to set the mood.
There isn't much of sound apart from the sound effects, but these are awesome. Classic Atari-like sound effects for when you die, kill someone, and when that giant robot appears. Normally, this would be a pathetic excuses for sound, but as it's an Atari game, they did it rather well. The hub area where you pick your worlds is a nice touch. You must break into every room, but you must be stealthy about it. There are security cameras/robot drones/search-lights that are looking for intruders. If you are caught in these lights, you lose a life. The giant robot can't get you here, so take you time to memorize the pattern of the lights. After you collect every item and leave the room, you are taken to the next level.
The difficulty is fair to say the least. You'll mainly die due to the enemies random movement and the fiddly controls, and if your careless, the lights in the hub world also. I haven't gotten past the second level let, but with practice, it shouldn't be too hard. Also, I have never figured out why the Nazis and Dogs are created as such, yet you are just created as some face with a grey pixel around you to represent the gun. And the Nazis don't even use their guns. They just run around, as if they are hoping to touch you as much you hope they don't. Not very historically accurate for Nazis, is it.
Overall, I give this game a 8.9/10 The creator did a really good job on this....well, apart from making reset start the game. That's the only real big problem I have with this game. It's worth pressing that reset button to play this game for. As far as Atari games go, this could have classed as an accrual Atari game had it been out at the time. But then, if it was, would that then cease all the other Wolfenstien games to be created? And if so, would that mean that this game would cease to exist with no inspiration? Meh, the games here now, so who cares? One of the best home-brew games I have ever played for the Atari.