Saturday, April 11, 2009

50 Great Arcade games #4 - Smash TV

Smash TV is a game of excess. You've got excess violence, excess prizes, excess cheese, and most of all excess difficulty. In fact I'll say that Smash TV is one of the hardest games on this list. From the outset the odds are stacked against you and your main weapon is only good for so long. In order to survive you've got to keep moving from one powerup to the next. Luck plays a factor but even the world's luckiest person won't last long no matter how many extra lives they pick up(yes 1ups are quite abundant in this game). This is also one of those arcade games that really benefits from having two players and IMO is what makes the game really entertaining. 

Despite the proliferation of Twin-stick shooters on XBLA/PSN I continue to find Smash TV appealing because of it's focus on powerups. It's important to be able to create a path anywhere you need to go(since an extra life won't do you much good if you have to kill yourself to get it). The random nature of the items keeps each playthrough so you can't always fall back on the same patterns to survive(And you should always keep an eye on the doors to see where enemies are coming from next, last thing you need is to be sitting next to a door when it opens). Also mowing down hundreds of guys in a bloody fashion is a bit more satisfying than blowing up polygons.

I guess the best thing that can be said about the game is that despite the balance obviously being skewed against you it's still possible to eke out of even the nastiest situations with enough skill. Best I can do on one credit so far is get through one and a half levels(and by levels I mean beating Mutoidman and getting halfway to Scarface).


There's not much I can add to this except I've picked this game up again and I really don't see any reason why it doesn't deserve to be one of my top picks for arcade gaming.

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