Saturday, April 10, 2010

Virtual Console Review - Top Hunter (Neo-Geo)

Top Hunter - SNK for Neo-Geo - 4/10

Top Hunter sucks.  Please don't waste your time or money on this clunker of a game.  Despite the gorgeous graphics and luxurious use of color, this is an extremely simplistic arcade side-scroller, with sluggish controls, annoying boss fights, and deeply repetitive gameplay.

The level designs are essentially a straight path from A to B.  There's a dual-pathway set akin to Sega's Shinobi, but it's never really used to any effect.  It's just a second pathway with the exact same enemies.  Have I mentioned Top Hunter is deeply repetitive?  Yes, it is deeply repetitive.  My mind just aches when I have to think at all the deeply repetitive moments I played through before reaching the end.  It's the same stupid pathway, the same stupid enemies, and the same stupid boss fights.

The gameplay gimmick is that you're a fighter who grabs enemies and throws them around.  Your arms also zoom out when you punch.  Neither are especially interesting, as no novel ideas are employed.  You would think the level design would take this into account, or there would be some challenging boss fights.  Sorry.  You would also think there wouldn't be a slight lag in the button pressings, or that the game designers had figured out walking and jumping.  This was a video game from the mid-'90s?  Sorry again.

Oh, and have I mentioned the audio is nothing but clown music?  Good Lord, I just wanted to punch the sound designer's jaw out.  This is the kind of music you expect when you're ordering a Happy Meal.  That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach kinda feels like a Happy Meal, too.  Moral lesson: don't load up on empty calories.

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