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Bio Menace (DOS)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37818)
Written on  :  Oct 12, 2003
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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Summary

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The Good

Snake Logan, a top CIA agent, is called in to investigate incidents where gigantic mutants are causing destruction in Metro City, and to find out where they are coming from. So he must fly over Metro City, investigate what is going on, then report back to the captain. Unfortunately, Snake’s plane is shot down, forcing him to walk the streets and kill mutants.

Playing this game reminds me of when I played the Commander Keen games – the start-up screen, in-game menus, and even the same sort of gameplay where you run to the other side of the stage, possibly finding crystal shards and using them to unlock barriers. You also have to rescue hostages before you reach the exit. When you do this, they will give you some information on the enemies on each stage and give you a keycard that you will use to open the exit.

One bit of the gameplay that I really like is collecting the gold keys and opening the cabinets that require them, in order to find items that increases your score. They are not floating in the air, making it less than easy for a player to stock up on infinite lives.

The enemies are clever and require more than one shot to destroy. There are much tougher enemies you encounter in the later stages, and these also go for hazards. (The turret guns, for instance, attempt to wound you before you can take action, even if you do not see them on screen yet.) The enemies that I enjoyed are the purple blobs, as well as the green alien that looks like Cosmo without the spots. I like how big and aggressive that the bosses are in all three episodes. In my opinion, they outnumber the bosses in other Apogee games.

Although the game uses EGA graphics, they are colorful and made me feel like I am actually walking through cities, parks, construction sites, sewers, and factories, each with their own dangers and annoyances.

The sound of the weapons that you use in the game are perfect, in that they sound similar to the weapons used in cartoon shows. The grenades make a cute explosion sound when they impact with something. The sounds of the robots are awesome when you kill them – they make a low, growling noise. There is some energetic music, some of them blend in with the environment that you are in.

Controls are easy to learn and use. [Ctrl] to jump, [Right Alt] to fire, and [Enter] to throw grenades. I like these controls. They were easy to learn straight away when I played my first Apogee game.

The Bad

You cannot just save anywhere in a stage. Part of the beauty of playing the Keen games is that you can save anytime at anywhere in the game – whether it be the world map or normal level. In Bio Menace, however, saving the game in the middle of a stage is useless, as restoring it will only take you way back to the start of the level. Sure, there are restart beacons, but I just am not used to them yet.

You cannot change weapons in the game, from a useless weapon to a weapon that does more arm to enemies. If you have the plasma bolts, for example, and you get the machine gun, then you will lose the plasma bolts, regardless of how much ammo is still left in it. And there isn't a key (on the keyboard) where you can change weapons. The same problem goes for grenades and land mines.

Bio Menace was released with a severe bug. Every time you kill the first purple blob or shoot it, the games just locks up. Since DOSBox does not fix the problem, you are forced to use a third-party patch or just add a STACKS command in CONFIG.SYS

The Bottom Line

Overall, a good game with excellent music. Bio Menace uses IDÂ’s Commander Keen engine. If you like platform games like Commander Keen, then this game is worth paying $5 for. ***