Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Mar 31, 2009
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars

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A brilliant game otherwise let down by cumbersome controls

The Good

A planet once beautiful is under attack by aliens; and two beefy-looking dudes, who go under the name of “Nameless Ones”, are called in to annihilate these aliens and restore peace to the planet that was once called Earth. For the purpose of this review, let's call them Arnie and Weslie. Forgotten Worlds has around eight levels, and the object of these levels is to shoot a large number of ground-based and airborne enemies before going face to face with the boss on the level.

Before each level, you get treated to a cut-scene, mainly consisting of close-ups of the two characters. Below each close-up is usually one line of text. Some of these lines are amusing to read as they make no sense at all. An example is the first cut-scene. Arnie starts off by saying “Did you find the guy?”, to which Weslie replies “I'll finish you today for sure.” To me, Weslie hasn't answered Arnie's questions, but instead threatening to punch his living daylights out.

Most enemies will leave behind some Zennies (money) which you can use at the shop that can be seen at the middle of the level. It is amusing how this shop just happens to appear from underneath the ground. In the shop, you have a selection of weapons, armor, items, and first-aid packs. The first lot of weapons on offer are cheap, but they are not effective as the weapons that you can get on later levels. When I played this game, I saved my Zennies and got myself a Z50,000 weapon which, in my opinion, is far more effective than the ones that sell around Z20,000. Too bad I don't know the name of it now.

Both the enemies and bosses are well drawn and animated nicely, and all of them have their own attack patterns. The bosses may be difficult to defeat depending on where you shoot them. (Perhaps the girl in the shop can give you a hint.) Out of all of the bosses, I like the demigod from level three, trying to grab you with his hand.

The backgrounds are amazing and very detailed. In the first level, you are overlooking a city filled with demolished skyscrapers in the distance; then find yourself in a factory where you can actually interact with pipes. In subsequent levels, you are faced with broken bridges, plenty of islands, Egyptian temples, and much more.

The soundtrack is brilliantly composed. I enjoyed hearing the music while I fought the bosses and also while browsing in the shop. The Genesis version allows you to listen to the soundtrack in the options menu, so if you really want to listen to it without playing the whole game again, you can do so.

The Bad

The controls are a bit unusual. You have a satellite guarding you and helps you take down enemies. You move your character around so that it and the satellite faces the direction you want to fire. This method is there for enemies that suddenly come behind you, but this is tiresome. Imagine if there are a lot of enemies in front of you and a few behind. More often than not, you won't have the time to change your position and start firing.

The Genesis version lacks spoken dialogue in the cut-scenes.

The Bottom Line

The coin-op version of Forgotten Worlds is awesome, and the game has been ported to almost every system that I know of - including Amiga, ST, C64, Master System, and Genesis – but it is the Genesis version that is most faithful to the coin-op version, minus the speech. There are eight levels in total, and in between these levels are cut-scenes which have some amusing dialogue. The enemies and bosses are well designed and animated smoothly, and it is nice that you can upgrade your weapons at shops that appear out of nowhere. The soundtrack is excellent, and it is well worth listening to again on the options screen. The only thing that I don't like is the control method, in which you have to rotate your satellite in the direction you want to fire your weapon.