Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39516)
Written on  :  Jan 22, 2005

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More than just a run-and-shoot game

The Good

Zillion is a game based on a Japanese anime by Tatsunoko Production. In the game, you play JJ, who must destroy the Noza underground complex by retrieving the five floppy disks and use them to blow up the entire complex. Furthermore, you must rescue your two companions, Apple and Champ, while he is at it. In order to do these things, he must kill guards that he encounters with his laser gun, and input passcodes in correctly to open locked doors and discover hidden elevators, as well as temporarily disable force fields and turrets.

This is more of a strategy game rather than a run-and-shoot game. You see, you need to map out each room that you enter, so that you do not go around in circles trying to find a particular room. You also need to be on the lookout for any sensors while going from room to room. Tripping sensors will cause a few guards to enter the room, and you have to shoot the guards to get rid of them. This can be very hard depending on where they are. Although your laser gun is not much good to start with, shooting the guard is quite easy as they take only one hit, and although they shoot at you, they always miss when you are crawling from one place to another. Your laser gun can be upgraded by collecting a certain power-up.

You also need to know when and where you can input the passcodes, so that you do not waste the ID cards that are required to access the computer terminal. (If you input standard passcodes, the terminal grabs onto your card and won't give it back.) when going from room to room. When you rescue your companions, you can switch between them and can control them instead of the main character. Each companion has their own advantages, and they are quite useful for getting past tough obstacles. For example, Apple can jump much higher than JJ, so you could use her to jump to a high platform.

The graphics in Zillion have that anime feel to them, and all the characters are drawn nicely. I enjoyed looking at the gun on the title screen. Sega's Light Phaser was modeled after it, and it makes quite a nice little sound when fired.

The sounds are good. Most of the sounds are derived from Alex Kidd in Miracle World and other games like it. The music is good and suits the situation that you are in, regardless of whether you are inside or outside the complex. Some of the music is heard in the sequel, which sounds great.

The Bad

Zillion is not the type of game that can be completed in a few hours if you happen to make mistakes all the time. You see, the majority of the game has you going from room to room, inputting passcodes that make shit happen. And there are so many symbols that you can choose to input passcodes with, you can easily pick the wrong one if you do not write it down correctly.

The Bottom Line

This game should appeal to anyone who likes platform games, or those who enjoy anime-like games that is based on movies.

Rating: ***