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Red Alarm (Virtual Boy)

68
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  LittleUrn of Arabia (9)
Written on  :  Feb 13, 2011
Rating  :  3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars

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Summary

Star Fox’s (literal) red-headed cousin.

The Good

The controls, while somewhat difficult to get down at first, are responsive and tight. The game makes good use of the controller’s dual D-pads to give you an amazing amount of control over your ship.

The overall presentation of the game is nice as well and you can see that the designers put a lot of heart and effort into the levels, enemies and bosses (and they even threw in some nice Easter eggs as well). Throughout the game you’ll find neat little touches here and there that add ambience and atmosphere to the game. For example; about halfway through the first level you’ll fly over an open area with several large, human-esque robots parked in formation along with some spacecraft. As you move past these robots and spacecraft you’ll see dozens of little stick-figure people trying to run away. It’s not utterly breathtaking and doesn’t add anything significant to the game, but it helps pull you in and you’ll find neat little things like this throughout the game.

The Bad

While the wire-frame graphics are interesting and add a unique look/feel to the game they sometimes fall flat (no pun intended), making the game maddening at times. Some walls aren’t rendered well so what looks like a door or opening turns out not to be a door or opening. If you get too many enemies on the screen at one time they can sometimes “blend” into each other, making it hard to tell them apart and dodge their weapon fire. 95% of the time the graphics aren’t a problem but that 5% of the time when they are a problem does bring the game down a little.

To go along with this the games draw distance is quite short, making some aspects of the game more frustrating than they should be. Boss fights are great examples of this problem. All boss fights take place in a large, open room and if you stick close to the boss you won’t have any problems; you will always be able to see it. Sticking close to bosses is one of the quickest ways to die in any game, so this isn’t really feasible, but as soon as you move too far away the game can’t render it and so you’re left with a large, black expanse. I’ve spent minutes during some boss fights just looking for it and time is crucial in Red Alarm because your ship has a finite amount of fuel; once you run out you lose a life.

The Bottom Line

A space action game in 3-D.