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Critic Reviews 83% add missing review

GamePro (US) (5 out of 5) (100%)

These few inconsistencies don't even make a dent in this otherwise awesome game. If you're looking for fast action, fantastic scenery and rewarding gameplay, Vectorman has the balls you're looking for.

Nov 1995 · Genesis

Video Game Critic, The (A) (100%)

It features 3-D scaling and morphing never seen before in a Genesis game. I don't know how Blue Sky did it, but they did a commendable job. The gameplay involves moving a funny green man made out of spheres through futuristic settings, blasting robots, and finding powerups. Certain icons allow Vectorman to morph into a drill, bomb, jet, or fish (just to name a few). Yes, we've seen this type of game before, but never done this well! The first stage is fairly typical side scrolling shooting action, but other stages feature incredible 3D action and wild vantage points. In one notable stage, you are on an elevated railroad track (with an overhead view), and a gigantic robot is trying to crush you from underneath. You have to witness this game to truly appreciate it. In addition to the graphics, the techno music is top notch, and the control is perfect. Finally, Vectorman is challenging and there are no continues. This is a true Genesis classic.

Apr 11th, 2000 · Genesis · read review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) (96 out of 100) (96%)

The graphics are stunning, the game design shows -- shock horror -- real imagination and it's hard enough to challenge any player, no matter how experienced (and jaded). One of the best releases of the year, and a great demonstration that, quite frankly, you can stick Bubsy the Bobcat up your arse.

Nov 1995 · Genesis · read review

GameFan Magazine (91 out of 100) (91%)

What gets me about Vectorman is not only the groundbreaking special effects, but the sheer size of the game. Vectorman is as deep as it is long, delivering a mega-dose of vertical and horizontal platforming. Vectorman himself is one of the coolest "feeling" characters I've ever played and the control is pinpoint accurate. The only thing I wish V-Man had is more enemies. While the ones in there are good, I'd love to have seen more.

Nov 1995 · Genesis

Video Games & Computer Entertainment (9 out of 10) (90%)

About to get rid of that Genesis in favor of a next-generation system? Don't act too rashly, kid, or you just might miss one of the coolest 16-bit games to be released this year --- a thoroughly fun cart by the name of Vectorman.

Nov 1995 · Genesis

Sega Power (90 out of 100) (90%)

The platform shoot-'em-up breathes again! Ground-breaking graphics resting on a BLEEDIN' GREAT GAME.

Dec 1995 · Genesis · read review

Sega-16.com (9 out of 10) (90%)

Overall, this is one title that is a perfect blend of shooting and platforming that gives you the best of both worlds. The controls is as smooth as silk, as is the animation. The graphics on the whole are breathtaking and, just like the sound of the game, must be experienced to be appreciated.

Jun 27th, 2004 · Genesis · read review

Electric Playground (9 out of 10) (90%)

Wow!!! What an incredible game! I caught a little of this action down at last May's E3 show but I was just not ready for this. Vectorman has got to be one of the slickest platform games ever released, for any system.

1995 · Genesis · read review

Game Players (90 out of 100) (90%)

What makes Vectorman such a good action game is that it does all the small things right. The gameplay is sharp, while the creative controls keep the action going at a break-neck pace. The graphics are first class. There is also a lot to be said for the big enemies with good artificial intelligence. Vectorman will go down in history as an awesome action game, even if no one ends up remembering it as exactly revolutionary.

Jan 1996 · Genesis

Sega Saturn Magazine (90 out of 100) (90%)

Rarely have machine, cart and joypad worked in such beautiful synchronisation. Few platform blasters can compete with Vectorman's exceptional smoothness and all-out weirdness.

Nov 1995 · Genesis · read review

Mean Machines (90 out of 100) (90%)

An excellent showcase for the best in Megadrive graphics and gameplay.

Nov 1995 · Genesis

Video Games (85 out of 100) (85%)

Es ist kaum zu glauben, was Sega noch aus dem guten alten Mega Drive rausholt. Grafisch haut mich Vectorman richtig vom Hocker, es ist zwar kein Donkey Kong Country, wie von einigen Sega-Mitarbeitern gerne behauptet wird, aber die wahnsinnigen Regen-Effekte (Level 5) und die wechselnden Perspektiven in Stage zwei machen deutlich, daß die MD-Hardware immer noch für Überraschungen gut ist. Abgesehen von der brillanten Grafik, bietet Vectorman mehr Spielspaß als die meisten Action-Spiele, die ich dieses Jahr gesehen habe. Ihr seid ständig auf der Suche nach Extras und versteckten Eingängen, aus allen Richtungen attackieren Euch wunderbar animierte Roboter-Wesen. Dazwischen kommen immer wieder Spielabschnitte mit einer völlig neuen Spielidee wie z.B. die Disco-Stage.

Oct 1995 · Genesis

IGN (8.5 out of 10) (85%)

It's still a mystery why it's taken this long for Vectorman to finally arrive on the American Virtual Console, especially when you consider it's been available for download in both the Japan and European territories since early last year. It had been so long since we'd heard anything about the status of this title, too, that we were already scheduling it to take a spot in an upcoming "Most Wanted/Where Are These Games Already?" list of potential VC releases. But now that Vectorman's officially on sale in the American Wii Shop, we can call off the search and rescue team and simply leave you with a firm recommendation -- it's a classic action title that's well worth an investment of 800 Wii Points.

Sep 22nd, 2008 · Wii · read review

Super Power (Sweden) (84 out of 100) (84%)

Det är inget revolutionerande och knappast originellt, men det är i alla fall välgjort, någorlunda varierande och framför allt spelbart. Och dessutom väldigt snyggt för att vara till Mega Drive. Vilket gör att jag gillar Vectorman,även om det inte direkt är något Sonic.

Nov 1995 · Genesis

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) (33 out of 40) (82%)

Most impressive! Vectorman totally blew me away with some of the most detailed graphics and heart-pound sounds I've ever seen on the Genesis. The animations of the characters in this game are fabulous and the large levels are loaded with tons of hidden areas and secrets. With a wide range of power-ups and the ability to transform yourself into many different forms, Vectorman is everything you could ask for in an action game.

Nov 1995 · Genesis

Power Unlimited (8.2 out of 10) (82%)

Vector Man is niet bijster origineel. Een oeroud verhaal met een oeroud principe: platforms, springen, schieten. Heerlijk! De graphics en het koele geluid maken het allemaal compleet. Ik hop dan ook dat er nog flink wat dagen komen zodat ik nog lang van dit meesterwerkje mag genieten!

Oct 1995 · Genesis

Coming Soon Magazine ( ) (80%)

The year is 2049 and the earth has become a toxic waste dump. All of mankind has fled to the stars leaving behind an army of "Orbots" to clean up the mess. This already bleak picture of the future of our planet is worsened by careless maintenance drones accidentally replacing the orbot leader's head with a salvaged atomic bomb. The revamped orbot leader, aptly named WarHead, immediately orders (via television receivers) all the orbots on earth to stop cleaning up and start making weapons to use on the returning humans. Only one orbot, who obviously wasn't near a TV at the time, is unaffected by the new directives. That one orbot is you.... Vectorman.... and the future of the earth and the fate of humanity is in your hands. You must find and destroy the evil WarHead by following a trail of televisions around the earth.

Mar 14th, 1996 · Genesis · read review

MAN!AC (80 out of 100) (80%)

Buntes Techno-Jump’n’Shoot mit verschlungenen Levels, massig Spezial-Effekten und hervorragender Spielbarkeit.

Jun 6th, 2018 · Genesis · read review

Classic-games.net (8 out of 10) (80%)

Vectorman is that rare title that marries technical finesse with solid gameplay. This is easily one of the top action games for the system.

Apr 12th, 2023 · Genesis · read review

Retro Game Reviews ( ) (80%)

Vectorman is an impressive run 'n' gun title and it's clear that the developers squeezed every ounce of power out of Sega's humble 16-bit console. Thankfully, while its graphics and sprite work are stunning, the gameplay is just as enjoyable and there's plenty of variety in its stage design to boot.

Jun 2nd, 2019 · Genesis · read review

Mega Fun (78 out of 100) (78%)

Segas wackerer Blechbulle ist sicherlich eine Bereicherung für den Videospielbereich. Die Mech-Ballerei lebt allerdings nicht vom einfallsreichen Leveldesign, sondern vielmehr von der effektvollen Technik, die von der langjährigen Erfahrung der Programmierer zeugt. Im Soundbereich sorgen wuchtige Schußgeräusche und dezente Techno-Beats für eine adäquat futuristische Sounduntermalung. In punkto Grafik sind die virtuosen Effekte teilweise erst auf den zweiten Blick erkennbar. Beispielsweise paßt sich der herrlich flüssig animierte Vectorman-Sprite durch Schatteneffekte grafisch der Umgebung an. wenn er durch eine dunklen Tunnel läuft. Durch den stimmigen technischen Rahmen wird der für meinen Geschmack etwas zu geradlinige Levelverlauf etwas aufgewogen. Innovative Highlights, wie z.B. die coole Zugbrückenfahrt im zweiten Level, sind nämlich leider selten.

Oct 1995 · Genesis · read review

RetroGame Man (7 out of 10) (70%)

In summary, this is a fun 2D action game that still looks awesome and has some excellent core run and gun gameplay with some lacklustre bonus stages. I still had great time playing this game, but just be prepared to spend some time learning how to play the bonus stages so that you can gain access to the later stages!

Sep 2nd, 2017 · Genesis · read review

Nintendo Life ( ) (70%)

When compared to the likes of Contra III and Gunstar Heroes (which are champions in this genre) I feel Vectorman on the whole just falls short. It doesn't really add anything new but is still great fun to play all the same. If you've already purchased the aforementioned titles, then this should be high on your shopping list.

Apr 6th, 2007 · Wii · read review

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (5 out of 10) (50%)

I had high hopes for the stylish robot named Vectorman. He wasn’t able to reach them, sadly (double jump and all), but his adventure proved its worth in terms of its unique look, its hero's lithe movements and a healthy helping of well designed – if clumsily implemented – power-ups. But at the core of our mission, we are left with a very basic jump-and-shoot outing fraught with mindless running and shooting and no magical sights or sounds or adversaries to compel us to play through the banality. The aforementioned (and much older) NES classic Contra remains the gold standard; play that instead.

Dec 2nd, 2010 · Genesis · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (5 out of 10) (50%)

You're left with a rather plodding platformer, a bit like a duller, slower version of Strider with the athletic Soviet rebel replaced by a robot made of green balls. You can power up your weapon, and transform into different shapes, but there's nothing here that isn't done better in other games on the VC. It's not a bad game, as such, it's just a rather pointless title to revive for today's gamers.

Jun 9th, 2007 · Wii · read review

Player Reviews

If Only the Genesis Had Rumble...

The Good
The graphics are sharp and interesting, and the animation is fluid and detailed. Clearly inspired by the CG-produced graphics of Donkey Kong Country—as the game was made as an answer to that particular title—they never-the-less do a remarkable job of being a showpiece for the Genesis. Background animations are energetic and smooth adding depth and a sense of life to the stages and environments. Due to the smaller color palette and more subdued colors of the Genesis, the game, thankfully, doesn’t look like a direct copy of Donkey Kong Country. The colors here are darker, more subdued—perhaps a tad melodramatic in direct opposition to the bright and cheery colors found in DKC. They may not be quite as attractive and pretty here, but at least they still look impressive and have their own feel.

Bosses are generally creative and visually impressive. The final boss and boss battle is especially impressive. And, the boss battles are somewhat less repetitive and overly predictable than those found in Donkey Kong Country.

There are a lot of creative stages that are often wildly different than the side-scrolling run-n-gun stages that permeate the bulk of the gameplay. Not that I’m against that run-n-gun gameplay, don’t assume that! I’m a huge fan of run-n-gun titles and games like Contra, Metal Slug, and Gunstar Heroes. As a matter of fact, the run-n-gun gameplay in Vectorman is extremely satisfying, and a pure blast to go charging through. The creative stages involve things like bizarre pseudo-3-D overhead levels with Vectorman crawling across the ground to dodge giant fists, and another with Vectorman as a train-type vehicle trying to shoot down a giant robot hanging from beneath the tracks. The really cool part of that latter stage is that it takes place from a changing isometric over-head perspective. There are several stages like this that add a different flavor to the gameplay.

Control is sharp and responsive, as one would hope to find in such an action-packed title. Vectorman has a wide variety of interesting items at his disposal in the guise of transformation abilities—a gimmick no doubt related to his being made up of floating balls. He can transform into a kind of spinning top item with the ability to drill through certain floors, a type of car (or possibly motorcycle) to crash through walls, the ability to fly for a time, a swimming ability, and even an item that turns Vectorman into a bomb to open up new areas. There is also a huge variety of weaponry at your disposal including machine guns and contra-like spread guns. These are all acquired from the various TV monitors hanging all over every level.

Speaking of the monitors, there are a bunch of things in each stage to collect or destroy. There are glowing-spark type items to collect in every stage. Think coins from Super Mario or just about any other platformer that wanted to copy Super Mario. It’s stuff to collect that adds to your score, and increasing score is one of the ways to earn extra guys—which, if you’re not using cheat codes—you’re going to need. On top of which, the game keeps track of how many monitors you destroy in each stage, which again, adds to the score at the end.

The game is loaded with action—which is of course, part of the run-n-gun formula. Platforming elements are fairly basic and not overt challenges, which is good. This keeps the focus on playing with speed, and keeps the flow of the action fairly constant. The game is also rife with bombastic explosions—things that shake up the screen so much that even the information bar at the bottom seems to get in on the quaking. Despite the puny sound available in the Genesis (the SNES was the audio powerhouse of the generation), the game never-the-less features some minor voice work and some excellent blasts to accompany those screen-shattering explosions. The vibrancy of the action is such that I found myself wishing the Genesis controller had rumble abilities built into the thing.

Ample cheat codes are present buried within the title, if should you dare to use them. The cheat codes are great for those of us without the skill or time to hassle with the game’s overall hefty difficulty. However, the game is not without its reward for effort: Using cheat codes automatically prevents the gamer from reaching the “good” ending to the game.

On top of this, there are three difficulty levels, and some other stuff to play around with in the options menu, such as music and sound effects, and a controller set-up.

The Bad
While the boss battles are deeper than in DKC, what with it’s “jump on head, dodge repetitive attack, repeat” set-up, many of them are just “shoot constantly and try to dodge boss character.” Many of them feel as though they require no real skill. Occasionally, there are some real cheap shots from boss characters where attacks or the boss character itself are shockingly difficult to dodge.

Each level has a time limit to it that is just obnoxious. While the gameplay encourages fast-paced run-n-gun gameplay, there are also exploration elements in the game that get sadly overlooked because, typically, any deviation from the straight running through the stage tends to work against the gamer with the timer as it is. Working against a time limit is a pet peeve of mine in video games as it is, since I typically see it as a kind of “forced speedrun” that is a cheap way of adding challenge to the game. There isn’t much room for exploration or item collection/destruction with the time limits given in this game.

The enemies tend to be reused in every stage, with minor exception. So, don’t expect many stage-specific challenges, enemy-wise.

The creative non-run-n-gun stages I mentioned? They're over almost before they begin. All of them are too short.

The impact and usefulness of the variety of special weapons is ruined by them lasting only a few seconds in the game before they're lost. On top of this, they often-times don't seem to have as much power to them as one would expect from super-temporary, fancy weapons. I was never in a position to face a boss while holding onto any weapon upgrade.

The biggest gripe I have with this game is while it does so much to be a forward-looking, uber-modern (at the time) title like Donkey Kong Country, it sadly clings to a set-up that was becoming obsolete during the latter half of the 16-bit era: It is a game intended to be played through in a single sitting, and can be completed thusly. No gradual progression, no saving of said progress, no playing for a few minutes and coming back later. Even during the 16-bit era, especially the latter half, this kind of game design was becoming dated. If one was to make a game that was, for all intents and purposes, a sign of a visionary developer looking to the future, then there’s more than just solid gameplay and pretty graphics to consider.

The Bottom Line
Vectorman, unfortunately, will always be remembered--especially by us older gamers who experienced the Great 16-Bit War--as "that thing that was Sega's answer to Donkey Kong Country." Which, while generally true, is never-the-less unfair to the man made of green balls. Vectorman is much more than an unfortunate Camaro to Nintendo’s Mustang. It’s a truly solid title and yet another game that keeps the Genesis so firmly planted in the minds of gamers when one talks of gaming’s “greatest consoles.”

I know I listed quite a few negatives, but bear with me: This game is much more than the sum of its parts and somewhat dated game design. It’s a pure blast to play—it’s fast, it’s hectic, it’s bombastic, and most importantly, it’s just plain old run-n-gun fun. It looks great and animates beautifully, and like I said, the effects added to the explosions are just awesome.

I didn’t mention the story because, well, while it’s not bad, it’s not really the focus here. It’s a lot cooler than “a lizard stole some monkey’s lunch” like in Donkey Kong Country what with its futuristic science fiction style. The negatives aside, the game is never-the-less fun and aside from lacking some kind of intelligent save system and having to deal with a generally awful timer system, it’s aged beautifully. If you’re a fan of classic Sega titles, this—as far as I’m concerned—is as important a title as the first Sonic the Hedgehog titles.

From a historical standpoint, the Vectorman is likely to always live in the shadow of the game that generally inspired it (that being DKC, of course), but get past that visage, and we have a truly fun title that generally deserves the praise it’s received through the years.

by ResidentHazard (3554) on Jul 22nd, 2010 · Genesis

Genesis and Vectorman

The Good
This game pushed the limits of the Genesis in terms of speed, graphics and sound. the controls were perfect. So perfect, that the game gives an impression of having complete control over how your character moves, even though he is moving on a two-dimensional surface. Everything that you get Vectorman to do is shown accurately with the encredible graphics. You can see a lens flare effect, a robot falling off a cliff and spinning to the ground exploding in a mess of metal parts, and hear the voices of enemies and Vectorman alike.

The Bad
It is really hard to find a flaw in this game. I really only had one problem with it, and that was that the game was a little short. You can, of course, play the game over and over, trying to beat it on the wicked difficulty without dying, but if you want a game that will constantly offer new experiences, I wouldn't pay too much for this game.

The Bottom Line
This game stands out as one of the best games the Genesis has to offer, as well as an example of why you should keep your Genesis and sell your SNES. I would compare this game to Metroid, because it looks like a version of Super Metroid with encredible graphics, talking characters, high quality music, and perfect controls, but then I realized that there is no other game like Vectorman.

by Mike Vollmer (2) on Jul 3rd, 2003 · Genesis

Plus 43 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Big John WV, 10basetom, Alsy, Flu, yellowshirt, RhYnoECfnW, Patrick Bregger, jaXen, lights out party, Tim Janssen, Jeanne, Omnosto, sayewonn wisseh, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy).