Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Retroulette #25: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Ok, so the robots said I can't just play Vita all day every day. I have to play another old game.

Damn.

Well, what terrible liscened crap do I have to play this time?

...


No shit, Robot?! Yes! Fucking yes! This is one of my favorite games of all time! Today's game is Zombies Ate My Neighbors, for the SNES.






Right away:



These screens are familiar to me. They represent quality. These two made some badass games together.

On to the game!

My first choice is to start the game, or use a password. After all this time, the only passwords I remember to any game (other than the Konami code, obviously) are the level select code to Aladdin on the Sega Genesis, and WJQK, which takes you to like level 20 or something in this game. I decide to just play the game from the beginning though, because this game gets hard, and I'm rusty.

My next choice is a pick between our two protagonists, Zeke and Julie.

Zeke is always wearing a pair of old school 3D glasses, and for the life of I can't imagine what kind of tactical advantage that presents. Julie however, comes equipped with a hat, which has the dual purpose of keeping sun and hair out of her face, and looking fabulous. Zeke has a lame Guile-ish do', while Julie sports an efficient and adorable ponytail. The choice is clear folks.

Preferably, you'd want to play this game 2 Player, double teaming this zombie menace with squirt guns firing willy nilly. But I must do this alone. Robots are lamentably shitty at playing games. What with their claw hands and all.

So, first level.

Or as we are about to see, "Zombie Apathy".

The world has been overrun by zombies! How? Like any good zombie movie, it never explicitly says.

It hints pretty hard though.

Your weapon in this battle of Living vs Hungry is but a simple squirt gun. The squirt gun is filled with holy water though. I may need to check again, but I don't recall anything in Romero Zombie Law that states that that would be anything other than a mildly amusing weapon against the undead. In this game, they fucking explode when they get just a few sprinkles on their face.

That time I just thought about him exploding.

The point of this game is to rescue the eponymous neighbors. They're scattered all over the level and you just have to walk into them before the zombies do. The trouble is, the neighbors don't much care which one gets them. They'll make no effort to get away from any enemies.

And in some cases, even seem to be taunting them with poor performance reviews.

Well let's save these neighbors then. First up is a Father/Son duo, just trying to enjoy an ol' fashion family cook out, zombie apocalypse be damned.

"Haha don't wander off too far little Billy. Your mother would be peeved if you got your face eaten off."

Next we have a cute tourist couple, who for some reason wasted a vacation on this shitty small town.

"Ooooooh look at that baby being eaten. That's gonna be a good one."

After that is a guy just chilling in a swimming pool. I would mock, but this guy's plan is genius. The zombies can't go in the pool, so he's immortal, he always has somewhere to go to the bathroom, and he's got a refreshing drink. Forget the rest of the neighbors, I'm going to hang with this guy.

Oh wait I can't swim.

There's also a dog, who has the worst survival instincts of any animal ever. I've seen dogs run away at the very idea of a vacuum cleaner, but this one's only reaction to being nibbled on by a zombie is a quick death.

He seems happy though. Who am I to judge?

We have the previously seen teacher, who I've always hated.

"F" you!!

And we round it out with a gaggle of cheerleaders, still working on a routine which apparently consists entirely of "Jump 3 inches in the air".

And OMG those bitches won't even let Julie try out for the squad.

After collecting all of them I have one more person left to rescue. After searching around awhile I find a baby locked in a small one room house.

Or perhaps it's a baby jail.

Upon getting all of the neighbors an exit door appears out of thin air and walking into it transports you TARDIS-like into the unknown.



So that's one level down. I even got the All Victims Saved Bonus. Now on to level 2.


This level is similar to the last one. It's a small neighborhood, with only zombies as enemies. Right when you start, there's a new weapon (the bazooka), and a new Neighbor. This a some sort of commando gentleman, and it's always puzzled me that this guy needs a teenage girl to come rescue him.

Dude, the bazookas are right there. Go Rambo on some zombie ass.

There's also a little girl on a trampoline. Similar to the man in the pool, she is untouchable by the zombies. But a trampoline gets boring way faster than a pool so she's not as smart.

"Daddy says if I jump high enough, I can see mommy again!"

 Last and least we have an archeologist explorer type. No doubt he's making many groundbreaking discoveries in these ancient suburbs.

"This appears to be some sort of primitive "Doritos" bag.  Marvelous."

In the middle of this level, there appears to be some dollar bills and gold coins. But as a kid I swore those were candy bars and popcorn.

 That probably says something about my priorities as an 8 year old.

So after collecting all the neighbors in that level, we move on to....Level 3!



This level takes place in a mall, in classic Dawn of the Dead fashion.
Right when you begin there's a baby just wandering around on an escalator. You could rename this game "Guess What Insane Places We Put a Baby". The baby is always in the craziest spots of the level. The one standing next to a grill is the closest you can come to saying "Yeah, I could see a baby being there."

Also he doesn't move with the escalator, so he's one of them magic hovering babies.
This level sucks, if only because it introduces into this game one of the most terrifying game enemies in existence. Behold: Fun Baby.


These little bastards are fast, they throw axes at you, they have an evil laugh they decide to use constantly, and even if you light them on fire they still come after you.

Seriously. I don't say this often, but kill all the babies.

They don't even feel any sort of kinship with their own kind.


But I get through that level. And guess what? The next level is even worse.


This may be my least favorite level in this entire game. It's a maze, as the title suggests. And everywhere in the maze, are these motherfuckers.

Seen here killing my precious neighbors.
These Leatherface inspired shit stains are even worse than those damn Fun Babies. They relentlessly pursue you through the hedge maze, cutting down the walls wherever they see fit and chopping up cheerleaders and teachers alike. Just the sound of their chainsaws in the distance is enough to inspire pants wetting fear. You can slow them down by dropping some decoy clowns, or incapacitate them for a few seconds by shooting them with a freaking bazooka.

"Ahahaha I made a quick getway." Just off camera: Another chainsaw maniac.

They kill a lot of my neighbors, and they kill me too. So yeah, in summation, fuck this level.

Next!



The gimmick of this level, is there are "pod people" who look just like your character popping up everywhere. In 2 Player mode, this can be confusing and exciting. Playing by myself, it's all too obvious that I'm the character that does what I tell it to do, so it's easy to just mow them all down with a weed whacker.

Or is it!?
Next level!


Predictably, this level takes place in a Pyramid.  It's full of spooky mummies, and I don't remember what weapon is effective against them, so I just try to avoid them.

Get your thousand-year-old crusty ass away from me!     

Also, it's nice to see the archaeologist in his element for once.

Next level!


This is an awesome castle level filled with all sorts of baddies, including a Frankenstein monster. Also the music is a jaunty homage to the opening music from The Shining. In addition to being a wonderful tribute to the kind of films this game takes its inspiration from, it's also just a great example of chiptune music. At least until it sounds like a pile of instruments just playing random notes at the end.


To beat this level, there are a long series of doors at the end you have to open to get all the neighbors. You need a lot of keys. And of course there's tons of babies in ridiculous places.

Somebody tell me right now how this baby got here!
This is how my game ends: With one HP left, I manage to find the last neighbor. As I touch the cheerleader and the door appears, a mummy comes out of nowhere and kills me. I die in the exit.

Buuuuuuuuuuulllllssshhhhiiiiiitttt

Honestly, I could play this game all day. But there's like half a million levels. I'd be writing forever. Just know that you've only seen a fraction of what this game has to offer.

HOW MUCH DID THE COVER ART LIE?


This boxart is awesome. It captures the retro 50's B-movie horror vibe of the game perfectly.

Not so awesome is the PAL Mega Drive boxart.



Not only is one of the coolest titles in videogame history totally butchered, the cereal box quality cartoon art is shittier than the shittiest shit. Zeke's glasses aren't even the right color...




This game is a classic. If you haven't played it, play it. If you have played it, play it.




6 comments:

  1. I remember this one... even as a kid I was confused about the 3D glasses, but hey - At least they're probably more functional than those stupid looking slit-type Kanye glasses.

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  2. I totally expected a joke regarding the ass crack that is on the Chainsaw maniac.

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  3. Dude, Great fucking game.

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  4. Gorilla With Turtle EggJuly 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    HAHA "tactical advantage"

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