Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Retroulette Special: Total Recall

In the spirit of the last three posts, I thought it would be interesting to play the Totall Recall game for the NES. It's universally maligned, but I've never played it. How bad could it be?

Based on the super fucking badass 1990 Paul Verhoeven movie (the guy who also brought us the super fucking badass RoboCop), this game attempts to retell the events using a series of jumps and kicks. The one thing it does get right is that it takes place on Mars, like Total Recall should.

"But Luchalma! In Philip K. Dick's story We Can Remember It for Yo-"

What is that? Books? Get the hell out of here with that shit!

 Anyway, we begin the game with this image:

This is all you get for a menu screen. No OPTIONS, no NEW GAME. Just Arnold. That's how all menu screens should be.

Ok. Bad idea.

After that we get our story set up:

"Hello Mars, I have a few questions I'd like to ask you."
 If going to Mars was an option, why go through all the trouble of having Rekall make you think you did. Whatever, let's see what kind of answers Mars provides. But first we have to make our way through Quaid's neighborhood to get to his apartment. No more than three steps down the sidewalk, and I'm attacked by some dude popping out from around the corner of a building.


Somehow, this teleports me to some alternate back alley dimension. We are spared any explanation for how this bearded child was able to throw Arnold Schwarzenegger into this alley, but thankfully we are also spared finding out how he changed from green clothes to a fruity pink number.

This guy jumps around like a kangaroo with ADHD. I have but two options, punch and jump, so I do both. Surprisingly, it takes more than one punch from Arnold Schwarzenegger to put this dude down. Every once in awhile as I'm punching him he'll drop....a battery? A can of Mountain Dew? Your guess is as good as mine.

All sorts of weird shit goes on in back alleys after dark.

This sort of thing happens all the time. By that I mean, walk to a corner of a building, there's this guy again. All the time. And this game is in 2D, so it's not like I can walk around these corners.

After fighting this guy, I make my way down the street, avoiding consistent drive-by gunfire. I find myself in front of a movie theater.

Featuring such cinema classics as "Motion Picture" and "Feature Film V".

So what movie are we going to see?

Oh hell yeah, I love that movie! Unfortunately, this is just the credits screen. Back outside, some jerk starts shooting at me from a trash can. I punch on that trashcan for like 10 seconds until some other dude shows up from the other side of the screen.

So I'll just go punch that guy too, right? Punches for all!

Wha...what the hell?

If you touch that dude, you're fucking dead. It took me a few lives to even figure out that's what was happening. "Maybe I just had really low health the last eight times that dude showed up." I thought, because I am stupid.

I guess that's supposed to be Richter (Michael "Sam Fisher" Ironside) from the movie. New strategy: Run right as fast as possible and ignore all the enemies. That seems to work pretty well for most of the level. Later on I'm stopped by an army of Police officers jumping out of a window. But I'm not stopped for long because they all jump right into my punches.

"Try to land on his fists men! That will soften your landi-OOF"

After that is wall made up of glory holes and I have to run past, avoiding a gauntlet of what I hope are fists.

I'm not optimistic.
Then I climb some stairs and make my way back through the level on the roofs and overhangs of all the buildings I just passed.

Apartment for Rent: Two bedrooms. Utilities included. Some light platforming required.

 I make it to the apartment, when suddenly!

It's my beautiful wife, Lori! But what's this? She's trying to kill me! What a crazy turn of events.

So, like all problems, I solve this one by punching it in the face a few times. Eventually she drops her gun and goes away.

The real problem is after that, Richter show up again. He fires a constant stream of bullets and never stops.

He's also immune to bullets to the knees, which is really unfortunate in this situation. That hand at the top helpfully points out that I need to go the only way out of this apartment. No matter what I do here, I die. I stand up, I die, I jump, I die. I die, I die. It's only after like half an hour that I realize that I hate this game and I don't care what happens after this.

 Like Last Action Hero, the cover tries to sucker you into buying a piece of shit by just using the poster of the awesome movie. But we know better than that now.


  1. "avoiding a gauntlet of what I hope are fists". lol. What genius level designer made that fucking gloryhole wall?

  2. That Glory Hole wall is freaky as shit.