Monday, September 1, 2014

VGR The Terminator (Mega Drive)

Their mission: to destroy the leader of the human resistance, John Connor. The first Terminator was programmed to strike at me in the year 1984, before John was born...

VGR: The Terminator
From Probe Software/Virgin Games
Played on Sega Mega Drive
Also available on /

Type Sidescroller action game
Year 1992

There has been countless videogames based on the original Terminator by James Cameron.

The first Terminator games were actually from Bethesda, who actually owned the franchise through video games and shared the rights for all the other games released over the years.

Radical Entertainment developed their own game for the NES while Virgin was responsible for the license on the Sega consoles. Probe.

While all these Terminator 1 games loosely follow the same source material and overall structure more or less, the Sega/Probe/Virgin titles even kept similar design ideas. Meaning they were all roughly derived from the original Megadrive game.

While the Mega Drive, Master System and Game Gear versions all share some common traits, the former differs slightly from the later.

Let's have a look at this 16-bit version this time!

Once again, you play as Kyle Reese.

The game is about four proper different missions-long. Based on key scenes from the film. It uses some great digitized cutscenes from the film to tell the story (as static screens, of course).

The levels follow closely the plot of the movie, more so than these other sort of games usually.

The game begins in the future war, Kyle only armed with grenades at first. You can also use some timed bombs to blow up the way, but be careful to not spend all of those right away, you're gonna need them to open a specific number of doors in SkyNet's headquarters. Then you'll find the machine gun to make things easier. This great unique first level has for mission to blow up SkyNet's computers and then locate the time displacement unit. It's a really though difficult first level (probably one of the hardest of the entire game). Usually most people hate the whole game it for it, but I think it's really appropriate with the series. It shows how dangerous the future you have to prevent is about to get.

After that Kyle jumps back to "present" day setting, only equipped with a shotgun now. You have to explore the streets until you reach the bar where the T-800 has just located Sarah Connor.

Then is the famous escape from the police station.

And finally, it all ends at the Cyberdyne factory where you first fight the T-800 until finally leading it to a compactor to destroy it just like in the film

Well, only here Kyle appears to outlive the story, he doesn't die since you play as him while defeating the Terminator...

The way this version plays different from the 8-bit versions is that this one's not much of an action game despite appearances. The MS and GG games were actually simplified conversions of this main title.

The lead programmer on this Mega Drive title was Earthworm Jim co-creator David Perry, with the music exclusively scored here by Matt Furniss.

Most other versions based on the first movie are all fairly standard sidescrollers. This one tries to tone down the usual inherent "video game-ness" to better mirror closely the film, as best as possible considering the restrictions at the time.

It's not a proper action game per say (that title would better suit the later excellent Sega CD game actually). Making this port easily one of the better Terminator games.

Like other old school video game protagonists, Kyle can jump - although his jump is heavy and quite restricted. The other buttons are for the primary and secondary weapons, although those depends on the settings. There are not that many weapons for once, and you get to cleverly use them according to the plot of the film.

It's basically the same game, only with more accent put on running around and knowing precisely what to do.

I love this game!

It's very, very hard. Challenging, sure. But fun.

It's simply almost impossible to finish it on the first couple of playthroughs. You need to take a trial and error approach to learn to go through these levels. Find the way to save yourself from taking too many hits. Find the best possible paths.

It's a very fun arcade-style Terminator game.

It has very rigid controls, but these limitations are part of the challenge on purpose really.

This is not your usual run & gun-type of game, going through bullet hell and.shooting hundred of enemies on screen Rather, it's a much shorter arcade-style experience.

The game feels fitting for a Terminator project.

From the perfectly recaptured theme song to the great sound effects. The Mega Drive soundchip is really perfectly suited for the beats of a Terminator soundtrack.

Overall, it's a great game, well Worth a Look if you're a fan of the genre or the franchise.

It looks great.

Here most of the limitations of the Mega Drive work well to the game's atmosphere. 

It looks and sounds like a Terminator game should. It's dark, moody and terribly difficult.

A great game!

The sound is fantastic and perfectly captures the tone of the film.

Its only downside is that the game's only four short level long. But those are some really difficult levels. 

You can probably finish the game in half an hour if you know what to do here. But it's really a great fun game worth mastering!  
I give it:
2.5 / 3 Invaders!

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