August 24, 2010, at 12:35 PM

Mini Review: Global Gladiators

Take the engine from Cool Spot, add in a (weak) licence from everyone’s favourite evil MegaGlobalCorp, some awful pseudo-environmentalist nonsense, a custard gun... and what do you get?

A terrible late third-party European release?

Graphics

There’s a decent amount of variety and it’s fairly accomplished pixel-art-wise, but it’s all let down by the decision to make the first world “Slime World” where everything is dark and mostly green, where dark green slime enemies shoot dark green slime at you from their vantage points sat upon dark green slime. So you can’t really see anything.

Sound

Matt Furniss conversion, so there’s lots of 1/16 duty cycle bass and things are quite chippy.

Longevity

The first world of this game must put most people off. That, and the dodgy controls, make it incredibly frustrating. However, once you get past that there’s three more worlds (themes: forest, city, snow) with three stages each. It’ll take about 90 minutes to play through it all.

Plot

Rubbish. Ronald McDonald is creepy as hell, it makes no sense, and the ending is incredibly awful (“GAME OVER” would have been better).

Fun

Frustration abounds in this game. First off, the almost invisible enemies in the first world. Their high-speed almost-invisible projectiles. The need to look up and down at every otherwise-blind jump because there will be an enemy there. Invisible platforms. In the last level, you have to collect every single one of the tiny “M” icons to finish.

Innovation

Technically, it does something slightly interesting with the way the screen is rendered (to get the status bar on-screen while still having two-way scrolling), which was re-used in Cool Spot (which seems to be a retread of the same engine released the following year). The packaging boasts of 1250 frames of animation which is almost believable, but I think they’re counting every sprite in the entire game and then maybe double-counting. (Or it was copy from the Mega Drive version that they left in even though it was wrong.)

Conclusion

Ultimately, the flaws outweigh the good stuff quite substantially, making it overall an unpleasant experience.


Mini Review Ratings