Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Dr. Chaos", NES, 1988

The terrific artwork for this game jumped out at me as I was scanning the ads, though it's a bad sign that its name didn't ring any bells in the mind of this onetime emulation fiend. Likely then it was unexceptional, neither a great game nor a terrible one, but perhaps a median, run-of-the-mill NES game from the median developer FCI.
Do you dare open the doors to doom? The warp zone experiments of the brilliant Dr. Chaos have gone horribly wrong. They've unleashed armies of bloodthirsty creatures, trapping him in his remote research facility. Now only his brother Michael can rescue him. To succeed, Michael must brave a haunted house filled with vicious monsters. Can he fight his way through dangerous passageways? Track down the concealed weapons? Find the secret vials of strength? And assemble the ultimate weapon, Canbarian?
  • Thriller graphics
  • Three different screen patterns
  • Graphic score pad tracks life force, weapons found, weapons in use
  • Memory capacity saves your score and restarts the game at any point.

I might just be prejudiced, but if my last name was Chaos, after I earned my PhD I'd probably stay out of the bloodthirsty creature business -- it would just be too much of a cliche. Still, it's refreshingly rare to have the cause of the problem and the victim in need of rescuing be the same person! Some of those selling points make me a bit dubious, though. Your graphic score pad and three different screen patterns don't impress me! And the bit about the memory capacity restarting the game at any point makes it sound a bit like it randomly reboots. Canbarian warrants a snark, and the WCW t-shirt tie-in warrants two, but I can't be bothered at the moment. You might notice that things have been slow here lately; we've just had a baby (anticipation of which precipitated the scanning and dispersal of the comic book collection) and the pace will probably remain sedate into the future. But when I get a spare moment, I look forward to continuing this Quixotic look back!