Blue Lightning

Jaguar CD

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 1

Sound: 2

Gameplay: 1

Overall: 1

There are times when, we, as gamers, have played "that" game. A game that defies all logic. A game that no human being should ever have to endure. "That" game is Blue Lightning for the Jaguar CD. A game so horrifying that it hurts just to look at the disc. A game that does nothing right and should've never been released to the market, let alone paid for by some poor soul looking for software for their new CD console.

Blue Lightning was a decent Afterburner style game for Atari's ill-fated Lynx and probably one of the more memorable game for the console. The Jaguar CD version makes no connection between the two games and tries to create it's own unique story. The designers took the easy route and used the old "guy wants to rule world with massive army-your the only one who can stop him" routine which is fine for a game like this as the story rarely comes into play. Taking control of the jet of your choosing, the game puts you up against an onslaught of tanks, helicopters, planes, and missile launchers through numerous similar looking stages.

The games graphics are the first noticeable flaw. The CG cinemas don't look too bad, but the in-game graphics are downright disgusting. From a behind-the-plane view, players stare down the enemies pixelated tanks and choppers with a choppy mode-7 effect. The graphics are so horrendous, it's hard to distinguish enemies from trees. It makes it even tougher when trees explode after being hit with a few machine gun bullets, making players think they've wiped out a tank armada. Buildings zoom into view as a pixelated mess, resembling anything but a building. Don't even get me started on rocks and mountains.....

Controlling your jet is not only a chore, but it's made even harder due to the pitiful collision detection. It's baffling to hit a building head on with your plane when it's not even close to your jet and trying to avoid gunfire is impossible thanks to the ultra-sensitive controls. Your throttle is adjusted using the 1 and 3 buttons, forcing players to stop shooting to adjust their speed, usually resulting in a few free hits for computer. The games AI isn't exactly difficult, but their aim is uncanny. Not shooting one of them within the first second they appear on screen is a huge mistake and impossible-to-dodge missiles begin flying directly at your jet.

80's style rock fits the game well, giving a Top Gun feel to an otherwise pathetic excuse for a video game. The gunfire and missiles sound just like you would expect and a cart could've easily handled the speech. While on the topic of speech, it must also be noted that the "help" you'll be receiving from your home base is laughable. You'll hear "Avoid the missiles" right after you've been blasted and "Shoot down the enemy" when they appear on screen.

I've played a lot of bad games in my 15 years as a gamer. Who could forget such atrocities like Total Recall (NES), The Crow (PSX), or of course, E.T. (2600). Another game can now be officially included into the video game hall of shame. Just like the games mentioned above, nothing is done right in Blue Lightning and there are no redeeming features that make it worth popping into your system. As a final nail-in-the-coffin, they couldn't even spell "world" correctly on the back of the case. At least the Jag CD has a really cool CD player...


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Last updated: Saturday, December 04, 2004 08:59 AM