Mutation Nation


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7

In the late 80's-early 90's, side scrolling fighting fans were among the happiest of gamers. Streets of Rage on the Genesis, Final Fight on the Super NES, and Double Dragon on just about every console you can think of, (not to mention their sequels) were some of the best. Maybe it was because of the outrageous cost of the cart, the lack of many Neo Geo owners, but one of the best went completely overlooked.     

Mutation Nation takes gamers into the heart of a city that has been overrun by hordes of nasty mutants spawned due to a chemical lab explosion. Taking control of 1 of 2 characters (neither one differing from each other), you must face the evils of genetic mutation through 8 levels of non-stop action with or without a second player.      

Fans of the genre owe it to themselves to track down a copy of this game and try it out for some of the tightest gameplay ever put into a side scroller. The power up system is very original and the special moves are extremely effective. Playing with a friend brings more enemies on the screen and can make this already difficult game even harder. As is the norm with most Geo games, the bosses can become insanely difficult at times and the limited continues can simply make this game an exercise in frustration.      

Even with today's polygon pushing consoles, Mutation Nation still manages to look great. The character animation can be stiff (particularly on some of the larger bosses), but the look of the game has a style all it's own. A wide array of mutants will be encountered throughout the game, but repetition is still a problem. The bosses are some of the largest sprites ever put on a video game screen, but as mentioned above, their animation leaves much to be desired.       

The game features the usual array of sound that one would expect from a fighter in it's day. The thwack of a punch and the forgettable sounds of an uppercut are really the only noticeable sound effects in the game. The music features a few moments that are memorable, but the majority is simply there to break up the noise of the punches.        

To put it simply, if you own a Geo (or you know someone who does) and you a die-hard fan of the genre, this is one of the best games the genre has ever seen. Beyond some of the flaws mentioned above, the game still competes with a majority of today's fighters. Then again, there hasn't been a lot of competition for quite some time....


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 09:19 PM