NAM 1975


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7

Ah yes, the launch title. A staple in the video game world for years. If it wasn't for these games, not a single system would ever survive. There's always that one game that comes out the same day as the console does that's a must have, and for the $700 (at the time of course) Neo Geo, that game needed to be something special. While Nam 1975 didn't break any new ground, it showed off why the Geo was the console of choice for those hardcore gamers with endless amounts of cash. SNK took the gameplay of Cabal, dropped a guy into the heart of the Vietnam war, and made one brutally hard, yet stylishly cool shooter. While the game is the farthest thing from being historically accurate, when this much stuff is getting blown up at once, does it really matter? Add in a 2-player mode, and it's got "classic" written all over it.

For a first-gen game, the graphics are a highlight, but it's nothing the SNES couldn't pull off with some programming genius. The animation is an entirely different story however. Hundreds of frames have been stuffed into the cart. Whether it's the enemies being singed to a crisp, blown up into pieces, or simply falling over due to a gunshot wound, you can bet that you'll notice the detail in every frame. Other little details litter the screen like bullets actually making a mark in the ground when hit, but these are far too numerous to mention here. At times, it's tough to see the potential life-taking bullets headed for your character due to the backgrounds, but this usually results in only a few deaths a game, making this a minor complaint at best.

It's rare for a cart to feature so much speech, but thanks to the ridiculous amount of cart space, this game features more that just about any other Geo game. Every cinema features the characters talking and the bosses make sure to taunt you before the conflict. The sound effects are typical of the genre with decent explosions and screams, just don't expect anything out of the ordinary.

The game's major flaw is the ludicrous level of difficulty, mostly due to the game engine itself. It's nearly impossible to judge both your character and crosshair at the same time. Bosses toss insane amounts of ammo at the player and dodging all of them is almost an impossibility. Some of the shots can be picked off before they hit the ground, but this requires flawless timing. Luckily, the generous amount of continues is helpful, but it's still not enough. Oh, and the last boss... well, forget about it.

As the Geo's very first title, this one holds it's place in history and most people probably own it for this fact alone. The outstanding gameplay makes it a worthwhile purchase, but actually beating this one will require a level of dedication unlike any other. Of course, if YOU paid $300 for a single game, would you really want to beat it in one sitting?


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