Rescue Mission

Master System

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


We've all been there: A stupid innocent person pops up in the middle of firefight to scream, "Don't shoot me." Either it's a sad testament to the blatant stupidity of the average person, or a cheap gameplay mechanic designed to make a game more difficult. For whatever reason, it seems that designers of light gun games have a tough time finding a way around this. The question here is: Why not make a sequel to Rescue Mission?

Yes, there are still innocent people. Thankfully, they're more intelligent than the average moron. They're soldiers trapped behind enemy lines with only their clothes and a handcart to get them out on the ground. They also have you sitting in front of your screen, Sega's all-powerful Light Phaser in hand.

As they make their way across the tracks, the opposing force heads into action, making any attempt to prevent escape. You're apparently above them in a helicopter since you can follow these unfortunate men on their way to the exit. You'll need to stop enemies from firing missiles (desperate, aren't they?), laying mines on the track, and flipping switches before your fellow soldiers take a path they're not going to be interested in.

This is all a unique change of pace from the usual light gun game, and it's a blast to boot. While the first few stages seems rather mundane and slow paced, it doesn't take long for Rescue Mission to pick up. If you fall behind, the pressure mounts as the poor guy you're trying to save stops to save someone else. That's when things become the most interesting (and enjoyable), and if you need to plow through the first few minute challenges to get there, so be it.

The backdrops are clean, and there's no excuse for missing something that kills the escapee. Flicker and slowdown are never an issue regardless of how many sprites the console is pushing. Each one stands out, and if you hit one of the imprisoned, it's your fault. Bullets are easy to identify. It's not the greatest graphical package; just one that's functional like it needs to be.

For such a tense situation, the music is awfully upbeat. It's completely inappropriate, even if the game is rather lighthearted. There are a few sound effects here that are used simply to confirm you've hit something (or you've failed miserably). The rest don't do anything to enhance the game, yet it would seem barren without them.

After a while, you have to wonder why the enemy keeps trying so hard to stop just a few hostages. At some point, after 300 or so of their troops have been slaughtered, you would think they would back off. Better yet, why are they so content to shoot the one escaping, and not the one shooting them? Strangely, this all seems logical while you're playing. That's a sign you're hooked, and that's the best compliment you can give to a game this simple.


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Last updated: Saturday, July 09, 2005 08:16 AM