Time Killers


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 1

Sound: 2

Gameplay: 0.5

Overall: 1

animated gif by Genesis Project

Who could ever forget the great debate on video game violence? Actually, it's still going on thanks to games like Grand Theft Auto III, but the originator of the term was Midway's Mortal Kombat. The outrage amongst parents began and every company wanted a piece of the marketers dream, controversy. A one-on-one fighter hurled onto the arcade scene shortly after the release of MK, causing all of those video game hating parents to gasp at the depictions of decapitated limbs, heads, and blood spewing combos. This was the god-awful excuse for a game, reviewed here, Time Killers.

8 characters are available to players from the start, a decent number for it's day. Almost all of them are useless with the exception of the chainsaw wielding maniac Rancid. Each character comes from a different era of time (Hence, the title) and include a caveman, mutant bug-alien-thing, a knight, a Viking, an ancient China warlord, and 2 futuristic warriors.

Once in the game, it's simply a matter of hacking and slashing your way through the enemy (literally) as quickly as possible as one-hit kills are the norm. Hacking off a characters arms will limit there attacks to weak kicks, leaving them wide open to anything you throw at them. Mashing buttons will usually result in a special move that will decapitate and dismember your opponent with a viscous combo. Thanks to the faulty controls, this is about the only way to pull off anything but the most basic of moves. The first few times you see body parts fly, it can be amusing. It's when players realize there's no substance that they'll quickly move on to greener pastures. Actually, had it not been for the gore factor, there wouldn't be a single reason for this game to enter your console.

The arcade version of this game looked decent, but the translation to the classic 16-bitter has ruined any highlights. The backgrounds are mess of colors and the animation is laughably bad. The characters are smaller than those in Street Fighter II for the Genesis, and lack any of the detail Capcom's classic had. The blood still flows freely, but it has been toned down slightly and is hard to see in some backgrounds, making the highlight of the game not even a factor.

A majority of the voices remain from the arcade version, but coming out of the Genesis, you'd be better off listening to old, scratched, and dirty phonograph records. The music is hardly noticeable and not worth the time it took to program it into the game. The assortment of weapon clashes and other sound effects have been lifted directly from T*HQ's sound library. Any hardcore gamer will recognize them from at least 10 other (and better) games. 

Had this game played even little better, it could've easily turned a group of politicians and sensitive parents into a raging mob. Not that it should surprise anybody, but the game was on schedule for the SNES, but was quietly dropped due to the violent content. There is some limited fun here, but you'll have to have a whole lotta patience to find it. Chopping a few heads off may be relaxing after a long day, but at least do it in something like Mortal Kombat. This one should only be purchased by collectors looking to complete the Genesis library, everyone else needs to stay away.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 06:36 AM