Review by Yoshimaster
A bizzare game, but loads of fun
Wrecking crew was one of Mario's earlier games, when it seemed like he was unsure of what job to take. It's a far cry from his more famous acheivements like Mario Bros, in which the objective is to knock out all the enemies by jumping. In fact, there is no jumping in Wrecking Crew. The objective is merely to destroy everything that stands inside a building before moving on to the next, while avoiding enemies. However, this is harder than it sounds.
Like many puzzle games, Wrecking Crew requires a specific method for clearing a stage, so it's not just mind-less brick bashing. For example, if you knock out a concrete ladder, you can't reach the top levels and therefore cannot clear the stage. Enemies riddle the stages, as well, and these add to the difficulty. If you enter an area next to a wall, where there's no ladder, and an enemy is right behind you, you're screwed. Also, if you destroy a support right below a barrel, the barrel will drop, and you or one of your enemies can be trapped inside. Clearing stages takes thinking in advance, and usually, many tries.
The graphics are average for the NES, and adequate for understanding the objective. The coloration of bricks determines how many hits it will take to knock that part of the wall down, for example. The only downfall in the graphics department is in the two-player mode, where the second player isn't colored like Luigi, but rather, like a darker Mario.
The music is average as well, but the sounds are somewhat lacking. There's the smashing sound, the falling sound, and little else.
This game's replay value is high, probably even higher than Mario Bros'. There's a huge number of levels in this game, and the difficult goes through the roof by the time you get to the later ones. This game is guaranteed to keep you puzzled for hours. When you're stuck, the ability to choose stages is an indispensible help.
When you don't feel like smashing the game's premade levels, there's an extra feature which sends the replay value soaring: the ability to design your own levels. This is fun beyond belief, especially once you play your levels yourself.
On top of the challenging stages and custom stages, the game features a two-player mode, in which you and a friend can cooperate to clear a stage. Bonus levels are a plus as well.
Wrecking Crew is an excellent choice if you're looking for a simple yet challenging game on the NES. Underrated? Definitely. If you can find this game, get it by all means.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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