Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 11/26/01 | Updated: 11/26/01

Action with a freak....oh..and the Predator is here too..

Based somewhat on the movie that featured a freak and the Predator, the NES conversion of this movie comes of with a few hitches and several degrees of difficulty that really make a game of this type hard to play and even harder to understand. Platform gaming at it’s mediocre best and giving way to insane difficulty and confusing story line, Predator is a game that is best left to die hard NES fans who are into games that take a lot of time and a lot of patience to complete! Through several stages that have no bearing on the movie what so ever, you’ll find that playing through the Predator is like taking a trip tot he dentist and having a root canal without getting the gas first to numb the pain. The game play is difficult and requires precision timing while the visuals change pace from side scrolling platforming to close and personal action but fails to deliver on both counts!

The game play is harder than hell to deal with after the first five missions with small and hard to hit enemies that seem to know when and where to be so you can’t hit them. In between certain missions, you’ll find that the game takes another twist when you’re thrust into a small and personal world in which you deal with a heavily deformed Arnold who has to go through a side scrolling action sequence! The weapons that you pick up will help you to get through the various stages, but only if you take the time to learn just where it will go and what it will hit and even that is only in the platform stages. In the close up stages, you’ll have to collect different weapon power up bubbles that range from being either very helpful or down right useless depending on if you know how to use them. In these stages, you’ll face off against the Predator whom you never really kill, but drive off to await you on another stage! The platform stages are hard to get through because you’ll have to jump just right to hit the super narrow platforms and if you manage to do that, you have to deal with flying enemies that are looking to knock you off and send you to your death. Other than this, there really isn’t much else to the game except dealing with extreme difficulty that comes across in the later stages of the game. If you manage to make it all the way through without cheating and without warping, then let me know so I can congratulate you!

The control is stiff and unresponsive which makes Arnold move like a stick figure that doesn’t have any sort of life to it. Different weapons take a little practice to work with and use correctly, but trying to use these weapons while moving is something that is damn near impossible to do in certain areas that you’ll throw the controller more than once in frustration! Expert platform gamers will have trouble simply because your character doesn’t move fast enough or in the right way to keep you moving through the game and beginners to this particular genre will have absolutely no way to learn the steep control that is needed to make it through the stages. When you compile all of this together, you’ve got a game that doesn’t do much good in terms of creating a user friendly environment to play through, especially when you can’t jump just right to make it through the environments themselves!

Visually, the game is one hair shy away from being terrible. The detailing of the stage is hard to watch and with most of the color schemes, you’ll find that a certain amount of leeway is needed in order to appreciate the amount of work that went into creating this title. However, when you play through the close side scrolling stages, there isn’t a reason for Arnold to be a bright pink color and the rest of the stage made to look like a bad LSD trip! The platforming stages have one thing that puts them down another notch and that is the fact that in some of the areas, you don’t ever know if you’re jumping on something that is a ledge or you’re just jumping out into space. This is yet another example of why you need extreme leeway to appreciate the game’s visuals.

Audio wise, the game has a quiet tone to it that really seem to bring out a slightly mysterious aspect of the game that you wouldn’t expect in a game that is supposed to be action from start to finish. What the music track does do, is to loop from stage to stage and never really change enough to where you could appreciate what the game music sounds like! Something about the haunting way the music streams out is enough to make me hit the mute button, as it doesn’t make me want to complete the game, but lay down and go to sleep without really thinking about it. The sound effects of the game are so minimal that you really can’t hear them over the music that leaves you wondering just what in the hell the game is really supposed to sound like!

Predator is a game that isn’t like many others, but not in a good way. Playing as the freak through several stages of nerve wracking platform gaming and with several levels of difficulty that just don’t seem to quit, you’ll find yourself wondering just why you have this game! The visuals are mismatched and even though the far away side scrolling is expansive, there is nothing that will captivate your interest. The audio is mismatched as well leaving you with the control that isn’t much better and in all respects, some of the worst in the NES library! NES fans should avoid this game and go for something that offers both a sense of quality and fun while retaining a reasonable challenge. Predator does none of those things and if for the fact that it has the Predator, it wouldn’t be worth whizzing on if it were on fire.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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