Review by JHarring
Reviewed: 05/12/00 | Updated: 05/12/00
A fresh concept on the NES, but the game is over much too fast
Rescue: The Embassy Mission from Kemco is an attempt at trying something new on the NES. Most NES games were your basic side-scrolling shooters or punch-and-kickers or Mario-style boppers. So instead of having a single superpowered hero take on legions of enemies, you'll have your team of agents strategically assault the embassy (which has been taken over by terrorists) through stealth and tactics. There is a sequence of events that occurs, and each event is a different type of gameplay. This adds some variety to the game, but unfortunately each event is really short.
The game plays out like this. You've got your three agents on the street, and three agents that land on the roof via helicopter. A hand-drawn map tells you exactly where each guy needs to go. Your street agents need to get to their respective sniper positions in buildings near the embassy. However, the terrorists are constantly sweeping the street with searchlights. Thus, this part of the game requires stealth. As you move along the street, you can hide in doorways or over short walls, where you can't be seen. You can also crawl or roll under searchlights at head level. It's a series of run-hide-run movements as you try your best to avoid the searchlights, which move in preset patterns. Of course, being seen causes the agent to be gunned down, but successfully making it to his position means he's in the clear.
When that's finished, the other three agents land on the roof. They need to enter the embassy, but your snipers can help them out first. If any of the street agents successfully made it, they can use their sniper rifles from their safe positions to try to kill as many terrorists as possible before the roof agents enter the building. Using the scope on the sniper rifle, you scroll around the face of the building, which has nine windows on each side. If you see a terrorist, you carefully line up the crosshairs and shoot him. Once your snipers have done all they can, it's time for the roof agents to do their thing.
Since they're on the roof, they have to rappel into the building through a window. You can choose which side of the building you want to enter. Rappeling requires careful, controlled movements, and if you mess up, your guy falls to the ground *splat*. But if you're careful enough, you'll rappel down to a window, and then you can crash through it with your feet and enter the embassy.
This last part of the mission requires you to kill all the terrorists in the building, while also rescuing any hostages. This part takes place in a quasi-FPS mode, and you have a radar that tells you the locations of the terrorists and the hostages. You don't have to worry about aiming your gun or anything, because if a terrorist is in front of you, all you have to do is fire. Once you've completed this part, the mission is over and you are ranked based on your performance.
Even with these different gameplay sections, the game is very short. You have a maximum of around 18 minutes to complete the mission, but it won't usually take that long. This is the game's biggest flaw - its (lack of) length. Since there's no other missions or ways to change the sequence of events, the coolness wears off very quickly.
With the different gameplay sections, there are a variety of perspectives in the game. There's a side-view on the street, sniper rifle view, and the FPS view inside the embassy. There's some pretty good animation on the street, but inside the embassy everything is stuttered. Because the NES can't really handle an FPS, you're basically moving in squares and can face one of four different directions. The terrorists are also moving, so sometimes they instantly appear in front of you and leave just as quickly. It's annoying, but there's not a whole lot the designers could have done about it. The graphics are dark and moody with some pretty good detail, especially in the sniper mode.
The music that plays is appropriately tense and subdued, but still not very good. The sound effects of breaking glass and bullets are really nothing special.
In each gameplay section, there's a different control scheme. Your agents respond pretty well, but sometimes the controls feel very limited. There's not really a whole lot to do in each section; usually you're just moving and pressing one button to perform an action. In the FPS mode, the controls become a little difficult, especially if you're in the same room as a terrorist, but he's not in front of you.
There are three difficulty levels in the game, but you'll usually be able to beat the mission pretty easily. Even if none of your snipers make it, the three roof guys can pretty much clean up the embassy. There's really not much to the game once you've seen everything.
Replay Value: 3.0
Keeping with the theme of the review, there's not much to go back for once you've seen and done everything. There's actually five different missions, but they all have the same sequence of events. The game is just too short and easily beaten to make it last for any length of time. It's worth checking out to see something new on the NES, but it's by no means a keeper.
Rescue: The Embassy Mission would be a much better game if it wasn't over so darn fast. You wonder how much more they could have put into this cart. Still, it's worth a look or two.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
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