The Mad Scientist Did It Again
by Tibe (2011)
Here it is, it happened again. It fall on our heads like misery on poor people. Now we're getting used to it with SNK, it's not like it was the first time... and at the same time, something tells me it won't be the last either. In short, now you're probably wondering what happened? Oh nothing unusual, a totally insane scientist again fucked up the planet using his briefcase of the perfect little chemist. Jeed, yes that's his name, mad scientist by trade, decided to turn everything that moves into a robot, in order to rule supreme with a army of cyborgs! Then suddenly, we again find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic Earth devastated, having for mission to find a decerebrate wearing a white smock, and incidentally smash all his army. And we love that. Playable two simultaneously, like 99% of Neo Geo games, Robo Army is a nice metallic Beat em up, which like Eight Man or Mutation Nation, is packing a delightful "cyborg" atmosphere!
Besides what we reminds most of the game after playing it for a few hours, it is its soundtrack. It's like if we were back facing Terminator, but this one awaiting us with some friends! Sounds of clashing metal, iron bars, mechanisms, reactors, explosions, robotic voices ... A real high-tech live. The melodies are a mix of electro and rock, futuristic style, sticking pretty good to the action. The atmosphere is at once quite taking, it's like we really were in the twenty-first century (ah but we are already, shit!)... You are offered to play Rocky or Maxima, depending on which controller you have chosen. They're the two cyborg cops in charge of cleaning the world of the villain Jeed and his army. And as you can guess, it won't be easy! There are six stages to clear, unfolding with a progressive difficulty: if the stages one and two are alsmot "piece of cake", right from the third one it turns into a real punishment! We'll have to make good use of our metal punches, but also of our jumped kicks, bombs and missiles! Pick up anything that can be used as weapons will also prove very useful, without omitting some bonus chips we'll find on our way.
With this impressive difficulty, although the game is still quite short, Robo Army turns to be a nasty challenge. It won't be a walk in the park to finish it with the allotted credits! That said, some players may get bored quickly with the action. The range of attacks is unfortunately a bit limited, and if the game is filled with fun with the 'cyborg' atmosphere, the missions are a little repetitive. The cooperative play is there to multiply the pleasure, and associate to destroy mouths in a Beat 'em Up is always a pleasure! The realization for a set of 1991 is good. Besides its excellent soundtrack, the animation is done correctly and shows dynamic. the graphics, they're not bad, still they won't mark the retinas as they're too repetitive and often lack depth. In addition, the designers chose to use a black background band behind the indications for players, which eats up a part of the screen. It's ok with a Super Nintendo or a Genesis, but for a Neo Geo, a fig leaf like that, we wonder why? incapable designer maybe..? or just pretending, more likely.
And once will not hurt, the player a bit demanding that expected - in the most legitimate way - a killing game with this new Beat 'em Up for the Neo Geo, remains puzzled. We wonder how with such capabilities, memory and such talented teams performing arcade games such as Nam-1975, Baseball Stars or Alpha Mission II, we are ultimately granted average BTU, which always lack the little thing that makes the difference. Sengoku was long but too stiff, Burning Fight animation's was fucked up, Ninja Combat was too limited... Anyway, we won't spit on Robo Army either: the game is an opportunity to spend some great time with a friend, and it still offers good sensations. However, this one will not remain in the memories, and it deserves that. RA is far too simplistic and short, and yet I don't mention that the graphics are just passable. Too limited to provide a hit, especially for a game running on the Rolls Royce of videogame systems! Here we have nothing more than a decent game, ideal to let off steam at will!
|Quite simple, and lacking depth at times. 1/5 of the screen is used for life bars. However, it's still good and well drawn, but below what you can expect on the Neo Geo.|
|Animation is well made and fast enough; zooms and other exotic FX occur during combats.|
|The great part of the game! Robotic sounds and clinking metals are thrilling, futuristic vocals and good musics make the soundtrack even better.|
|It takes about thirty-five minutes to clear RA, however beating it is not easy without infinite credits!|
|Not enough different blows and combinations. You can still pick up weapons and send some missiles, but it's a little repetitive.|
|Once more, one good Beat them up on Neo Geo, but far from what we could expect from the machine.|
VALUE FOR MONEY (2011)
Pure players better forget about it. RA costs more or less one hundred euros, depending on the version. It's too expensive for such an average Beat them Up. Instead you have Ninja Combat which is a bit cheaper.