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Zack Zero (PC) artwork

Zack Zero (PC) review

"It has its ups, it has a lot of downs...but it isnít so broken as to be unplayable."

Zack Attack
Zack Zero is an action / platforming game that is okay...but with a lot of flaws. The storyline isnít too involving, but sets you up as Zack having to rescue his girlfriend, Marlene, from the evil Zulrog. Itís told through comic book-ish cutscenes with a narrator that wouldnít even be able to work in B-movies...which can either be painful or somewhat comical depending on your outlook. Youíll travel through 10 levels of 2.5D excitement using Zackís special suit that gives him elemental powers. In addition to your ďnormalĒ mode, you will get to use the powers of rock, fire, and ice. There are a couple of handy and cool abilities like fireís ability to air surf and iceís ability to slow time...however, most of the suitís abilities arenít too much of an upgrade over the normal suitís powers in combat. The game makes a half-hearted attempt at having RPG elements by making you level your suit up...but youíll get the important abilities right from the get-go. The game is short, lasting 4-6 hours and offers some fun...but will likely offset that with a lot of frustration as well.

Looks Arenít Everything
Okay, letís go ahead and cover the only real redeeming quality of the game, which is the environments and the general look. For an indie game especially, this game looks pretty awesome. A lot of people donít like the comic book-ish cutscenes, but I thought that they worked well with the overly bad narrator giving it a sort of corny / cheezy charm to it. The in-game graphics look okay, but some of the environment were really awe-inspiring. I especially likes some of the cave levels near the middle where I think the game really reaches its climax. However, how the game looks is pretty much the only great thing it has going for it. The basic gameplay is bland. It isnít bad, but the ďcombatĒ is repetitive, and using the suits powers doesnít reward you outside of looks and score, and itís actually easier to fight some enemies using your normal attacks. The platforming sections donít get much better as a lot of them are standard jumping affairs rarely requiring the use of the suits powers. In fact, clever use of the suits powers really trivializes or just flat out eliminates some of the hoops the game hopes youíll jump through.

Now letís tackle the two big baddies of this game...the confusing 2.5D and the bugs (and Iím not talking about the kind you squash). Like I said, the game looks great, but the designers went with a 2.5D game that frequently has you moving into and out of the fore and backgrounds. The bad part is that you can rarely tell exactly what is the fore and background and exactly where you can and cannot jump to. This will lead to a lot of jumping onto nothing as you discover that the ďplatformĒ you wanted to jump to is actually environment. Worse yet, is that sometimes the game confuses itself and lets you jump somewhere you werenít supposed to and need to restart. As bad as the confusing 2.5D is, it isnít nearly as bad as some of the bugs in the game. Sometimes the game will clip you into an area that you werenít meant to go...meaning you either just skipped a whole bunch or youíll have to restart...hopefully. If you find your way to a savepoint you could actually get saved to an area you canít escape making the game unwinnable...meaning youíll have to start from a brand new game if you want to do anything else. This actually happened to me, and forced me to stop trying to explore and start trying to find the path that the game meant for me to take as I really did NOT want to start another game. There are also a lot of other issues that many other players have experienced ranging from haywire textures to the game not being able to start at all.

Zack Zero (PC) image

Zack is Kinda Wack
I really wanted to give this game a higher score, but the final bug of not getting the achievement for finding all the hidden treasures (yes, relatively minor, but something Iíd been looking forward to getting...more so than beating the game) was just the final straw. The game had a couple fun levels, but was mostly sort of mindless and uninspired. Overall, Zack Zero is a 5/10. It has its ups, it has a lot of downs...but it isnít so broken as to be unplayable. Iíd recommend this to anyone who is a huge fan of platformers and finds it on sale.


Never3ndr's avatar
Community review by Never3ndr (July 24, 2014)

Retro-Gaming Enthusiast!

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