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Mutant Rampage: BodySlam (CD-i) artwork

Mutant Rampage: BodySlam (CD-i) review


"Well, it's a beat'em up, that's almost a good thing, I guess.."


I'd bet that most of you would never believe that the CD-i ever received a beat'em up game on the system but it managed to. It seemed that Philips finally realized that pushing their game console as a multimedia only system was not working and late in its life cycle they started releasing real games for it that used a real controller and actually had some depth to the game play. Philips outsourced this game to Animation Magic, creators of the infamous trio of Zelda games, who set out to make what turns out to be another playable yet mediocre game. When it was all said and done most of the "real games" not all of them, mind you, were ultimately mediocre, this one included, but at least they gave CD-i owners enough substance to at least sink their teeth into.

Mutant Rampage: Bodyslam starts you out with another one of those weak and derivitive storylines told by ultra campy animated video. You take the role of three humans in the future. Humans are considered inferior now to genetically created mutants. Now that the world is overrun by mutants it's your job to defeat them and prove that normal humans are fully capable of being the top race in the world. You have to traverse across ten stages each broken down into several small areas and defeat a boss at the end of each of the stages. The game's biggest flaw is its length. In order to finish the game you're looking at spending about three hours from start to finish. The game does have a save feature allowing you to continue where you left off but you start with the lives you had so if you're not having a good game then saving ain't gonna do you a bit of good at all.

Mutant Rampage: BodySlam (CD-i) image

The three playable characters, two male and one female are your typical fare. The female is fast but weak, one character is the jack of all trades middle strength and speed and the final is the slow tough guy that can drain enemies' health in a fury. Once you select a player then it lets you select any of the first three stages of the game, giving you some variety in the game play. As you progress through the stages you will occasionally see a tag spot. If you stand on this and press jump then you will go to a character select screen and be able to select one of the other characters. This gives the game a lot of strategy as the characters in reserve will slowly restore their lost health. One other neat feature that stood out is that when you kill the last enemy in an area he will fly up into the air and you can keep attacking him and juggling him in the air and every time you hit the enemy without it touching the ground a small portion of your health will be restored.

The above features are all fine and dandy but unfortunately the game if full of flaws. To start, many of the enemies are very fast and cheap often having projectiles that are hard to dodge. It's also very easy for them to gang up on you and drain lives quickly since your life bar is drained so quickly. The flying enemies are especially hard to hit as you have to stand still right in front of them and jump and kick them out of the air but they more often than not hit you with a projectile before you hit them. Weapons can be picked up and they are your best friend as you can plow through enemies pretty easily while the weapon lasts. Most of the bosses also have the same patterns and don't change up much and unless they have projectiles they are all pretty easy to take down and also rather boring. The collision detection is also very hit or miss here too and you'll miss enemies pretty often which leaves you wide open for counter attacks. All of this combined with the overly long length make this game one tedious and boring game to sit through all the way.

The graphics and visuals would've guaranteed this game to never get a release on any on Nintendo's or Sega's consoles; at least not a heavily uncensored or edited version that it. Some of the female mutants in the animated scenes are very scantily clad and don't leave a lot to the animation. There are female centaur enemies that don't have any clothes on and you can definitely see more than you should. Another enemy turns around, pulls his pants down, and farts green gas at you exposing his buttocks in the process. There's also many more like this and while tame by today's standards, it would've never have flown back then. The opening intro movie is pretty well done, a bit grainy but sets the ultra cheesy tone for the game. The stage intros have the coinciding boss handing out insults. They are decently done but most of the enemies are almost cut and pasted in the movies and there's not much variety there. The in game graphics are very detailed the backgrounds, though a bit grainy, look like they're painted and have a decent variety but are a bit too bright and colorful and could've used a darker tone. The character sprites also have a lot of detail and a ton of animation but are choppy and a bit rough and jerky most of the time giving the game a very unpolished look and feel to it.

Mutant Rampage: BodySlam (CD-i) image

The audio is also a mixed bag here. The sound effects are pretty mediocre all around. There aren't many sound effects for the entire game and what's here is repetitive at best. There are only a couple of different sound effects for the punches and kicks and other attacks and they lack any substance and sound weak and make the game sound corny. The music is an interesting bit. If you've played at least a handful of CD-i games then you should be very familiar with the style of this game's music. It fits the corny and lighthearted mood of the game but doesn't seem to know what genre it's aiming for. There's a lot of elevator music here, some bluesy jazz, some heavy metal and it has traces of other styles too. Some of the tunes were pretty catchy and helped moved the game along at a better pace but others were just too laid back and boring to enjoy.

Mutant Rampage: Bodyslam is a nice try on the programmers' behalf and has a few good points and game play elements going for it that made this game unique over the other beat'em ups of the time but the bad just outweighs the good here the most notable point being the game taking too long to finish and the lack of variety of the enemies. If you're asking if you should buy it that all depends on who you are. If you're one who has that unusual liking for the CD-i and are tired of the mundane educational and puzzle based games that are so prevalent on the system or are a huge beat'em up fan in general then this game might have something to offer you. If you don't like the CD-i and don't like the genre in general then this won't keep you interested for long so you should pass.

2/5

vgc2000's avatar
Community review by vgc2000 (September 20, 2017)

vgc2000's more extensive backlog of reviews can be found on GameFaqs. But some now live here.

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