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Insector X (Genesis) artwork

Insector X (Genesis) review


"This isn't the Insector X, from the arcade, that also made the trip to the NES. Gone are the stupidly cutesy characters, replaced by a more serious bunch. The game is still a lame horizontal shooter though - that much hasn't changed. "



This isn't the Insector X, from the arcade, that also made the trip to the NES. Gone are the stupidly cutesy characters, replaced by a more serious bunch. The game is still a lame horizontal shooter though - that much hasn't changed.

It's still about shooting robot bugs. All manner of flying and crawling bugs will beset you, and you've got to kill all of them in your path. There's probably more to the story. Perhaps there is a tale of lost love and ruthless ambition and incestuous lovemaking at the core of it all. And perhaps not. You don't care as you read this review, and I care even less having played the game.

All the expected shooter conventions are present, if only in the most perfunctory fashion possible: the checkpoints from which to restart when you die, the handful of weapons and the speed ups earned through wasting the right power up carrying bugs, the big bosses to close out levels.

There are very colourful visuals on display in Insector X, I'll give it that. But the actual graphic detail is sorely lacking, and the environs are an unimaginative set. The music isn't even worth mentioning, so I've just paid it the highest compliment - I mentioned it.

At first, I thought the high level of challenge found in Insector X made it a viable shooter option, keeping it out of the disposable shooter graveyard where its bland presentation longs to put it. But then I realized that it's only difficult at times because your character is so large.

Indeed, your bug-exterminating crusader makes himself quite the target, and the game often requires bullet slipping of you, which is unreasonable given his size. This isn't any sort of real level of challenge, but rather an inane bit of programming showing its ass.

If it's an insect-themed shooter you're looking for, Cyber Core for the Turbografx-16, while not spectacular, is a much better bet. Of course, that's assuming you have that fairly obscure console, and you probably don't. I can only hope that you are not so enamoured with the insect world that you are lusting hard and wet over a shooter that features bugs.

If you are, you're out of luck, and out of your mind. Because on the whole, Insector X mostly plays like a poor checkpoint-based, clunky clone of Thunder Force III, only without the nice sights and sounds, and inspired enemies and intense scenarios. Better that you play that game instead. And see someone about your roach infested love nest - believe me, she won't like it.

Rating: 3/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (November 26, 2003)

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