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Conan: The Mysteries of Time (NES) artwork

Conan: The Mysteries of Time (NES) review


"Have you ever been in a serious situation and just started laughing for no apparent reason? You just find amusement in something thatís to be taken seriously but it just comes off as funny. Iíve had situations like this, such as a friend falling of a ledge and breaking a few the bones in his body. I sat over him laughing at his foolishness. You know itís wrong to laugh, but, hell, you live the moment up and make him feel even stupider about his mistake. "



Have you ever been in a serious situation and just started laughing for no apparent reason? You just find amusement in something thatís to be taken seriously but it just comes off as funny. Iíve had situations like this, such as a friend falling of a ledge and breaking a few the bones in his body. I sat over him laughing at his foolishness. You know itís wrong to laugh, but, hell, you live the moment up and make him feel even stupider about his mistake.

This is the case with Conan: The Mysteries of Time; it tries so hard to be a decent game, but youíll just end up shaking your head and laughing at its feeble attempts. What could be so funny about a game that makes an honest attempt to be fun? Could it be the poorly composed background music? Absolutely no control? Or the fact that his loin cloth is a little too short? Well, the last one isn't really of our concern, since Conan keeps it clean and the only thing thatís big on him is his disproportionate upper body.

Letís start at the most practical place, and thatís the game play. Thereís a horrible feature that plagues Conan: The Mysteries of Time, the unbelievably high difficulty level. Youíll have to do a lot just to get past the first boss, the Cerberus. Most people havenít made it past him, and those who did ended up dying next stage anyway. To help out the difficulty are clunky controls and horrible graphics. The controls feel like youíre trying to control a huge car with manual steering going down a bumpy hill. Yes, theyíre that bad. Youíll have to press each button precisely to get the right attack out. Thereís a few different ways to attack. The first one is the kick. The kick is basically where Conan takes his foot and wings it sluggishly at his opponent, oftentimes missing. Then, we have the punch, this is worse than the kick because it doesnít even have any range. The final one is the jump kick. This attack will take a long time to master, as you need to kneel down, press up and then the kick button. Conan will then levitate off the ground with his foot in MID AIR and miss whatever he was aiming for. Also, as you can see, the names of these attacks are extremely innovative.

The reason I say youíre going to have to press them precisely is because each attack takes forever to execute. For instance, if you do a kick, Conan will just stand there for a few seconds while his archaic brain comprehends the message, raises his foot a little bit, and finally misses the enemy. Youíll have to plan out when youíre going the button to attack so the blow will land. The same goes with the punch, expect its range is horrible. Landing a jump kick is out of this world, never even try to do that. Sometimes, even though the hit clearly bashed the enemy in the face, no damage will be dealt. Why? Poor programming.

You see, Conan: The Mysteries of Time is another game that tried to sell based of its association with the movie. This is even more apparent once you see how rushed the backgrounds are. In fact, the first stage is all black. Thatís it, just black in the background. The foreground will be covered with red looking stalagmites and stalactites. I never knew these things were bright red until I played Conan.. At the bottom of this ďhellĒ is some fire thatís jumping around. You fall into the fire, YOU DIE. The level will start over for you.

The second stage will bring us to an Arabian desert where he must make his way past running witless fools with swords and stubby legs. Conan, having a larger upper body, will defeat these guys with ease, seeing as he just pounds them with his barbaric fist. BUT WAIT! Sometimes these guys will drop an item that can help Conan out. Swords, Pitchforks, Holy Crosses (donít think Castlevania) and Fireballs. What are all these for? You use them on another enemy to acquire a weapon(s) thatíll kill the that stageís boss. Thatís all you do! Punch, Bash, slash and pound your way through each stage in the game. The fact that you canít control what heís doing three-fourths of the time is what makes this an exercise in tedium. To think, if the first level is hard, you can only imagine how difficult the game becomes during the last stage: the pyramid. Mummies will come from all sides and youíll have to kill them to defeat the other guys to make to the boss. Sound complicated? Add in his inability to jump properly under pressure and it gets really hard. Conan jumps for like 10 feet straight, then just drops like a rock. Horrible, horrible game. No body should have to live through Conan, and I mean nobody.

The sad thing? This game is rather rare for the Nintendo, so itíll cost a pretty penny to pick up. You can illegally acquire it, but I donít recommend that because Iím the noble reviewer. Your best bet is to just stay far, far away.

Rating: 1/10

sclemmons's avatar
Community review by sclemmons (January 23, 2004)

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