Time Lord (NES) review
"Time Lord was released in the Milton Bradley range of games (that included the similarly under-appreciated Digger T. Rock), and received only minimal attention when it came out. I too was among the crowd who really didn't pay this game it's due at that time. I was given this game the same Christmas that I was given Mega Man 2, and I spent so much time on Mega Man's game that Time Lord was given only a few courtesy plays before being put aside for nearly a year. Then, one Autumnal evening, I pick..."
Time Lord was released in the Milton Bradley range of games (that included the similarly under-appreciated Digger T. Rock), and received only minimal attention when it came out. I too was among the crowd who really didn't pay this game it's due at that time. I was given this game the same Christmas that I was given Mega Man 2, and I spent so much time on Mega Man's game that Time Lord was given only a few courtesy plays before being put aside for nearly a year. Then, one Autumnal evening, I picked up Time Lord and played it properly for the first time. All I can say is.... wow!
First off, for all the Doctor Who fans out there, the 'Time Lord' of the title is not the titular Time Lord of that show (unless he's developed a ruthless streak, a muscular frame and a penchant for red vests, in which case the show sure has changed since I last watched an episode!). What the plot does involve is the aforementioned red-vested one travelling through various timezones collecting Orbs in order to foil an alien invasion in the year 3000. Basically this amounts to a beat-em-up with incredible variety in the levels. After a level set in our hero's 'present', that is little more than a prologue, we are transported to a mediaeval castle, a town in the Old West, and so on right through to the Second World War, before returning to 300 to presumable kick alien butt. Yay!!
As mentioned, these levels see you hunting for small red orbs, the locations of which grow steadily more obscure as the levels pass. Four of these can be found in the levels themselves, while the other is in the possession of the level boss. Speaking of bosses, from level two (three counting the prologue) onwards the end-of-level villains have a heart-warming difficulty about them. I have often stated that I miss the difficulty factor that seemed to die out with the advent of the 32-bit systems. If you feel the same way I do then the Old West level's boss will be perfect for you! The game also features a nice touch in which you only have a year to complete your quest, although that is a year in your 'present', and so time moves faster there than in the past (don't ask, just accept), placing a very strict time limit on the game. Brilliant!
The graphics are nothing to write home about (even by NES standards) - it looks like the NES's crusty geriatric beat-em-up Kung-Fu, only with improved backgrounds (scratch that - it's like Kung-Fu, but with backgrounds), although some of the bosses are quite impressively large. The music, too, is fairly uninspiring on the whole, although I must confess that I still on occasion find myself humming the tune that accompanies the Castle level.
Despite the poor presentation (even taking into account the year it was made) this game is unavoidably likeable, to me at least, and it's pure old-school beat-em-up gameplay is sure to win over even the latest generations of gamers. If you like a good challenge then give this game a try (if you can still find it) - don't let it pass you by as I so nearly did.
Community review by tomclark (February 02, 2004)
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