Toxic Crusaders (Genesis) review
"Oh good grief. Not content with producing some of the worst movies in cinema history, the team from Troma Films give us one of the worst videogames ever made. Yes Toxic Crusader is dreadful, awful, mind-bogglingly cack-handed and utterly devoid of any merit whatsoever. So never play it. "
Oh good grief. Not content with producing some of the worst movies in cinema history, the team from Troma Films give us one of the worst videogames ever made. Yes Toxic Crusader is dreadful, awful, mind-bogglingly cack-handed and utterly devoid of any merit whatsoever. So never play it.
Oh you want actually want reasons? Wasn’t the word “Troma” warning enough? Then come with now gentle reader as I introduce you to the world of the Toxic Crusader.
The Toxic Crusader is based on a 1986 Troma film, “The Toxic Avenger”. This film told the heart-warming tale of a young man called Melvin who lived in a town called Tromaville. He is weakling who is the bullied by the jocks who work out at the gym he is the janitor for. One day he gets dumped in a vat of Toxic Waste and emerges a hulk like green superhero with a deformed face. He is gripped with the urge to rid Tromaville of all evil scum and sets off to fight the good fight with his trusty mop. He carves a bloody trail though the towns local corrupt politicians, punk gangs and drug pushers, while finding time to fall in love with a beautiful and conveniently blind local girl. She of course loves him in return when he saves her after her seeing-eye dog gets blown away during a Taco store stick-up and they live happily ever after in the middle of a garbage dump.
So that’s the film. Sounds quite funny in a so-bad-its good, kind of way. But actually it’s so bad it’s BAD, like everything Troma puts out. Not even fun in an ironic way, and the game based on it sticks to these treasured Troma values by being a heap of steaming crap.
The game sees you take on the role of the Toxic Avenger, for some reason he is renamed Crusader for this game. The plot is basically he this; he is on his way to meet up with his girlfriend for a hot weekend and some baddies drop down from outer space and start trashing Tromaville. So it’s up to the Toxic Crusader to defeat them. Thus you start the first level. Armed with your mop and on a motorised skateboard you fly at breakneck speed through waves of aliens shooting at them, in the manner of a side scrolling shooter like R-type (sort of). You can also get off the skateboard and fight them hand to hand with your mop.
So this is where the first problems arise. While riding the skateboard you go so fast it’s impossible to hit any enemy enough times to damage them. You just hurtle past them, dodging around them and the cars that drive down the road. You are going so fast that you need inhuman reflexes to avoid everything that is being thrown at you. It also means you can get though most of the level without actually having to kill anything.
So if you decide to get of the skateboard and face the baddies head on you must press jump to dismount. This flings you across the screen and you have no control over where you land, so you usually wind up getting hit by a car. Then you have to be very careful not to go anywhere near the skateboard as the slightest touch will see you remount (even if you didn’t want to) and flying off again, usually into another car.
Combat is carried out by stabbing one button and watching your character do a lame swipe with his mop. Sometimes you’ll pull off a super-leaping mop attack, but this is usually more by luck than judgement. Plus if you stay in one spot for more than about five seconds fighting a baddie, a car’ll hit you! Which will floor you, but mysteriously pass though the enemy, grrrrrr.
Talking of enemies, the graphics are feeble in the extreme. The Toxic Crusader himself looks like a lanky green monkey and these fearsome enemies are badly drawn things in spacesuits shooting terrifying yellow balls at you and Punks attack you too, for some odd reason. Maybe they are space punks? Huh. Actually your most terrible enemy is the turbo boosted VW Beetle/Bug car that runs you over if you stay put for too long (ie. A nano-second). This kind of defeats the object of the game as trying to take on and kill all the enemies is made virtually impossible without getting squished by something you can’t destroy and you end up getting back on the skateboard and speeding to the levels end as fast as you can. On other levels you don't get the skateboard, this just prolongs he agony as you plod, plod, plod collecting Toxic waste power-ups and thwacking things with your mop. One level was even underwater and the excitement nearly killed me.
So you’re speeding down a flat, blandly drawn highway. Enemies wander about aimlessly and identical cars run past you at the speed of light trying to kill you. What could make the experience even less enjoyable than music that sounds like a tone-deaf chimp, playing chopsticks on a Bontempi Organ? Well done Troma! This game is as excruciating aurally as it is visually.
Bizarrely Toxic Avenger is considered the high point of Troma’s filmic output. Now when you consider they have also produced such classics (!) as “Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid”, “Surf Nazi’s Must Die” and “The Class of Nuke ‘em High”, that isn’t much to be proud of. With this game, Troma have shown that their noxious influence is not confined to the cinema and TV screen. This is a worthless game with no redeeming features. Non-existent plot, pathetic sound and visuals and an overall feeling of having been robbed of valuable minutes of your life that’ll you’ll never get back. Actually in this respect it captures the experience of a Troma film very well.
Why Sega saw fit to allow this piece of garbage on their console is a mystery to me. A Troma fan might get a kick out of it, but anyone else should steer clear. At least we should be thankful Troma didn’t decide to release a game based on “Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid”. There are some standards left in the world.
Community review by falsehead (March 08, 2004)
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