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Ground Zero Texas (Sega CD) artwork

Ground Zero Texas (Sega CD) review

"Before I tackle this vile piece of software in detail I'd like to indulge in a bit of historical scene setting, just to hammer home how awful this ''game'' is. "

Before I tackle this vile piece of software in detail I'd like to indulge in a bit of historical scene setting, just to hammer home how awful this ''game'' is.

Once upon a time a company called Sega made a brilliant 16 bit console called the Genesis (megadrive in the UK). Lots of great games came out on this console and Sega became a powerful and respected player in the games market. For some time it looked liked they might even take over from the mighty Nintendo who had delayed the launch of their 16 bit console until it was almost too late to catch Sega.

Sega decided they needed to stay one step ahead of Nintendo. ''Graphics will be our weapon'' they cry, ''that's what the average punter wants more than anything else, games that look good''. So it came to pass that two very ill-conceived peripherals were created to boost the graphical power of the aging Genesis console. There was the 32X, but that's too painful to talk about. Then came the Sega CD. Initially this was a clunky big CD drive that you clipped your Genesis on top of, later it came in a sleek all-in-one unit. It looked great, CD based gaming was the future of gaming and Sega had got in there first. Their future was assured.

Well it was an unmitigated disaster. Over-priced, underpowered and a selection of the most bowel-clenchingly awful games ever to be foisted on the general public saw Sega's reputation ruined. It's possible to say that Sega as a hardware manufacturer never really recovered from the blow the failure of the Sega CD dealt the company.

Why such a disaster then? Well at the same time that Nintendo were offering amazing games and gameplay in the form of Final Fantasy 6 or Donkey Kong Country, Sega's latest console was deluged with drek like Ground Zero Texas.

As soon as a CD based console was announced a large number of games designers said ''oh brilliant, CD can store video, now we can all be movie directors! We can do away with those silly cartoon graphics and give the public REALISM.'' Games wouldn't be games anymore, they would be interactive movies and who would resist that? Well lots of people as it happened, especially when it was done a badly as Ground Zero Texas.

Well I suppose I better describe the game, seeing as I've spent the last few paragraphs putting the boot in. Here we go, you have been warned.

Ground Zero Texas is an FMV based adventure. You are sent to investigate the takeover of a small town in texas by aliens. Some of the towns people are aliens in disguise and will try and kill you. You have to stake out locations and put together clues to find the source of the aliens control and defeat them. In actual gameplay terms this involves you staring at a fuzzy film clip of a car while a jerkily moving alien disguised as a cop keeps popping up and shooting at you. You wrestle the sluggish sights of your gun across the screen, but you are too late and you get shot and you die. You restart and flick between more fuzzy FMV, your interaction limited to a few pathetic commands like opening the door and erm..moving to another location to watch more jerky footage of people firing at you. AND THATS IT!!

Absolute rubbish from beginning to end. It was crap then and it's crap now. Whoever thought this was ever fit to be released should have been forced to play it for 24 hours until their gums bled and they chewed their tongue off. That way they could never make such a dumb suggestion again.

I'm not sure who was responsible for this, alas I threw it in the bin after failing to find any second-hand shop that would take it off my hands. But rumour has it, it was made by SONY (insert Twilight Zone Music). Our story of course ends with Sony having produced the first successful CD based console, Sega reduced to a software only company. Was Ground Zero Texas part of a masterplan to destroy potential rivals? Frankly that seems to be the only explanation for how this load of old cobblers ever got published. And quite why someone felt the need to remake this game as the X-Files many years later shows that those who do not learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them.

falsehead's avatar
Community review by falsehead (March 08, 2004)

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