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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Atari 2600) artwork

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Atari 2600) review

"While it certainly pushes the envelope in terms of content even by todayís standards, this massacre of good taste quickly runs out of gas both metaphorically and quite literally."

No, your eyes donít deceive you Ė someone really had the balls to go and make a video game out of the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That knowledge alone probably isnít going shock someone familiar with the 2600ís proud tradition of dick-munching alligators and ornery cowboy rapists, but in a bit of a switch you actually portray a famished Leatherface as he chases down helpless girls and then butchers them for dinner.

While playing the role of a frenzied cannibal might have had slightly more impact if he wasnít a bright blue blob sporting a misshapen gourd in place of a head and a water faucet protruding from his chest, in all honesty it doesnít make much of a difference. The most offensive thing about this game isnít the ghastly premise; itís the mind-numbingly awful gameplay. With your puttering chainsaw burning gas the entire time, an average playthrough consists mostly of blundering into the wheelchairs and thorny bushes that fill up the screen and stop you dead in your tracks until you waste more fuel to escape them.

When you do catch up with one of your innocent dinner guests, easily differentiated from the not-so-innocent bushes in that they magically teleport behind you while a phone rings, you casually rend them into hamburger, run around some more, and eventually run out of fuel. Then your would-be victim kicks you in the butt. Since youíre constantly losing fuel and yet have to score a ton of kills in order to get a refill, this is pretty much guaranteed to occur in less than five minutes.

So while it certainly pushes the envelope in terms of content even by todayís standards, this massacre of good taste quickly runs out of gas both metaphorically and quite literally. Wizardís stab at Halloween is actually surprisingly decent, but this oneís so bad it could probably give even that evil-smelling General Custer nightmares.

sho's avatar
Staff review by Sho (July 30, 2006)

Sho enjoys classic video games, black comedy, and poking people until they explode -- figuratively or otherwise. He also writes a bit.

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