Mutation Nation (NeoGeo) review
"Against all other arguments, I typically feel that porting an arcade title to a home system, disenchants a game's entire theme. What could amuse me more than spending hard earned (used loosely) quarters to fill up a machine so that I can improve my in-particular gaming prowess in order to impress, infuriate and downright discourage random challengers or assistants? It's definitely not playing a marathon of Tekken with your best friend on the couch, to find the fictional fighting that started out..."
Against all other arguments, I typically feel that porting an arcade title to a home system, disenchants a game's entire theme. What could amuse me more than spending hard earned (used loosely) quarters to fill up a machine so that I can improve my in-particular gaming prowess in order to impress, infuriate and downright discourage random challengers or assistants? It's definitely not playing a marathon of Tekken with your best friend on the couch, to find the fictional fighting that started out fun, has turned very real. Then for naught, the next hour is spent properly debating (again, loosely) the principles of mashing, spamming and/or abusing n00b characters.
In defense of the subject I was just attacking, I will admit to a single specific advantage these games have when played in the comfort of your living room: that is the requirement of monetary compensation upon your death is completely removed. Certain games make you appreciate this to an extreme; others even more.
Had I not been blazing through Mutation Nation in front of my computer screen, I can only shudder to think of the amount of money that would be gone from my wallet in exchange for continues. In hindsight, it may have meant maxing the remnants on one of my smaller credit cards. In appearance, you're not given a whole lot more courtesy than to be presented with a Streets of Rage clone - or I suppose it could be the other way around. I don't know dates.
One can only imagine that SoR was released later on, as MutNat lacks a character selection and simply tosses you into the role of Player One or Player Two: Axel Stone with pink hair and a jacket or Adam Hunter gone dub-style. Thankfully, the simplicity here is made up for with an interesting special attack system. Out of the gates, P1 has an eight-second-long version of Chun-Li's lighting kick while P2 has the unique ability to look like Captain Planet in flight with his feet still on the ground and spin like a tornado. I like it.
From there, you can grab powerups that are distinguished by the first four letters of the alphabet and each grant you some other desperation type skill. To be honest, there's not a lot to the game after that. Your standard fare beat'em-up has had its Punk/Club scenester enemies removed and replaced with mutants. Men with Nautilus heads; men with remote mine launching heads; men with heads that shoot poison and the last honorable mention, a beefcake woman with four arms who shoots ants from her belly button. Or something.
It may be short, typical and unbelievably difficult - but I do believe that these qualities are the things that make this genre of game worth your twenty minutes. I also believe that having a character who launches a flying jump-kick which easily rivals Jean-Claude Van Damme (slow motion 'Yaa' face and all) is nothing less than a magnificent selling point. The one that really got me, though, was that instead of defeated foes grunting and disappearing, nearly everything you kill in Mutation Nation explodes in a blaze of glory. . .
Or into a dozen gory pizza slices a la Gantz.
Community review by VASID07 (August 11, 2008)
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