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Abadox (NES) artwork

Abadox (NES) review



Abadox is comparable to a group of midgets. They’re cool to look at, but no one would actually want to play with them for long in real life. You’d probably get tired of them or they’d get relatively annoying (unless you’re bowling with them.) Plus, they keep coming up short at everything. But, behold, this is the year 5012 and there are no midgets around to save the world with their humor. We must rely solely on Lieutenant Nazal to destroy the festering parasite that’s trying to engulf our home planet, Abadox. We take control of our fearless hero and proceed to delve into the colossal parasite in an attempt to rescue the planet from imminent doom.

On the surface, Abadox seems like it has lots to offer the shooter enthusiast. Pushing past the exterior, Abadox proves itself to be nothing more than the mundane shooting fare. Even if you’ve barely gotten your hands dirty with the genre, you’ve already seen most the features that Abadox brings to the table

Let’s start on a positive note: Abadox is able to make the successful transition from a side scrolling shooter to an overhead shooter upon finishing a level. There’s been literally nothing put in other than the banal speed-ups and multiple weapons. You still have the overabundance of monsters that will bombard you with laser beams from all sides of the screen; they’ll keep firing until you‘re blown into little, hovering fragments. All the levels are nothing more than tests of how well you’re able to travel through levels without succumbing to fatigue in real life. Some people claim Abadox is hard; it’s not hard, it’s just that your character will move too sluggishly at the beginning of the level and make you die a premature death. After promptly acquiring a few speed-ups, this problem will be taken care of. You’ll be able to zip and zoom around the screen without any problems. There are still some difficult parts in the game, though.

If you’ve made it this deep into the genre (which is pretty deep,) then you’ve seen all weapons that most popular shooters have had to offer us. We’ve seen in Gradius the ability to choose a power up at your discretion. We’ve witnessed in R-Type the ability to have assistants twirling around us. Abadaox ends up being a mixture of both. First off, your power ups will come in fast-moving, blue scorpions. Once destroyed, their remnants will float around in outer space. The monster’s remains will have a letter marked on them. Each letter corresponds to a certain weapon. One weapon might allow Nazal to fire torrid plasma beams from his very cannon. Others will emit a type of supersonic wave at any enemies unfortunate enough to get in his way. Some of the weapons are absolutely worthless though, like the bubble gun. The bubble gun shoots five tiny bubbles at multiple enemies. These bubbles don’t float in outer space, so they’ll just go in a straight line. These are pathetic and barely do any damage to anything beyond the weakest monsters in the game.

Abadox also derives a few more game play aspects from the aforementioned acclaimed series. While Abadox isn’t near as heavy on the memorization as, say, R-Type, it still requires you to have some form of knowledge of the forthcoming challenges. It’ll become clear to you that you’ll need to know what’s ahead when you’re going through some areas that have monsters flying through walls randomly. There are parts where arms will come from nowhere and attack you. Not having the knowledge of these events will surely be enough to send both a veteran enthusiast and inexperienced amateur to the ground in a flaming heap of scrap metal. If you do die, you'll be placed right back at the last check point.

The only things that Abadox was really the first to introduce were grotesque and bizarre looking background textures. These textures are very aesthetically pleasing (remember the midgets?) Each texture in the game depicts a body part of some kind. You’ll be leading Nazal through levels filled with grizzly intestines, foul eyeballs and mushy brains. Most enemies follow suit, as they’re composed of body parts, too. Flying eyes with dangling optic nerves fly at you in the most desolate regions of outer space. Slender, rigor arms come from the core of a mucus membrane to grab at you. You'll be attacked by floating brains that’ll clog up your gun so you’re incapable of firing. Of course, give yourself some time, and you'll be able to attack again. There’s a lot of variety in the aliens here.

If you're a shooter devotee, then clearing Abadox shouldn't pose much in the way of a challenge. If you're a regular Joe, then you should at least give Abadox a shot. It's not necessarily an atrocious game by any means; it’s just a mixture of features from every popular shooter's game play executed somewhat blandly.

Sclem's avatar
Community review by Sclem (February 12, 2004)

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