Rampart (NES) review
"Rampart is a simple little NES game with only one objective given to you, shoot anything that belongs to your opponent! The game puts you in charge of a castle and a few cannons and lets you take it from there, the only problem is that everything is extremely repetitive, you'll find yourself doing the same things over and over (which is actually what you're doing) and getting bored in quite a big hurry. It's not the ideal way a person would want to spend their well-earned spare time. "
Rampart is a simple little NES game with only one objective given to you, shoot anything that belongs to your opponent! The game puts you in charge of a castle and a few cannons and lets you take it from there, the only problem is that everything is extremely repetitive, you'll find yourself doing the same things over and over (which is actually what you're doing) and getting bored in quite a big hurry. It's not the ideal way a person would want to spend their well-earned spare time.
Although the graphics can be considered ancient and horribly out-dated these days, there's no excuse for the overly simplistic nature they just happen to be (and when we say simplistic we mean caveman like!). When you begin the game you are whisked away to a generic looking world map, it's a pretty shade of green with some blue around the edges. Once you have selected the playing field which you would like to utilise, you are taken to a close up that area, only then do you realise how boring the whole thing actually is. You get a simple picture of sea and land with a few small objects thrown in there, the sea is a picturesque blue which gets lighter as you approach the shore and as is mentioned above they have that excellent green to show the land. Whilst this certainly isn't a bland combination it sure is a boring one and not something that you can stare at for too long without suddenly falling asleep.
The in-game objects don't add much in the way of entertainment, you have boring castles, boring cannons and ships which are a little less boring but still have the potential to cause someone to nod off. These objects look okay but obviously haven't been given the pleasure of having a lot of detail, the same goes for the walls around your castle, they're just a series of multi-colour tubes that the insane of you might mistake for a disco ball (although I fail to see why..I just made that up on the spot). All of these objects do add a bit to the variety of the graphical look but still, there was more that could have been done in this area.
Overall, the graphics are simplistic in all areas, which is pretty much the trend of the whole game. There is nothing eye-catching or anything even remotely visually appealing at all here. The visuals right here in this very game are an even better sedative than Sleeping Gas, there's been a 100% success rate so far, just don't look at any screenshots when driving or operating heavy machinery!
The sound is even more lacking than the graphics, once again there is very little here to keep anyone remotely interested in the on-screen happenings. The background music only seems to strike up when the occasion seems right for it, which isn't actually that often! You go through quite a few boring routines during Rampart and the music is only there to keep you company on certain special occasions. The actual tunes that do find their way to your ears are quite good, not being too repetitve and being quite pleasant in most ways, you will get sick of it but not for a long period of time.
Sound effects are very insipid in Rampart, they just never seem to be there and if they are they sound quite muffled and inaudible. The cannons let out the weakest little pop you'll ever hear with the rest of the sound effects (the whole two of them) not doing anything to improve upon that poor start. There's simply never enough to warrant the sound being left on when playing this game!
Overall, the sound is an even bigger yawn than that offered by the graphics, they combine together to make one of the least dynamic audio/video combinations I've heard/seen in a long time. If you're wondering why they didn't make a soundtrack for this game it's because there isn't enough material for even one track on a CD, THERE'S JUST NOTHING THERE DARN IT!
The gameplay of Rampart is the epitome of repetitiveness, your basic goal is to take control of either the red or the blue army and take them to victory! Now whilst this may sound like a fun idea at first it will soon become blatantly obvious to everyone who comes within 100 metres of this game that this game is far from it. What the developers ended up leaving in the cartridges of all NES owners was a poorly made, repetitive piece of trash that had no lasting appeal whatsoever.
At the beginning of each level you will be given the most important choice of your life, which castle do you want to set up as your home base? You must choose wisely, as even though it has no major effect (no little effect either) on the way the game is played, if you stop and think about it for a second before deciding then people will think you know what you're doing. After this exciting yet laborious task has been completed a wall will appear around your castle of choice and you will be presented with a laborious but not exciting task of placing your cannons. You just whack them anywhere inside the boundaries and that's when the fun (if it can be called that) begins.
The ships of your enemy will then materialise before your very eyes, all it takes is the aiming of your crosshair and some mindless button-mashing to do away with them! They will fire back of course and will knock down part of your walls, which really is a darn shame as they look terrific (see the graphics section for a full run-down). Luckily, as soon as this heated firefight is over you get the chance to rebuild the walls with all sorts of funny shaped blocks, you can rotate them to your hearts desire and slip them in, perhaps even gaining more territory if you'r lucky. Once this is over it's the end of a round and your points are tallied up, sounds like fun? Well it actually is the first five times! There's only one little problem, once you've seen all of your points tallied up you have to start from the start of that routine and do it all again. It never changes each time except for a gradual rise in the amount of enemy ships you have to exterminate. It becomes a very tedious process and one that will soon become unbearable.
Something that adds a bit to the gameplay is the two player mode, you both control a castle and have to deal as much damage to the enemy as possible in the time limit. It doesn't seem like much but it does provide a nice change from the less than enthralling task of blowing up ships that appear to be controlled by a group of half-concussed gym teachers. Playing against another player is the best you'll get out of this game, it's just not good enough!
Overall, the gameplay is repetitive, irritating and unrewarding, for some reason doing the same boring thing over and over again didn't appeal to me. I thought it would have but I was obviously wrong, other people may find this game intriguing or anything else along those lines, unfortunately they'd be in the minority. It's about as much fun as having an in-grown toenail.
The lifespan of Rampart is considerably small, one game may last you somewhere between two and ten minutes (if you're not a champion like me of course) and that's how many games you'll be wanting to play after experiencing what it's like. There are no appealing features to make a person want to play Rampart for long periods of time, you'll play the game maybe two or three times and then feel like destroying it like the piece of garbage that it is! I give most of you two or three days playing this game before you can stand it no more.
The fun factor is also quite minimal, some people may consider it being in the negative. There's just something about going through a boring routine repeatedly until you lose and then starting all over again that seems to stop people from thouroughly enjoying this game. The gameplay is far too slow to ever really entertain the player and there are frustrations all over the place for you to soak in and consider punching the nearest wall because of. Rampart and fun don't even really belong in the same review, let alone the same web-site, it's a big mistake putting them so close together!
The challenge is not so good, even on easy one can find it impossible to survive for long in the world of Rampart. There are some difficulty selections built for maximum customisability but they just make things even harder, it's not comfortable playing a game knowing you're going to be beaten after five minutes of solid playing-time, it's just not fair! Rebuilding the castle walls can be your biggest downfall as if they're not complete by the end of the time limit it's curtains for you! Surviving in Rampart often depends more on luck than apparent skill, which is a bad thing, a very bad thing.
THE FINAL PARAGRAPH
Perhaps the only good thing about Rampart was the concept of the game, from there on in however it's just a disaster. The execution of Rampart was done terribly and it's an absolute horror to play for extended periods of time, you do the same things over and over again until you feel it could be done with both eyes shut. Games need to have more freedom rather than SHOOT SHIPS, BUILD WALLS, GET CANNONS, SHOOT MORE SHIPS. Playing against another person may be fun but it's not a good enoug replacement, best just to avoid this one like the plague!
- Uhhh...it's multiplayer?
- The first one should show you how tough it is to come up with decent good points for Rampart, I'm afraid that's all I've got.
NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- Lather, rinse, repeat, lather, rinse, repeat
- The challenge can be too darn hard!
- Lacklustre presentation
- EVERYTHING ELSE! (And I do mean EVERYTHING)
GRAPHICS - 1/10
SOUND - 1/10
GAMEPLAY - 1/10
LIFESPAN - 1/10
FUN FACTOR - 2/10
CHALLENGE - 1/10
OVERALL - 1/10
Community review by kingbroccoli (April 25, 2004)
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