Zillion (Sega Master System) review
"The last time I played Zillion was a few years back, and it was actually the first time I've ever completed the game. It felt great finally doing that after only venturing a few inches inside the underground base back when I first played it as a child. Back then, I had no idea what I was suppose to do, since the process of going from one room to another seemed like an impossible task. But when I attempted to take on the game again a few years back and took the time to understand how thin..."
The last time I played Zillion was a few years back, and it was actually the first time I've ever completed the game. It felt great finally doing that after only venturing a few inches inside the underground base back when I first played it as a child. Back then, I had no idea what I was suppose to do, since the process of going from one room to another seemed like an impossible task. But when I attempted to take on the game again a few years back and took the time to understand how things work, it came off absurdly easy, and I finally got the opportunity to go beyond the first floor. However, while completing the game felt great, the actual experience of playing the game wasn't.
As you enter the underground base with your one man army, J.J., your goal is to save two of your captured team members, collect 5 floppy disks, locate the main computer so you can enter the self-destruct code, then escape before the whole thing explodes. Sounds simple enough, right? Right... Shame on you for actually thinking that. Every single room you enter, you have to destroy capsules containing "letters" you'll have to remember and input into that room's terminal panel. Entering in the right letters will open up a sealed door or elevator, allowing you access to the next room. Now, let those last two sentences sink in for a bit. Especially those first five words of the first sentence.
Every. Single. Room. You. Enter.
Yup, that's what you'll be doing for the entire game: going from one room to another, doing the exact same thing, over and over, until you either quit or beat the game. To make matters worse, it's quite easy to get hurt a lot in this 16 floor base, as the challenges you face can be really cheap at times. The enemy soldiers are quick shooters when they want to be, hitting you even when they're walking away and you drop down from a platform. Mines are frustrating to jump over, since, with the ceiling being so close to your head, there's really not much room jump when they're around. There are other nuisances, like the absurd amount of laser barriers, and those pesky auto-guns, but they're not as annoying. And as your life is about depleted, you're forced to retreat back to your ship to heal, which, of course, is located on top of the base. You can warp there using a terminal, but the most frustrating part of that is running all the way back to where you last were, fighting your way through all those dangers again, and possibly losing a lot of your health, again, in the process. It makes having to heal almost not worth it at all. But you have to, since you really don't have a choice.
It was just too much to play through Zillion this time around for the sake of this review. Halfway through, I just quit. I didn't even try to rescue one of my captured members, though it's pointless doing so, since they are next to useless. Apple may have the ability to jump really high, but by the time you actually get her, you'll already be able to do it with your main character. Champ is just as worse, since he's slow, and the only thing he has is firepower. Unfortunately, he's somewhere near the end of the game, so, by the time you get him, J.J.'s firepower has already been maxed out. This just contributes to the rest of Zillion, which itself is just one repetitive waste of time. Completing the game takes a little over two hours, but for a title like this, that's way too much. What's worse is that there's no save or password feature, so you have to do this whole thing in one boring playthrough. The only reason I can imagine someone actually playing through this is for curiosity's sake, but that's it.
You know what's funny? There's a code that you can input into a terminal that lets you commit suicide. It's almost like the programmers knew that you would get tired with the game, so they gave you the option of killing yourself out of boredom.
Community review by pickhut (January 27, 2008)
Alternative tagline: Hit the Road, Jack.
If you enjoyed this Zillion review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!