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Rampage World Tour Review

Publisher - Midway
Developer - Midway
Platform - N64
Type - Simulation
Score - 6/10

Rampage World Tour is the N64 debut of Midway's almost classic arcade hit. The concept is very simple: you're a big monster and you wreck stuff. So, if you're a fan of the good old guy-in-a-rubber-suit-stomps-Tokyo movies, then you can see why we need a game like Rampage.

Those who have played the original game will recognize the N64 reincarnation. Not much has changed. The graphics received a new layer of polish, but the characters and settings feel unchanged. The game has no graphic glitches, but there are a few times when things could look better. When a character slams into the side of a building, it bulges on the other side. Instead of being smooth and rounded, the building is blocky and segmented by floors. This is really a minor problem, but it could easily have been done better. Other than that, every graphic aspect of the game is an improvement over the original. That's an easy feat considering that the original came out in 1986...

The best improvement is the addition of scrolling backgrounds. The original presented players with one static area in which to play. In the updated instalment, players have a lot more to destroy and a greater variety of buildings to wreak. The best change is in the overall character of the game. Because of graphic limitations of the time, the original had simple backgrounds and characters. This Rampage, while still having simple graphics, captures the wacky spirit of the game with more detailed monsters and goofy 3D-perspective towers in the backdrop.

The game didn't receive any real auditory improvements. There are some interesting noises when you get electricuted or eat something you don't like. The rumbling noises are ok, but you have to send them through very large speakers to get the proper floor-rumbling effect.

Rampage doesn't excel in either graphics or sound. It's not a game that you'll enjoy looking at such as Waverace or Turok, but it is a game that you'll like to play... for a while anyway.

The game's unchanging game dynamic is to destroy everything in sight. There are more ways you can do this than in the original. Now you can kick the sides of buildings and bounce up and down on top of them in a trampoline like fashion until they collapse. There are also some new items to find, which tie into goal oriented levels. Instead of just destroying cities, the game will occasionally present you with a challenge, such as collecting flags from around the world. It's nice that they threw that in, but you'll never stop wrecking things long enough to notice.

Before you get into the carnage, you must choose your implement of destruction. There are three monsters to play (one which looks like Godzilla, one that's a large werewolf, and one that's a dead ringer for King Kong) plus one secret beastie. As far as gameplay is concerned, they're all the same creature. Once you have your monster, you're set loose in a well populated city and you kick and punch 'till it's rubble. The army tries to stop you, but like all good monster movies, they can't do a thing to stop you. Various types of army men, jets, helicopters, and other man made defenses can hurt you, but are easily ignored. In the case that they do sap all your strength, your monster turns into a normal, naked human being and walks away. This situation is moot as you can choose to turn back into a lumbering, hideous thing at the tap of a button. That's cool at first but it assassinates the challenge of finishing a level. Eventually, a one player expedition falls into tedium.

Luckily you can play a two or three player game. This is the same as the one player game except that there are multiple monsters all playing on the same screen. It's difficult for players to mutilate in conjunction with one another, but since when does senseless destruction require teamwork? True to the original, you can also beat up your friends. Rampage cannot hold a candle to even the most rudimentary fighting games, but the fights can be engaging. Even with multiplayer games, the static level design can still wear players out and force you to try a different game.

Here's the bottom line on Rampage. This is a swell revival of the original and it has the same limitations of the original home game. Even with multiplayer games, there is no incentive to sit through this game for very long. Younger children will appreciate this game for its cartoonish aura and the feeling of invincibility that comes with playing a giant unstoppable agent of terror. Older audiences will get tired very fast. Those that do like the game will play it for no longer that thirty minutes at a time. I'm not saying that you can play the game for more than that in a night, but never for more than thirty minutes at one time. The game isn't deep enough to hold you attention for much longer. So, don't buy Rampage- you'll play it to death in the first day and retire it. Get some friends, rent it for the evening and loose track of time. The best part of renting it is you'll be tired of it when you take it back to the store tomorrow.