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    Retro Column: Vectorman
    Thursday, 7 August 2008
    In 1994 Nintendo revived one of its classic characters Donkey Kong. Featuring pre-rendered 3D graphics, it boasted smooth animations and detailed characters and backgrounds. Not wanting to be left behind, Sega set about making their own platform game with pre-rendered 3D graphics. In 1995, Sega released Vectorman. Over a decade later it has now been re-released on the Virtual Console (800 points).

    The year is 2049 and Earth has been become a mess due to excessive waste and pollution. Enter the Orbots, a bunch of robots left behind to clean up the humans mess whilst they are off gallivanting around the universe, colonising other planets and such. Raster, a high ranking Orbot, watches over the cleanup operation via a planet wide computer network. A lower level Orbot accidentally attaches a functioning warhead to Raster (these things happen) and he goes insane, becoming the evil dictator Warhead. Warhead manages to take control of the Orbots via the network. Vectorman meanwhile is making one of his routine trips to the sun to dispose of some of the collected waste and returns to find the whole planet under the control of Warhead. Naturally this interferes with his cleanup orders so he sets about setting everything straight with his hand cannon. Quite why a cleanup robot needs a hand cannon I'll never know.

    The first thing that stikes you about Vectorman is the graphics. The characters and backgrounds are incredibly detailed and every animation, from the first step to the Nixon-esque end of level pose, is consistantly smooth. The only slowdown is experienced on a couple of boss battles, but this is understandable considering the fact that Vectorman looks better than some early Playstation titles.

    Aesthetically, the levels are mainly gloomy and depressing but unfortunately some levels (especially levels 1 and 10) look far too similar. Luckily level design is varied, with some levels ditching the 2D platform style for a top down perspective. These top down levels center around destroying a particular enemy. Generally the goal of each platform level is the standard affair of find your way from left to right, although some levels involve heading in the opposite direction or take large detours vertically in order to progress further. This manages to keep each level fresh despite the games repetitive visuals.

    The controls are smooth and responsive, allowing players to get around the levels fairly easily. The only niggle with the game is that when running up or down a slope, the aim of Vectormans gun isn't adjusted accordingly. This means that players have to crouch to fire in line with the scenery if they are facing uphill, or just deal with it if they are running down. Luckily there aren't many slopes in the game so it doesn't pop up much, but it's annoying when it does.

    All in all, Vectorman is an above average run and gun title and definately worth checking out on either the Mega Drive or Virtual console.

    Second Opinion - Happenstance

    I have to admit, when playing this game through with goaferboy I remembered it being a lot better than it was. Now im not saying its a bad game but it did get a bit repetetive. As goaferboy mentioned it earlier, a lot of the levels felt very similar. As for the story, I dont know if I just didnt pay attention but I have no idea why Vectorman is running around shooting things (along with what look like spinning tvs for some reason!).

    I dont want to be too down on it though, for a quick fire shooting game its good and the graphics felt very ahead of their time when it was released. Definately worth a play.

    Anyway, onto the next game to be featured. This time it will be my choice so I am going to go with a game that I played for hours at a time, never quite completing it actually until I was a teenager:

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    posted by goaferboy @ 11:00  
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