Review by Psycho Penguin

"Quite possibly the only game where a character gets laid. Ka-ching!"

Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode, released by Vic Tokai for the NES about 10 years ago, is a historical game. The game is not really remembered for much, as the game itself was just a basic action/adventure game with rather boring gameplay, well in some people's minds it is boring. But the game is actually remembered in a lot of minds because the main character, Golgo, actually gets laid in the hotel room. It doesn't show the actual scene of him getting laid but you know he gets some.

When a game is known for a certain scene, and not remembered for its actual gameplay, it can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. Well, in this case it is a bad thing, and there is one key reason for this. That key reason is the simple fact that the game never really seemed to garner much attention, and the scene certainly did not help the game receive attention from most gamers. Therefore, it is simply a game known to some hardcore gamers for its scene, and not a well recognized game.

The storyline is your basic James Bond espionage thriller all the way, as it had all of the key elements of a James Bond movie. You start off the game looking for a group called the Iron Curtain, as you are Golgo and are called in for the assignment. You meet up with this woman and the game starts. Over the course of the game, you will encounter many sorts of people. Some will lie to you, some will steal from you, these are generally not very nice people. And that is how the game works the basic plot: you are bascially in a James Bond movie.

The graphics in the game are a mixed bag. Some of the graphics can be considered to be good, while others are rather disappointing. Let me first start off by saying what graphical features I found in the game that I did not like. Some of the 3D mazes strike me as being bland and simple, and I was not a fan of that at all. I would rather the 3D mazes have more color and variety to them so they would be easier to navigate, but sadly that was not the case. This actually made the game less replayable based on that fact alone.

The actual graphics during gameplay are actually pretty solid, to say the least. I really liked the backgrounds in the game, as all of them were very well done. The enemy designs were solid, and I like how each enemy had a different look to them. There was a nice variety of enemy designs that I definitely appreciated. Some of the backgrounds were a bit too colorful, like some of the hotel rooms and train stations, but that does not mar too much the fact that I actually liked the backgrounds featured in the game itself a lot.

The music in the game is certainly not going to win any awards for quality, but that is not to say that the music in the game is horrible or anything, because it is not. In fact, I actually liked the music in this game, to a certain extent. The music is composed in the same basic spy style music that you would expect in a game like this, the music definitely has a James Bond feel to it. I also like how the music changed frequently between scenarios, so you will never hear the same music for too long, which will decrease the chances of you getting annoyed by the music in the game.

Sound effects in the game are also pretty good, although there is nothing featured here that you couldn't hear anywhere else. Every sound effect that could be featured sounds exactly like you would expect it to hear. The airplanes makes a WHOOSH sound when they fly by, the sounds sound exactly like guns being shot, etc. I really did like the variety of sound effects in the game, and the sound effects were definitely well done. Kudos to Vic Tokai for the sound effect quality featured in this game.

The control in this game is very good, and I will now describe the control in this game. Duke Togo can jump very high, though this isn't always taken advantage of by platform placement so much as whizzing bullets. He can also jump very low and all the variations in between. Pressing B always makes you jump and pressing A always makes you kick or shoot, depending on whether you have ammunition or are in the air. The only major problem is that Duke Togo can't shoot while ducking.

I barely remember the gameplay in this game, but remember enough for a review, I hope. Anyways, you basically were this guy who went around shooting people. The cool thing (besides the sexual innuendo scene) is the helicopter scenes. You basically fly in a helicopter just like Choplifter, going around shooting things. You also get a chance to blow up a building and take out a sniper by aiming through a gun hole. Very cool indeed. Hmm, maybe it should have gotten a higher score...

The game itself is your basic spy game all the way, with a few new elements thrown in. I like the variety of stages featured in the game, as some stages will have you basically going around killing enemies and entering train stations and hotel rooms, while other stages will have you flying around in helicopters, and killing enemies Gradius style. I really like how the game went from a shooting level to a helicopter level to a swimming level in three different scenarios, as it just shows you how much variety Vic Tokai made the stages have.

Other stages in the games are fairly unique, as well. I really liked the one stage that had you aim through your gun hole to kill an enemy in the building. It was kind of complicated at first, but once you got your aim down right you could kill him. It was definitely a lot of fun. And then there was the swimming level, which provided the game player with a lot of depth (no pun intended) because it was so much fun to go through and kill every enemy and travel throughout the entire maze. As i write this review, I suddendly get the urge to play this game and relive the memories. Most of its fans like it for its ''scene'' so maybe it is worth a purchase.

The replay value in this game is pretty solid, as this is a fairly addictive game. I really like how certain elements of the game made the game even more fun to play than it already is. The lack of any real secrets hurts the replay value a lot, but the simple fact that this game is so much fun to play will increase the replay value significantly. I really felt that this game had solid replay value, even with the lack of secrets.

This is not one of the most challenging games ever, but it is fairly difficult to beat. I remember I had problems with some of the later stages in the game, and that does not include the extreme challenge that is called getting through one of those darn ''3D mazes''. Otherwise, this game is still pretty challenging. There is nothing wrong with challenging games, and this game is possible to beat, although it will certainly take a while.

As i write this review, I suddendly get the urge to play this game and relive the memories. Most of its fans like it for its ''scene'' so maybe it is worth a purchase. I would not consider this game to be a ''must buy'' game or whatever, but it is solid enough to warrant consideration of a possible purchase or download of the ROM. I bought this game, and I enjoy it, but not everyone will enjoy it.

Good Points
-This is the only game where a character gets laid. Ka-ching!
-The graphics and music in the game are solid.
-The game itself is pretty fun to play.
-I really liked the variety of stages in the game.

Not So Good Points
-Some people will not enjoy this game as much as I did.
-The 3D mazes in this game are just terrible and should not have been included.
-The storyline drags out after a while, due to the extreme amount of dialog.
-Sound effects could have been a little better.

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan style!
Storyline - 7.3/10
Graphics - 8.3/10
Music - 9.1/10
Sound Effects - 8.3/10
Control - 8.6/10
Gameplay - 7.3/10
Replay Value - Above Average
Challenge - Above Average
Worth a Purchase - Yeah, since you can't rent it.
Overall - 7.2/10

The Last Line: It is not the world's perfect game, but it is still a fun game to play through. And hey, the main character gets laid by a hot chick. What can be cooler than that?


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/09/00, Updated 07/16/01


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