Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Review by Rick L
"Mmm...the neighbors taste like chicken."
This game has to be definitely one of my favorite Super Nintendo games. It combines a lot of humor plus a nice, long challenging ride. However, the challenge isn't all it's cracked up to be. A great variety of levels, a truckload of spoofing humor, and a dash of pepper make this game one of the all-time greats. What a shame this was somewhat overlooked.
The graphics are incredibly great looking. Things are nice and clear to see for the most part, and things look like they're supposed to. Your characters are detailed and animated quite well. The neighbors, while they just usually stand there, are still decently animated and are rather amusing to watch. Some neighbors even panic or react when an enemy gets too close to them. A great added touch, but it only shows up with a couple of the neighbors, which is a bummer, but doesn't take away from the points any from my opinion, because you're not gawking at them like artifacts in a museum, you're there to rescue them. The enemies look great and well-done. It's very pleasing, and sometimes laughable, to watch them in action.
Great music to accompany the atmosphere. While this is a goofy game, there's also some somewhat ''eerie'' music which appropriately fits into the game. The neat part about the music is that there's also some zombie-ish grunts in there as well, which makes it even more fun to listen to. The sound effects are pretty good also, but seems like it's lacking sometimes, especially with the enemies. It'd be better if more of the enemies actually made some roars, grunts, or whatever to enhance them a bit. As for some people, they might get annoyed by that little ''Ow!'' sound the main character makes when injured, because you'll probably be hearing it a lot. The sounds of your weapons are also appropriate most of the time. Some weapons share the same sound and it seems a little bit ridiculous to hear the tomato have the same throwing sound as a football. Other than the little flaws mentioned above, the sound is pretty much perfect.
The basic premise of this game: Get your neighbors before the monsters get 'em.
Easier said than done, my friend. Sometimes it can get difficult to find the neighbors. There's a radar that takes some of the pressure off of going in circles for neighbors, but the radar only indicates general location, not if there's any obstacles in the way of you or anything. With this, sometimes you'll see a neighbor and a monster behind a barrier on screen, and you don't even have time to go around or anything before the monster sends the poor neighbor to meet their maker. This can be highly frusterating at times, especially at a time when you might be low on neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, you start with ten of them. If you lose them all, it's game over for you, no matter how many lives you have left. Thus, it's important that you always put the priority of the neighbors first. However, it can be a complete pain to save all of them because the tourists turn into werewolves when it gets dark, meaning you lose out on a neighbor. Luckily, for getting so many points, you do recieve a free extra neighbor, but it can be difficult.
As for weapons, it's much more balanced out. There's plenty of weapons to use. To add to the interestingness, certain enemies are weak to certain weapons. Sometimes it's somewhat logical, like using silverware on werewolves, but other times it's rather strange, like tomatoes on martians. There's plenty of weapons to keep you entertained for a while. Squirt guns, plates, silverware, popsicles, toamtoes, fire extinguishers, and even the secret flamethrower weapon! The only complaints about weapon usage is that the ammo drains faster than a speeding bullet on some weapons where you really need them, and scrolling through the weapons can be quite the pain in the toosh sometimes.
The enemies, while amusing and rather plentiful, either fall into the category of being very agonizingly tough, or ridiculously easy that a person sitting on the controller and repeatedly jumping on the controller instead of using their hands could beat them. There really seems to be no variance in-between, which is annoying.
However, there's a good bunch of levels to play through, and there's a good number of bonus levels to find in the game too, which can make searching around for a while very fun indeed. However, sometimes you may need an item that you don't even find in that level to get some of the secrets, making first-time and forgetful players very irritated.
The password system is really the thing I don't like about this game the most. For starters, it doesn't save any of your weapons at all, so basically you're running into the levels with the proverbial pants down if you use a password to get into the higher levels. Secondly, you only get passwords every four levels, so if you're one level away from getting a new password, and the game is turned off, tough crap. You'll have to start from way back where you were before, and it might even be more DIFFICULT than before.
Overall, gameplay is a bit flawed, but still nonetheless great.
Replay Value: 7/10
This is a long game, so once you beat it, the only thing you'd probably go back and do are find all the secret areas, and see if you can beat the game losing as few neighbors as humanly possible. Other than that, you probably might not re-play it again after a few times. You might whip it out when you have a friend over, seeing as how this is a two-player game!
While it's got its flaws, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a great SNES game that definitely deserves every bit of praise it gets. It's easy to see that the cheesy B-Movie humor, the challenge, and the secrets keep the game interesting enough to last until you beat the game, which should take a good, long while.
I definitely would consider buying this game. 'Nuff said.
And so ends my first curse-free review. Damn, I can't believe I did it. =P
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/04/03
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