Sunday, November 11, 2012

Missile Defense 3D For Sega Master Syster

So I've finished tearing apart Zaxxon 3D, a 25-year-old game on a system hardly anyone plays anymore. Now what? Well, I still had my SMS hooked up and one more game with '3D' in the title hanging out on the shelf. Let's dust it off and--hey, it's a lightgun game!

As my huge army of obsessive followers are no doubt aware, I am a huge fan of lightgun games. Missile Defense is a pretty unique one too, as it also uses the same 3D goggles as Zaxxon 3D. Essentially, it's a 3D first-person game of Missile Command played with the Sega Master System's Light Phaser. Each match in the game is divided into two or three stages. The stage begins at a missile launch site, where your goal is to shoot down as many as possible before they escape or collide with your laser cannon. At the end of the stage, the game tallies the total number of missiles launched and the number that escaped. Stage two pits you against the surviving missiles as they reenter the atmosphere. Stage three is your last chance to destroy the inbound missiles and protect the major metropolitan centers, East City and West City from nuclear annihilation. If a single missile impacts a city or all of your laser cannons are destroyed, the game ends and a summary screen admonishes you for the nuclear holocaust you allowed to happen. As an allegory for the futility of escalated nuclear conflict, Missile Defense 3D is about as subtle as a brick to the head.

 The 3D effect in Missile Defense 3D is much more convincing than in Zaxxon 3D. Missiles really do appear to launch from silos and fly toward the viewer, travel along deep ice crevasses in the North Pole or spiral down through a cityscape. The doubling effect I noticed in Zaxxon is much less apparent here, since the white missiles aren't as heavily contrasted against the much brighter backgrounds.

Unfortunately, the accuracy of the Master System's light gun leaves much to be desired. My shots were all over the place; they only hit their targets about 50% of the time, even when the gun was pressed against the TV screen. I don't know if the problem's limited to my gun or if they all suck equally bad, but it quickly made Missile Defense 3D unplayable as the higher levels. Speaking of which, there's not much variation in the levels. Obviously you shoot nothing but missiles in this game, but there's not much variety in either the missile types or the locations in the game. It's fun for a few minutes, but without any variety, it quickly becomes monotonous. A bonus stage or something would've gone a long way towards extending the entertainment value of Missile Defense 3D.

Thanks for reading my review! Next week, we save a couple of pig-faced ingrates from the Pirates of Pestulon in Space Quest III!

1 comment:

  1. Can you disable the 3d effect like in some of the 3d games?