With the remake of Total Recall coming out, I figured I’d take a look back at the NES game. It was released to tie in with the original movie, released in 1990, and, well, it was an interesting take on the franchise…and not in a good way.
Let’s get this out of the way: this game is awful, and for a number of reasons. First of all, the game didn’t look or sound like the movie. The soundtrack was upbeat and the visuals were generic and boring. Yeah, I know that the NES wasn’t exactly the most powerful system out there, but at least try! There were certain levels in the game that would claim to reference locations in the movies – like the Last Resort bar (remember the woman with 3 boobs?) – but none of these places actually looked anything like the movie sets. The Last Resort bar was basically a cave with karate skeletons in it. I mean really?
Find out what else went wrong with the game after the jump!
Speaking of oddball enemies, right from the get-go you’re fighting the strangest assortment of bad guys you’ve ever seen, and none of them even remotely resemble anything from the movie. Immediately you’re put up against gangsters in purple suits – some of whom are even hiding in trash cans – and a midget with 3 clones who fights you in an alleyway. NONE of these things are in the movie. Also among the bizarre baddies you come across: killer rats and mice, roller skaters, boomerang throwers, the aforementioned ninja-skeletons, killer frogs and homeless people to name a few.
It was also a strange experience from a developer point of view, as some of the game elements were clearly not thought out very well. First of all, when you die you’re greeted by a screen that says “I’ll be back!”… the tag line from Terminator. Let’s give the developers the benefit of the doubt though…it could be possible that they got so confused making this terrible game that they accidentally borrowed a line from Terminator without realizing their error. Nope. When you run out of lives, you’re greeted by another screen that says, get this, “Your game has been terminated.” Terminated. I don’t even know what to say about that. Also, in the beginning of the game, you can enter a theater that is showing Total Recall. Hmm…interesting choice.
The general way you’re attacked in the game also makes it a little strange. You’re being shot at drive-by style by gangsters, seemingly normal people (in the movie that is) such as your wife evidently have super-human powers and are able to jump clear over your head in battle. Arnold is a big guy, and if Sharon Stone could jump over his head in the movie, she should maybe consider the Olympics instead of acting. Ok, maybe both.
It all culminates against the las boss of the game. Last bosses – generally – are supposed to be difficult. They’re supposed to be an epic battle that ends the game with you wiping the sweat from your bow and feeling that you’ve just completed something awesome. Not this one. The trick to this boss is simple: crouch. That’s it, just don’t stand up and you win. It’s a cheesy ending to an already lactose-filled game.
If you ever want to play it, you can find it in rom form for your favourite NES emulator, but outside of that, I feel like it will be fairly tricky to get your hands on a physical copy. Unless someone unveils a horrible-game museum…and even then it wouldn’t be worse the price of admission.
Let us know what you think if you have played it!