Time Soldiers

a game by Alpha Denshi

Platform: Sega Master SystemSega Master System

Genre: Shooting Games

  • Manufacturer: Sega
  • Machine: Sega Master System

Once upon a time, a powerful galactic conqueror, Gylend, attacked the earth and set up a stronghold. A group of seven Earth Command Troopers were sent to infiltrate the stronghold and discover whatever secrets they could. Unfortunately, five of the seven Troopers were captured by Gylend, changed into red energy balls and scattered throughout time. Now the two remaining Troopers, Yohan and Ben, must travel through time, confronting the many obstacles that block them from their friends' rescue.

It all sounds familiar, doesn't it? I'm willing to bet that if you read all the video-game scenarios written, you'd find that 90% of them require the player to rescue a princess or a friend or some other important person. Of course, that doesn't matter much. The scenarios are, in most cases, extra baggage - especially in the case of a shoot-'em-up. There's been many great games - I can name Super Mario Bros. and The Adventure of Link right off the top of my head - that also use this tired scenario. They succeed, anyway.

Unfortunately, not only does Time Soldiers from Sega offer the same worn-out scenario, it offers a fairly mediocre game as well. This a boring contest, whose only saving grace is its gorgeous graphics - they really are terrific.

Since Time Soldiers is a one- or two-player shoot-'em-up (in the two-player mode, the players work cooperatively), one would think that it would at least be a fast-action game, but that's not so. This one won't get your blood pumping.

Worse, Yohan's and Ben's weapons fire off center from their shoulders. Aiming is frustrating at best and almost impossible when the action picks up a little. Someone should tell game designers that people don't like off center weapons. They are pointless and infuriating.

As I mentioned previously, you, as Yohan or Ben, must travel through time to rescue the captured Troopers. Basically, you fight your way through to a time tunnel, which will transport you to the next time zone. In order to get the time tunnel to appear, you have to fight and defeat a "Middle Boss". When you arrive at the time zone in which a prisoner (transformed into an energy ball) is being held, you must, after doing away with the Middle Boss, face the "Big Boss".

Each time zone is actually made up of three sublevels. When a time tunnel appears, you may choose to enter it and move on to the next time zone, or move past it to the next sublevel. This, combined with the fact that the game can begin at the first sublevel of any of several different time zones, gives the game an unfocussed feel. After playing the game for several hours, I still wasn't exactly sure what the point was.

And that's about it. You wander through each level trying to shoot creatures with a gun that's almost impossible to aim, gathering up additional weapons dropped by your vanquished enemies. Infrequently, you'll be awarded a Speed-Up, Power-Up or a Warp, which will allow you to move faster, give you automatic weapons, or bring you instantly to the Big Boss, respectively. Even the sound effects are boring. In fact, when you get hit by an enemy's fire, there's no sound at all. Your on-screen character simply blinks.

All the time I played this game, I felt I was missing something. Finally I decided it wasn't me at all. Time Soldiers is simply a loser.

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