Monday, February 16, 2015

Game Review: More Almost-Arcade Classics Find Their Way To Windows Phone

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In yet another clone-wars saga, Paperboy Rampage has made its way to Windows Phone. I know it seems silly to review yet another ripped off title from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but hey, it was in the Store and it was on the up and coming list. So, before I get caught in my tirade about the fact that games like this are illegal and they need to be pulled, let’s take a look at the game play.

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Since I had previously done a review on a Paperboy clone, I figured starting on the Rampage side of Paperboy Rampage made more sense. For those of you that weren’t born 30 years ago and don’t know the history, Rampage is a game where you turn in to a monster and trash the town. You do this by climbing up the buildings and punching them. It’s about as simple as a game gets, but it delivered hours of fun back in the day. Unfortunately, this version of Paperboy Rampage missed the mark on a few fronts.

First off, the classic HOME version of the game is what you are getting here. You won’t see the original arcade fun here. Next up, the controls with the “d-pad” on the left and the “a-b buttons” on the right just don’t work well. I think it has something to do with the fact that the classics weren’t designed to have anything covering the screen except for a few quarters. When you stretch the graphics out and then cover half the playing area with your two big thumbs, game play becomes decidedly less fun. Then to make it worse, if your hand is touching anywhere near the screen, the buttons become a bit dead and you can’t execute your moves. Overall, not a great controlling experience.

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After about 10 minutes of frustration, I finally had my first dead wolf. It basically took that long for enough army helicopters to appear to shoot me down, so don’t think that was a good game. While I appreciate what the game is supposed to do, and I can appreciate the fact that indie developers want to bring classics to Windows Phone, I still have a major issue with the fact that these games are being distributed without licensing agreements. Perhaps if they were, Bally/Midway and Nintendo would step up to the plate and make a better emulator system with better controls and everyone would benefit.

Until then, I think these games are doomed to suffer a level of mediocrity. They are playable, but not as much as they were in the arcade. They are fun, but not nearly so much when you can’t see the action. They are classics, but the home versions of said classics were never as good as the real arcade action. Face it, they are good copies, but you know what they say, “A copy is never as good as the original.”

Download Link: Paperboy Rampage

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