Friday, September 2, 2011

Uncensored "Generations Lost" Review for Sega-16

Ever hear of a Genesis game called "Generations Lost"? Yeah, I never did either until really late in the life-cycle of the Genesis, but it managed to stick out in my mind for some fucking reason...that and I reviewed it for Sega-16 due to the fact that there aren't that many Genesis games left available to review, so I figured fuck it...and well, here we are.


Published by Time Warner Interactive
Developed by Pacific Softscape

The Genesis/Mega Drive offers a plethora of platformers that we all know by heart at this point. The Sonic the Hedgehog series, Vectorman, Ristar, and plenty, plenty more besides. Most of them are beloved titles that have stood the test of time and define Sega’s classic 16-bit juggernaut to this very day. In between all those beloved games however are a few that manage to slip in between the cracks of the console’s library and for whatever reason didn’t seem to attract much of an audience. Some are better left unnoticed, while some are real diamonds in the rough…and then there are one or two that don’t really fall into either category at all. They’re not that memorable, but they’re not flat out shit either. Generations Lost is one such game, as it doesn’t offer anything new to the platforming genre, nor does it do anything particularly bad either.

In Generations Lost, you assume the role of a warrior named Monobe, who is on a quest to “search for the past of his people”…or something…I don’t know, nor do I really give a shit either, let’s just get this show on the road. Your real quest is to dodge various environmental hazards and take on an assortment of blood-thirsty creatures and assorted baddies to make it to the end of each level. Along the way is a healthy amount of brain teasing puzzle elements that keep the game from getting too stale too quickly, and offers a nice change of pace to the usual platforming and taking out enemies elements. There’s also a healthy amount of locating secret switches, which in itself ends up becoming more fucking monotonous than need be.

Graphically speaking, Generations Lost offers some pretty decent graphics. Monobe himself is nicely detailed, as are the enemy creatures. They make up for the otherwise bland level visuals, which look like a hodgepodge of designs from past platformers, including an opening jungle stage that looks like it was ripped straight out of the first level of the first X-Men game on the Genesis. Things don’t really change much from that point forward though throughout the game’s six levels, as even though the stage location changes, yet somehow they all seem to manage to look like one another. This sort of betrays the somewhat awesome opening cut-scene of the game, which seems to promise some sort of futuristic action/adventure game, yet judging by the majority of the locations, we get anything but. Still though, the level design itself is solid and offers some pretty good platforming action as well.

Graphical flaws and shortcomings aside, Generations Lost does offer some tight controls. Monobe can do a variety of movements, including run, shoot energy projectiles, and swing and move from platform to platform with relative ease using an energy rope. Yes, Monobe is like Spider-Man but with energy-based technology and armor, and without any whiny musings about his troublesome red-headed bimbo girlfriend or his two-steps-away-from-being-a-fucking-mummy Aunt May (that’s right I said it). Using all these abilities and movements is surprisingly tight and responsive, albeit it takes a little getting used to at first, but after a while it becomes simple to do and pull off, and almost being a little reminiscent of Capcom’s classic NES game Bionic Commando in the process, which is not a bad thing to be compared to in the least.

The game’s difficulty however is a different story. Generations Lost has a steep learning curve, as mentioned before in discussing getting used to the game’s controls, but it doesn’t help matters when the game goes from being easy to increasingly difficult as the game progresses. Once you get through some the hardest parts in the game, things get easy again, before once again getting even fucking harder than before. This can range from the amount of enemies you encounter, to environmental traps popping out of nowhere, to some frustrating puzzles. I’m all for difficulty in a game and getting a good challenge, but when it keeps moving from one end of the spectrum to another and back again and again and again, you’ll be pulling your hair out and shitting your pants in frustration. Even if the game is only six levels long, you’ll be glad it is by the time you reach the end.

All its flaws aside though, Generations Lost still has a lot to offer for Genesis/Mega Drive owners. It has an intriguing enough story that is fairly original for a game of this type and era and a somewhat interesting protagonist on top of that, plus some appealing graphics and tight controls. Its difficulty fluctuation and visually bland levels end up dragging it down, but not to the degree of being unplayable. With all that being said, Generations Lost is a worthwhile enough endeavor to pick up and play. You can find it simply enough on eBay or even download it from a few different places on the internet, so there’s really no harm in giving Generations Lost a whirl.

Score: 6/10

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