08 May 2015


Publisher/Developer:  Sega
Format: Cartridge
Game Size: 128K
Rarity:  4
Game Type: Top Down Action Adventure Game
Region: USA
Other Ways to Play:  None known.
Power Base Convertor Playable?: Yes, 6 button controller compatible.

Price I Paid: 7 Dollars
Price I Would Pay: 6 Dollars
Condition: Game, Case, Manual
Game Rating: OK
Game Completion/Desire to: No / Not Really 
My History:  Bought for the collection.

  Ah dearie me.  This game has taken a while to review mainly because it is just so.. BLAND.  A game that is completely unexceptional in every way.  It just bores me.  Not bad.  Not good.  Not interesting enough to make me want to keep playing, but not bad so I feel a bit upset I don't want to play more and get further along the game for at least the purposes of this review.

  You see you play this kid adventurer called El Nino and you are after stuff I guess.  Your goal is to make it through a long ass series of semi linear top down levels full of respawning enemies with but a handful of lives and no continues.  Each level has two identical boss critters you must defeat in order to complete the stage.  (If you die on a level you go back to either the start or the point where you killed the first boss.)

  You have a list of items on the top of the screen to help you that one of your two action buttons switches between when you don't semi awkwardly just try to stab things with your weedy sword.  The last of your items is the stage specific one which can be such things as a fireball to burn down certain trees or a set of galoshes to let you cross rivers without taking damage.  The various enemies you fight provide you with up to 8 maximum for each of these items.  Sadly the main special weapons are kind of useless most of the time, and the first one is an odd trick item.  Money.

  See there are a couple of cartoon animal dude rivals to your hero who you can bribe to help you by throwing money at them.  Enough of these bags and they turn to your side for a bit and generally get left behind on terrain but will otherwise use the same attack or item you do for a touch of extra firepower.

  The game's big problem is that there aren't any continues and most of the sprites are entirely too large for the screen!  Some of the traps just seem to be able to hit you from anywhere on the screen and it is very hard to avoid them.  While you can jump off a screen and then back to replenish monsters to grab more of the special items as I mentioned most of the weapons just don't really DO all that much and its sometimes just better to risk taking damage by getting in close with your unlimited use sword.

  The stages could be fun light puzzle solving challenges with some exploration and sequence breaking but for the most part they are merely linear with obvious paths.  The grabbing of NPC teammates through bribes doesn't really work too well because they get stuck on terrain most of the time and at best are merely a minor shield or speed bump to protect your character.

  The game doesn't really look, sound, or play bad its just.. its DULL.  Nothing really good or bad about the game.  Its not super hard but not reasonably easy either. It is just an entirely forgettable and soulless game.

  If it had continues and your sprite was maybe 25% smaller and had a little bit better reach or arc to his main weapon it could probably be good at least to check out.  As it is?  Meh.  Just.  MEH.

Next eight screenshots are from Kega Fusion Emulator
 Our hero and his rivals.  For some reason I half expect to see a mechanical gold condor in there someplace...

 Give dude money and he will help you out for a bit.

 On this stage the fifth item is FIRE which allows you to burn these glowing tree things to continue forward.

 One of the identical to the level bosses.  Just avoid his blasts and either use the fireball item or maneuver close enough to just bash it with your sword and avoid the blasts while doing so.

 The death animation is pretty comical.

 Avoid some damaging terrain and now that both bosses are dead you can go on to the next level!

 On this level the bosses are big ass vampire bats.  Stop the bats stop the bats make them go and not come back!

On this stage the special item are galoshes!  Rubber booties to help you avoid damage fording through the river.  Because timing the raft movement plus enemy/terrain attacks on you make life difficult to say the least!  On the nifty side you can sequence break the water if you can take the damage and have enough boots to keep you alive.

The next three screenshots are from a Model 1 Genesis with Power Base Convertor.  As usual its through a composite cable to a Commodore 1084 monitor I sometimes have to slap when the picture goes out for a moment when it warms up but doesn't settle in.
 Its not really Aztec apparently.  Its supposed to be where the Nazca Lines are.  Which almost makes me want to play it long enough to see if aliens show up.  Almost.

 This level gives you some tornado thingie.  

El Nino has a small sword.  I think he needs to change quests and go hunt down Dragon Balls to get a bigger one.  HURR DE HARR ITS A WIENER JOKE!  But seriously his tiny ass sword just pokes out and doesn't swing in an arc or nothing!

And a single Master System screen because I just can't figure out what else to show/talk about the damned game!
You see when you manage to get two of your rivals on the squad and use a special they use it to which can have some strategy, to like hit more stuff and all.  Except its generally easier just to toggle back and forth to wherever the critter that drops that item is till you fill it up than be ammo thrifty.  Course avoiding damage is also a thing..

Master System Play:  Check the screenshots.  Its a tiny bit of color bleed but the cartoony graphics keep things pretty clean and crisp.  All the controllers work but the SMS Control Stick continues to be terrible with diagonals and is thus not usable.  I am unsure if its my controller or what but it seems to more or less be a Pac Man type control option.  Otherwise the SMS pad, the 6 button Genesis, and the Epyx 500xj all do the job swimmingly.

Rating:  See above.  It is just.  EH.  Nothing particularly good or bad.  Nothing to inspire.  Basically its a harmless bit of forgettable fluff.  Luckily its not sought after and is cheap.  So..  OK. Maybe it is your thing but it isn't really mine.  If our hero had a bit larger sword attack with an arcing motion and continues it could possibly even be GOOD.  But there are juuuuust enough bits of annoyance for the blandness and irritation to win out even if the theme and concept are interesting.

Next Time: Mexico Month continues with Montezuma's Revenge which should be a good one!

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