This is my most favourite game ever. I originally became a fan 'back in the day' when it came out in the arcades. With its dual joystick control for each player, it was an original and innovative control mechanism (first seen in the Robotron: 2084) game, and one that would prove frustratingly difficult to initially get to grips with. However, it just had you coming back for more and more. When this game was announced for release on the home console I was ecstatic. If you're a fan of the movie The Running Man then this is the game that should have been developed for the film (unlike the poor actual tie-in that was developed).
The game adopts a top-person shooter point-of-view, where you have to exterminate literally thousands of enemies in each section of the gaming arena before being allowed to progress to the next round. You are given short visuals of the mapped out arena so you can plan your route, which also hosts a number of hidden bonus rooms in each of the four seperate arenas. The collision detection is fantastic, and it needs to be considering the close proximity of the oncoming adversaries. Eight way directional fire really brings the game into its own, along with a host of satisfying weaponary and power-ups for the trigger-happy amongst you. Throw in some random bonus prizes into the equation - toasters, cash, cars, etc (it is a gameshow set in the future remember), humongous end bosses that require a ridiculous amount of firepower to destroy, and a quirky gameshow host throwing in some amusing voiceovers randomly mid-game - you are left with a well rounded game that will keep you coming back for more.
The 2 player cooperative part of the game is also exceptional. Playing alongside your mate as you try to fend of the hordes of bad guys coming your way, whilst cunningly trying to out-do them at the same time by snapping up all the prizes and power-ups before they can leads to a nice level of competitiveness that can also leave a somewhat sourness in the air if you keep snagging all the good stuff before them. Tee hee hee indeed!
My advice, use this review to find yourself a copy of this awesome game (there should be links not too far away), picking up a SNES along the way to play it if you don't already own one, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
A parting thought - imagine this as a 4 or 8 player online game. Come on Williams, you've got a legendary game here, get your finger out and breath some new life into it. I'd certainly buy that for a dollar!
Over 20 years old, Smash TV was made available for 400 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live's Marketplace. I purchased it when a friend brought it to my attention, mainly because we always try to find decent cooperative games, even classics. Smash TV rightfully holds that title, although rather posthumously. Its reason for success back in the early 90s was down to its arcade machines with joysticks, buttons and flashing lights. The point of the game is to advance through levels, shooting enemies and gaining cash, while the host loads of old school phrases, as if it were some sick futuristic game show. It must have garnered some popularity because it was whored out to several other consoles including NES, SNES Sega Master System, Mega Drive and Nintendo 64.
You basically navigate a small man around the static screen using the directional pad, shooting various enemies by mashing the buttons. This is the unique part of it as the buttons act as a d-pad for shooting (A shoots down, B right, X left and Y up). As you finish off the enemies (mostly humans and crazy looking, obscure monsters) you progress to the next level, choosing to go up, down or left. Certain enemies drop power-ups that include better weapons, bombs, money and lives. Get hit by an enemy 6 times and you die - plain and simple. This is what makes it difficult because like all the older games (especially arcade games) the difficulty is quite extreme.. I'd guess because people would keep putting more money into the machine to beat the game. Theres also bosses towards certain area ends which require random amounts of damage and finish the levels. When a level is finished with a partner, you see your money count to make it a bit more competitive. The achievements are equally difficult, or at least some of them are. Some need you to complete levels and defeat bosses without using continues or changing the default settings. For reasons unknown, Microsoft discontinued the ported digital download, perhaps due to lack of sales and / or poor ratings. So it is no longer available on xbox unless you've already downloaded it..
Originally released as an arcade game in 1990, Smash TV has since been ported onto the SNES, Playstation, Xbox and Xbox 360.
The game borrowed heavily from the themes in the film Running Man, and involves players competing in a heavily violent game show, set in the then future of 1999. Players make their way through a variety of rooms, where they must defeat a swarm of enemies in each room before they are allowed to progress. New weapons, power up items and bonus prizes drop throughout, which the player must try to collect at the same time as defeating enemies from each side of the room.
Boss fights crop up after a set amount of levels, which can all be defeated by simply firing constantly at them. Smash TV's gameplay is actually extremely challenging. Enemies come in the form of frantic hordes which can easily smother you if you do not keep the quota down in due time. The original version of the game, and the SNES port does not allow for continues, so expect to see yourself dying and re-trying from the beginning of the game an awful lot. The later ports are much more forgiving, and allow for either a set amount of lives, or an unlimited amount. This makes the game far less challenging, but the enjoyment factor is definitely still there.
Smash TV is a highly entertaining but very challenging game. The enemy types are varied and add a new challenge (eg. one enemy type explodes, spreading shrapnel in all directions), but the gameplay is pretty much the same throughout. Each level reminds you to avoid shrapnel,bombs and enemy attacks, whilst gunning down the substantial amount of enemies. Progress to the end, beat a boss, and claim your cash prize!
"Good luck...you'll need it!"
Smash TV allowed for a multi-player gaming experience, and this is where the fun most definitely comes in. Going in with another player helps to prevent you from dying so much. Players can co-operate on each level, in the sense that they are lightening the enemy load between them, but the competition lies in how many bonus items they can pick up, and ultimately, how many enemies they shoot down.
The games graphics are very impressive, and I feel that they still hold up in today. The game show setting is vibrant and grand-looking, and the developers have really created some intriguing looking boss characters. One thing I distinctly remember about Smash TV is the music. The tv show theme music is catchy, and really adds to the exciting atmosphere created in the TV studio design. The dialogue borrows lines from the 1987 film RoboCop, thus acting as some sort of slight homage to this popular movie. My only criticism is that looking back on this game now, the music and dialogue seem a little muffled in comparison to the sound effects. However, this is only a minor observation, and does not dampen the games enjoyment.
Overall, Smash TV is a hugely memorable game. The game has a very high difficulty, which was probably done to not only give some sort of challenge to more experienced gamers, but I guess to encourage them to keep pumping coins into the arcade machine. Smash TV is much more enjoyable when played with a second player, as competing against another player for the highest winnings seems, at least to myself, more fulfilling than shooting through it solo. Smash TV is definitely a classic that I still like to play through. With a wingman, that is.
-Also on Ciao under "MonsoonBaby88" and on 8-Bitgirl.blogspot.com
Gamers, this is no long, epic adventure to sink your teeth into. Neither is it a deep game, with endlenss variety. It's just fun. Smash TV is an arcade game that really succeeds in being a easy to pick up game and worth a couple rounds. While I would certainly not suggest purchasing this game, it's worth a try. If you can find this gem in arcades again, or if you can find an old console version, check it out. Don't tell me that Robotron is the same thing. I realize that. Robotron doesn't the same atmosphere as this game though. Super Smash TV really makes you feel as if you are participating in a dangerous game show, it is just plain fun and isn't that what games are about? Smash TV takes place in a futuristic world where the most popular TV shows are Gladiator type battles. You move from room to room, eliminating the many enemies either by yourself or with allies. The enemies can range from little pixel guys to giant robots, racking up points from room to room and trying your best to stay alive. Frenzy, fun action that would make you waste all your quarters in the arcade. The powerups are exciting and new, which help you get past the game's obstacles. Graphics: Even for it's time, sloppy, sloppy, oh and did I mention sloppy? The screen is dark the entire time and the pixels are mostly distorted. Did it take away any of my fun. No. Gameplay: Woo, basically, you're participating in this futuristic TV show which lets you blast at all this stuff. Right when you get launched into the arena, the fans scream 'GO GO GO' and hypes you up, ready to blast anything in your sight. Heheh, this game is really a guilty pleasure. The game lets you go cooperative with a partner to help you try to complete the game. Short but sweet action. There are plenty of powerups to grab and that's what I like about this game, how you kill your enemies and trying to stay alive. Frentic, fun action. Control:
Basic controls. Like every other arcade game, simple to pick up and master. Music: Woah, I'm actually humming some of the music now that I think of it. It doesn't have Squaresoft music or anything but it fits with the atmosphere of the game pretty well. What make this game so special? Why are my comments mostly positive in the review but it still earns only two stars? It's an arcade game. Plain and simple. Arcade games aren't meant to be the best games ever, they just need to be fun. If I were to rate Super Smash TV as an arcade game alone, it would maybe get 3 stars. However, since this is the Super NES version of the game I cannot do that. I don't know why I'm writing a review of this game. Usually you write reviews of games that you absolutely love and want to share with everybody. But I don't know, when I saw this product here I just wanted to write something about it, I actually laughed seeing it here. But moreso because I really don't know why these kind of games aren't made anymore, if well done these kind of games can be a grand experience.