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Mega Force (20th Century Fox)

Posted by DoctorSpuds, 18 April 2019 · 154 views

Mega Force (20th Century Fox)

What time is it? You guessed it its crappy movie tie-in time, and what disappointing movie-based game are we going to be looking at today? Krull? No… Ghostbusters? Nah! Philly Flasher?.. Hell no! Ah! Of course there can be no other than Mega Force! Who remembers Mega Force? ‘cause I don’t, this movie was a total flop at the box office barely making back a quarter of its 20 million dollar budget. It’s your standard Mad Max style post apocalyptic future with awesome vehicles and explosions everywhere. This movie is so disliked that it has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with critics, though it seems audiences like it a bit more with it sitting 41% with them. With a movie this well received it seems only logical that a game bearing its name should be released for the good old Atari VCS. Before we delve elbow deep into this stinker I feel the need to impart some trivia. The commercial for the Mega Force Atari game featured a young Brian Cranston of Breaking Bad fame, he still looked like a 50 year old man though and only had around five frames of his face in shot but it is undeniably Brian Cranston. Okay no more trivia.
 
I gotta hand it to them; they did very good when it came to the graphics of Mega Force. The background and environments are detailed and pleasing to the eye.  The enemy sprites are rather simplistic but they get the job done well enough. The sprites for the cities, fuel depots, and other environmental items like palm trees and oases are done fantastically and are very detailed by 2600 standards. Overall the graphics are done well but I struggle to find anything meaningful to say about them so I’m just going to go on to the sounds.
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The sounds are alright, they’re good and chunky just like I like them. The shooting and explosion sound effects are particularly gratifying but that’s about all I can say about them. The rest of the sounds are the same ones that you’ve heard dozens of times in every other Atari game, in fact I can’t say with certainty that any of the sounds are original, they might all be reused from a different game, Fox or otherwise.
 
The gameplay is so close to being good that it hurts, but it just has so many flaws that it doesn’t quite work. The game that they were trying to emulate was Defender, what with the side-scrolling shooter gameplay and overall feel. The problem is you aren’t allowed to go all out scorched earth like in Defender, here you have to be slow and meticulous because you aren’t out to just destroy things you have to protect them as well. You are tasked with destroying the black and red enemy base while also protecting the white and yellow city of Sardoun, it sounds simple. The get to the enemy base you have to cross a no-man’s-land of enemy aircraft, ground to air missiles, and fuel depots. Here’s where things get difficult, saucers will appear around fuel depots, as will the missiles, the saucers will fire on you pretty indiscriminately while the missiles will lock onto your position and attempt to hit you from the bottom. Any sensible person would just nope the hell out of there but you can’t you have to stop and destroy the saucers because the saucers will continue forward and destroy the city of Sardoun, the game won’t end if the city is destroyed you can destroy the enemy base and finish the round but you won’t get any points for it and you’ll lose a life. So, you’re being forced to confront the saucers it sounds like it shouldn’t be much of a problem, but it is. You maneuver like a three legged rhinoceros wading through molasses, turning around from full speed takes about half the screen and vertical movement is extremely slow while moving forward makes Usien Bolt look like a tortoise.
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The game simply doesn’t work; you are forced to make calculated and sudden movements with the controls from Defender, while maintaining your fuel level, destroying enemies that are attacking from front, back, and bottom, and if you let a single enemy past you may lose the game because those suckers can level Sardoun in a few seconds. The manual mentions bonus items that will boost your score but they won’t matter since you either won’t be alive long enough to collect them, or you won’t get any points from them since Sardoun was leveled since you missed a single saucer and couldn’t turn around in time. If the controls were more precise many of these complaints would be retracted, but as it stands Mega Force is just an average to bad game. If you want a copy for yourself then you’ll be paying around 7-20 dollars for a loose cartridge and 35+ for a boxed copy. It’s Collector’s Zone for Mega Force without a doubt, just play Defender or Defender II you’ll have a far better time.






Oh!!,  Where to begin???

 

I like your reviews, but for some things it doesn't work to use a modern frame of reference...I'm not sure a rose colored glasses approach is necessary either, but putting something into context can be good.

 

I don't want to be that guy (a sentence nearly universally followed by something stupid), like a Vietnam vet telling people "You weren't there man!" ,but...

 

OK, First the movie was liked and enjoyed in its time (I'm surprised it flopped, but I never followed such things back then, so I shouldn't be surprised....)

 

I mean yes it was cornier than a tortilla chip and it definitely did not age well, but if you can get some friends together along with some alcohol and get the Rifftrax version, Life is glorious!,  ...but I digress.  I must be feeling nostalgia because I was there ya know?

 

Vague memories here, but first I want to say we saw a preview for it while watching some other 80's movie, and out of all the previews Mega Force was the only one that seemed interesting to people...I could swear it was one of those things where we all went, "Yeah! I wanna see that!"

 

Then some previews on TV later and we all went and checked it out.  Maybe 2 weeks later it was all forgotten, but it was big for a few days back then haha.....Now how to put this,.. In the 80's most action and sci fi movies missed their mark.  They just didn't have the budgets to make most of it the way they wanted.   Star Wars movies are certainly the exception, not the rule.

 

For action movies,  we all wanted Top Gun but kept getting Iron Eagle, ya know what I mean?  One scene, or perhaps I should say sequence of events missing in Iron Eagle is seeing a good guy's plane fire a missile that hits a  bad guy's plane, which then explodes...What you actually see is stock footage of a good guy's plane, stock footage of a bad guy's plane, a shot of the pilot's hand hitting the button marked "missile", a pic of a toy missile firing, a computer display of a missile firing, and then an explosion where the bad guy's plane was.  Maybe.  This kind of "let your mind fill in the blanks" editing was all over Mega Force too, but it had some good ideas for the time...It might have been silly and kind of ridiculous, but it was fun for what it was.

 

And we still had a year to wait before we could go see Space Hunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone in 3D or Yor: Hunter from the Future...I feel like you're forgetting the time frame is my point.

 

Moving on to the game,  I played it at a Kiosk at Montgomery Wards, (Incidentally the only place I ever remember seeing 20th Century Fox games!)...And I marveled at how good it looked for a 2600 game.   Back then it was very rare to try before you buy.  In fact 9 times out of 10,  I Hated the very idea...No Spoilers!   Putting in the cart and seeing the game in action the first time was all part of the experience.    And I overpaid.  My Boxed copy...Missing the back of the box because...Hmmm...I'm guessing 20th Century Fox had some promo where you had to send in the back of the box????...I have some Activision games where they made us send in stuff too...Anyhow my copy of Mega Force has a price of $34.95 on it...(until ColecoVision Zaxxon,  I think the only game I spent more on was Pac-Man (I'm thinking it was $37.95 as more places sold out of it...Price gouging sucked!)).   Yet,  I distinctly remember walking back home (about 3-4 blocks away) to get a few more dollars then walking back up to Wards to buy it.

 

And, for a good few days, maybe 2 weeks, I was sucked into it and thought Mega Force was really neato!  I was the only guy who had it and it felt like an arcade game because I liked the sound effects and the graphics were very well done for their time.

 

I haven't played it much in the past 20 years,  but I did stick it in a while back for a quick round... maybe I should try it again...

 

I don't know, to be honest.

 

I like my adoring memory of the game the way it is was...Well I like my memory the way it is and the game the way it was... LOL!

 

Then again,  to me,  it's always fun to jump on your flying motorcycle and blow some shit up!

 

4retsg.jpg

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Oh!!,  Where to begin???

 

 

Unfortunately all I can give is a modern frame of reference, if you check my profile you'll see why.

 

 

As for the movie I cannot comment as I have not seen it, I can only regurgitate what facts I've read about it, but it does look like the kind of cheesy sci-fi schlock that I adore. I'll have to watch it sometime.

 

As for the game, as I said in the review, it's so close to being good it hurts. I want to like the game so very much, but I've been spoiled by defender which uses the floatier control style also used in Mega Force perfectly. I find the game to be enjoyable when you're not playing it like it wants you to, screw the cities I'm just going to fly off in the other direction and shoot golden arrows then turn around and destroy the city i'm supposed to protect, then I'll kill everything else on screen. Perhaps if it allowed you to score points after the white city is destroyed... hmmm its all about them points. 

 

I'm curious... did you perhaps feel obligated to enjoy the game because you paid so much for it? It's definitely been like that with me, I played COD Black Ops for the Wii four hours a day seven days a week because I spent 45 of my hard earned dollars for it at Target, I remember it very very fondly. But now if I try to play it I find that the game is an utter pile of uncontrollable crap, it's all I can do not to get motion sickness. I played that game even though I had games like Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (which I later completed), and Super Mario Galaxy 2, which I though at the time was a dumb kids game (I have learned from my mistakes with that one.)

 

We all remember things differently, I'm sure there are many people like yourself who enjoy/enjoyed Mega Force and movies like it, I would definitely fall into that category. But on the other side there are people who didn't like the movie, maybe it just wasn't their preferred genre or they are looking at it with a modern perspective and have been spoiled by modern sci-fi thrillers, and that's okay. And yes it's extremely annoying when the climax of a movie is just a few button presses and stock image explosions, that's why I watch the movies that stock footage came from so there's no excuse. The reminds me, I still have to watch Tarantula...

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Whoops!  I think I came off as one of those annoying guys, huh?

 

BTW,  I liked your review quite a bit...I didn't mean to end up writing so much...That whole thing started out as a couple of sentences...

 

 

Wait, are you only 20?   That would explain a lot.   Also don't change anything on your perspective!   (Of course)...   I was only trying to offer a slightly different viewpoint.   I wasn't meaning it as a rebuttal nor a mini review of my own.  TBH,  I can't even remember if I read the instructions for Mega Force.   BITD I usually read the instructions, believe it or not...

 

At any rate, (removing any nostalgia) watching that movie now would probably be truly ridiculous!   If it wasn't for owning the game I probably would have forgotten most of the experience...I think I just wanted to throw it in there that, at the time, we couldn't tell how truly awful that movie was...(My 14 year old self probably wouldn't make a very good movie critic :)

 

I do still like the game, but I don't even know if I'd remembered that I was supposed to be protecting the city last time I threw it in...

 

 

 

Maybe ya had to be there...Or maybe I'm just a fan of mindlessly blowing shit up!  

 

Cheers Spuds!

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Maybe ya had to be there

 

No worries! In 30 or so years I'm sure I'll be saying many of the same things you said. I fully intend on being one of those guys ;)

 

Wait, are you only 20?   That would explain a lot.

 

 

Yup, I've been told I have an 'old soul' I have no idea what people are talking about with that one.

 

Or maybe I'm just a fan of mindlessly blowing shit up!  

 

 

I prefer blowing shit up to be honest

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I really want to watch Invasion USA with the two of you. Wish we lived close.
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I really want to watch Invasion USA with the two of you. Wish we lived close.

 

Oh,   We gotta!!

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No worries! In 30 or so years I'm sure I'll be saying many of the same things you said. I fully intend on being one of those guys ;)

 

 

 

Yup, I've been told I have an 'old soul' I have no idea what people are talking about with that one.

 

 

 

I prefer blowing shit up to be honest

 

The "Old Soul" thing...They're talking reincarnation here (Past lives...and how many?)...It's often another way of saying you are wise beyond your years...  Only very smart people generally get that compliment! :)

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If nothing else we need beer and This!!!

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=12PlGeUInrE

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PS  I'm  in the comments there a couple of years ago...Just look for GoldLeader.

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The "Old Soul" thing...They're talking reincarnation here (Past lives...and how many?)...It's often another way of saying you are wise beyond your years...  Only very smart people generally get that compliment! :)

 

You don't want to know how many people I've been ;)

 

 

If nothing else we need beer and This!!!

 

Don't forget I'm not legally allowed to drink beer until July, I'm still a baby, remember?

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I don't like beer even if I'm old enough to drink it.
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I don't like beer because I spent years working for a janitorial company, cleaning it up from the other end.

 

And it smells exactly the same.

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You don't want to know how many people I've been ;)

 

 

 

Don't forget I'm not legally allowed to drink beer until July, I'm still a baby, remember?

 

Yeah, but you're an old soul so it's OK ;)

 

Don't worry...I was just talking...   (And the beer is for CaptainBreakout and I...and Carlsson if he changes his mind )

 

 

 

Easy to forget...The drinking age was 19 when I was young...Personally I didn't like beer until college really. 

 

My friend is coming over in a few days...We're gonna drink some beer (just a couple really) and watch some 80's horror movies...I told him I have something else to show him.    I'm just gonna show him that YouTube best of Mega Force Rifftrax...The bummer is that you can't even buy the full DVD of that from their website anymore...(I might check ebay)...

 

I leave ya with this...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Zf16YtSOaUQ

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