Elevator Action 2 Returns - Taito/Ving
by S. Ives (Scorpion1999@worldnet.att.net)
This sequel to Elevator Action features a new team of heroes- Kurt Bradfield, Edie Burrett, and Jad The Taff. They're up against a terrorist group who's out to start WWIII. Zuntata (Taito's awesome sound team, and a favorite of mine) supplies the killer soundtrack for this version, so crank it up.
When starting the game, you (and another player) choose one of the three characters:
There are 6 levels total in EA2R. Some of these include an airport, a skyscraper, and a sewer. The first level is set up like the original game. Sure, you go into the red doors as in the first game, but now blue doors are available to give you bonuses like extra bombs, extra health, or bonus points. As always, the lights can be shot out and you can jump-kick the enemies. If they get too close, they can be decked (Edie uses one brutal gun-whipping move for this)- but some enemies will take several swats before going down. What's this here... a barrel of toxic waste? Good, shoot it once and let it roll over some bad guys, or keep shooting it to set it ablaze. Tapping the joystick twice left or right and holding it allows you to run. You can smash the enemies under an elevator- or even your partner if you're not careful, which will probably result in your friend calling you a "%$^@!", since there just went one of the two lives that stand between him and his using up another of his continues!
- Kurt Bradfield: He's the fastest of the three, and uses hand grenades that explode across the floor.
- Edie Burrett: She is a bit slower than Kurt, but has one killer gun with a fast rate of fire- how fast can you whale on the fire button? Her fire bombs have a slight delay before going off, but the flames stick around for quite awhile- you can have some fun with these things.
- Jad The Taff: He's SLOW, for Pete's sake! However, he uses the awesome Sensor Bomb that explodes into loads of shrapnel if an enemy comes too close to it.
Special guns can be found, namely the machine gun (M) that lets you hold the button down to blow off a volley of lead, or the rocket launcher (L). These have limited ammo and when they run out, it's back to using your regular weapon. Animation on the characters and enemies is well done. The player animations are very life-like. The enemies keel over convincingly when you kill them off.
There's some gore in the game- shoot enemies and they will bleed. You can even trap some jerk under an elevator- and his blood will seep out from under it. COOL! The gore isn't overdone but is rather "just right". Sometimes, the walls will be stained with blood from shot enemies. You can set the gore level in the options screen by switching the violence option (normal- reduced gore, or hard- all the gore.).
What things got my goat? If you're about to miss a red door, that buzzer that accompanies the "CAUTION!" sign sure will get yours. Hurry to that door so you don't have to put up with that nasty sound any longer than you have to! Also, you have to hit Jump & Shoot to use bombs. Why not 3 buttons- Jump, Shoot, and Bomb?
- - Characters are quite small, about "Prince of Persia" size.
- + Characters animate nicely though and are quite detailed for their size.
- + Good details in the background, such as the graffiti on the building's walls in the first mission.
- + Explosions and flames are beautifully done.
- + Excellent detail in backgrounds, and some good parallax.
- + Great still pictures after each mission's completion.
- - The "CAUTION" buzzer- SHUT UP ALREADY, @#$%!
- + Zuntata brings the tunes. The Player Select and Mission Briefing screens feature one jamming track that prepares you to go in with guns blazing. Background tunes from the game vary in mood from suspenseful to really intense, fitting the game well.
- + Nice gunfire sounds, as well as rousing explosions.
- + Painful sounding death screams when you destroy the enemies.
- + Cool voices- such as Edie's idling animation sometimes being accompanied by what sounds to me like "Doushita?" (Japanese for "What's wrong?"), the commander's voice saying "Enemy reinforcements have arrived!", etc.
Lasting Power: 7
- - You've got to hit Jump and Shoot at the same time to use a bomb.
- + New moves, such as smacking enemies who are at point-blank range, or shooting your gun at an upward angle.
- + You can now run.
- + Two ways to use your bombs- J+S to throw one, or D+J+S to roll it a short distance.
- - Six levels is a tad short, maybe 8 would've been better.
- + This is a tough game, not frustrating though.
- + The levels are quite long.
- + 3 credits per player.
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