The Total Recall

The Deadly Inner War

Artist touch: How do you fight aliens? All you need is a ugly green suit jump suit and the dumbest looking gun you ever seen. Cover art rating: 3/10
Month it won: March 2006

(Milton Bradley/Natsume, March 1990)
Special note: Abadox is a 2 Megabit game so Abadox does look a little better then some NES titles before 1990.
Introduction and Story:
In this third edition of this Stud or Dud NES series I have a question for you: have you ever got something you thought was cool but you soon learn it was just an inferior product to something better? Maybe you got a dusty old Coleco instead a fully loaded Alien Ware Computer, maybe you brought a lame Dodge Neon instead of getting that shiny new Porsche in the corner, or even worst you were stuck with a Sega Dreamcast when you could have gotten a Xbox 360? It just goes to shows you for every good game out there for the NES, there is one that just doesn't measure up. Take the weak shooting game Abadox for example.

In this game your home planet of Abadox was destroyed by the deadly alien race known as the Parasitis and make matters worst they just swallowed a peaceful hospital ship containing beloved Princess Maria. You are the lone survivor of the poorly named World Alive Force so you're the only one left who can enter the strange and very dangerous organic world. If you fail both the galaxy and the trapped Princess are pretty much doomed but see why most players won't even care.
Controls and Game Play:
Much like Konami's cult favourite Life Force, Abadox is a 6 level shooting game with both side and vertical scrolling stages. You start the game with a basic straight shot and only one hit will kill you but certain aliens will drop different power ups like the important P shields to the rather useless and slow three way shot. Some of the power ups are actually pretty cool but you lose them all once you die making you a sitting duck when you restart. One of the reasons the game is so difficult is you have a lot standard weapons that just shoot forward but a lot of your enemies can shoot you from different angles and it gets even worse in tight corridors. It looks like your flying hero is too stupid to just point his gun where the enemy is or is the developer here the slow one? Either way its poor game design 101.

Although this game borrows a lot from Life Force it looks they forgot all the good parts unfortunately. Abadox is one tough game with a lot of on screen enemies and bullets but you are stuck playing through this mess all alone because there is no two player support here. I guess they had to take out any two player mode to avoid too much in-game slowdown (although the slowdown is still there) but it still sucks.
Graphics and Sounds:  

Now where have I seen this before?
OK, the game doesn't sound pretty good so far but I will say the graphics are not too shabby. The colours are nice and bright and some of the backgrounds are actually fairly detail for a NES game but I swear some of the scenes in Abadox were lifted right from Life Force (again!). For example: in stage 1 there is a bunch of curved teeth moving up and down just like the ones found in Life Force's first stage. Is it too late for Konami to sue? The enemies themselves are large and easy to see on screen but design of these odd opponents leave a lot to be desired. Although the graphics are kind of all right, the music isn't so hot. Each unique weapon comes with it own sound effect but the game's music is ultimately forgettable low rent rock and the boss track should get the award 'Dumbest NES Soundtrack ever'.
The Bottomline:  
Abadox is filled with 6 disgusting yet detailed alien worlds and if you like your games hard then maybe this is for you but what's the point of playing if the whole theme just feels the same level to level and even the music repeats itself too much. Abadox also fails to be even a fair game because there is no two player option and your hero is one huge target. The game is especially hard in the later stages so casual gamers will have no problem pulling the cart here and replacing it with something better (which is almost anything). Bottomline is Abadox here is a routine shooting game that just leaves you feeling cheated and dirty and not in a good way!

I'm no expert or nothing but aren't those arms too long and the legs too short?
overall rating: 46/100
Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 6/10
sound: 4/10
gameplay: 6/10
replay: 5/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

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