The Total Recall


Artist touch: OK, we get it, Arnold is in the game! What is this about again? Cover art rating: 3/10
Month it won:
June 2006

(Acclaim/Interplay, September 1990)
Special note: The game's publisher: Acclaim wanted to pull its ads from Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine after getting some poor reviews for this game.
Introduction and Story:
Last month I fealt kind of bad for giving Zelda II the Dud of the Month so for this month I made sure the game here was much more deserving. For my final Dud in my 6 part NES Dud Series I had to pick a game that was universally known for being both a total letdown and total crap. What could be more perfect then finally naming my Total Recall Dud of the Month none other then the vile, disgusting, and worldwide hated Total Recall: the official video game itself. So maybe you're asking yourself why is this title so bad? This so called game here is nothing more then a super annoying action game that's loosely based on the hit Movie of the same name. Now before you get too excited about reliving the excitement of a mediocre film in game form here you should be warned that with its sad mixture of bland presentation and confusing game play. Total Recall is infamous for being one of the most disappointing Nintendo Entertainment System games of all time and my final game in my NES 6 part Dud Series!

In this crapcart you play the role of Douglas Quaid; (played by famous movie star, American Governor, and ex-porn star I believe Arnold Schwarzenegger) a simple construction worker who is looking for a little down time. He decides to go to a special company called Rekall to get a memory transplant for a virtual vacation to Mars. After the experiment everything seems to go wrong and now everyone around him is trying to kill him, even his own wife. Some how if he wants to get any answers he needs to keep in contact with a mysterious women and then go to Mars to fight the mastermind of Rekall itself. The story is cool but the game has a lot of holes in it so don't know what's going on half the time. For example when you enter a door in the first level you are taken to a small room where you fight a strange women in exercise gear. What the game isn't telling you is that you are actually returning home after the memory transplant incident and your wife, like many others, are trying to kill you. Sadly it just gets worse from there on.
Controls and Game Play:  
The main problem with this standard 2D action platformer here is that it feels like you're going nowhere fast most of the time. The first level alone has special traps littered throughout the stage where if you get caught you are transported to a room with pipes and rats where some red midget guy will start attacking you. If this sounds familiar it's because this is like the whole annoying 'Pit' feature found in my past Dud of the Month: E.T. for the Atari 2600. You know if a game plays like E.T. then you know it's got to be bad. The funny (or sad) thing about these little dudes in these pits is that they are pretty tough and it takes Arnold a few hits to even beat them. If anyone actually remembers his movies Arnold Schwarzenegger was about 6'3ft and 250 pounds of muscle and he can still defeat blue SWAT police his same size with just one hit here! Talk about bad balance issues.

Sadly, even though it takes a small miracle to even complete one level in this atrocity since there are a lot of indestructible enemies shooting at you but there are no Save or even password options here at all either. You have to finish it all in one sitting and that very hard to do with these very stiff controls. Jumping itself may be too quick but it isn't too difficult but your hero's primary attack punches are just short and weak so it's hard not to get hit by near by enemies.
Don't wanna read? Here's is me and Jay's video on this game too. Warning: some nasty language.

Graphics and Sounds:  

Hi honey, what's for dinner?
If all that wasn't bad enough this game even tries to rip off some material from Arnold's other movies like Terminator 2: Judgment Day. When the Arnold character loses a life he even says: "I'll be back!" One of his main catch phases IN ANOTHER MOVIE! In one of the best scenes in the game (the Game Over scenes of course) it actually tells you: "You're game has just been Terminated!" I'm just surprised he's not searching for Turboman here too like in Jingle all the Way. All this just adds to the very poor look and overall quality of the game. The game actually starts out OK with some good digital like-ness of a younger Arnold himself with some eerie music in the background but the actual game itself is not so good to say the least. For a game based on a intense action everything here looks way too cartoonish to be taken seriously. Your hero looks like complete dork whenever he jumps or runs thanks to poor animation done on the legs and the rest of the enemies are just as bad too. The second stage has a kind of cool x-ray effect and the cinemas were too shabby either but everything else was just plain and below average. As bad as the graphics the music here is even worse. The main background track is very bouncy and up beat and doesn't fit the action feel of the game at all. You better get use to it though because it's the track throughout the entire game.
The Bottomline:  
This game is legendary for being one of the worse games ever made and after playing it I can really see why. The graphics just stink, the music will make you ears bleed, and the game play is frustrating as hell that it almost insures that no one would want to replay this. Sure the movie was kind of fun but the game here just doesn't take itself seriously at all and it's one of the main reasons why most knowledgeable gamers stay away from movie games altogether. Although this isn't the worse NES game I ever played (Color A Dinosaur I'm looking at you), you would think a game starring Arnold and his hit movie would be a lot better then this combination of pee and crap molded into a circuit board here, eh? Pick up the abysmal Total Recall for a good laugh but only if it's really, REALLY cheap!

If you are looking for a bad game make sure you look for the Total Recall seal of dishonour for the cutting edge of virtual multimedia crap. It insures you are getting the very worse in interactive non-entertainment.

overall rating: 08/100
Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 2/10
sound: 1/10
gameplay: 1/10
replay: 0/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

See other Total Recall duds of the month