Tuesday 10 March 2015

Time Gal (Mega CD / Sega CD review)

Developer: Wolf Team
Publisher: Renovation Products
Released: 1992

Originally released in the Arcades in 1985, Time Gal is one of the many 'Action Reaction' FMV games for the Mega CD.

It consists of four levels with several short acts each and you simply watch the action and press the button displayed on screen. The video content looks stunning and it's easily one of the most colourful games on the system. I'm not sure if Time Gal is supposed to be a bad ass though as one minute she's scared and whiny and the next she's confident and taunts the enemy! Even on Easy mode the game is stupidly difficult and without the level select cheat I probably wouldn't have seen anything past the second level! You only have a miniscule amount of time to react to the on-screen icons and if you miss one you lose a life. Also, because the game is so colourful and there's lots going on it's common not to see the visual indicator shine so you have no idea that you're supposed to press a button. There are some audio clues of when you'll be required to do so but they don't always play and you're left to try and react while the action packed video shifts all over the place. As a result you have no choice but to keep playing the levels until you memorise every single button press - this is boring and you might as well just read the sequences from a piece of paper. Some of the checkpoints are ridiculous meaning if you lose a life you'll usually start at the middle of the stage and have to know to react immediately. Like The Masked Ninja: Kamen Rider ZO (1994, Mega CD) there are times when you'll have a decision to make. These usually result in you losing a life as it's impossible to tell what the consequence will be.

Considering the other excellent titles Wolf Team developed for the Mega CD (i.e. Road Avenger, Cobra Command) I was very disappointed with Time Gal. While the animation is stunning I found the rest of the game to be boring, frustrating and overall quite dull.

Random trivia: The game was also ported to the PS1 in 1996 and again the following year on the Sega Saturn.

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