Wednesday 28 March 2018

Surgical Strike (Sega 32X-CD review)

Developer: The Code Monkeys
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1996

Surgical Strike is a Full Motion Video (FMV) game that was previously released on the Mega CD in 1995.

As a team of special forces your mission is to stop the evil Kabul from killing civilians. The action auto-scrolls, but the C button allows you to turn at pre-determined points. You control a crosshair and the gameplay involves protecting team-mates by shooting enemies and vehicles with your Gatlin Gun or Missiles. There's three missions with the first set in a Desert Town where you need to take control of a town hall. Mission 1 features impressive explosions, but each time you shoot the gameplay is annoyingly interrupted while you watch a video clip. The cursor also moves too slowly meaning the FMV often outruns your crosshair and you take damage from enemies. Ammo is in limited supply too which is a real shame as it makes you fight too cautiously and avoid combat. The video quality is a major step up from the Sega CD version though, with minimal pixelation and a far better frame-rate. Mission 2 is in the Mountains with enemy helicopters and caves; the game starts to lose its way here as the stage features a gigantic play-area with a confusing structure; as a result, wasting firepower and losing lives is commonplace unless you memorise the entire layout. At least you can actually see what's ahead in this version though! Mission 3 takes place on an Island Paradise and starts with scantily clad women being blown up! You then have to rescue a kidnapped team member and destroy Kabul by dropping a ceiling fan on his head. The whole mission is bizarre and features awful green screen effects, such as when the final boss is chopped to pieces and his feet wander away by themselves!

Surgical Strike's vastly improved visuals make this a more respectable and playable version, but that still doesn't mean it's a good game. As a whole, there's just too many issues with its confusing level design and unnecessary ammo restrictions to really recommend this as anything other than a 90's FMV curiosity.

Random trivia: Although originally thought to be cancelled, this Sega 32X-CD version was actually only released in Brazil.

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