Sunday 26 December 2021

Operation Wolf (NES review)

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Released: 1989

Operation Wolf is an action game that uses either the NES controller or light-gun Zapper.

Terrorists have kidnapped American Embassy officials and you must locate the jungle stronghold to complete your rescue mission. You're armed with a machine gun and grenades, and bonus items can be shot to gain things such as additional ammo or dynamite that blows up all enemies on screen. Using the Zapper allows you to quickly move your sight in a similar fashion to a mouse, but the major downside is that enemy vehicles need several hits to destroy and the technology in the accessory cannot handle rapid fire; this results in you continuously pulling the trigger for single shots until repetitive strain injury sets in halfway through the first stage. There's also an accuracy issue, as shot locations are slightly off compared to other Zapper games. The controller is more comfortable as it allows for rapid fire, and I like how there's several options to dial-in the cursor's sensitivity; unfortunately, it suffers from the same accuracy problem, as the hit boxes often don't reflect where you're aiming. There's a nice mixture of enemy types to grab your attention though and you're constantly having to manage firing vs ammo conservation. However, enemies swarm in packs throughout every moment of every stage; not only is this very challenging, it also doesn't engage players as much as it could have due to the lack of calmer moments to build up the intensity. Your life doesn't refill after most completed levels, which is probably an attempt to disguise how short the entire game is at just six stages. The music and SFX are weak, but I like the cut-scenes and multiple endings based on how you perform.

Operation Wolf has short-term appeal if you're looking for a rather mindless shooter, but those hoping for something a bit more tactical or diverse are unlikely to find anything here that suits. The Zapper functionality is completely unusable too, and the inaccurate hit boxes of either control type leaves a sour taste.

Random trivia: The Japanese version allows you to choose which order to play the stages.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Find a Review