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Originally released in 1988 as an arcade machine by Capcom before being ported over too the Amiga, Sega Megadrive, Supernintendo and a number of other formats, 'Forgotten Worlds' is a fairly formulaic side-scrolling shoot-em-up in which you play as a heavily-armed, jetpack-equipped soldier who hovers in mid-air blasting away at foes both in the air and on the ground as the screen scrolls steadily from left to right.
One innovation the game does has going for it is that your character is able to fire in 360 degrees, rather than just straight forward, but other than this its shoot-ep-up business as usual as you blast your way through the various baddies whilst collecting 'zennies'- the in-game currency that can then be spent on more powerful weapon upgrades and other equipment as you progress through the game's levels.
The graphics are really rather nice, as your character fliues over desolated futuristic cityscapes blasting away at mini-spaceships and floating and standing lizardmen wielding plasma-guns and rocket launchers, although the sega version is far better than the amiga port, which has terrible music and more basic (though still appealing) visuals.
All things considered, 'Forgotten Worlds' is a perfectly playable and nice-looking retro shooter with varied weapons but its nothing particularly original and there exist plenty of better games of its type to choose from.
Forgotten Worlds is Capcom's CPS1 masterpiece, which was ported to a variety of other systems.
Many moons ago, my brother and I were given a Megadrive for Christmas along with Altered Beast (Wise fwom your gwave!) and Ghostbusters. Every birthday or xmas after that, we would be allowed a game, as in those days, £35 was a fair bit of cash! For my birthday I went to the game shop and chose Forgotten Worlds.
I have NEVER regretted that decision.
You are humanity's last hope against the alien scum who have invaded Earth. Playing on your own, or with a friend, you fly through the skies dealing out futuristic damage with your arsenal of weapons.
The game differed to shoot em ups of the time for a few reasons.
1) You have a life bar and as such can withstand a barrage of attacks. You can top up your life at the ingame store as well as by finding health power ups hidden in the game. You can also buy armour which makes you invincible for three or five hits.
2) In two player mode you have unlimited continues as long as one of you is still alive.
3) Most enemies, when hit, leave behind Zenny (Capcom's currency in its games) By collecting this, you can stop off at the store and buy new weapons, upgrades, armour, health, potions or information.
4) You have a satellite which also fires shots. You can move all over the screen and rotate yourself with the satellite to fire in all directions. This is essential as enemies come from everywhere!
Purists of the genre may not like some of these ideas, but I still think they are excellent. Trying to complete the game with different weapons if great fun and adds replay value.
The console and computer ports are not as good as the original CPS1 version in arcades. The Megadrive version misses out one of the boss fights, a couple of levels and some of the weapons work differently for example. The music, effects and graphics are not as good, but still of high quality for the time.
You are forced to battle through a variety of stages- ruined cities, egyptian level, cloud base and final tower- each with a snippet of plot conversation inserted. None of these conversations make much sense, but this only adds to the charm of the game.
The action is frantic and the difficulty is spot on for my tastes. I have recently got the original arcade version and am trying to work my way through it to complete it on one credit as I was able to do on the Megadrive version.
This is not the best shooter ever made, but it certainly is not the worst, and for retro fans, it will no doubt bring back some great memories.
My seemingly endless trawl through the obsolete Sega MegaDrive archive this week highlights Forgotten Worlds, a game that may, indeed, have become forgotten in the nineteen years since it first hit arcades partly due to its uselessly misleading title. Rather than being one of those early role-playing Lord of the Rings style games that were quite good, if a little unoriginal, it is instead a scrolling shoot-em-up set in a post-nuclear The Terminator style world in which the players goal is to blast the hell out of everything. Again, not the most original concept, but still something of an arcade niche in 1988.
Published by Capcom, Forgotten Worlds has much in common with the R-type shoot-em-up, replacing the standard spaceship with a meataxe Aryan marine dressed in blue, with shades (or if youre playing in two player mode, a black marine dressed in red, with shades). These characters hover in a crouched position through the level by means that are probably explained in the original game manual, though perhaps not; suspension of disbelief is pretty much required in these 80s arcade games, and a swarm of enemy craft make sure to zip onto the screen before too much time is allowed to dwell on such things.
The object of the game is essentially to shoot everything you can as the screen scrolls along to the right, pausing only when confronted with a ridiculously oversized boss at the end of each stage. As well as the floods of hostile spaceships, robots and monsters, the game features many obstacles of terrain that have to be navigated carefully. The game makes some effort to differentiate itself through featuring a human character rather than the traditional spaceship, meaning that touching walls does not mean instant death, and that the bottom of the level is indeed the ground of some post-apocalyptic city, from which convenient shops can spring. As usual in games of this type, money can be collected from destroying enemies, and this can be used to upgrade weaponry and defences in the store, which become more elaborate and destructive as the game progresses. The ability to buy back the players health makes the playing experience less frustrating and terrifying than something like Zero Wing, where one touch by an enemy laser would cause instant death.
The most notable idea incorporated into the game is the ability to shoot in a complete circle, 360 degrees around the character, although the game continues to scroll to the right and this is where most of the enemies originate. This handily eliminates the blind spot when a group of ships snakes its way back and forth along the screen, but also takes a degree of practice to master. Helpful in the initial stages, this technique proves vital in later levels, and on the static screens of the end-of-stage bosses. Its not too difficult to master, but it does become something of a burden having to return to the base forwards position after pretty much every wave of enemies.
Ported to the Sega MegaDrive, the arcade controls are adapted to the three-button joypad, with the directional buttons logically moving the character up, down, left or right along the scrolling playing field, while the B button shoots. The A and C buttons rotate the marine clockwise and anti-clockwise respectively, spinning rapidly if the button is held down or simply nudged a little in each direction if tapped. The options screen offers the helpful ability of autofire, which eliminates the need to press the B button by making the buzzing stream of friendly fire constant, and all but necessitates muting the television to avoid being driven insane by the relentless uninventive sound effect of the guns.
The sound effects are all practical and unambiguous, as would be hoped and expected, and the in-game music is typical arcade fare: a weakly synthesised techno bass rhythm overlaid by a jarring dramatic score of beeps that strives to be an electric guitar on occasion, but fails to compare to something like Golden Axe. Even the main title theme is nothing to write home about, which always disappoints me in games of this type which have the potential to sound really good. The graphics are similarly standard, and evidently not an area in which the producers decided to be innovative; the players and enemies look vastly different, largely the result of the typical multi-coloured format, and while its nice that a little attention has been paid to the background, it amounts to little more than a skyline and starfield so as not to distract the player. The walls and boundaries make themselves very obvious, and its impossible to miss the flashing laser bullets approaching from all angles.
Forgotten Worlds is far from being one in a million. Its probably more like one in five or so, in that its pretty much exactly the same as a ton of other games, but is able to grab the passing arcade customers attention with its fancy rotating gun technique, and super-short demo clips that show the two players working cooperatively with some seriously impressive firepower that the player cant seriously hope to acquire for some considerable time. Like all of these games, it becomes repetitive and tedious after a very short time, and the incentive of beating the game or racking up the highest score is clearly far more suited to its original free-standing environment than a home console cartridge, but this game still manages to remain more memorable than most other R-types, mainly for featuring a half-naked, flying, beefy Duke Nukem guy rather than just another spaceship. You know, just because its different and stuff. Theres nothing funny about me.