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Body Harvest (N64)

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4 Reviews
  • very long and big
  • Perhaps too challenging for some
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    4 Reviews
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      30.11.2009 15:20
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      An unforgettable classic

      Body Harvest, developed by DMA Design, was originally scheduled to be released alongside the launch of the N64, problems with finding a publisher delayed the game to a 1998 release.

      The player must take control of Adam Drake, a genetically engineered soldier and the Earths last hope against an invading Alien force. These Aliens have mastered time control and so Adam must chase the exosolar invaders 100 years back through time in order to stop them harvesting the Planet's population.

      The game is viewed from either one of two camera angles, over the shoulder and far away or over the shoulder closer up. The idea of the game is to destroy any Aliens you encounter as they slowly but surely harvest the local populace. As citizens become corpses a little bar in the lower left of the screen fills up, when a certain number of civilians have been turned into Alien Food the game is over.

      There are five maps and times to battle accross, Greece in 1916, the island of Java in 1941, America in 1966, Desolate Siberia in 1991 before blasting off into space to the artificially made Meteorite that the Alien menace calls home. The game can be undertaken in two difficulty modes, zero and hero, annoyingly the last two levels (2/5 of the entire game) are only available in the more challenging difficulty mode. Perhaps DMA could have documented this in the manual or on screen somewhere to avoid unneccessary frustration.

      Adam can utilize any vehicle he comes accross, to aid him in his fight. From motorbikes to flying saucers, he must collect fuel wherever he finds it lest he become stranded out in the sticks.

      The Creatures create shield barriers seperating each map into small inescapable parts. The basic idea in each map is to locate and destroy the shield generator and defeat the large boss alien who gaurds it. To get to the generator the player will come accross different missions which need to be completed before progressing through the level. Missions such as destroying rocks that block an essential road with a howitzer, defend a military base against attack and finding a motor for an airboat (as Adam's suit is powered he can only swim for a short time as the suit is charged with electricity).

      The attacking Aliens resemble giant insects except for one, who appears to be Adams Doppelganger except clad entirely in black. It is hinted at later in the game that the Aliens have cloned the dark figure from Adam's own blood.

      Back in the day this was one of my all time favourite games, the gameplay is fun and challenging, the game is of good length and the story is deep and driven. However Body Harvest's crowning glory is it's fantastic musical score. Never before or since has a game produced such atmosphere through music alone. I really think that with different music, the game would have taken on a different feel altogether.

      Fun and interesting gameplay, mixed with slight RPG elements, a hostile Alien force threatening the whole of humanity and an amazing soundtrack produce an end result which is often overlooked and underrated but is an amazing game.

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      04.01.2003 03:00
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      • "very long and big"

      A whole heap of aliens are beaming down to Earth and capturing all the humans in jelly before feeding them to their mother, and if the mother eats enough it turns into a massive alien and will eat even more humans! And, of course, you are the only one who stands in the way and can save Earth! But don't worry because you have plenty of help. There is a vast array of weapons and your disposal, but the most innovative aspect of the game is the ability to get into anyvehicles you find throughout the game and use them to vanquish your foes. These range from cars and motorbikes, to planes and boats. Each level is set in a different time in the last hundred years, from 1900's Greece, to 1940's America, and so the different vehicles change accordingly. From ancient firte engines in Greece to hot rods and monster trucks in America, there doesn't seem to be any vehicles to be left out! I've discovered fighter planes, ice cream trucks that play tunes, tanks, alien craft and many more! Another varied thing is the aliens themselves. They range in size and form but each are true to the b-movie theme. The different puzzles you have to work through to get to each level boss are interesting and challenging too. And when you get to the end of level bosses, they are huge! But when you get to the end of world bosses they are even bigger! But you get to use your special 'alpha tank' to take care of them. The graphics are detailed, the sound is excellent although there seems to be little music, and the playability is excellent. The only problems are is that sometimes the learning curve gets a bit steep towards the end. Also, when you are without a vehicle, the worlds seem 10 times bigger as the character is SO slow on foot, not to mention vulnerable. Overall, this is an excellent yet underrated game that many people have the joy of discovering and playing through til the end. Its as much f
      un as a b-movie, with all the gore, but alot more fun and will last you alot longer!

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        24.01.2002 23:58
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        • "Perhaps too challenging for some"

        With the almost simultaneous launches of two more next-gen consoles on the immediate horizon, it seems now the N64 will finally bow out from the industry after a relatively unsuccessful (by Nintendo's standards) 4 years of sales in the UK market. However I believe the N64 has been cruelly ignored by many who believe to be one of few blemishes on Ninty's prestigious career in the industry. This is partially due to an over-occurrence of poor quality visuals in the software as well as many seeing it as a "kids console". It for this reason that I believe the N64 will lack in future years the nostalgia value that has blessed previous Nintendo consoles. I personally believe that the N64 has produced some exceptional third-party software and I so I am making a desperate plea for owners not to sell their console for a small fistful of cash when quality games such as Body Harvest exist. Body Harvest is an adult themed third person action-adventure game; and contains elements of several genres. The story involves an alien species who every 25 years "pays a visit" to Earth for a feeding frenzy on the human population. You play a soldier called Adam Drake who as one of the last survivors of the human race has the opportunity to travel back in time and destroy the alien threat. At the time of release (sandwiched between Ocarina of Time and Turok 2 - which partially explains why it only sold about 10 copies throughout the entire country) it built up great notoriety among the gaming world for its "atrocious" graphics. More importantly despite promising reviews among Nintendo magazines it gained a reputation as unplayable. Now whilst I disagree with this I will state gladly that at times the game is incredibly frustrating and as one of the worst same game functions in gaming history. The four huge levels - each one a different time zone - gives you the opportunity to save after certain sections of the level have been completed whi
        ch can often take over an hour of solid non-stop play. So why the high score? Well despite the inclusion of some major problems in the game, these are I assure you dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of the potential bonuses this game has to offer. For starters the game plays like an absolute dream and is filled with so many wonderfully innovative ideas that when you accept the faults (and pass the rather lame first level) you will understand how exciting and how much fun this game is to play. The levels would take an eternity to cross on foot, so you must use vehicles. I'm not just talking about cars - there are buses, planes, airboats, helicopters, torpedo boats, tanks - even an ice cream truck. They are all adjusted to the time periods. Aliens are constantly appearing (there are about 80 types) around the levels so you barely have time to rest. The game is also an adventure game, with many side quests that must be completed. There are so many ingenious parts to this game the mind boggles at how the creators came up with so many great ideas. The human population are extremely irritating, which makes it highly satisfying to see them get eaten (you?re supposed to be saving them I know). Even better you can go round driving over them or blowing them up. I sound disturbingly psychotic here I know but they don't actually closely resemble humans (cubed heads anyone?). I often have found myself so preoccupied with dropping bombs on Greek villages that I forget I'm here to save them. As long as you keep your serial killing streak to fewer than 25 victims, you can get away with murder. The sound in the game is pleasant, building up during battles and the dying away towards just a faint atmospheric tune in the background when the action stops. The game is very challenging and importantly: YOU CAN ONLY COMPLETE THE ENTIRE GAME ON THE HARDER SETTING (titled Hero). If you ever feel overwhelmed there are many button-pressing cheats but like most games,
        the experience is much more rewarding without them (especially with this game where if you die you sometimes need to catch up on an hour of gameplay - and then you die again e.t.c.). With reference to the earlier point about graphics, I feel encouraged to point out that only the background detail for the levels are truly poor (Greece is shockingly bad). The aliens themselves are detailed quite nicely and make entertaining explosions. The level designs are excellent though, and have a nice level of variation in their landscape. With this review I realize I cannot write more to fully express my extravagant enthusiasm for this game without repeating myself over and over again. Hence I will leave the rest of the plot and the secrets in the game to your discovery and believe me, at this price there should be argument. For within its graphical flaws lies a very enjoyable gaming experience. Body Harvest is a truly remarkable piece of work. The level of violence in the game is quite strong but is so unrealistic is shouldn't offend and there are some mild adult themes but as the box states the game is fully suitable for over 11's. I have decided after much deliberation to award this game five stars due to the amazing value for money it offers to consumers nowadays, offering literally months of gameplay (if you complete this in a matter of weeks you aren't human O.K trust me) compared to many recent Playstation 2 games. I heard Onimusha has 8 hours of gameplay: 8! - that's absolutely criminal for £40 no matter how good the graphics. Movie-type visuals are great but these games are in my opinion lacking the most important elements that make a great game. Hopefully my exuberrant love for Body Harvest will persuade you to purchase it.

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          09.01.2001 03:35
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          I eagerly anticipated this game for some time, having seen a preview of it in a magazine. I wasn't disappointed at all. The game sees Earth having been plagued for the past 100 years by a race of giant insect-like aliens. The final wave of aliens is about to attack. You play the hero, Adam Drake, who must travel back in time to four points in history, when the Earth was attacked, and prevent the invasion. The plot is good. The graphics are good enough. There are plenty of weapons, and many vehicles that Adam can use - they even run out of fuel. One nice touch is where you steal a Fire Engine to put out a fire. I managed to complete the game after a few months playing, it was a very satisfying experience, since the game presented a serious challenge. I would recommend the game to potential buyers, since it is now very cheap, and presents hours and hours of gameplay.

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