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YOU AIN'T GONNA GET ME, SHERIFF! GET BACK OR I'LL BLOW 'EM AWAY! EAT LEAD! YOU AIN'T GONNA GET ME, SHERIFF! DON'T SHOOT! YOU AIN'T GONNA GET ME, SHERIFF! EAT LEAD! YOU AIN'T GONNA GET ME, SHERIFF!
This Mega Drive port of Lethal Enforcers II is very proud to have voice clips. It has about four of them, and they play each time an enemy pops up. I had this game as a kid, and I give my deepest sympathies to anyone who was within earshot at the time. It has about as many on-screen colours, too, and they're all brown.
On the other hand, it's nice that unlike the first game, you aren't made to replay each 10-minute level if you shoot a single 'Innocent Victim', and I'm glad to know my Justifier still works.
There's some fun had with the wild west setting, and a certain satisfaction to blasting away a gang of hoodlums as they pop up on the screen. You can gain different weapons throughout the campaign, and firing off a full artillery cannon in the saloon is a particular highlight.
Some enemies take multiple hits, which can throw you off, as you're often on to the next target once you've shot them, giving them an easy opening. The bosses are particularly miserable, as you develop cramp from shooting so rapidly, but the second boss soaring from his wagon is still one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
It's likely Ridge Racer and Taiko no Tatsujin talking, but I can't help but kind of like Xevious. I've been brainwashed by Namco so thoroughly that I've been convinced there's some value in this screensaver of a game.
Hideo Kojima has said that Xevious was one of his favourite games growing up, and admired its sense of a tangible world. I think that's what I appreciate about it. The landscapes. Xevious's backgrounds aren't built out of repeated patterns and tilesets, but unspectacular dirt roads, forests and coastlines. The hypnotically repetitive gameplay casts your attention to them. It's easy to start thinking about the lives of the people below, and the day-to-day operations of each base you fly over. It feels convincingly mundane, and builds the illusion quite invitingly. It's quite unique for a shoot 'em up of its vintage, and it's easy to see how this sense of purposeful adventure inspired Kojima's work.
Then you snap out of it and realise how fucking boring the game is.
It's pretty good!
I think it's interesting how different developers approached the Game Boy. Some attempted to recreate what was happening at the time on home consoles, and very few of those games hold up well. Some made games entirely with the Game Boy's limitations in mind, and those are the bulk of the better games on the system. Others decided to expand on what they had been doing with comparable hardware in the eighties, and those are often the best of all.
BurgerTime Deluxe is kind of the Donkey Kong '94 of BurgerTime. Approaching each new level like its own puzzle. It's actually pretty close to something like Flicky or Mappy, where you're scouting out safe routes and wasting enemies' time before a gap emerges in their path that you can exploit to break rush through.
I think the burger theme throws some folk off, or makes them dismissive of the mechanical design, but it's just a good visual metaphor for layered objective targets. You run through each layer of the burger, and it drops to the platform below. Time it right, and you can trap a line of enemies under a big slice of beef. When it works, it's really great.
I think the game's at its best in the looping levels. The ones that always ensure you have a way out. There's a lot of dead ends in BurgerTime Deluxe, and you frequently find yourself in hopeless scenarios. I don't think that's particularly fun. It's kind of the game's downfall, but it's also the aspect that meant new customers wouldn't be done with their new Game Boy cartridge after an hour.
Give the NSO version a shot, though. There's fun to be had. I know it's a Data East game. Just try it.