Sega Mega Drive/Genesis

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

We are big fans of horror movies in general, and since there has been an explosion in zombie popularity lately, we decided to go with this.  Jim is kind of sick of “zombie culture” at this point, but Brian still eats it up, so we will get some different views this month.  The first game we are going to talk about is a game that we both grew up with and loved: the cult classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors.

Released in 1993, this game came out on both the Sega Genesis and the Super NES. This game is a love song to all things horror related, as you star as two horror fan teenagers who have to save their neighbors from a ton of different monsters.  The cover of the game is hilarious, and goes back to the classic horror/pulp B-movies of the 50’s and 60’s.  There are a ton of different monsters in this game, not just zombies.  In this game you will fight zombies, Leatherface knockoffs, killer dolls, Black Lagoon creatures, aliens, and even the graboids from Tremors.  There is a lot going on in this game.

[537d34be34cef] Graphically, this game has a lot to offer.  Whether you play it on the Genesis or the SNES, the game basically looks the same, though the layout of the HUD will look different, and some color schemes are different.  The characters designs are all really varied and really detailed.  The neighbors are all over the top, as you have teachers, soldiers, cheerleaders, and fat guys in a pool.  All of the different monster sprites are really detailed, with real kudos going to the aliens and the blob like creatures.  The level designs get the job done, though can be a bit simple color wise.  Castles have a lot of greys, pyramids have a lot of brown, etc.  Still, we love the way this game looks.

The sound department is good as well.  It seems like almost everything has a different sound effect in this game, which is really impressive.  A lot of monsters have unique sounds, all of the weapons have their own sound, each item has a unique sound; there is just a ton of variety here.  Also, the production of the music is great.  It really gives off a creepy feel, and is a great throwback to the old horror movies.  There are also a bunch of different music tracks, each one having their own flavor.  On the SNES, some of the sound effects and music can have a bit too much reverb, but that is pretty standard for the system.  On the Genesis, some of the sound effects are a little more “garbled” than on the SNES, and some of the voice work may not be quite as good.  Each system has minor flaws, but the presentation is great overall no matter how you play it.

[Zombies] Once again, the control is great in this game.  No matter which console you play it on, it controls pretty much the same way, outside of button layouts.  One word of advice, if you play this on the Genesis, use a 6 button controller.  The 3 button requires combined button presses to switch through weapons, and we couldn’t get it to do it for items.  This would leave you to be stuck on an item until you used it up.  WIth a 6 button controller, this is not an issue.  Outside of this, the control is tight and responsive.  If we had to nitpick, the hit windows for the monsters are very precise, almost too precise.  Also, trying to shoot diagonally is a bit rough, and never seems to work as well as it should.  Still, when it comes to a game as big as this, the control never inhibits you in any way, and is very above average.

The gameplay is just so damn fun.  The levels in this game are huge.  There are different themes for each one, and there are over 50 levels in the game.  Also, each stage is filled to the brim with secrets and hidden paths.  There are occasional boss fights to break up the normal gameplay, as well as certain themed levels as well.  There is a lot of strategy here.  Many levels either have 1 or 2 neighbors total, and these are some of the most intense.  If you play a level and save no neighbors, it is game over.  We aren’t saying you lose a life, you lose the entire game.  Also, it can take some playthroughs to realize how to strategize your item usage.  Skeleton keys are a very important item in this game, and you need to plan out how you will use them in certain levels.  The difficulty curve spikes up pretty fast, but there is a password system that is spread out over a couple levels, usually every 4 to 5.  Another bit of strategy is the weapons you use.  Fire Extinguishers freeze enemies, but kill blobs.  Clowns can distract the chainsaw men and evil dolls.  Werewolves die easily to silverware and plates.  We could go on and on, but long story short there is a lot here.

As far as originality goes, there is a lot here.  The top down shooter perspective may have been done before in Robotron or Smash TV, but the theme of the game is so unique, and you almost never see all these horror tropes all in one place.  There is a ton of replayability here too, but it is conditional.  If you know exactly what you are doing, you can blow through this game.  If you are new or have not played in ages, this game will kick your ass.  The difficulty will keep you coming back, and the huge amount of levels will keep you busy for a while.  This game is just as fun whether alone or with a friend, so you can spend a lot of nights with a buddy playing this.  Hell, Jim spent an entire summer playing it with his friend Ryan before.

Overall, we could talk about this game for hours, as we love the hell out of it.  There is just so much contained in this package it is nuts.  Outside of RPG’s, you are hard pressed to find a game with as much strategy, as many secrets, and as big as this game.  We can fully admit that it is not a perfect game, but the negatives are so easily cancelled out by the positives.  There is a lot to love here, and it is absolutely shocking that it was not a hit when it came out.  The game has gone on to be very popular in the decades since, and is a cult classic, much like the movies it is based on.

[Yuengling Oktoberfest 001] When drinking, damn near any beer can go well with this game.  We are going to pair this with a beer that can work in almost any occasion and especially during the Halloween season.  We are going to pair this with Yuengling Oktoberfest.  The spiced pumpkin lager fits this game perfectly.  It is light enough that you can take quick swigs whenever you have a chance, but also has a full enough flavor that it can stay with you during the more intense segments.  Also, since this is a huge game that will take a while to beat, the cheap cost of a case will not hurt you has you keep drinking over a long playthrough.
That’s all for today.  As always, drop us a line on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter (@abeerandagame), Vine, Instagram, and our email drinkabeerplayagame@gmail.com.