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Review by: Brian Pipa
Published: June 4, 1997
Reloaded is the follow-up to the hit console game Loaded. I have never played the original, but I had heard good things about it. I was looking forward to reviewing Reloaded since it promises non-stop, bloody killing — sounds just like my kind of game. Unfortunately, the hype is all talk, and no substance.
Reloaded is a top-down shooter similar to the Crusader series, but instead of being an isometric point of view, you view from above at approximately a 45 degree angle. You can zoom in to see details like reading signs, or zoom out to get a view of the bigger picture. Basically, you run around shooting anything that moves, while collecting power-ups, ammo, and keys to open doors. Sounds all well and good, so what’s the problem?
Reloaded has a very weird storyline. The antagonist goes by C.H.E.B. (Charming Handsome Erudite B******). If that’s not bad enough, the story has something to do with black-listed Plastic Surgeons; 1000 striving, starving artists; and a brain pod. You have your choice of assassins: Mamma is big brute wearing a pastel blue romper and bunny slippers. Sister Magpie is a roving Cyber Nun from an ancient and threatened nunnery. Butch is an escaped convict wearing female lifeguard clothes and there are others.
The first thing that bothered me about the game is that even with a 4-button gamepad, only 2 of the buttons are usable. This probably has something to do with the fact that there is a 2-player mode where you can both play at the same time. This is still no excuse. There are 4 different buttons you need (5 if you count map): Fire, Ultra Bomb, Run, and Strafe. As it is, you have to choose 2 of those for the joystick and assign the other 2 to the keyboard. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to play any game, especially an action game, with the keyboard only. This game also screams for an always-run option. Your character speed is way too slow without running. I assigned Fire and Ultra Bomb to my gamepad and had to run around by holding down the enter key while maneuvering with the gamepad. Don’t even think about running, strafing, and firing at the same time.
Also, some of the levels are fairly large and I wanted to use the mapping feature to see where I had been, but the map only shows the immediate area around your current position. I couldn’t refer to the map and locate that locked door that I had found earlier.
The bloody killing I was looking forward to amounted to nothing more than the enemies turning into a blood spot on the ground when you kill them. Wow. The concept for Reloaded is good, but its implementation has so many flaws that I can’t recommend this title to anyone. This is one console game that should have stayed on the consoles.
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