By Dave Stone
Welcome to our new monthly segment of PopLurker Plays entitled Retro Game Dungeon! The schtick here is that I slap a $20 into someone’s hand once a month, send them into a used video game store of their choosing, and see what random game they’ve selected for me to play. For our flagship issue, I chose PopLurker’s Editor-in-Chief, Loryn Stone.
And she did not spare the torture. Not even a little.
For this segment, Loryn delivered a Super Nintendo cartridge of Aerosmith’s “Revolution X”. What made her choose this shit heap? Well, she’s a rhythm game junkie. Loryn saw “music”.
Loryn thought rhythm game.
But this fuck-heap is anything but that….
In the 90’s, all the most radical of teens played video games. That’s a statistic, right? And they all definitely loved the musical troop Aerosmith. So naturally, “the Aerosmith” knew they needed a game that spoke to the masses of cool kids on rollerblades blasting their bluesy rock tunes. Even I knew about them! They had an album with a truck fucking another truck on it. I saw it every week when the Columbia House record flyer landed at my door, 10 COMPACT DISCS for 1 cent each!? I BETTER GET 10 COPIES OF “PUMP”!
Without any doubt, when I sold every single NES game and accessory I had to Funcoland (RIP) and coughed up all those twenties I sweet talked out of grandma to buy my prepubescent self a Super Nintendo in 1991, I couldn’t wait to have a game featuring my favorite band of aging rockers.
It would take only a few years, but low and behold, the terrible and awe-inspiring mouth of Steven Tyler opened, and it commanded the good people of Midway (RIP) to craft a game that not only imbued the very essence of the Aerosmith but would also win over the hearts and minds of youth of the day. If their dulcet tones weren’t enough, their one and only game will truly and wholly indoctrinate you into the majesty that is AEROSMITH!
Enter the world of REVOLUTION X!
Beat me into submission with the awesome stick, did you just read that title?
Holy shit. It’s a REVOLUTION everybody. Fuck all this standard day to day shit youths of North America and PAL regions, this is when it gets real. Aerosmith is here to lead a Revolution. With an X. I’m harder than the first time I saw the album cover of “Just push Play” with that sexy robot lady that looked like the love child of Marylin Monroe and RoboCop.
But alas, my pathetic supple young form only possessed a Super Nintendo, and Aerosmith’s magnum opus was crafted by the digital wizards of Midway, dark lords of the Arcade. Clearly the power and sheer presence of Aerosmith in pixel form could only be contained in a thunderous and monolithic arcade cabinet. A GUN GAME CABINET, but not just any gun cabinet, a THREE-WAY GUN CABINET!
Sir Steven Tyler demands a 3 way, it is the only way to play his game. Of course, what else would do. Rebellious teens, you need to feel the raw power of a giant vibrating plastic Uzi to truly begin to connect with the spiritual enlightenment that Aerosmith and Midway have crafted. How could I ever expect to gain the respect of Steven and the boys, playing their game with only a tiny controller. Disgusting.
I spoke too soon. Shattering the very limits of reality, the techno-mancers of Rage Software found a way to distil the glory of Aerosmith into a minuscule SNES cartridge that I can play in the comfort of my home. Take me on a musical journey, you sweet princes of rock. I await your command!
LET THE REVOLUTION BEGIN!
…I fucking hate this game…
I also kind of hate Aerosmith.
I played the arcade cabinet once, in ‘98 or so, at a Burger King I think. I was most likely very stoned, and I don’t remember much about the “arcade experience”, all I remember is you shot CDs at some assholes. Later, I played it again in college on a PSone with a friend for a quick gawking session, also not memorable. So, when Loryn gave me the Super Nintendo cart, I knew it was going to be bad, just how bad was the question.
The answer is “pretty fucking awful”.
The basic garbage plot is that in 1996 a bunch of evil governments get together to form the “New Order Nation” who ruin Aerosmith’s concerts and put chemicals in food and brainwash people and such. Yup. The “NON”! Which is spelt with its 2nd “N” backwards, like some militia that hired the same typographers as “Toys R Us” (RIP). To be honest, the 2nd N is backwards so they could flip the sprite of with anything that had “NON” written on it, a common trick still used in games today. You’ll see “818” on a lot of stuff in games because it’s a Los Angeles area code and because it still looks the same flipped.
Now then, what do you “do” in Rev X? Well like I mentioned before, you shoot shit. A lot. Like a million bullets a second, you hold down a button, and it just sprays bullets at whatever you have your cursor is on. Oh yes, you read that right, your cursor! The thrilling game play of clumsily moving a cursor around a screen with a SNES d-pad is simply riveting. Taking aim with your cursor, you put it on and around a bad man with a yellow shirt on and he dies. He has a lot of friends. They are all dressed the same. They all hate Aerosmith.
And they sure as hell hate you.
Better fuck them up with an endless barrage of bullets, or if you’re feeling extra feisty, blast that yellow shirted bastard with a weaponized CD. Just like Aerosmith always says “MUSIC IS THE WEAPON”
If any game has succeeded in weaponizing music it is this one. Seriously, the loops, the endless, short, pulsating, grating, hideous loops. You want to hear the hook from “Eat the rich” over and over and over AND OVER AND OVER??? NO!? No shit you don’t, that kind of horror should be reserved for the bowels of hell. It’s like a boom box tuned to a classic rock radio station has been possessed by a demon and it’s skull fucking you in the ear. I probably would have taken my own life while playing this game, but I wouldn’t want this fuck heap to be the last thing I saw and heard!!!
During the opening stage, you gun fuck your way through a billion commandos who are all exactly the same, eventually going into a club, where there is sexy blonde bikini ladies dancing in cages. Naturally, you use your bullets to open the cages and free the damsels from their sexy, sexy prisons. Well, it’s really just one sexy bikini lady, like the same sprite over and over, but to the game’s credit she is portrayed by the one and only Kerri Hoskins.
You know… SONYA FUCKING BLADE. This is a Midway game we are talking about, those sweet digital renaissance men who brought us MORTAL KOMBAT! Oh, she was also in Playboy. I’ll just wait right here while you google that…
…welcome back, here’s a towel.
Now please, do not fret, the game craftsmen over at Midway didn’t just exploit women for your titillation, they also did a great job of exploiting some other peoples and cultures too! Once you beat the 1st stage, Steven Tyler and his “Billy the Big Mouth Bass” mouth appear on a broken screen. It’s a pixelated mess (think cam girl in 1997) telling you the player “it’s up to you now!” as he tosses you the keys to “Aerosmith’s car”! Like, the whole band’s car.
You drive that wonder jalopy to South America, where you get to pump endless rounds into “NON Natives”. Yeah, it’s totally cool everybody, they have NON in the name. Pump those bullets into them as fast as possible.
But if South America wasn’t enough, you can go to “The Middle East” where NON has been filling school buses with teens to bring them to reprogramming camps to make them into soldiers for NON! TOTALLY BOGUS! You know what to do, use your bullets to gut that fucking bus to smithereens. At the opening screen of the stage you’re treated to more Kerri Hoskins in a bikini, but this time she’s doing hard labor for the bad guys.
At the end of the South America stage (this is still an Aerosmith game, right?) you fight a big green skull. It shoots eyeballs at you. That big green skull was kinda sweet, but that because it was a skull, and all skulls are at least a little awesome. Maybe all the bosses in the game are bad ass like that skull. The leader of NON has to be a cool robot or big fucking demon or something savage like that.
I gotta find out.
HOLY FUCK PANTS. ITS HEAD MISTRESS HELGA, LEADER OF NON!
HELLO DEAR LEADER.
She’s the leader of NON? Then that means she hates Aerosmith as much as I do. And she’s a super hot badass broad. God damn, sign me up for that army post freaking haste. I’ll do whatever she says!
I have a few ideas about what her 1st command will be, uh huh huh huh…
Sorry Stevie and the boys, your Revolution (with an X) has nothing on this cool chick. But you know what? I will gladly adorn a yellow shirt and mow you down in a hail of bullets if it wins me favor with dear leader.
She does look kind of familiar though, lemme just hit that google.com…
Kerri Hoskins? Again?!
Dave is an artist, animator, director, but definitely not a gamer. You can follow him on Twitter.
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