At a Glance: The most homoerotic cartoon on television is now a seizure-inducing fighting game for your SNES. Will it make you hit on other boys in gym class? No, but it'll probably make you bump up against them a lot as you're staggering around with blackened pits where your eyes used to be. With all the scantily-clad prettyboys and flashing orange lights, you won't know whether you're shuddering in horror or spastically convulsing. You'll probably want to have an autoinjector full of thorazine handy while you're playing this.

Platform: SNES (Download Emulator here - 395k)

Download: Download ROM here - 1.16 megs

IT'S LIKE ACTION WALKED UP AND SHOT ME IN THE FACE WITH A GIANT HORRIBLE PINK BEAM OF OCULAR AGONY!Game Plot: This game is ostensibly based on the "Gundam Wing" cartoon, which they show on Cartoon Network in the middle of the night right before that show about the dragon's balls or whatever. Apparently it's the future and there's a war between Earth and her space colonies. Earth also seems to have an army of robots that run around and blow up stuff, the "stuff" being the aforementioned space colonies. Some half-naked boys in tank tops eventually show up with ancient magical robots (otherwise known as "Gundams") and blow up all the Earth's robots and cities and people. You'd think that 300-year-old robot suits would be in pretty bad shape by now, but that's just because you're dumb. Ancient robot suits, just like ancient swords, ancient pyramids, and Bob Dole, are super-strong and impervious to laser beams and nuclear explosions. 

Anyway, there are some other bad guys from Earth, including one guy that wears a funny metal hat with eyeholes (kinda like Dumb Donald from "Fat Albert" but with waist-length blonde hair), and they all build super-robots of their own. They have a fight, Triangle wins, Particle Man, Particle Man. Wait, no, that's the opium talking, sorry. Anyway, none of this really matters because there's no plot to the story -- it's just big robots fighting. There's a story mode, but it's not really any different from the regular mode except for... hmm... no, it's not really different at all.

Weapons: All the robots carry some weird-ass crackhead weapon, like a giant chaingun that only shoots at the ground, a pair of knives that shoot laser beams, a cloud of electric hockey pucks, or a big scythe with a lightsaber blade at the end. These may sound neat, but they really aren't. There are four attack buttons, a weak/strong attack and a weak/strong weapon. The "weapon" is a big pistol that the robot pulls out and shoots with. One button makes him fire two shots, and the other button makes him fire three. It doesn't take any longer to fire the three-shot burst or anything, so it's kind of stupid. I think you have limited ammo, but it's like 300 rounds, and that's more than enough to kill the other guy 10 times over. You can only shoot the gun if you're more than half a screen away from the other guy, which the game alerts you to by flashing a huge glowing crosshair over the opponent's body. If you're closer than this, you just poke the other guy with the barrel of the gun. The "attack" buttons are melee attacks using the robot's special weapon. The interesting thing about this is that it doesn't matter whether your robot has a knife or a giant plasma cannon; they both have the same reach and do the same amount of damage -- none. The real fighting is done with the special moves.

The special moves are powerful attacks executed by pounding the buttons really fast and moving the directional pad in random directions. If this fails, a super move can also be executed by mashing all the buttons at once and attempting to pry out the directional controller with a fork. Dunking the controller in water repeatedly can also be effective here. There's really no rational logic to the execution of special moves, and the commands to activate them seem to change from minute to minute. The special moves are spectacular and varied, most of them consisting of 80 or so frames of flashing, strobing, horrible colors that involve some bizarre part of the robot's anatomy. There's one that turns the robot's arm into a giant fire-breathing dragon, and another which seems to involve throwing an anchor. There's probably a super-secret Robot Penis Pile Driver move somewhere, but I haven't found it... thankfully. Watching a fight in this game is like watching one of those secret video message things that governments use to turn people into assassins, except instead of turning you into an Chinese agent, it just makes you want to go hang yourself.

IRON EUNUCH WILL USING MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM "Death Scythe" TO DEFEATS EVIL MECHA HAT MAN IN MOBILE SUIT "Tall Geese" FOR GREAT JUSTICE. Tall Geese? Will someone please tell me what the fuck kind of name "Tall Geese" is for a robot suit?Enemies: This is a Street-Fighter style fighting game, so the enemies are the same as the player characters. You get a choice of nine robots, with festive names like "Heavy Arms", "Sand Rock", "Death Scythe", and "Tall Geese". Now, I know that lots of robots have stupid names like "Optimus Prime", "Johnny 5" and "Al Gore", but I think these are really pushing it. I mean, "Tall Geese"? WTF? I'm not even gonna go into the pilots themselves, but you can expect to fight such scurvy dogs as "Heero", "Trowa", "Duo", and "Wufei". I'm glad I've only seen like two episodes of this show because these are the scariest, fruitiest characters I've ever seen. There's a two-player versus mode where you can fight a match against a friend. I'm mentioning this here because anyone gullible enough to actually play this game with you will very quickly become your enemy and will probably stab you while you sleep.

Number of Levels: Each enemy has his own stage, all of them being identical except for the background picture and color palette (some of them take place in the evening which means that all the horrible blinding pastel mechs are now either orange or purple. Remember how in Street Fighter II, you'd have a street fight while all these guys stood around watching and cheering you on? Well, it's the same here, except instead of guys standing around and cheering you on you have big robots standing around and cheering you on, and instead of fighting in the streets you're fighting on a burning aircraft carrier or in the middle of the desert or beside a waterfall or in space or in the Blue Oyster bar from "Police Academy." Apparently in the future they fight wars like the gangs from Michael Jackson videos, where the gangsters all stand around with their TEC-9s and sawed-off shotguns while their leaders tie their wrists together and have a switchblade fight in the middle of a pool hall, at least until Michael Jackson shows up and starts grabbing his crotch to demonstrate the futility of violence.

Number of Bosses: Seeing as how this is a fighting game and there are no bosses in fighting games, I'll just fill this section with random stuff. So anyway, there are five kids, each with their own robot, except for this one guy who gets two of them, but they're identical in almost every aspect except for the fact that one of them is about 15 times more powerful than the other. Dumb Donald has his own robot, and then there are these two huge red and blue robots piloted by women and they have rocket engines and can fly. My keen combat sense immediately realized the inherent superiority of a flying robot over a walking robot, and so I picked this flying blue robot with a big gun called "Vayeate". Upon entering battle, I immediately learned that Vayeate, while possessing a large jetpack that allowed it to hover in the air, could only hover about six inches off the ground. I fought a few battles and proceeded to have my ass handed to me by a knife-wielding robot. Not a lightsaber, mind you, just a couple of short metal daggers. After I got my ass kicked, a dorky-looking kid appeared onscreen and made fun of me in Japanese. I don't think I'll be playing this game again.

The music is mostly forgettable, except for the opening theme. When you boot up the game, a picture of a girl appears onscreen and your speakers begin to make loud flatulent noises. The flatulation quickly resolves itself into an opening theme as the girl's eyes open and start flickering like the Japanese Seizure Robots. The girl then disappears and a bunch of half-naked young boys flash across the screen. Then there are some robots and then the title screen appears. To be honest, I sort of liked the theme song, but as I'm writing this review I'm listening to a full orchestral version of the Super Mario Brothers theme, so I may not the best person to be judging music.

Defining Moment: I think it was when I realized that EVERY SINGLE THING IN THIS GAME FLASHES. The robots flash when they fight. Their weapons flash. They flash when they take damage. The screen flashes when the killing blow is landed. The crosshairs flash continuously through the fight. The status bars flash. The intro cinematics flash. The character select menu flashes. The title screen flashes. EVEN THE FREAKING OPTIONS SCREEN FLASHES. All the strobing lights are probably wearing out my monitor let alone MY EYES AND BRAIN. GOD, MY BRAIN! Things like this make me wonder if the Japanese have some sort of special inner eyelid (like a shark or Mr. Spock) that can open and close really fast to compensate for the blinding strobe effect that 90% of their cartoons and video games employ. Is there some energy shortage in Japan that makes it impractical to keep the screen continuously lit throughout the game, and necessitates that the lights be switched on and off at 30hz?


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