CGR Undertow – VAPOR TRAIL review for Sega Genesis

CGR Undertow – VAPOR TRAIL review for Sega Genesis


Look, before we get started, I want to tell
you this game was sent to us by Ben from Buffalo, New York. Ben sends us a lot of games, Ben’s
a cool mother f*cker. But this one immediately grabbed my attention, because this is what
I saw. Look at this. Looks like a complete disaster. Sticker’s only half there, it’s torn to
hell…but what did Ben do? He repainted the sticker, by hand. With the kind of detail
you normally see in street graffiti, and children’s coloring books. And for a guy like Ben to
take what must’ve been minutes out of his day to do this… I thought, “Boy, this must be a sweet game.” And it is. So sweet, the sticker melted off. It’s Vapor
Trail, for the SEGA Genesis. So this bitch was released in 1991, and as
you might expect from a shoot ‘em up from the Genesis from 1991, it’s hard as balls.
Five minutes in, I popped in the Game Genie and all was well. Felt like 1991 all over
again, using the old Game Genie, for games that are hard as balls. I’m not prepared
to say the Game Genie is the pinnacle of human ingenuity… But I’m not not prepared to say it, either. And tell you what else. Vapor Trail’s up
there, too. It starts off telling you that the city’s been destroyed by “an unidentified
forces.” Game’s so sweet, it doesn’t even care about grammar, and why should it?
It’s called Vapor Trail. Which is a sweet name. You control a ship on a vertically scrolling
screen, you should blow up basically anything that moves. That’s your objective. And also, a pretty good life lesson. So there’s not really anything all that
interesting going on here. You pick one of three ships, each one’s different…you
can get four different pick-ups that change your weapon, and each one’s different…and
it’s co-op, it’s meant to be played by two people. And each one’s different. You special, unique snowflakes, you. Hey,
I’ve got news for you, I’m not your school guidance counselor—you’re not as special
as Vapor Trail. This game got a sequel called Wolf Fang, what have you ever done? Actually,
hopefully, you’ve played Vapor Trail, this game’s fun. And again, it’s not doing
anything you haven’t seen before. It’s not reinventing the wheel, here. It’s letting you shoot a wheel, of fire
orbs. Reinvent that wheel, video games. Now, to its credit, it does have a couple
tricks up its sleeve. Some of the backgrounds are awesome, and it’s especially cool when
enemies start coming out of them. Like, the helicopters actually lift off from the ground,
before they came at you. That’s pretty sweet. And some of the levels actually have multiple
bosses, like midpoint bosses before the big showdown. I guess the music’s decent, too. But by
and large, it’s just… Look, I guess what I’m saying here is that…it’s
kind of just an average shoot ‘em up, in its design. But even average shoot ‘em ups
are awesome, this is just awesome. And it’s always refreshing to play a game like this
now, you know? Makes me miss the old days. I mean, it’s only about an hour long, so
you’ll actually finish it, unlike all those modern games in your unfinished pile…and
it’s simple, you can jump right in and start kicking ass. You can still kick ass with a Game Genie,
shut up. Galoob was just leveling the playing field. Now I’m leveling fields, too. You know, as a critic, I’m supposed to tell
you this is an average game emblematic of its overdone genre. Average gameplay, average
graphics…just another shoot ‘em up. It’s all true, but…there’s also an intangible
quality to games, you know? Like sometimes, all the objective facts say a game isn’t
gonna be all that great. But then you play it, and you have fun. See, that’s the intangible part, fun. You
can’t explain why it’s fun, sometimes…but it is. This game is fun, and especially with
a friend. And even if it doesn’t look like it’s going to be… I mean, check out the paint job. You don’t take the time to do that for a
boring game. It’s Vapor Trail, for the SEGA Genesis.

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