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Decap Attack – Sega Genesis

Decap Attack – Sega Genesis

decapattackPlatform: Sega Genesis

Developer: Vik Tokai

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): October 1991

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 5 out of 10

Fuck this game.

No, not really. I’m just repeating the phrase I uttered every five minutes as I played Decap Attack.

Truth be told, I kinda dig this one, although the following is not going to be a sugar-coated review.

Not long ago I was watching one of our Twitch streams and mentioned with an ounce of excitement how I was going to review Decap Attack for October’s Halloween celebration. Upon hearing this, our very own co-founder NerdBerry expressed his disdain for the title. Him being a Sega enthusiast, I was a little surprised. I was also perplexed because I had very fond memories of the game. Little did I know, I would soon find his perspective was much closer to the truth than my own.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 11.52.22 AMA brief introduction: Decap Attack stars Chuck D. Head (by the way, if you love puns, you’re gonna get your fill), a creation of Dr. Frank N. Stein. Chuck’s gotta…*yawn* save the world from…from…Max…D. Cap…

zzzzzzzzz

Huh? Sorry about that, I was overcome by remarkably trite plot. Moving on.

It’s your basic platforming formula with jumping, attacking, and statues containing helpful potions, deadly ghosts, and sometimes – more often than you’d like…absolutely nothing. You have a melee attack, but can acquire a boomerang-like projectile to clear away foes more easily. There’s also a floating mechanic you can activate by mashing the jump button, just like in Earthworm Jim. While it does make platforming a little too easy, you’ll find it completely necessary.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.08.05 PM

Uh oh! Watch out for that lava! Good thing Chuck can float…for some inexplicable reason

God is this game fucking annoying. Let me start by complaining about the difficulty.

Decap Attack is aggravatingly hard. This is not to say you can’t beat it. In all honesty, the difficulty is probably right where it needs to be. It’s one of those early console games where you don’t have a password or a save battery, so once you turn that sucker on, it ain’t over till it’s over.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 11.42.36 PM

Look at this bullshit! How does one not take damage whilst getting bum rushed?

What I really dislike about Decap Attack is the way the developers go about making you squirm. They don’t use clever traps, layouts requiring calculated movements/executions, or strategic enemy placement; instead, they rely on the inexcusable and amateurish method of overusing baddies and placing them in spots where you cannot avoid receiving damage. Oh, and let’s not forget those pesky villains who are hidden just out of sight and fly right into you before you have a chance to react.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.09.20 PM

Oh my! Take me out to dinner first, please

This game trolls you. Yes, it constantly trolls you. From those ghosts hiding in item statues to pathways leading nowhere, Decap Attack was custom designed to piss you the fuck off.

Don’t expect to be coddled by Decap Attack. It teaches you the hard lesson in life: Nothing comes easy. If you want success, you have to earn it, and you don’t get endless “second chances.”

You are limited to three continues, so don’t take any of your lives for granted. Decap Attack is not the kind of game where you’ll want to use the Mega Man method. What’s the Mega Man method, you may ask?

Oh yeah, I guess I forgot it was something I made up.

Basically, whenever I begin a new level in a Mega Man game and I have only one or two lives, I commit suicide so I can start fresh.

Not a good idea in Decap Attack. Every life is precious.

BSNow let’s talk about more stuff that pisses me off. You carry whatever health you have into the next level, so you may be inclined to kill off your character if you’re low- but hey, wait…all the statues you cracked open, they don’t regenerate. Well, if the game can keep track of which items you’ve already grabbed, surely it’ll remember the enemies you wasted.

Or not.

Enemies respawn as soon as you leave an area. Isn’t that nice? The game won’t bring back necessary items to help you in your quest, but it sure will resurrect those cheeky attackers you can barely strike without taking damage. Yup. That’s fair. About as fair as asking eBay prices at a garage sale. Am I right?

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.01.31 PM

Don’t even bother with these guys. Just avoid them at all costs

I normally don’t enjoy having an inventory of items in video games. Call me a simpleton, but I prefer to just run and attack.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.08.39 PM

I found myself using the potions frequently in Decap Attack as they are kind of necessary to make real progress. Some of the effects include longer, more powerful attacks; run faster, jump higher; momentary invincibility; a beam effective against bosses; and so on.

Let’s talk for a moment about the bosses.

They’re not very difficult until the final match. I did make it to the end though I was unable to defeat Max D. Cap. The second boss was pretty tough too, come to think of it.

You know, the difficulty curve of this game is a little off. Some stages are a breeze, and some are close to impossible. Could be worse, though.

The controls are better than you’d expect from a game like Decap Attack. What do I mean by this? Well, something about the game feels…I dunno, kinda cheap – like it wasn’t made with love. Could this possibly have something to do with it essentially being a reskin of Kid Kool for the NES and Psycho Fox for the Sega Master System? Anyway, controls are good for the most part, save for two highly irritating issues:

  1. Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.42.50 PM

    Oh brother, here we go.  The cliff animation

    Whenever Chuck is on the edge of a cliff and turns suddenly, there’s this horrendous animation that holds you up for about three critical seconds. Not only does it wear thin your patience, but it could leave you susceptible to an incoming attack.

  2. There are instances where Chuck will face the wrong way at crucial moments. This tends to happen when he is changing directions, but instead of changing directions, he reverts back to whichever way he was going. Sound confusing? You may have to play to understand what I mean.

He does tend to slide around like Luigi on an ice rink, but otherwise, I can’t complain too much about the game’s handling.

Boy, I’m ripping this game a new one, aren’t I? And perhaps you may recall, deep in the recesses of your memory, I once said I like Decap Attack. It’s true, I do to a degree. Here are a few positives for ya.

The game looks pretty good for what it is, which is an earlier Genesis title with a cartoon design. In fact, it’s more cartoony than creepy, even though your protagonist is, well…

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 7.48.04 PM

I dunno what the hell you’d call Chuck, but he’s awesome. You cannot deny this. Even if you think this game reeks, you must admit Chuck is cool. He’s some kind of mummy-thing with a face settled in his guts. His main attack is the protrusion of this face-gut as some sort of punch. You can find a lively skull to place atop his shoulders, which serves as a very effective projectile that comes right back to you.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 7.54.28 PM

Jumping on enemies is another form of attack, which, to be honest, I grow weary of in video games; however, they doScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.21.17 PM something a little different here in that you’ll have to jump on them at least twice. What I enjoy about this is how it’s almost as if you’re burying your opponent into the ground – perfect for a game with such “macabre” themes…even though this was present in Kid Kool and Psycho Fox as well.

The music mildly fits the tone of the game, but, for the most part, it’s more fun and rockin’ than creepy or spooky. It’s good though, complete with the signature Genesis grunge sound. You’ll find yourself humming the tunes long after you’ve simmered down from an intense round of cursing and kicking your television.

Whoops, did I say that out loud?

Decap Attack is a game full of foul play. It is functional though and plays well enough to consider it fun. I’d say fun for people like me, and marginally fun for most others. If you like platformers and wacky concepts – if you think a headless monster with a spring-loaded gut attack who hurls a skull around is neat, you’ll probably enjoy yourself. If you’re merely a casual enthusiast of platformers, you may be unimpressed, and perhaps turned off by some of what I mentioned above.

So what have we learned today kids?

NerdBerry was right.

ZB was wrong.

Until next time…

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.11.42 PM

 

Written by ZB

ZB

Since the tender age of four, I have been playing video games to occupy my free time. Raised on Nintendo and Sega Genesis, I have an extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for the classics. Also an avid collector, I have accrued such consoles as the Atari Jaguar, Super Famicom, Odyssey 2, Sega Nomad, just to name a few.

Got any questions, comments, concerns, or threats? Feel free to email me at zb@nerdbacon.com. I am happy to hear your feedback!

 
 

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2 Comments

  1. There are worse games out there. I think this is kind of an early Genesis classic, and it’s not so bad that I wouldn’t want to see it on a compilation disc. I at least hope Dynamite Headdy is on that collection.

     
  2. Dude there must be something we’re missing with this game. Bc it’s on the compilation disc Sonics Ultimate Genesis Collection for 360 and PS3. One of 50 chosen Genesis games! What are we missing ZB?!

     

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