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Star Trek The Next Generation: Future’s Past – SNES

Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Developer: Spectrum HoloByte

Publisher: Spectrum HoloByte

Release Date: March 1994

Genre: Adventure

Nerd Rating: 1 out of 10

Reviewed by Flagostomos

Hi floating heads of the main cast of Star Trek: TNG!

Hi floating heads of the main cast of Star Trek: TNG!

Blech. Just thinking of this game puts a sour taste in my mouth. In my opinion, Star Trek games have had their place, but most never really stand out.

Gameplay:
The gameplay is nothing special for a Super Nintendo game. The game consists mainly of three modes: on the bridge, away missions, and space battles. Each is broken down as follows.

star trek SNES 2On the bridge: This is where the game starts after the opening scene and dialogue. You are presented with the view screen which provides a decent yet nothing spectacular view of the planet you’re orbiting. It also doubles as the communicator, and you will be using it regularly. The final use is to pull up the star charts and warp to the next destination. There is a briefing room, which tells you where to go next if you don’t deduce it from the communications. There’s a section for sensors and computer, which really just try to get you into Star Trek lore (which it fails at as it consists of walls of text). There’s an engineering section, which lets you allocate ship resources to heal sectors that are damaged in space combat. And finally there’s the transporter, which lets you send your away team to the planet.

In between most missions you have to fly to some random location. Oh, fly to Neptune 3 and pick up medicine, then fly it across the galaxy and deliver it. All the while random space ships could attack you, most of them are so easy, but then you find that blasted blue triangle ship and you’re dead. What ship can shoot that many torpedoes huh?

Away Missions: This is supposed to be the main action of the game, but it just falls miserably short of being any real fun. The puzzles are uninspired, the combat is clunky, and more often than not you just get lost because there is absolutely no direction. You WILL be using a guide when playing this game, especially for any mission after mission 2. I could vomit thinking about the phaser fights. The first planet you can almost die because when you shoot the stupid Romulan, it misses him by half a pixel. Then you have the random characters that don’t even have a freaking phaser. What’s up with that?

You can bring 4 characters on each ground mission, and 100% of the time you’ll bring Data, 99% of the time Worf, 75% Geordi, and the last is a toss up. Don’t bring the Captain cuz if he dies you’re screwed, Riker is a wuss, Dianna the same as Riker, Doctor Crusher has no phaser and she can’t heal Data sooo… you’ll just end up using the cannon fodder characters other than the main ones. Before I even continue, there’s a mine course that it’s pointless to bring anyone but Data on.

Space battles: Space battles are supposed to be the secondary action of the game, and yet again it just falls short of being fun. The Enterprise controls horribly and your torpedoes miss too often. The readout does nothing to teach you what you’re supposed to do, nor share any life-saving techniques like how to restore shields.

I see potential in all these areas. Yet the game feels like the developers had great ideas and no knowledge of implementation.

Story:
The Enterprise is patrolling the neutral zone due to increased Romulan activity. They go to help a Vulcan officer and learn about a strange device called the TAVAD. Whilst going about trying to solve the mystery behind it, they run into various people needing help. Eventually, Captain Picard is contacted by some mysterious beings about something called the IFD, which is pretty much technology that grants you any power you could want. Picard he has to retrieve crystals to prove his worth all the while helping lesser civilizations, at the end you go through the ritual and Picard decides to use the time traveling capabilities of the device to send it way into the future so that when they were more capable of using it, they could find it. Sounds Star Trekky to me.

star trek SNESControls:
It feels like trying to tie a fishing line with cotton mittens on. It’s that bad. If you don’t understand my analogy, go out and try it. As I mentioned, the space combat is hard to control and the various controls are never told to you. The ground missions handle poorly, with phaser fights suffering due to this. It is hard just to get your character to walk the direction you want him to.

Graphics/Audio:
I think the music is kinda catchy actually. It’s nothing impressive, but it’s certainly a breath of fresh air to the crap stain that is this game. The graphics are again, nothing impressive. The command deck is practically a screenshot of one of the shows, the ground missions are just bland texture with a few random objects that you wish you could actually manipulate, and the character sprites, well you can tell who it is… kinda. The pictures on the view screen look decent, but again kinda like a screenshot.

Re-playability:
I get the inkling to plug this one in every once in awhile, and I always regret it. The third mission is near impossible unless you have a walkthrough or wrote the walkthrough so you know how to by heart. It’s not even that hard, you just keep getting more and more lost. You will need passwords so don’t forget to make note of them. You also need to look up passwords if you are unfortunate enough to have one of the copies that has a game breaking bug. If you ever force yourself to complete it, you’ll never play it again.

This was a semi-decent idea executed pitifully. I have always wanted a good, solid Star Trek game, but this one is not it. Bad controls, bad story, bad gameplay; I think i need to go drink a beer to get this taste out of my mouth.

Gameplay: 4
Story: 2
Controls: 1
Graphics/Audio:5
Replayability: 0
Overall: 1. Sorry Audio score, you do nothing to raise the overall score of this game.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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4 Comments

  1. Why am I not surprised this game is disappointing, thanks for saving me countless minutes of my life.

     
  2. Good review. I hate it when they trash good sci-fi franchises with cheesy games.

     

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