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Surgical Strike – Sega CD

Surgical Strike – Sega CD

Surgical_Strike CoverartPlatform: Sega CD

Developer: The Code Monkeys

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): November 16, 1993

Genre: FMV

Nerd Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Reviewed by NerdBerry

Among the wordst of video games is nearly ANY game within the Full Motion Video, or simply abbreviated FMV, genre in which the game’s graphics are made up of pre-recorded videos instead of animated polygons, sprites, etc. The videos displayed the action and were often only operable by the gamer pressing a button (which would send a signal to boot up a different video depending on which button you pressed and when). FMV games were also known as Interactive Movies, and were highly regarded as the “next big thing” in the early and mid-90s. Many games in the FMV genre are well-known for their narrative storytelling and for truly getting the gamer involved, often asking questions directly to the screen (aka, gamer) prompting the gamer to perform an action. The concept is sound but the technology and systems in place at the time were too flawed and imperfect for any true success. The videos were grainy and systems could hardly keep up with the speed as the gamer would press a button and have to wait for the laser to locate the accurate spot on the disc! The acting was bad, the action was typically mediocre (although some games were okay), and many games hardly required ANY interaction and were more like a bad movie where you press a button to advance to the next scene. Ugh! Talk about a headache.

Your map for locating your battle position

Your map for locating your battle position spot on the disc. The acting was bad, the action was typically mediocre (although some games were okay), and many games hardly required ANY interaction and were more like a shitty movie where you press a button to advance to the next scene! Ugh talk about a headache.

So, with all of that said, let’s dive into The Code Monkey’s FMV title: Surgical Strike. Following in the footsteps of their previous ill-received FMV game, Tomcat Alley, The Code Monkeys development team said “Screw you America we’re gonna make another game just like it except with different video footage. Eat my crushed spider.” And make another similar game they did…. EXCEPT… This game’s video footage is significantly more badass and waaaay cooler than Tomcat Alley (and hey, where’s the hissing cat?!)

In the future, war will be fought on an open battlefield. High-tech urban guerrillas will attack out of nowhere and then fade back into cities and villages to hide among the innocent population. To ferret out this invisible enemy without causing civilian casualties, the nations of the world have banded together to create an elite special forces unit, The Surgical Strike Team.

Surgical Strike (1995)This is the story and they’re sticking to it. It’s not bad, but their next claim is ludicrous: “You’re in total control of a highly maneuverable hovercraft. Charge enemies straight on, turn to explore new paths, or spin 180 degrees to face an attack from behind!” – Okay, that’s just a boldfaced lie! I have ZERO control over this nigh-maneuverable hovercraft. The video footage is already laid out for us and we just have to move the cursor to the right spot, hit the “fire weapon” button, watch the same video of missiles firing for the 100th time, and then wait for the next opportunity to move a cursor and do the same thing!

Surgical Strike provides gamers with some fairly decent action. It can be quite difficult to truly understand what is going on for most of the game. Your hovercraft moves incredibly fast and the cutscenes (which pop up randomly sometimes, or return to the main game with no notice), randomly doing their cutting-thang, cause some serious issues in playability altogether. Not to mention that when I died, the General straight up called me “yellow” and “despicable”. After I died three times, one my own friends threw me in the brigg. WTF is going on?! *One noted feature is every time you die, the General will chew you out with a different saying. I reset the game and it never happened in the same order. I like the random order of ass-chewing comments coming my way. Except being called yellow and despicable.

My first run was a short one. There was no briefing on what buttons to press or how to play. I had to learn the hard way… by getting blown up OVER AND OVER again. Hell, a guy with a pistol shot me once and my entire craft exploded. One hell of a gun. Anyway, it does get better once you figure out how to play. By “you’re in complete control of your hovercraft” they mean that they prompt you to press a button and you can make turns and turn around.

You may think you're lucky to have survived, but when I get through with you, you're going to be living in hell.

You may think you’re lucky to have survived, but when I get through with you, you’re going to be living in hell.blown up OVER AND OVER again. Hell, a guy with a pistol shot me once and my entire craft exploded. One hell of a gun. Anyway. It does get better once you figure out how to play. By “you’re in complete control of your hovercraft” they mean that they prompt you to press a button and you can make turns and turn around.

Surgical Strike is controlled entirely by a cursor. This is your source for everything. You use the cursor to lock on to a bomb and explode it. You’ll use it to aim at a person and watch them [explode?]. You’ll use your cursor to press the “reverse arrow” button so you can “turn around” and shoot a couple terrorists firing at you. I found this addition to add a little more interactive-depth to the game when compared to most other FMV games. I progressively got a little more interested the more I played. I found that reflexes and reaction time are the key components to winning. I couldn’t beat it, but I did get pretty far. I spent some serious time trying to get through this thing.

Overall, Surgical Strike is among the rare when it comes to decent FMV titles. I was somewhat taken aback by this game as I came into it with VERY low expectations. I’ve never played an FMV game that I enjoyed, but Surgical Strike has given me a new outlook on the genre as a whole. Granted, this game is EXACTLY what I expected, but it was developed very well. While the FMV video footage on all Sega CD games are very grainy and often lacking any detail, Surgical Strike provides gamers with a rare bit of clarity through the entire game. Yes, it is still grainy, but somehow it’s a little bit crisper thanSurgical_Strike_Sega_CD_Part_1 most Sega CD games. The depth that was put into the video footage of the explosions and the actual scenery is remarkable. Fast reflexes are a must when attempting to succeed in Surgical Strike. These terrorists don’t play around, y’all. They’re out for blood. You’ll find yourself on a quick draw face to face with the enemy or you might find yourself having to shoot out a landmine before you hover over it.

If you love action movies and you love video games, odds are that you’ll have a decent time playing Surgical Strike. I’m big into both and I had a very enjoyable time. While this game might be halfway decent for an FMV game, it’s still not an incredibly good game. The replay value is EXTREMELY low as it begins to feel like a chore just highlighting the same stuff and firing the same missiles over and over. The tediousness of that same task makes the game very boring after a while. But it is fun for a short period of time (for an FMV game, that is).

Although only an average game and an above average FMV game, Surgical Strike never got the recognition it deserved. I mean, it came out around the exact same time as the Sega Saturn, and they even tried to push a Sega CD 32X version on the unsuspecting public. I’m glad I didn’t get that one because then I’d have to go get about 16 more surge protectors for all the giant brick-plugs. What a stupid invention.

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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