Posted on October 20th, 2008 in Axel Night, Flashback, NES, Video Games by Axel Night

He’s a decapitated, ancient samurai.  She’s the Statue of Liberty.  Can they share a Manhattan apartment, or will they shoot eye-balls and fire at each other in a battle to the death?  Welcome to Flashback.

System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1991
Company: Meldac
Genre: Side-scrolling Shooter

1999.  What appeared to be a harmless meteorite crashing in the Nevada desert had turned out to be Darc Seed, an evil alien creature with horrible powers.  By shooting strange magnetic rays, Darc Seed had turned the helpless nation into zombies and brought the Statue of Liberty to life to do his dirty work.  These rays had also given him control over many deadly weapons, but none were more powerful than the legendary samurai sword, Shura.  When the great head of samurai, Namakubi, heard that the sword had fallen into evil hands, he set off immediately for the United States.  For only he possessed the strength and knowledge needed to recapture the magical sword and free the U.S. from the evil clutches of Darc Seed.

Eat samurai vomit, towering consumer establishment!

If you were to look at the box art for Zombie Nation, read its opening story line, or even just hear its title mentioned, you would probably expect you were in for a B movie slaughter/survival horror experience.  And that’s exactly what you get.  Except by "B movie slaughter/survival horror," I mean "a side-scrolling shooter in which you pilot a giant, decapitated head." 

In ZN, your goal is to fly your samurai head  from left to right and shoot eye-balls and vomit at an assortment of snipers and military vehicles, while not running out of health or being crushed against the forced-scrolling screen.  Buildings will block your path as you go, but a quick spray of your gory guns will destroy patches out of them, occasionally tossing out people for you to catch, which will power up your attacks even more.  Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up, and I’m pretty far down the sanity pole.

Was it a "good game"?  Eh.  Maybe?  You get to be a samurai head that dukes it out with the Statue of Liberty.  That earns points, right?  But as one of the rarest and most expensive NES titles on the market, it has more collector value than play value.  Feeling insecure about your penis?  A copy of Zombie Nation framed over the mantel might just be the solution.


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