The Adventures of Rad Gravity
At a Glance: Ah, the future. I remember it like it was yesterday. Gordons were Flashing and Stars were Treking along, boldly Nexting their Generations. A lot of good things came out of predicting what the future might hold for humankind: lightsaber toys, robopets, an endless supply of "I wish we had jetpack" jokes for nerds to impress girls with (call me Sarah). Unfortunately, every process has some waste and The Adventures of Rad Gravity for the NES is this exact kind of festering byproduct.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 64k
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Game Plot: Rad Gravity, son of Tad Gravity, is sent on a galactic adventure to rid the cosmos of the evil Agathos. Who is Agathos? It's apparently some form of evil computer that only chins can kill (reference). Rad reves up his space engines to head out to the first planet, some place with a couple computers. Your Flight of the Navigator spaceship doesn't seem to be able to pinpoint where it should be going so you need to boot up a couple Apple II's and get the right directions. So first stop: Cyberia, the seedy underbelly of the universe full of crime and men with robot legs. Population: 200 idiots. Rad arrives to even the score.
After making short work of some guys who want to cyber, you try to start some planet hopping but are stopped with a realization - your precious computer has been stolen! Quick, hurry and catch up to those space bandits and show them how you fight! With the passion of a thousand desperate virgins at a "have sex and get stabbed" party, you casually mention that you'd like your robot back. They laugh and jump into their ice cream truck. You pursue, saving him from the clutches of evil.
With your computer safely back with you, you quickly move from planet to crazy planet, from Turvia where the gravity is reversed to Volcania where there's lava. If you haven't guessed, the planet names are kind of sketchy. (Planets you never visit: Funia, Pleasureia, Iaiaiaia.)
Each planet only fuels your anger towards the evil computer thing villain with a brain. It doesn't take long for testosterman to make his way to the planet of his evil nemesis: Agathos! You do deadly battle with his, throwing crystal and lasers and effort at your foe. At last, he is broken&and explodes, revealing himself to be an old man.
But then a twist arrives! Apparently the evil genius all along was - YOUR SHIP. You must do battle with your dearest friend. Can Rad kill his closest companion to save the universe? Play the game if you care! Please don't care! I mean it!
Enemies: I don't have high expectations with roms I review anymore. When I open my email and take a peek at the video games that are being sent my way I expect to find impossible levels that I can barely managed to beat with three sets of save states. Graphics that try to convince you what clearly looks like a mutilated strip of beef jerky is a character's face. I don't know why I keep my hopes up that somehow I'll be surprised. Maybe I'll come across my first rom pit suggestion that just happened to get a tough break. It just needed some spare change and no one gave it any. I keep hoping and hoping but it never comes true.
I started playing this game thinking to myself, "I wonder what kind of aliens I'll be fighting now. Perhaps a shark that could fly?" Oh I laughed and laughed.
I'm not laughing anymore.
Weapons: You will find a wide variety of weapons as you travel the planets of this game. These items can be split into four groups: swords, guns, bombs, armors, and worthless. The majority of your items will be placed into the last category. The swords are good for close, "about to be hit" combat. The guns are good for "how the hell can I shoot that bird because it's going the speed of sound" combat. And the bombs help you miss in new and exciting ways.
Let's not forget your protection! Space protection. The different armors give you a better chance to stay alive after you've been hit. Each armor also comes with the added bonus of helping you stay alive long enough to be tossed into lava and die instantly.
Levels: Each level is a different planet, but considering this is a game for the old-fashioned Nintendo you can assume a planet is equal to around thirty or so screens, populated by a couple guys in a house. One would assume the planet is bigger than this but I don't like to assume anything. Ever. Normally I would assume that I'd have much more to say about the levels. Again, I don't assume.
Bosses: I believe that the makers of Rad Gravity wanted to make Rad into some sort of intelligent man, dashing and brave with a head the size of his torso. With a head this large, they assumed, he should be able to think on his feet and overcome enemies with his brains instead of his straight firepower and brawn. This translates as poorly as shoving a Cannibal Corpse album through a MIDI machine. To illustrate, one particular boss fight on Vernia includes two giant robots with wind-up keys on their backs. They march around, shooting something out in all directions until one of them breaks down. The other runs over and winds up the broken down robot. The goal is to keep the robots from winding each other up. How do you figure this out? On your own. Your guns and swords? They push the robot closer to the broken down robot. Your bombs? Do the same unless you somehow manage to get a shot over the head of the first robot to the second since you cannot manage to get over them. There are no platforms, nothing. How do you beat these guys? Magic.
Defining Moment: Being inside a computer during the first stage. I've always been interested in how a computer really looks like from the inside. Now I'm A+ certified. Thanks Rad Gravity!
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).