At a Glance: You know, it took me a long time to figure out why this game is called "Revolution X." I finally realized that it was because if they actually called it "Aerosmith: The Video Game," every store that carried it would get burned down within seconds. I mean, whose idea was this, anyway? Does anyone even LIKE Aerosmith? Their only number one song is ten minutes of a guy screaming "DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY! DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY!" over and over again. Jesus, if I wanted to hear a song about John Romero I'd just go to Space Nerd Look-alike Wesley Willis' site and download an mp3 of "Eat Out Daikatana Man's Pasty White Ass, You Jerk."
Platform: SNES (Download Emulator here - 395k)
Download: Download ROM here - 1.75 megs
Go ninja, go! Away! Go away!
Game Plot: Oh no! You were on your way to an Aerosmith concert when you suddenly realized that the world has been taken over by the fascist New Order Nation (Whose logo looks infringingly similar to the NIN one) and Aerosmith has been outlawed! Oh no! Not Aerosmith! Worse yet, NON soldiers have placed you under arrest for trying to go to the SUPER SECRET AEROSMITH CONCERT that was being held IN SECRET at the secret CLUB X which you can find by walking down the street and looking for the building with a SUPER SECRET GIANT NEON SIGN that says "CLUB X". Luckily, you decided to come to the concert equipped with a massive gatling gun and several bottomless drums of ammunition, which is good news since the Aerosmith concert (yes, they still have the concert even though it's illegal and the world is under martial law) is quickly surrounded by several hundred thousand armed soldiers who all happen to be dead ringers for Star Trek's Geordi Laforge (played by none other than Space Nerd and Reading Enthusiast LeVar Burton).
After you slaughter half the city with your handheld vulcan cannon, Aerosmith comes to you in a vision and tells you to make the world safe for Aerosmith by KILLING SEVERAL THOUSAND MORE PEOPLE. "REMEMBER," instructs Aerosmith's White Trash Steven Tyler, whose enormous mouth looks mysteriously like that of a basking shark, "MUSIC CAN BE A WEAPON!" He's right, of course, since every time this game started playing a hissing, crackling clip of an Aerosmith song (which was every eight seconds or so), I ended up crumpled on the floor, blind and twitching. I always wondered what music the BATF was using when they were blasting Fake Jesus David Koresh's compound with those big speakers. 72 hours of hearing Steven Tyler screaming "DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY! DA DA! DA DA! DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY!" is more than enough to make anyone set themselves on fire. I don't think I've ever felt as personally insulted by the plot and production values of a video game as I did while playing REVOLUTION X.
Weapons: Your weapons include a rapid-fire automatic cannon that never runs out of ammo and a CD launcher. The gun is your primary weapon and the CD launcher is your "Special Weapon". Yes, having a CD tossed at you apparently does more damage than a five-second burst from a 20mm M61A2 cannon. Really though, I think the CD launcher is a beautiful idea because if I really hated someone I'd probably want to throw an Aerosmith CD or two at them, thus killing two birds with one 74-minute episode of aural sodomy.
The task of killing 340 blocky people every minute might have been somewhat easier (and possibly more pleasurable, kind of like being treated to half an aspirin before having your testicles placed in a thumbscrew by Mafia toe-cutters) if not for two little gameplay gifts from the designers. First of all, this is a shooting game but of course you can't actually use the SNES light pistol (actually, I think the SNES gun was the size and shape of a 57mm recoilless rifle, but I digress); instead you are forced to drag your gunsight around with the directional pad on the SNES controller, which is of course only slightly less fun than dragging icons from one side of your PC desktop to the other and back again.
The other gameplay "feature" is what SEGA used to call "Dynamic Play Adjustment", at least until they decided to call it "Blast Processing" instead (later changing the name to "Bankruptcy"). Basically, when the game decides you're doing too well, it increases the difficulty level to match you. Some games do this by giving you weaker powerups while others switch the enemy AI to a higher level. Revolution X does it by deactivating the fire buttons on your control pad. Yes, you heard correctly, when things get tough the game frequently decides to switch off your controller and make you die. Thanks, designers. Interestingly enough, this game was released by Acclaim, the makers of such fine titles as The Simpsons: Bart vs the Space Mutants and South Park: Chef's Love Shack.Scary or just spooky? You make the call!
Enemies: In keeping with the game's undercurrent of ROCK & ROLL ANTI-ESTABLISHMENTISM, all the enemies are authority figures from THE MAN'S POLICE STATE. Of course, in typical Rock & Roll fashion, the designers eschewed such HALLMARKS OF THE SQUARES as "artistic talent", "believability", and "not making our game a massive pile of Rage Against the Machine-style angst with really shitty graphics and no gameplay." As the intended audience for this game (and Aerosmith, incidentally) consists primarily of 14-year-old mullet-headed hog humping farmers, your foes consist of EVIL BAD CORPORATE FASCIST BAD GUYS, or, in more technical terms, "People Who Finished Middle School." They are savage jumbles of yellow and black pixels that wobble onto the screen, flicker menacingly, then wobble away again. The game calls them "NON Boys" which I guess is an accurate (though moronic) pun; their motion capturing is so bad they don't even look remotely human. In addition to these, you'll also face numerous other machinations of the police state including tanks, helicopters, rollerblade commandos, Day-Glo ninjas, pygmies(!), dancing men in biosuits, and various other things just too stupid to mention. Additionally, you will be expected to destroy every single inanimate object you come across, especially windows, televisions, rocks, mounted fish, pieces of wood, boxes, scrap metal, and lots of sand.
Number of Levels: There are six pointless, un-fun levels in the game, ranging from boring, uninteresting places to really fucking stupid and miserable places. You start off right where you'd expect; that is, floating in the air above some palm trees. As you plummet to the ground, a bright yellow helicopter flies past; you can shoot it but nothing happens. After you hit the ground you find yourself in the middle of the street, which is pretty much right where you belong. Apparently you have tickets to the super secret illegal Aerosmith concert mentioned before but sadly you don't have a car. Now, if you were smart you'd realize that the street between here and the club is packed with a few thousand armed soldiers and Aerosmith really isn't worth risking your life for, but wait, you're not smart - you're playing REVOLUTION X! Anyway, you head down to the club, shooting everyone in your way.
Once you get to the club, you find that it's full of even more of the evil LaForge clones, whom you also shoot. The game lets you pick which path to take once inside the club but they all lead to the same place anyway. Inside the club you'll find some "erotic" female cage dancers. If you shoot them, the fronts of their cages break open. These will then be recorded as "Hostages Rescued" at the end-of-level score screen, proving that the people who made this game were really just fucking idiots. If you shoot the mounted fish above the bar in the right order, you get to see a picture of Steven Tyler dry-humping a fat woman. After shooting up half the club you get to fight a tank which blows up really fast if you throw CDs at it. If you get low on CDs, just shoot windows or tables or garbage cans and more CDs will appear. After you take out the tank you get to see Aerosmith play on stage, even though you're in the middle of a warzone and Aerosmith has been outlawed and the place is full of police with machine guns and Aerosmith doesn't have any weapons or anything and... you get the idea.
Following that, you climb up a ladder and walk across a catwalk, dusting one last Geordi as you go. You enter a room where you shoot some more people and Steven Tyler shows up again, this time on a television (even if you shoot the screen out with your gatling gun, he shows up anyway where the screen used to be). He tells you to overthrow the government, then tosses you the keys to his car... through the television screen. After getting the keys, you apparently burn down the club for no discernible reason. In the next level, you're instructed to "Commandeer NON's helicopter and use it to find Aerosmith's car!" Apparently, in the game world, "Commandeer" means "shoot at until it explodes", since that's what you actually do to the only helicopter in this level, in addition to shattering every window in the city with your minigun.
After you "Commandeer" the chopper to hell, you find Aerosmith's car, which is a rough collection of grey and brown squares in the general shape of a Lambourghini. You then ditch your helicopter for the car (after all, who would want something that can soar through the air at 300 mph when you can drive through city traffic instead?) and drive away. Sadly this isn't the end of the game since Aerosmith's other band members, such as "Dirty Alcoholic Mullet-head #1," "Dirty Alcoholic Mullet-head #2," "Dirty Alcoholic Child-Molesting Mullet-head," and "Fatty," appear to you through miraculous visions in the readout of the car's built-in clock. They tell you that you've been chosen to free the world from NON's tyranny, and you should drive to South America because "THEY'RE PUTTING CHEMICALS IN OUR FOOD!" Fuckers.Right in the pie tin!
Once in South America you begin slaughtering the indigenous population and shooting big holes in their temples (which contain more delicious CDs!). After laying waste to much of the region's cultural heritage, you come across a chemical plant hidden in the last remaining temple. Inside you'll find a man behind a small lemonade stand selling health food drink. When you finish murdering him, you go on through the complex, shooting various Hip-Hop Dancing Chip Fabrication Technicians in dust-proof suits. At the end of the obscenely long and pointless chemical plant scene, you'll be attacked by a giant green skeleton in a vat of goo who shoots eyeballs at you. After you kill him, you get back in your car and drive to Japan. In Japan, which is comprised entirely of box-filled warehouses, you'll fight various Day-Glo ninjas and... slightly different Day-Glo ninjas. I don't know how you smuggled your 600-barrel gun through customs, but somehow you did. At the end of this level you fight a flying robot in a penthouse office. I'm not really sure why the robot has his own spacious office suite, but he does. It's probably so he can fly around without bumping into any of the mountains of boxes that the rest of Japan is built upon.
After Japan you drive to Saudi Arabia to blow up a school bus full of kids. Okay.
The last level has you attacking Wembly Stadium, which is where Aerosmith is giving their next highly publicized illegal concert. After blowing up the stadium's state-of-the-art audiovisual system (wouldn't they need that for the concert?), you encounter Helga, the large-breasted Killcreek-lookalike who rules NON. She then introduces you to the amazing final boss, which is actually... I really don't know, what the hell is this thing?
Number of Bosses: Six; A tank, a helicopter, a giant green skeleton, a robot, a school bus, and King Kong. To beat the mechanical ones you have to shoot out every piece of their structure (to take out the helicopter you have to be sure to also take out the barrel of the ventral gun mount at the very bottom; I shot at the thing for a full hour without killing it before I realized I had to do this). To kill the skeleton, just keep shooting it, and to kill the monkey thing in the chair you have to shoot all the flesh off of his legs, crotch, and arms, then shoot the barrels of his guns, then shoot out his chest. After this the game ends or it ends before this if you just turn it off. I recommend the latter. Personally, I'd rather fellate a horse than play through this thing again, and I don't even like horses.
Defining Moment: This would definitely be the ending. After playing through one of the worst games with the worst band tie-in ever released, I was congratulated by the game for winning, but was told I wouldn't get to party backstage with Aerosmith because I didn't find all of the secret band members hidden throughout the game. My joy at this was overwhelming; however, the bastards had one last surprise for me. I was forced to sit through a looping three-frame animation of Aerosmith "rocking out" as my headphones belted out a sample of "DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY! DA DA! DA DA! DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY!!" OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I fucking lose.
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).
Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic follow up to "Baby Got Back" has serious unintended consequences.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.