Smash TV review - Nintendo Entertainment System
Welcome to Smash TV, the ultimate game show staged sometime in the early 21st Century. In this sport of sadism, the stakes are high and the prizes are incredible. There's no dumb blonde twirling a wheel here to decide your fortune - Smash TV is all down to your skill and blasting reflexes. There's only one snag - muck it all up and you forfeit your very life (cue slow, mocking, diabolical laughter).
The game itself puts the player into a series of open room studio sets, where the object is simply to blast every single enemy sprite that arrives on-screen. During this carnage, the contestant boosts his destructive potential by collecting the power-ups and extra weapons that regularly appear within the studio. Once the arena is clear, the exits open up, allowing the contestant to enter a new chamber full of dangerous foes.
And what foes they are! Each major area in Smash TV is packed with hundreds of enemy sprites and each also boasts a huge, lethal boss - your first target being the gargantuan Mutoid Man. Suffice it to say, he's taking no prisoners!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Smash TV is a real laugh in the arcades and this Nintendo conversion is simply fantastic. Of course, the graphics and sound aren't half as stunning as the original Williams coin-op, but what it has got is the sheer excitement factor that the arcade machine delivered. The enclosed screen is very claustrophobic, making the urge to blast the sheer amount of enemy sprites on-screen even stronger. Making the action even more exciting are the superb weapons, blowing up legions of marauding sprites with a scatter grenade launcher has never been so much fun! With all of the different options and the two-player mode, Smash TV is simply a superlative purchase for any NES owner that enjoys shooting everywhere.
This is what I can a REAL shoot 'em up! Pure, unadulterated, relentless, frantic action which tests your reflexes and skills to their utmost. Total concentration is required - if you take your mind off the action for a second you're instantly overrun by the hundreds of enemy droids that are all out for your blood! Because there are so many sprites on screen at once, they're all rather small, which makes the game look rather unimpressive. But it's not the visuals that are important here - it's the gameplay, and Smash TV delivers in a BIG way! It's challenging, addictive and completely blows away all the other Nintendo shoot 'em ups I've ever played!
Have your say about this review
Laurie - 18 Jun 2008, 13:35 GMT
There are two schools of thought on coin-op converting, namely does a game play to the strengths of the system or does it vainly attempt to ape the original arcade in an unseemly baboon mooning in your face type way? Early 90's releases on 8-bit micros, particularly the Spectrum, went the latter route and were roundly and correctly trounced by the arrival of the 'new' 8-bit consoles. The NES and Mastersystem played to the strengths of the machines and thereby created some superb arcade-style games based on the original coin-ops. Smash TV (NES) is no exception. Acclaim did not attempt an accurate rendition of the arcade graphics (although they are perfectly adequate) but more than made up for this by utilising an innovative 'double fisted' control method, resulting in fast and furious action without a hint of slow-down or flicker. A highly recommended game but well worth getting hold of a 4-way controller for 2 player gameplay.