I Was An Atomic Mutant!
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7  |  I Was An Atomic Mutant! Review (PC)
larsoncc , 3/10/2003 4:46:17 AM

I Was An Atomic Mutant! provides anger management therapy to quick-tempered little men everywhere.  This $20 game tries to convince you that you're in a Cold War-era monster flick, with you in the starring role as the monster.  You will crush all that oppose you; you will use your atomic might to shatter the ground and sky...  AND DESTROY THE PUNY HUMANS.  

First off, I want to get something out of the way - this game is a bargain game, and it's made to play on basically ANY turd-box that you install it on.  The specs for this game are that you need a 400 Mhz processor.  400 Mhz.  At that point, the game is almost as expensive as the computer.  So, that said...  You can probably guess that the in-game graphics aren't like Panzer Dragoon Orta.  I don't weight the graphics very heavily in this review, because of the game's specs.

Here's what I was thinking before I played I Was An Atomic Mutant!Is it convincing?  Does it work?   I had just gone through some bitter disappointment with War of the Monsters (PS2), because, well, it was more of a poorly-done brawler than anything else.  Willful destruction - that's the key game play element that I've been looking for in a monster game.  Once again, I geared myself up to play the modern-day Rampage.  That's how the game should work.  The game should take the time to put me into the era, into the game - it should convince me that I AM an Atomic Mutant.  

I Was An Atomic Mutant! is convincing.  The opening sequence is fantastic.  It does a great job of putting you into the game - it's made of some great stock footage with appropriate cheese ball overdubs.  Once you get into the menu system, you realize that these folks had some very good graphic artists working on the project.  Everything is appropriate to the game, from the names of the options to the way things are presented on-screen.  Once you start configuring your player settings (what monster that you want to be, etc) you'll notice that each monster has his/her own trailer - very well done for all of the monsters.  The monsters themselves are AWESOME - you can be the 50 foot woman, a disembodied brain, the standard Godzilla-like lizard, or an alien invader.  I know that it seems odd to include the menus and movies as consideration in a review, but really - everything is done SO WELL here.

That seems to carry on to the music, which is great at setting the mood.  For a brief moment you are in a monster flick.  Notice that I said "for a brief moment".  That's the key phrase with I Was An Atomic Mutant!.  

I was an Atomic Mutant works - for about 15 minutes.  You begin the game in the smoldering crater of your birth, and lo and behold there's a town nearby in desperate need of demolition.  Each monster has a few weapon choices - the default, and easily the best weapon, is the beam weapon (which varies a bit for each character).  Your objective is simple - destroy the entire town.  Sweeping your head side to side with the mouse and moving with the keyboard is easy.  Doing the same with the joystick is impossible - stick to the keyboard/mouse.  The weapons are pretty cool - the ability to chuck cars and people around is pretty sweet.  If you play as the Brain from Beyond Infinity, you can do an Insanity Ray attack that turns everything into rubber duckies and stuffed rabbits.  Hilarious.  The feeling in the first level is GIDDY EXCITEMENT.  You really are a monster, you really DO need to destroy!  This holds for about 3-4 levels.  After that, the game play starts to get really old, really fast, because it never changes.  And it gets frustrating.  An example - I spent a good 4-5 minutes on a level, not realizing that I forgot to destroy one little shed (which was partially obscured by rubble).  That pissed me off - the game loses a point, JUST FOR THAT.  

Comparison to the classics:  I played Rampage again (for a good couple of hours), to see how I Was An Atomic Mutant! would hold up against the classics.  Know what?  Rampage was the most REPETITIVE GAME EVER.  Holy hell, this game is Rampage's equal.  Here's how you play I Was An Atomic Mutant! - you play for 15 minutes when you're pissed.  Then you walk away for a week.  Then you come back, right where you left off.  It's a good game, that way.

So, do you buy this game?  The answer will depend on what $20 means in your life.  If it means no Ramen Noodles for a week, well - no. Obviously. But it's a very reasonably priced game - and I think it's worth $20.  I give I Was an Atomic Mutant! a solid 7/10. (a grade of C)

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