New York, New York
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  • Gottlieb
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  • Action - Shooter - 2D (example - Thunder Force)
  • 1980
  • 1-2
  • high score save
  • 7
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4  |  New York, New York Sucks, Sucks
Darryl B. , 4/30/2009 1:40:42 AM

Here's a bizarre premise for a game: code a game with a done to death theme, but throw in a couple of weird elements to claim it as to being "new" and release it, even if it's not very good (even though, with a done to death theme, they should have had enough practice as it was to know how to make a halfway decent game).

But then, what else could you expect from Gottlieb back then? Even though they had been in the entertainment business for decades with several excellent pinball and parlor games, going the video game route was new to them, which would explain the clunker tank game of theirs of No Man's Land. Even though they only distributed New York, New York (Sigma actually made it), they probably didn't have much other choice than to try to get whatever product out that they could get their hands on. The later Reactor was a lot better than those two games combined, but it was only a minor hit, not really catching on, and it took until Q*Bert when they finally got it right, resulting in a hugely popular game.

In this odd, dull shooter, alien ships come flying in, which you have to shoot them and dodge their fire; yes, it's quite familiar territory already. However, for some weird reason (the game makes very little sense), one of the newer elements involves some kind of alien ferris wheel that appears and coaxes you to shoot it; however, the voice synthesis was so bad (but then, that was the early days for talking games) that I thought it was saying "oh yo hoo! Oh yo hoo!" (whatever that meant).

Until this day, though, according to it's entry in the www.klov.com, I never would have known that the ferris wheel thing was actually saying "I'm here!", "Come on!", and "Hit me! Hit me!" This isn't too hard a thing to do, but shooting it will just change it's color; you have to shoot it several times before it blows up, which it might not even yield any points, which sucks enough as it is, plus there's so many alien ships in the way in the meantime, you'll hardly ever destroy the thing anyway.

And that's just about the whole game there: after many, many waves of ships and the ferris wheel thing, a  U. F. O. will appear that's shaped like...well, the letters "ufo". It looks suspiciously like the rock band Boston's logo. Did they have anything to do with this game? Yeah, they probably sent Sigma some money to NOT have anything to do with this game, after they played it and found it to be so bad that they didn't want this game to be an official spin-off of theirs or anything.

 

New York, New York screenshot. Save New York from - fatmannewyork.jpg

And, as usual, the game doesn't make any sense: it says during the attract (what a concept!) mode that you have to protect New York from the U. F. O.s, which the on-screen rendering of the Statue of Liberty starts to flash when they appear. However, just out of curiosity once, I let the U. F. O. fly around and around for a while just to see what would happen. Did it shoot down the Statue of Liberty, and my game was over? Was Lady Liberty afraid that the U. F. O. would land and aliens would look up her dress? Nope, it didn't seem to do anything. So I shot the stupid thing already, it's not too difficult to do.

And that's the whole game, except the alien ships originate from different parts of the screen, rather than flying in from the right as usual, they start coming from the left and all (oh gee! Variety really saved THIS game [not]!).

The graphics are somewhat ok, as some of the ships looked kind of cool, as did the Statue of Liberty, but your ship is big and ugly, and the sounds are even worse. The game isn't very fun, and it doesn't really seem to get any harder, you'll just eventually die from getting hit by an alien ship's bomb, or from boredom. Galaxian, which this game stole most of the gameplay idea from, was about 10 times better, even without the extras of the U. F. O. and the ferris wheel thing (which looks like the top center section of targets from the Carnival arcade game, by the way). You don't even get penalized if you don't shoot all the ships during a wave, unlike in Phoenix and it's lesser-known sequel of Pleaides (you can't advance to a new wave until you destroy them all, not counting the mothership wave during each game, which isn't mandatory to destroy everything in order to advance on that wave), which might help make this game a tiny bit more interesting.

The only place I ever saw this game was at a convenience store at the end of the next block from my parents' house, which had Defender...for a while. Then one day the store owner got stupid, getting rid of one of the best shooters ever (still to this day), and replaced it with this weird piece of crap. (I'll bet they saw a big drop in their weekly take in between the two machines; good going, dum-dum!) And since the game wasn't popular back then, lord knows how rare it is nowadays...rare because it sucks.

With those of us that are old enough to play video games from the very beginning --  well, their explosion in the 70s arcades, NOT the 50s, with Space War!, I mean -- game companies are bringing out old compilations left and right to try to take more money from us, like those releasing back catalogs from Atari, Intellivision, Konami, Sega, Midway, Williams, Nintendo, etc., etc. However, it's doubtful anyone will bother with Gottlieb, as Q*Bert was ported to pretty much every system possible back in the 80s, and there's no way you could do their Mad Planets game without a Tron-like controller (with built-in trigger) and the spinner dial as well (although it might be possible to do as one of those Jakks-like attachments to your tv though, with the controller deck having the games built into it).

Still, even if someone DID release the above, they should still leave New York, New York off of it, since the game was that blah and embarrassing as it was. Just another reason to hate New York, if you feel that way about the place. 4/10

 

 

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