Communist Mutants from Space
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  • Starpath
  • Starpath
  • Action - Shooter - 2D (example - Thunder Force)
  • 1982
  • 1-4
  • high score save
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8  |  Beware The...Evil Bats? Renegade Monsters? No, Commie Mutants! (?)
Darryl B. , 11/30/2005 1:00:31 AM
The year was 1982, which was a pretty good time, entertainment-wise, to be around. Why? There were many high quality video games available for all kinds of gaming systems, it was only a year away until the very last Star Wars movie ever, Return of the Jedi, was going to be released, and not only was the long lost Ed Wood movie, Communist Mutants from Space discovered, but a video game of it was released as well!

Ok, so the majority of the preceding paragraph was a big load of crap: sure, there WERE a ton of video games out, due to companies popping up left and right, trying to make a buck (no matter what the "quality" their titles would end up being) off of the huge video game industry (which the crash would start a year later because of that), Jedi would not be the last Star Wars movie (the not as loved prequels would start being released a little over a decade later), and Communist Mutants was not an Ed Wood movie, either. But it could have been.

However, it WAS a video game, that much was true.

Instead of being as original as it's title, though, Commie Mutants (what I'm calling it from now on) was just the 50th version (or so) of Space Invaders/Galaxian/Demon Attack/etc. for the Atari 2600, as Starpath, even though they came out with high quality games, weren't exactly the most original company back then.

But, it's a very good version though, especially with all the customizing you can do and all to the game (which I'll get to later).

In this particular version of Galaxian and Demon Attack, a mother ship constantly hatches baby commie mutants (to replace ones that you destroyed) that, of course, will quickly grow to full-sized, pissed off mutants that will fly down and try to shoot and/or ram into you. You MUST destroy the mother ship first, or else you'll never get through a wave, since she'll keep on hatching commie mutants until you've lost your last ship. It's Tribbles from Star Trek gone evil!

Ok, so here's where I describe the graphics, sound and controls real quickly, and then I say why I like this game so much, and then it's the end of my review, due to not much that can be said about a rip-off, right?

No, not quite, as there's a lot of customizing that can be done to the game, depending on what you want out of your commie experience (besides not being able to vote democratically, I mean): first off, in case you didn't catch it earlier, THE most important thing to take care of first thing is the mother ship, right? And the best way to do this is to pick penetrating missiles (no sex jokes on that one please) from the onscreen menu.

You see, whenever you fire up your Supercharger and a game of Commie Mutants, an onscreen menu will appear with several variations to choose from, which penetrating missiles allows your shots to pass through all of the rows of mutants, including the mother mutant (Happy Mother's Day, b*tch!). This makes the game a lot easier; without it, it's pretty difficult, not to mention not fun at all, pretty much.

But things don't stop there (in Loud Tv Announcer Guy voice)...because THAT'S NOT ALL! You can also choose if you want shields or not, which are available once per round, which makes you invincible for several seconds upon pulling down on the joystick. You can also have a (also once per round) time warp where the action slows down for several seconds as well by pressing up on the joystick, not to mention guided missiles as well that you can aim as you move.

(Plus the warp and shields can also be used once per round per ship, since, if you were to die with only a few Commie Mutants left, it's worth it to activate your shields and/or warp before finishing them off, because you'll automatically get your warp and/or shields function back once you start a new round! So it's not worth risking getting killed by only a few Commie Mutants left when you don't have to.)

However, the game is a bit easy, with too slow a difficulty curve, as it takes many, many rounds before you get to the point where the mutants shoot off these giant shots that are, not only as big as they are (!), but they also penetrate your shields. BUT, you can also choose your starting level as well. So that's why I rated this game so highly, due to all the customizing possible, as others probably would only rate it a 6 or a 7 (after all, it is a rip-off), unless they're from the Playstation and up generation, thinking that old games like Space Invaders and Demon Attack = Teh Suck, So You Only Get a 2.

Also, the controls (now I'm getting to them, along with the end of my review) respond perfectly, but the graphics are a bit mixed: I always thought it was amusing how the Supercharger was marketed as to having great graphics in their games, which Phaser Patrol's was only a small step up from the similar games of StarMaster and Star Raiders (among others), but I heard the majority of Killer Satellites' consisted of a bunch of triangles (WHOOPIE!), Fireball's common Breakout gameplay could have had greatly improved graphics, but then Escape from the Mindmaster's were incredible (for the time), and Frogger's were almost exactly like the arcade's.

Here, the mother mutant and her commie son (daughter?) that resembles an octopus looks cool, but the others -- along with your ship -- just look pretty plain. However, they flail their arms around (I guess they're arms?) and all when they swoop down, making up for the meh graphics, as Demon Attack was considered a triumph by having all the demons move independently while flapping their wings and all (since most other Space Invader-type games has all their aliens moving in a formation, although with Megamania, that didn't matter, since it was a great game!).

But those SQUARE EGGS! Gads, those still crack me up to that day...except for the thought of what pregnancy hormones that mother mutant must have been taking to have them come out shaped that way (shudders). (Oh yeah, and the sound effects are pretty good too, especially the sound for when you activate the warp, which is pretty awesome.)

Rounding things off is that the game can handle up to four players (!), a list of several high scores after a game (no initials entry though), flipping the difficulty switch to A will slow down your blaster (which moves very fast!) AND there's a preview of two more Starpath games left over on the tape as well. They sure did pack this one to the max with options, that's for sure.

Too bad a lot of other companies can't follow an example like this today, with too short gameplay, brief, crappy endings and all, etc.

My only question is, what would this game be called if it were released in Russia, though? Jackass Americans from Uranus, I guess. 8/10

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