BATTLE MOBILE
GEKITOTSU DANGA JODÔSHA KESSEN
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バトルモービル 激突弾丸自動車決戦
©1993 System Sacom
Release: 1993-06-25 (¥8800)
Cartridge SHVC-KV
Shooter/Vertical


Battle Mobile is a vertical shooter/racing game by System Sacom. In a 'Mad Max' like post-apocalyptic wasteland marauders and gangs on board supercharged vehicles roam the country and terrorize the population. The protagonist of the game sees his new wed-wife killed in a horrific car accident caused by one of those motorized gang and decides to plan revenge on his own. Onboard his modified and armed car, he is now engaged in a battle against the bandits who murdered his beloved wife. When driving the car, the directional button controls the vehicle and helps avoiding incoming cars, bikes, trucks and road hazards. Despite being armed, the car can't actually shoot at incoming wheeled vehicles - ground air missiles can be fired but only to hit flying objects. The meat of the game lies in a build-in speed booster feature that allows the player to smash his car against other vehicles, forcing them to crash into the surrounding scenery. A force-field, only available in limited quantities, also comes in handy in desperate situations. The player needs to always keep an eye on the gas gauge as it constantly depletes itself - blue icons often appear on screen and help to fill up the car before it dies out. The game counts five long stages with the obligatory boss battles.
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The first time I played Battle Mobile, I wondered if my game cartridge wasn't actually fried (this freaked the hell out of me as the game is really hard to dig out and somewhat pricey). I couldn't find any way to fire at the incoming enemy cars and thought "What the heck ...?". So I read the game's documentation (who's supposed to read the instructions before playing a game, really ?) and realized that I couldn't find the machine-gun button because... there wasn't any. The only way to get through the game is to smash into other cars - interesting but somewhat awkward concept if you ask me. The good news is that the formula actually works a lot better that it sounds. I only found it a little hard to pull out during boss encounters, your car tends to bounce off out of control and the whole thing results in countless cheap deaths - but this is what spices up the game I guess. Battle Mobile is a fun game but it's not for everyone, I would have preferred a straight forward shooter with large guns and crazy power-ups but hey! the end product is actually not too bad and adds variety to the genre.




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