Remember the movie GoldenEye? Remember the first time we met the new “M” and she proceeded to dress down 007 by calling him a dinosaur? A relic of the cold war?
That’s the first thing that springs to mind upon booting up Rush’n Attack. The clever play on words gives away the game’s main thrust – you are a secret agent of some sort infiltrating what can only be a Russian base, racing against time to save a group of POWs scheduled for the firing squad.
This 22-year old arcade action game was pretty rad back when teased hair and neon colored shirts were all the rage, but it simply doesn’t hold up today. Each of the four stages feel almost identical, with your character running from left to right, knifing or shooting those attempting to get in your way. Reach the end of a stage, fight off the remaining enemies, and move on.
Rush’n Attack is definitely challenging on the default settings. It has a lot to do with the archaic idea of the one-hit-kill. If one of your enemies so much as touches you, kiss your butt goodbye. And as the only weapon you normally have at your disposal is a knife, almost all fighting is done in closed quarters.
There are firearms that you can procure on site, but each new weapon (each stage has a unique armory) can only be fired three times before it disappears. So a miniscule amount of ammo management is required for really hardcore players. But it’s not enough to save the repetitive action overall.
This dinosaur has a few new tricks, to be fair. First of all, you have the standard “enhanced” graphics, which gussy up the old pixels with smoother, more modern-looking art. Rush’n Attack’s enhanced mode reminds one of the enhanced graphics on another recent Arcade title – Double Dragon. It looks like someone painted over the original images just to smooth things out and deepen the color a bit.
And then there are the online play modes. You can play co-op over Xbox Live, or a versus game, where you and your opponent play through separate instances of the title in a battle to see who’ll end up with the highest score.
At only 400 Microsoft Points, this crusty arcade title won’t break your bank. It’s actually a pretty fair price for what you get. But it’s hard to justify even that price when there’s surely something a bit more substantial coming to the service in the near future.