This article was published in issue 1 of Komoda & Amiga Plus.
Seuck, even though it was supposed to be the environment for creating simple shoot’emups, has a second face. Of course we have a lot of SEUCK-based shoot’em ups, sometimes the games appear which break this pattern. We had, for instance, pointers, pseudoplatform games, pseudo 3d games, and what do we have here? This time around we look at the release, which is a combination of classic scrolled shoot’em up and ….. car races.
Wacky Waste lets us impersonate the persona of an amusing Ratty, who because his greatest hobby are cars, has decided to become the local king of the roads. To achieve that, he has to take part in 4 races and show to his opponents, that he is the best (and to get, as a prize, his ideal car). To reach a start of every race, he has to take care of opponents blocking the passage to the race start. Practically, it means, as it was mentioned earlier, interchangeability of shoot’em up levels and car racing levels.
Because the whole plot of the game takes part in city called Garbageville, the scenery is full of trash, dirt, metal scraps etc. The opponents adjust to this atmosphere; among them are cockroaches or rotten tomatoes. They are treated accordingly by the protagonist Ratty, which uses as projectiles…his own, green saliva. Even though the game may appear initially as quite simple, this estimation quickly changes. The level of difficulty doesn’t depend on the particular special challenge, but a certain level of clumsiness of the game. Our rat moves quite slow and sometimes even our quick reaction doesn’t help when confronted with danger. We cannot also omit our opponents and their bullets while moving vertically, because we can make only forward and backward movements. It is good that we can shoot in every possible direction, even at a slant, which is a very useful solution. Unfortunately, another oversight appears (or maybe it is deliberate), that we can’t shoot backwards while standing still, we can shoot only when we make a movement in this direction. If we are being attacked from behind by the quickly moving opponent- we encounter a serious problem (especially when we encounter an opponent that we must shoot at numerous times). The fact that some opponents do not appear somewhere in the safe distance by the edge, and practically next to the player, does not help. To sum it all up, the game is not easy and the levels where we walk on foot can be assigned to this sort of games where the further progress is reached through the trial and error method, through remembering the patters of movements and places where opponents appear.
If the player has to struggle during on foot missions, the racing levels are of better quality and are a lot of fun. It is obvious that these are not typical races (because you are not supposed to reach the finish line first, but destroy your opponents), but something racelike (to the extent that SEUCK allows), but it is more dynamic, a little bit easier and more interesting. The circuits are made quite nice; full of the more interesting surroundings, as well as many obstacles (moving banana peels look nice). These missions increase the general assessment of entertaining ability. However there is an odd solution which involves the changing of joystick port between on foot levels and racing levels. To be honest, I don’t really understand what was the aim of this solution. This game is not a typical two players game, and if two players wanted to play alternately, they can pass the joystick to each other. However the bigger number of people will play Wacky Waste as a single player, and then they have to choose between using the second joystick every level, or putting in the plug between ports (if they have one joystick), or switching the active port (in the emulator).
OK and how is the situation with the graphics? Generally speaking, the graphics are not that impressive. Maybe I should say that the graphics are uneven, because interesting and done nicely locations contrast with the more empty and boring. We can sense an unfulfilled potential in this matter, I think that we could place in this game more “garbage” variety. Over the music, which plays constantly during the game, we cannot say much. It is a quite energetic melody, quite pleasant and fitting the game. There is nothing special to listen to and we often forget during the game about the music.
I will admit honestly that when I saw the screenshots from this game (which provided an incitement to write this review), I hoped that the game would be more unique. The work of Alf Yngve (graphics, project), Richard Bayliss (music) and Martin Piper (SEUCK extensions) disappointed me to some extent. The game is definitely not bad, but, to be frank, I would not put it above an average game. We have to remember that the assessment is increased because of the interesting racing levels (for the sheer presence of them it is good to play this game).
You can download this game at tnd64.unikat.sk