Publisher: Milton Bradley
Composer: Kiyohiro Sada
Abadox was a game I always saw at the stores but was too afraid to try because of the scary cover and the fact that it was a Milton Bradley game (which was scarier). I had never given it the time of day so I was pleased to find a real hidden gem during one drunken Coors Lite-infused night. Let's tap these Rockies.
Does this look like a death metal band logo or what?
There's a few things a lot of people don't know about Abadox that may have caused it to fly under the radar more than it should have. It was actually developed by Natsume, one of my favorite developers of countless other great titles for the NES such as Shadow of the Ninja, Shatterhand and S.C.A.T. Putting MB's name on the box is like covering a filet mignon with Spagetthi O's. The soundtrack was also done by Kiyohiro Sada who you may remember from a certain iconic game by the name of Contra. What made me look into this more was pausing the game to take a sweaty hands break only to be surprised by the famous Konami pause music.
Right off the bat, Abadox has a lot going for it. The game is a challenging shooter that takes place in the guts of a giant planet-devouring alien known as Parasitis. Apparently, this sonovabitch gobbled up your home planet along with Princess Maria. It's your duty as "Second Lieutenant Nazal" to traverse the beast's innards, blowing up everything in site to save her.
Aim for the tit or get gripped.
So how does it play? Well, it's hard as balls. There's enough muscle memory here to compete with the likes of Ninja Gaiden. Levels are split between side and vertical scrolling. You get power ups along the way such as speed ups, shields and upgraded weapons and brother, you're going to need them. Like Gradius, you lose everything when you die which will induce rage seizures. Some of these levels are flat out impossible to get through unless you have enough upgrades. The later levels may even cause thoughts of suicide or worse, hitting the reset button! It's the kind of game you need to master after countless deaths but you never feel like you're backpedaling. You'll notice improvement after each use of your unlimited continues.
More eyeballs than you can shake a cornea at!
The graphics are colorful and detailed although mostly a red palette. Everything is as gory and messy as you would expect to see in the bowels of a planet-eating lummox. From mouth to anal cavity, you won't see the same thing twice except eyeballs. I sure hope you like eyeballs because there is a metric shit ton of them.
The controls are tight so if you die, it's most likely your own fault. Speed power ups are essential to dodge the various nasty nasts this game throws at you. I can understand why some people would get too frustrated but honestly, there is nothing broken with the gameplay. It's also worth noting there is little or no slow down which always helps in a shoot em' up. Big ups to Natsume for pulling that off.
So if dying is what you will do most in this game, at least you have a great soundtrack that never gets old. Sada does a wonderful job creating the perfect score to help you cause massive internal bleeding to. Check out this tasty lick. The ending theme could go toe to toe with Queen's "We Are The Champions". If you dig this, Sprite Slowdown did a mean rendition that will make you cry tears of honey and can grab it here. There's more than enough here that's worthy of being covered. ARE YOU LISTENING VGM COMMUNITY?
Get some Maalox in that Abadox!
Abadox is a solid shoot em' up that draws a lot of comparisons to Lifeforce both in style and concept but has enough going for it to set it apart. It's a common title you can find at most used game stores for the cost of a Big Mac and I can recommend it all damn day. Abadox may not be for everyone but if you're in the mood for a game that will put a little hair on your chest, this is your Rogaine with minoxidil.