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  Last Resort - ©SNK 1992 (Review 2)





Click here to view the image gallery for this game -->


Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
Shoot 'em up

Size:
45 Megs
Japanese Name:

Last Resort

Released On:

Home/MVS/CD


Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
No Other Reviews From This Author


Review Introduction:

Last Resort came out in 1992, the year that most people would agree put the Neo-Geo on the map. Being that it came out in 1992 you can see a few cultural references of the time in the some of the stages and bosses. This game really does have the zeitgeist of late 80s and early 90s sci-fi movies (Terminator) and anime (Akira).

I've read reviews where most people dismiss Last Resort due to the inevitable comparison to both Pulstar and Blazing Star. The thing is... Last Resort really does stand on its own and offers graphics, gameplay and music that stands out in the Neo-Geo shooter library. Enough about the intro, let's cut to the chase.


Gameplay:

So the game is a pod-based shooter. As in all pod shooters, your pod can eat certain enemy bullets (not lasers) and can also do limited "melee" damage when it comes in contact with an enemy. The thing about this pod is that you can move it 360 degrees around your ship, also you can charge it up and launch it at your enemies.

There are only two buttons used in this game, but it's not entirely that simple. Button "A" is for shooting, you tap it to fire your standard projectiles and hold it to charge your pod attack. There longer you charge your pod, the more damage it inflicts upon your enemies. Button "B" is used to lock and unlock your pod. Your pod moves anti-clockwise if you move in certain directions and clockwise for others. In this game, IMO, the pod attack is the most essential weapon in the game and the most powerful (when your pod is fully charged and leveled-up).

Being able to quickly orientate your pod in the direction you want and charging it quick enough becomes a skill that might take you a little while to master, but when you can get to that point, it is very fun to blow up enemies with your pod of death. Once a charged pod hits its target or targets, it will automatically come back to your ship, like a boomerang. It's best to launch your pod attack with care, because there are few moments where you are defenseless... thus timing is essential.

The pod can be powered-up with three different add-ons, each has 3 levels you can obtain. Here are brief descriptions of the add-ons:

"L" is for Laser -- A laser that fires directly in front of you. The level 3 laser does CRAZY damage, looks cool too.

"H" is for Homing missiles -- Self-explanatory, the higher the level... the more missiles you get per volley.

"G" is for ground missiles: Two missiles that blast everything on the ground (and ceiling) to flaming shite... VERY useful for certain situations. The higher the level, the more powerful the explosion.

If you max out (have any level 3 add-on) your pod, it does insane damage. Only thing is, that the game seems to get harder if you have level 3 add-ons. Even the bosses will sometimes act differently, if you have a level 3 pod! It's true, this game is a tricky bastard.

Another thing! Each add-on comes in "blue" and "red" variety. Your pod will glow either blue or red to signify what color you selected. The blue or red status only affects what your pod (itself) does when launched, regardless of what add-on you get.

Basically, a red-glow pod will ride along the ground (or ceiling) a bit before it returns to you. A blue-glow pod will quickly make contact with what it initial hits, bounce around a bit (like a billiards ball) and then quickly return to you. Personally I don't see much use in blue-glow, except in very few situations.

Confused yet? Yeah, sorry, but play the game and you'll get what I mean... quick-like.

There is also a "speed-up" and "speed down" items. Beware, too much speed will get you dead as Dillinger. Which brings me to another point; if you lose your pod (in the latter stages)...you're a pretty much a sitting duck. Your craft, at its base level, is trash (rubbish).

CO-OP is really fun. Team work is essential in CO-OP because some of the Boss AI adapts pretty damned-good to taking on a single or 2P. The game is hard as balls in 1P, in 2P the game is do-able for people who are not gifted shoot-em-up players. The only thing that makes 2P sort of hard is that sometimes it's hard to identify your own ship, as the differences between the 1UP and 2UP ships are very subtle. Aside from all that, find a buddy (or "mate") to play with you and I guarantee that you will have fun.

The game has two loops, very common for older shooters. If you finish the first loop, you get a pretty lame text only ending. If you complete the second loop (which is more difficult) then you get the "real" ending, with cut scene and proper ending music. The game is moderately difficult, nothing insane.


Graphics:

Remember, this game came out in 1992. Once you take this into context, take a good look at the graphics. Yeah, the graphics look pretty good. The style of art in this game is actually very IREM-looking. Lots of shading and contrast between light and dark. The color palette is rather dark and gloomy, which adds to the atmosphere. There are lots of shiny metallic objects and shiny lights that would be pleasing to anybody who likes Gunforce 2 or Metal Slug. The bosses are gritty, have gun-metal texture and look great. It's all a matter of taste I suppose, but if you like that IREM/ NAZCA art style, Last Resort will catch your eye.

Watch out for backdrops that remind you of Blade Runner, Star Wars (asteroid field) and Akira. One of the bosses looks like a giant, scrapped Terminator. The detail in some of the boss sprites are really good. Even various texts in the game looks like they stole the font from the first Terminator movie intro credits.


Sound:

The quality of the sound is as good as any other Neo-Geo OST. This soundtrack screams 80's sci-fi or action soundtrack. This is my favorite soundtrack on the Neo-Geo, just behind Pulstar. My favorite track is probably "Sonar" from stage 3, it gets your adrenaline going. The soundtrack fits the game perfectly. Not a big fan of the NGCD soundtrack as it is more orchestrated... and not as synth-heavy. When I think 80's... I think of synth. The AES/ MVS BGM fits the cybernetic theme of the game way better, IMO. Almost every stage has at least decent music... as I said before, it's a matter of taste.


Overall:

Last Resort does not bring anything revolutionary to the shooter genre, but it has its own style that will spark the interest of most nostalgic people who like the things I mentioned previously in the review. These days, more people have had time to really dig into the game and it's become more respected in the Neo library. It's not as cheap as it used to be and can be hard to find. As far as Neo-Geo shooters go, I'd definitely place this game in the top 10, perhaps the top 5. Sure, you can find a few better shooters out there but none will play and look like Last Resort. As I pointed out before, this game shines in CO-OP.


Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 9/10
Game play: 8/10
Replay Value: 9/10

Overall Rating: 9/10

Thanks for reading!


Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:

Review by Loopz

Above links open in new window.

Pulstar
If you need a strong challenge.

Blazing Star
More of a button masher than Pulstar, but great nonetheless!


Back to Neo Geo Reviews -->


  Comments
#1 | shion on July 14 2015 23:47
Good job 2-D. I think a full disclaimer is needed though: this is his favorite game!
#2 | priest on July 21 2015 09:03
Nice work, 2DThumbs Up
#3 | LIFE_IN_2D on July 26 2015 16:04
Thanks guys, maybe I will write another in the future.

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