Friday, 13 May 2011

Rex Blade: The Battle Begins (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

Poor mecha-neko plays through another obscure first person shooter for your amusement.

No title screen!? This game sucks already!

Here's the skinny, in the 35th century Man created Cyborg slaves for kicks. There was a war or something, and Man exiled the Cyborgs to a distant part of the galaxy. It's now the 40th century and R.E.X Blade, a brutal half-cyborg killer so secret he's 'HYPER-CLASSIFIED', has been sent over to the Cyborg exile worlds to rub it in.

They're pretty good at drawing blokes. Not so good at drawing floppy disks.

If this is R.E.X., who's the bald guy on the box?

WE'RE IN.

Whoever designed this interface sure did like green words. That's pretty much half of the screen covered by words. What does any of this stuff even MEAN anyway?

In SYSTEM, we've got CPU, MEM, CRYPTO, PWR and DNA. So I suppose I can upgrade my robo-bits, but I don't know why I'd do that. I don't have any DNA, apparently, which sounds pretty serious. I should look into that first. In BIOSTATS, I've got 753 ORGANICS, 1000ML of EXOSKEL and 49 ML of NANITES. Is that good? I don't understand.

I've got all kinds of AMMO but I only have one gun, which is a swish silenced automatic pistol doo-dad. My favourite!

I pop my head out from behind the blue glass and meet up with this Cyborg fellow, who starts shooting me and making the same noise as the floating psychic alien brain monsters from Duke Nukem 3D. When they said 'Cyborg' in the briefing, I was expecting Terminators. This guy looks like a super deformed Alien.

From certain angles, he looks like a guy in a rat mascot costume who just crawled out of a sewer.

When they were choosing the enemies for this game, they threw in everything, including the kitchen sink!

These floaty sinky turret things love to make all kinds of whooshing and blasting noises. There's something up with the sound in this game, because I can hear the sounds from all over the level no matter where I am. I think all the enemies are already aware of where I am, because all I can hear is a constant stream of alien screeches and laser blasts.

I turned the interface off, did you notice? Now I can see what's to the left and right of me! I don't know how much AMMO I have or what my BIOSTATS are, but that's okay. They were only using up power anyway.

When R.E.X. runs out of power, the interface starts flickering off and on, and the words 'POWER CRITICAL' appear on the screen. It doesn't affect R.E.X.'s health, but it'll definitely make your eyes go funny.

It's a gangly Cyborg... that looks like a voodoo wooden effigy.

This is a terminal, not an enemy. Took me half my ammo before I simply walked up to it and the word TERMINAL appeared on the screen. Like all the interactive things in this game, you have to be so close you practically have to put your nose through it in order to be able to activate it.

It's a command-line interface driven Cyborg computer full of unhelpful advice. It also has it's own programming language called REX++, featured on the box as 'INTRODUCING REX++, A FULLY-FUNCTIONAL CYBORG PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE'. You have to find a secret ingame password before you can use it, so I can't show you it. You're devastated, I'm sure.

If you're smart enough to figure out the cryptic clue ('What four letter word is one of the first video games?'), you can also play Asteroids Starblazers! It's more bloody fun than Rex Blade's been so far.

After walking through some identical rooms and pressing a whole bunch of identical switches to open identical panes of blue glass, I found my way outside and got myself killed by an invisible enemy. I'm not kidding, the enemy was completely invisible. I couldn't tell where they were by sound because there's sounds coming from all directions all the time. They must have killed me from close range because I didn't see any weapon blasts.

I finally figured out where the change weapon buttons were so I can finally use the other weapons. The change weapon buttons are left and right square bracket. Space is 'use' and X is 'jump'. Hold Alt to strafe. These (unconfigurable) controls were devised by an octopus.

If that invisible punk comes near me again, he'll get a taste of my Cyborg dukes.

This is a double-barreled automatic pistol, same as the starting thing except there's two of it.

This is a plasma ball thrower. It uses the same sound effect as the BFG from Doom, but it's nowhere near as cool. It eats ammo and the balls move so slow you can't hit anything with it. Piece of junk.

Here's the outside area where I got killed by the invisible son'bitch.

With this rapid fire plasma spewing crossbow gizmo, I'm able to spray spiky red energy balls everywhere so I can more or less see where the invisible guys are.

On my sixth playthrough, I figured out to use the TARGETER and the INFOCOMPASS. The TARGETER makes your crosshair slightly more visible and is of absolutely no use when fighting the invisible enemies. The INFOCOMPASS puts your co-ordinates at the top of the screen and tells you when you've picked up a weapon. It doesn't say what the weapon is, just that you've picked one up.

I got stuck in that outside area for ages, darting about the place trying to figure out of which order the three indistinguishable switches were supposed to be activated. My reward for finding the correct switch is to be ambushed by this kitchen sink turret and this stupid waddling orange thing. I'd no health left thanks to the invisible enemy, so I died here.

I loaded a save I made just before I went outside and, if I'm not mistaken, all the enemies and items reappear when you load a save game. That's beyond stupid, that's just strange.

I found myself a chaingun. Or two, it seems. No different to the starting pistol at all. Same ammo, same damage, same rate of fire. Why did they bother?

This handy handscanner lets me see where the enemies are. Too bad you only get it after the room with the invisible enemies. And you can't shoot while you use it. And you have to press Return to switch between scanner and weapon.

You've gotta know your history if you want to advance to the next level!

Of course, 'KITTY HAWK' isn't the correct answer. That would be too easy. There are multiple clues in the computer and there's no indication which one refers to the teleporter on the level that you're on. You've got to work out the answers for all the clues and keep trying them one by one until you hit upon the correct one. In this case, the correct answer is 'KITTYHAWK' without a space.

One of the other clues is 'Where was Rex built?'. I'm glad that wasn't the correct question, because I honestly have no idea.

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'WITHOUT A SPACE'? THIS GAME SUCKS!"

This game really does suck. It came out around the same time as Quake, but it looks like this and it doesn't have mouse controls. Don't play it. It's not even funny.

6 comments:

  1. Wait, how can you be a HALF-cyborg?

    > Cyborg (Noun): An organism that is partially machine.

    It's almost as though this game doesn't make a lot of sense or something.

    (In b4 "I would tell you, but that information is Hyper-Classified")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, obviously, half of him is partially machine, DUH!

      Delete
  2. the screen shots are gone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it seems that all of mecha-neko's screenshots have been temporarily shut down due to his immense popularity. Hopefully this will soon lead to his fan base turning on him and we can get the number of views back down to a manageable level.

      Either that or I should actually try doing something about it.

      Delete
  3. The demo version of this game (i think) had actual cyborg enemies: they were all weirdo cyborg chicks that looked straight outta 90's comics. For some reason when they made the final version they changed them all to generic mushy-looking aliens. Or maybe it's the other way around, and I played the final version.

    Supposedly the monster AI was really smart, too, to the point where each map was like Raid on Bungeling Bay: the monsters would communicate with each other and coordinate their attacks and whatnot.

    I never saw any evidence of them being anything but dirt stupid, though.

    ReplyDelete

Semi-Random Game Box