Say 'Hi!' to Hybrid!
I can slow it down but it doesn't make it make any more sense. As far as I can gather, in the future the governments of Earth conspired with aliens to trade humans for alien technology and research into half-alien hybrids. Then there was a plague spread by a hybrid and the calendar went back to zero and all manner of awful stuff happened.
Into the spotlight step four brave heroes who dare challenge whatever it is I just wrote. Four characters... that's four completely different styles of play! Why, it's practically four games for the price of one! Who do we have on the roster for this amazing adventure?
Likes: reading. Dislikes: being interrupted while reading.
Even better, according to MobyGames, in the Japanese version his name becomes Bloodchaser Field. Which one's his real name? THEY'RE BOTH HIS REAL NAME. AND THEY'RE BOTH AWESOME.
None of these characters look anything like the box illustration, by the way.
My gun is absolutely useless! One shot a second! Retreat, Brad, retreat!
I retreat back into the room where I started and use the wide open space to dodge the robot's slow laser blasts. I'm sort of shooting blind here. I'm hardly any distance away from the robot, but you can see he's nearly invisible in the darkness. Eight shots of my terrible gun later...
Big glowing floating ball things with very large spikes on them. They're liking the smell of Brad's dreads.
They'd go down in one if I could hit them, but they're flying all over the place.
I've just realised I have absolutely no idea where I'm going. It's a 90s FPS, so I'm heading... forwards? Forwards!
Up ahead is a bunch of switches that look absolutely nothing like switches. I end up activating most things in this place accidentally. It's surely only a matter of time before my recklessness triggers some kind of facility self-destruct system and I die running about, lost in the darkness like a duck.
"Come and geeeet it!"
Back to the start of the entire level!
Or in other words, blasting them all from just around the corner of a far off corridor because your guns have infinite range.
Or maybe I should have picked the guy with the bionic eye. Aaaaaaahh...
You see those columns in the distance? (Pretend you do.) They're the switches I need to activate in order to raise the stairs to the exit. I think games should make interactive objects slightly more distinct than 'they have some red on them somewhere'.
Dodging the incoming robot torpedoes is a lot of fun in these wide open spaces. (And you can't fault the level intro picture for not looking like the game.)
And then Brad trod on a landmine and instantly died. The end. I've got infinite tries, but I've restarted without any of my guns except the crappy starting one so I'm gonna just quit.
Akiko stole some secret rituals from somebody and by sheer blind luck they were the exact right rituals for locating corporate bases.
It's time to make a stealthy.
They're faster firing than the starting gun and at least five times as powerful. They run off my health bar but the drain is so slight I can barely see it.
The game seems to interpret my use of the pyrokinesis power as my not having any ammo, so whenever she picks up a gun she immediately switches to it and says her line. This is okay because her guns are pretty good.
This is more than a little distracting. Stop flying at my face, damn it!
Now let's see if Akiko's level 2 is any different from Brad's.
If all the characters have the same levels, maybe they go from left to right in order of difficulty. George gets the ability to see where the enemies are and a great big whacking gun. Akiko gets near infinite fireballs and rocket powered megashoes. Brad needs nothing but his infectious over-enthusiasm.
Poison pickups. A whole field of poison pickups. It would more of a black mark against the game's good name if it had a good name to start with.
I only managed to find the key to the exit by pressing Activate on all the walls. I eventually found a wall that had a marking on it (a marking that WASN'T RED) that activated (after a short delay) a lift some way back into the level that led to another bridge leading to the key to the main door where the exit was.
"But mecha-neko! You're not showing us the level!" ... What can I say? Outside, it looks like a snowfield. Inside, it looks like what you can see behind the map. Grey boxes. Black boxes. Dark grey boxes.
By the time I'd found the exit, I'd found all the level secrets along the way. I had three health bars, all the guns, invincibility shield, the works. And no use for most of it because Fireballs Is Best.
But I'm not. I just quit again. I'd play as another guy, but I'd have to play through that level 1 and that level 2 all over again. It might not look like much from these screenshots, but you're missing many hours of aimless wandering in the darkness.
I like the hand-coloured pictures. I think they're cute and silly and they give the game a reassuring, heartwarming, home-made quality. There's even some concept art and other bits and bobs on the disc for the avid Hybrid fan, like the daft wallpaper above. It's as if Hybrid was made by a group of friends who suddenly decided to make a game together. "I've got some really cool ideas for characters! I'll draw some pictures!" "I'm pretty good with them triangles, so I'll write a renderer!" "I can do you some music if you guys want."
"Yeah! This game is gonna be AWESOME!"
Definitely worth the 50p that was paid for it. It would have been worth 75p if it had quicksaves instead of poison pickups!