Developer: American Sammy
Publisher: American Sammy
Plot: You're a stranded marine who crash-landed his plane on the beach of a strange, uninhabited island. Voodoo and weirdness are abundant as you fight your way to the other side where your ship, bound for home, is waiting. You also discover that with the right amount of points, you can transform into MegaGon, a sort of Arnold Schwarzenegger look-alike who is tougher and can shoot baddie-killing beams from his ripped chest. You don't learn that in boot camp.
Challenge: A. One hit and you're dead, three lives to a game to start. Sounds like Contra, but you can bet you have a hell of a lot less agility than Lance and Mad Dog. Some bosses are near impossible to beat with your standard rifle, and if you don't have enough points for a MegaGon transformation you've lost a life. As a side note, this game was beaten decisively by my older sister. Pure awe and a hell of a player.
Graphics: C. No elaborate shadowing or pseudo three-dimensional views, just standard straight-up sidescrolling with average animation. The color palette is ordinary as well but effective in this game because it contributes to the weirdness of the island.
Sound: B–. The sound effects are a bit shrill and nothing to write home about; however, the game's main melody is infectious and the level-specific music is appropriate and moody.
Fun: B. The sheer number of weirdo creatures and settings keep this one alive. It's also a hoot to club things with your rifle butt after you've run out of bullets.
Overall: B. This being one of my original NES games, I have a soft spot for it. It's a rediculous cartridge, but in a quirky fun way. The challenge is higher than I'd like, but pick up it for cheap and see for yourself.