Clicky

Wasted Seconds Wasting your precious time since 2009.

22Jul/092

Zero Tolerance - A Sega Genesis FPS?

Zero Tolerance for the Sega Genesis
Yeah, a first person shooter on the Genesis is the last thing anyone would expect, or want to be perfectly honest. For the era, even the venerable Super Nintendo had problems with it (DooM is a perfect example, except it's got some really kick ass music). The 32X was much better suited for an FPS. But that's another thing all together. I'm talking about Zero Tolerance here.
When you first pop the cartridge in, you're treated to the opening music with a spinning Sega logo and the company credits and whatnot as per usual. Then the rather impressive title screen scrolls into view. You hit start and find out that you're the toughest people out there and you find out something has happened on a station somewhere and that a core breach will happen. You simply go in, gain control of it by killing ALL the aliens. Not much of a story to be honest. But first person shooters like this didn't need a good story back in 1994. All you pretty much do is wade through 40 levels of enemies with the occasional boss and kill everything that moves.
You start off by picking one of 6 characters, each with their own special ability that depends on what weapons you start off with and whatnot. Then the game starts. The first thing you notice is that your view only covers about half of the screen, with maps and various status messages at the bottom. The control uses the standard 3 button controller. You hold down the A button and press the directional pad Up, you jump. Down, you duck. Left and Left strafes left and right. Pretty simple stuff, although I've never seen much of a use for either. The B button shoots, and the C button cycles through your available weapons. And the start button pulls up a map of the current level. The game actually controls very good, although it's highly suggested to use a 6 button pad due to the directional pad being a lot better. And when you think about it, since when could you jump and duck in DooM at the time?
The weapon selection is good. You start off with your fists and a handgun. You head a little ways up the room and pick up a shotgun, which is kinda what I use throughout most of the game due to it's immense closeup power. Really comes in handy since when you enter a room the entire room full of enemies will start rushing you Left 4 Dead style. There are others such as a laser assisted sniper rifle type of gun, rocket launchers, flame throwers. That's what I've gotten so far anyway. I think there are more.
With regards to sound, the various gun sounds and bullets actually sound pretty good considering this is the Genesis sound hardware we're talking about here. And the music, while not particularly memorable doesn't get irritating and seems to fit everything. Although you're more than likely gonna wanna replace with Disturbed Korn. There's even elevator music that goes whenever you're in an elevator. The "bwoo" sound that emits when you kill most enemies is kinda weird, though. The enemies always make a sound to let you know that they're around whenever you're in their sights. And in the later levels you'll have to deal with androids and aliens to top it all off. And the sound the aliens make is actually a little creepy when you're really getting into the game. You have low health and all of a sudden you peek through a door and hear numerous little alien cries.
The graphics are decent enough, if pixelated as hell. Which makes making enemies out at a distance out a little difficult at times. But it has a very impressive effects that first person shooters didn't really have at the time. Such as when you kill an enemy, blood will splatter on the wall and slowly drip down. The enemy details when they're up close is pretty good, though the animation is typical of the type of game of the day. But they typically won't last long enough for you to notice. The frame rate, while not particularly high is tolerable, but the draw distance is too short in this writer's opinion. It does take some getting used to, and once you do it'll be pretty fun.
And this game, not only being one of the few first person shooters on a console at the time, also supported networked multiplayer. You could go in and half a deathmatch with another person ... provided you had the appropriate link cable, 2 copies of the game, 2 systems and 2 television sets. Not very practical, but definitely something I'd wanna try one of these days being that I've got 2 Genesis systems sitting around here somewhere.
The game actually sold very well for the day, selling over 215,000 copies. And sequels were planned for the Genesis and 32X. And an updated version of the game was apparently supposed to come out for the PSP. But I've never seen any evidence of it. But there is an unfinished sequel out there in ROM form (and probably cartridge form somewhere in the world). The game was announced as freeware some years back due to the developer acknowledging that they weren't making any money off of it anymore so long as no one modifies it.
6.5/10 - Overall, this game really showed that the Genesis could handle a first person shooter. The game, while not great isn't that bad once you get past the horribly pixelated graphics and somewhat tinny music.

586626_39109_front

All screenshots courtesy of Neoseeker

Yeah, a first person shooter on the Genesis is the last thing anyone would expect, or want to be perfectly honest. For the era, even the venerable Super Nintendo had problems with it (DooM is a perfect example, except it's got some really kick ass music). The 32X was much better suited for an FPS. But that's another thing all together. I'm talking about Zero Tolerance here. And nevermind that Duke Nukem 3D was ever released for the Genesis. Terrible ... just terrible.

zero_tolerance_image2

When you first pop the cartridge in, you're treated to the opening music with a spinning Sega logo and the company credits and whatnot as per usual. Then the rather impressive title screen scrolls into view. You hit start and find out that you're the toughest people out there and you find out something has happened on a station somewhere and that a core breach will happen. You simply go in, gain control of it by killing ALL the aliens. Not much of a story to be honest. But first person shooters like this didn't need a good story back in 1994. All you pretty much do is wade through 40 levels of enemies with the occasional boss and kill everything that moves.

zero_tolerance_image3

You start off by picking one of 6 characters, each with their own special ability that depends on what weapons you start off with and whatnot. Then the game starts. The first thing you notice is that your view only covers about half of the screen, with maps and various status messages at the bottom. The control uses the standard 3 button controller. You hold down the A button and press the directional pad Up, you jump. Down, you duck. Left and Left strafes left and right. Pretty simple stuff, although I've never seen much of a use for either. The B button shoots, and the C button cycles through your available weapons. And the start button pulls up a map of the current level. The game actually controls very good, although it's highly suggested to use a 6 button pad due to the directional pad being a lot better. And when you think about it, since when could you jump and duck in DooM at the time?

zero_tolerance_image4

The weapon selection is good. You start off with your fists and a handgun. You head a little ways up the room and pick up a shotgun, which is kinda what I use throughout most of the game due to it's immense closeup power. Really comes in handy since when you enter a room the entire room full of enemies will start rushing you Left 4 Dead style. There are others such as a laser assisted sniper rifle type of gun, rocket launchers, grenades. That's what I've gotten so far anyway. I think there are more.

zero_tolerance_image4

With regards to sound, the various gun sounds and bullets actually sound pretty good considering this is the Genesis sound hardware we're talking about here. And the music, while not particularly memorable doesn't get irritating and seems to fit everything. Although you're more than likely gonna wanna replace with Disturbed Korn. There's even elevator music that goes whenever you're in an elevator. The "bwoo" sound that emits when you kill most enemies is kinda weird, though. The enemies always make a sound to let you know that they're around whenever you're in their sights. And in the later levels you'll have to deal with androids and aliens to top it all off. And the sound the aliens make is actually a little creepy when you're really getting into the game. You have low health and all of a sudden you peek through a door and hear numerous little alien cries.

zero_tolerance_image6

The graphics are decent enough, if pixelated as hell. Which makes making enemies out at a distance out a little difficult at times. But it has a very impressive effects that first person shooters didn't really have at the time. Such as when you kill an enemy, blood will splatter on the wall and slowly drip down. The enemy details when they're up close is pretty good, though the animation is typical of the type of game of the day. But they typically won't last long enough for you to notice. The frame rate, while not particularly high is tolerable, but the draw distance is too short in this writer's opinion. It does take some getting used to, and once you do it'll be pretty fun.

zero_tolerance_image12

And this game, not only being one of the few first person shooters on a console at the time, also supported networked multiplayer. You could go in and half a deathmatch with another person ... provided you had the appropriate link cable, 2 copies of the game, 2 systems and 2 television sets. Not very practical, but definitely something I'd wanna try one of these days being that I've got 2 Genesis systems sitting around here somewhere.

zero_tolerance_image16

The game actually sold very well for the day, selling over 215,000 copies. And sequels were planned for the Genesis and 32X. And an updated version of the game was apparently supposed to come out for the PSP. But I've never seen any evidence of it. But there is an unfinished sequel out there in ROM form (and probably cartridge form somewhere in the world). The game was announced as freeware some years back due to the developer acknowledging that they weren't making any money off of it anymore so long as no one modifies it.

zero_tolerance_image30

6.5/10 - Overall, this game really showed that the Genesis could handle a first person shooter. The game, while not great isn't that bad once you get past the horribly pixelated graphics and somewhat tinny music.

Go ahead and give it a download, it's worth a shot. Just decompress it and use your Sega Genesis emulator of choice. Or hit up your local pawn shop, Goodwill or eBay and pick yourself up a cartridge and play it on the real thing. To me personally, that's preferable.

Downloads Zero Tolerance and the unfinished sequel Beyond Zero Tolerance

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • Slashdot
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • MySpace

Possibly related posts:

  1. Galaxy Force 2 for the Sega Genesis
  2. Mortal Kombat II - SNES and Genesis vs the arcade. One man’s opinion.
  3. My small but proud Genesis collection grew a little bit today.
  4. I love you, Sega.
  5. A couple of quick Xbox Live Indie Game first impressions. Jake’s Room and MoleGame
Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I used to play this game constantly as a kid…I just found the rom for my emulator so I’m going to play again for the first time in maybe 12 years…should be interesting!

  2. nice review, i played this as a kid aswell and enjoyed it. it was not your standard doom clone and more strategy oriented than anything.


Leave a comment

(required)

Read This Before Leaving a Comment

Make sure your comments follow our guidelines. It does not matter what your comment is about, just bear in mind the following :

  • No porn.
  • No racism of any kind.
  • No illegal links of any kind.
  • No flaming.
  • PLEASE make sure your comments are in English, no matter how bad or broken the English may be.
  • And your comments DO go through, but I have to approve them first due to spam.

Comments that do not adhere will be deleted or marked as SPAM. And the comments will be read by moderators and be kept track of just in case there was something that is missed here.

 

No trackbacks yet.