Quality Control – Over Horizon

The US box art for Over Horizon.
The US box art for Over Horizon.

This week, I’m taking a break from doing the featured games from this issue of Nintendo Power, to go with one of the Also Rans – a game that was featured in the “Now Playing” column, but didn’t get a full strategy guide. Specifically, I’m picking Over Horizon, a shump from Hot-B.

The Premise:

The game’s story is… nonexistent. You’re flying a star fighter and have to defeat a force of invading aliens. That said, the game does have as one of its features the ability to customize your weapons with traits from other weapon power-ups you encounter through the various levels.

The Good:

Finally, we have a shump which has enemies come in from behind, that also lets you shoot backwards without having to do any fancy shenanigans with your controller.

The Bad:

In order to view your score or see how many extra lives you have remaining, you have to pause the game. This is what HUDs are for class. Game Design 101 – remember?

The Ugly:

I couldn’t get past the first level. This isn’t because I suck at shumps (though I’m not great). This is because halfway through the level we have these vine like critters blocking your path through the level that I can’t get through. If I fly into them, I die. If I shoot them, nothing happens. In theory, I could die, and use my temporary invulnerabilty to get through it (which I did a couple of times) – but unless you have unlimited lives, I shouldn’t have to do that. And even if I do have unlimited lives, that’s bad game design. Again, Game Design 101 people.

The Verdict:

This game deserved to be among the Also Rans – I have to give them credit for that. Don’t play this game.