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Title: A-Team, The
Rom Player: Stella
Reviewer: Semprini Goat

Synopsis: Mr. T was a macho star a while back. Adorned with golden chains, a knack for throwing bad guys, and a stylish Mohawk, Mr. T was one of the coolest cats around. Of course, when one thinks of the name Mr. T, they donít think of this game, or at least go into denial that this game would even associate with him. For A-Team is a poor package of monotony and horrible balance. One cannot find much enjoyment in this little game; a mere shadow of the energy you get when you spot Mr. T on TV.

Maybe one of the drawbacks is that you donít even get to play as the entirety of T. Instead, you get stuck with his head. If his body is hanging from a clothesline somewhere in Boston, I wouldnít know. Obviously Mr. Tís head is the only thing there because it saves up screen space. Even so, a tiny miniature T would be more satisfying, but alas, the best they can do is his head.

Gameplay basically breaks down into 3 parts. First you have the shooting-for-points part. Then the dodge-the-object part, and finally the kill-the-boss part. But the way these parts are executed is terrible (besides 1), and when combined, you just get a whole gooey mess of frustration and irritation. Granted, right from the start the game doesnít look too bad, even plausible, but as the pace continues, the game throws some very sharp stones in the mechanics of the gameplay.

Right off the bat you have Mr. T sequestered inside his own little flashing line. 4 lines, looking exactly the same, surround Tís special little line. Two on the top and two on the bottom. From the left side of the screen emerge these blue cretins, taking on the shape of an unrecognizable form. Meanwhile a general in green attire drops these strange flashing blocks below him, edging closer and closer to the right side. Your job? Save Hannibal, as the flashing text describes. Nowhere does it tell you why you have to save Hannibal, you just do. How do you go about this task? By shooting at the creatures of course! Wait a minuteÖ

Mr. T shoots? Why, I thought he was more up for hand-to-hand combat. And where are these minimal-sized bullets coming from? His Mohawk? Well that would clear up everything wouldnít it? Mr. T continues to shoot throughout the entire game, and what he shoots changes from section to section, until youíve used everything from lightning to green rectangles! The joy escalatesÖ

Anyway, shooting these freaks gives you points (possibly the whole point of the game. Get it? Point! Haha, Iíll shut up now) and turns them from crazy creature into skull and crossbones before evaporating, all in one fluid motion. Meanwhile, a large warhead continues to progress its way up the right side of the screen. Once it gets as high as it can, part 1 ends and you get a point bonus. This part of the game is perhaps the only enjoyable section, a nicely done shooter; except for the lack of difficulty concerning that the general is the only person who can even hurt Mr. T, let alone provide a threat. All the other evil thingies find their time better spent scampering back and forth, just asking to be shot. This doesnít terribly deteriorate from the overall fun of part 1, but severe game flaws plague the rest of the game.

Part 2 sees the Mr. T head facing off against the evil general in a melancholy showdown, brought down even more by the bad thinking behind this particular section of the game. For you see, fighting this puny general shouldnít be a problem for a tough fooí like Mr. T, but it turns out to be one helluva brawl. I wouldnít call it a brawl even. More like a petty game of dodgeball, only with a smaller ball. Oh sure, Mr. T has the ability to shoot green lightning bolts from his head, but general boy has the awesome power of reflection, as if he has an invisible shield surrounding him. So basically, no physical harm can be done to General Wanker, as the bolts simply bounce away. Finishing this stage of the game is all about outlasting the opponent, like Survivor, and just as fake :D!

But where is the challenge in this then? Why would this be deemed the trickiest part of the game? Well, there would be many reasons, but Iíll start with the dodgeball thing I mentioned. You see, General Scrutux releases from his grasp a tiny little dot. This dot bounces around the room. Coming into contact with this dot, or even the general for that matter, harms Mr. T. Life must be tough to be a head. Anyway, itís a tedious task to avoid a flashing dot for about a minute, but the controls are nice and tight, so the task is not extremely difficult. That is, until later in the game, when General Mills starts firing multiple dots all over the place. This causes quite a problem, as you canít touch anything in the room. Quite a pain if you ask me.

Eventually you will survive the 60 minutes of hell and watch as the warhead launches itself in a mediocre, short, and unspectacular cut-scene. Then itís off to part 3, and if this isnít the most unbalanced part of the game. You fight a yellow static creature (letís call him Fred) that fires a barrage of yellow rectangles at you. Your ultra- powerful green rectangles are a rather nasty shock to Fred, as one hit vaporizes him, and itís off to part 1 again. Is it just me, or is this part way too easy? The only particularly challenging part is the struggle with aiming the rectangles correctly, as they often fire off to the diagonal sides, missing a lot of potential targeting. Still, Fred hardly puts up a fight. Heís more of a doorstop than a threat!

So the cycle continues, but nowhere does the game pick up the pace. It just keeps going from fun to obnoxious to simple and back again. Sometimes the game gets so ridiculously hard over a section that shouldnít be, the fun just wears out way too fast. A-Team is definitely a half-baked game, seeming as if it needed a little more time in design to perfect it, or at least make it an exhilarating experience (hell, Iíll settle for ďokay.Ē) But alas, between Mr. Tís incompetence, the gameís annoyance, and the generalís crappy personality, there is no real shred of enjoyment, only a small thrill that lasts a meager amount of time.

The graphics in A-Team are nothing special, but what Atari 2600 game does have eye-opening graphics? I can mostly settle for the objects clearly looking like what they should. While Mr. Tís head looks honestly like Mr. Tís head should, even without the facial expressions, and General Arse looks like a human, not much else resembles anything on Godís green earth. Fred is yellow static, the blue guys are practically impossible to describe, even the warhead looks messed up, and how hard is it to draw a warhead? But the graphics will suffice.

The sounds are an obnoxious clatter of junk being smashed together. Mr. Tís shots sound like trashcan tops, and the launching of a warhead creates a static-like noise. Not like Atari sounds are exactly masterpieces, but the audio for this game is horrible. The loud plinks of the dots as they hit the walls, the freaky sound of Fred as he is ruthlessly killed. The music is just beeps and boops strung together. Nothing to hear hereÖ

The replay value of this game is rather small, as time is much better spent playing more high quality games. Sure, you could give it a crack now and again, see how many points you can rack up, but there is no truly good reason to come back to this game, or for that matter, play it at all

In closing, Mr. T shouldnít even be gracing this monotonous, uneven game filled with flaws, frustration, and Fred the incompetent static creature. Not many people would probably find much enjoyment in a game that derives it from tedious dodging and one shot kills. You are better off watching the TV show, or checking out some Mr. T vs. sites. In fact, anything else you do involving Mr. T has to be better than this game. So go out there and get to know Mr. T the right way, not the pixilated way.

Best Cheats: None that I know of

Game Play: 3
Graphics: 2
Music/Sound: 1
Originality: 2
Overall Rating: 3


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