Smash TV is an overhead run and gun shooter set in the future where you participate in a game show show. Rather than answering questions, you as contestants must enter room after room armed with a gun and face off against millions of club swinging minions, tanks, mutants and snakes to collect cash, prizes (toasters, cars, VCRs),and your life itself!
This is no ordinary game, this is a difficult, challenging, yet fun and energizing game. Every room is a challenge for your very survival, and you can even bring a friend with you for some two player simultaneous cooperative competition. Do you think that toaster is yours? Oh no its mine. If you think you’re getting that power-up, you’re mistaken pal.
When the game begins, you start in a television studio and must work your way through several rooms until you find the boss of the level. You can’t just run from room to room either, you must defeat every single enemy that comes pouring into the room to shoot you, stab you, bite you, kill you, club you and run you over. There are literally hundreds or thousands of enemies per room making this game is probably one of the most challenging games ever!
Once you’ve cleared a room, then you can go to the next. One of the beauties of the game is that at the start of each level, you see a map and in certain rooms, you can chose one of two or three rooms to enter next. There is no back tracking, because that would take far too long. There are a few bonus rooms that contain a lot of cash, prizes and landmines. Yes one wrong step and you’ll have a death spin and fall over. Score enough points from prizes and you’ll earn an extra life.
In terms of difficulty, one hit will kill you, but there are plenty of lives and continues. They might have the numbers, but you have the weapons and power-ups. Your default machine gun is strong enough, but you can get spread guns, rocket launchers, short range grenade launchers and even a lobber weapon to help you destroy bosses. Other than that, for power-ups you have a personal shield, a series of saws that whirl around you and also an orb that rotates around you and acts as a second gun. It comes in handy, but can get destroyed. When you die, which you will, you respawn with the shield.
The SNES controls easy and accurate. You use the D-pad to move and use the buttons to shoot north (X), west (Y), south (B) and east (A). So you can run east while you shoot north west. It feels like the Super Nintendo version is a superior one for its button layout.
There is a diverse array of enemies, but more important are the bosses. These four bosses long overstay their welcome. They’re giant monsters that can take a huge amount of punishment. You’ll see pieces fall off them, they’ll show damage and its all just a different way to show their health. The more damage they take, the more their attack patterns will change. it keeps the long boss fights engaging.
The entire game is engaging. There’s so many enemies at once and always a danger of getting killed, even from the lowliest guy with a club. While you’re mowing down dozens, someone can always sneak up from behind and hit you with a bat. The enemies shift tactics too. Some walk around and explode shrapnel, there are rapid fire tanks, and laser droids that will box you in with their lasers.
Its always an intense challenge, no matter how much you play. There are sound strategies like stick into a corner, but your corner will still get overrun by sneaky enemies our tough ones that just buffalo rush you. The game manages to stay diverse in the latter two levels by changing the visuals. Going into amazon themed rooms mixes things up beyond a futuristic studio.
I have completed this game several times by myself and with a friend. We always keep coming back for more punishment. I do have to say its a lot easier with a friend. Two guns are better than one. Even with all of the chaos and enemy numbers of screen, the Super Nintendo can handle it. Its amazing what the box can do. For experts, you can collect all of the keys in the game to unlock secrets.
In terms of sound, the game is excellent even on the Super Nintendo. A few one liners here and there, “I’d buy that for a dollar,” and “Total carnage! I love it!” The visuals are nice, the characters in the beginning and level ending screens are big, bright and bold. The bosses are detailed with their different layers of damage. A face boss will get disgusting with blood, before it finally explodes into a skull. Even the panels on its side take damage until they fall off.
If you love intensity, impossible odds and shooting through never ending waves of enemies this is a great game! Thankfully the game came to SNES, because people could have spent a lot of money in the arcade one quarter at a time!