If it is indeed true that art imitates life, then the real world must be a pretty freaky place. Take the game Revolution X, for example. Aerosmith is kidnapped by a group of terrorist thugs, and you are called upon to lead the rescue team. But instead of barreling into the bad guys’ headquarters with guns blazing, like any sane person would do, your character takes the path less traveled—you fly around in a helicopter and waltz around in strip clubs flinging at your enemies, of all things, compact discs. I swear I’m not making this up. Your default weapon is a machine gun with unlimited ammo, but if you wanna deal any major damage, you’ll have to hit your opponent in the face with “Raffi’s Greatest Hits.”
Revolution X plays like any other arcade light gun shooter except for one minor difference: you’re not in the arcade, and you’re not using a light gun. Instead, you’re using a cursor on the screen to scroll around and target the enemies you wish to fling your music at. (Or, if you wish to be grammatical and awkward, the enemies at which you wish to fling your music.) This works about as well as you’d expect it to—which is to say, not very. The cursor doesn’t move at the speed you’d need it to in order to reach every enemy you’d wish to destroy, meaning that you spend a lot of time eating lead while trying desperately to move your cursor over to the next baddie.
If you like Aerosmith, you probably still won’t enjoy the crude gameplay, but at least you’ll get a kick out of the soundtrack. Middle school dance favorite “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” didn’t make the cut for some reason (possibly because it hadn’t yet been recorded), but “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” is here in all its digitized glory, among other hits that actual fans of the band would probably recognize. Of course, if you don‘t like Aerosmith, you probably won’t dig the tunes; but you shouldn’t even be bothering with this game if you don’t like the band.
The game’s graphics are just as crude as its gameplay—gritty backdrops and generic thugs populate this game’s several stages. The levels at least don’t all look the same, with such environments as cities, deserts, and tropical rain forests, but they aren’t exactly beautifully rendered. The levels themselves seem to go on for a lifetime—the last one almost literally. Matt and I spent about a half hour trying to figure out how to not keep repeating the same stage over and over again (to no avail; the game gave us absolutely no indication of how to move forward) before giving up and moving on to better Genesis games, such as Batman Forever and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker.
If you’re really desperate for a Genesis shooter and you’re a big enough fan of Aerosmith that you’d spend hundreds of dollars on Steven Tyler’s chewed gum, I suppose I could recommend purchasing Revolution X. Using a light gun, this game’s gameplay could be vastly improved, but sadly, this title doesn’t support that peripheral at all. The game does at least have a two-player mode going for it, which bumps up the replay value inasmuch as you can play through the game with a friend and laugh at the ridiculousness of killing strippers with CDs; but really, that’s all the game’s good for—a few small chuckles and a lunge for the power button.