This classic GameCola article was originally published in November, 2007.
I can admit that I played a lot of bad games during my childhood. Faceball 2000? You know I enjoyed that at one point. Street Cop and Super Team Games? They made physical fitness fun! I’ll even admit that there was a time when I thought Mortal Kombat was a good game.
However, the games I enjoyed usually had some sort of redeeming value. For example, Faceball was one of the few fully 3D games for the Super Nintendo. And, there were so few games that made use of the PowerPad that, no matter how bad they were, they had to end up in the top 6.
As much as it shames me as a gamer, though, I have to admit that there were some entirely worthless games that I spent my hard-earned allowance on, back in the day. In this case, I’ll be reviewing a game with ear-bleeding music, NES-rate graphics cleverly disguised by a few SNES tricks, and about as much fun as the box it came in. No, no, not Mortal Kombat! I’m talking about Rampart!
What made Rampart such a bad game? Let’s review!
The first thing you do after turning on the game is hit the mute button on your remote control. If the obnoxious music doesn’t get you, then the screeching menu selection noise will. The sound is similar to a child banging on one of those tiny children’s pianos, occasionally holding their fist down on the keys to play as many adjacent notes as possible at once. The real voice samples used for announcements barely register as a bonus, considering that Skate or Die 2 had better quality voices on the NES.
The opening screens will continue to make you wonder if you’re not actually playing an NES game, and, if you choose Normal mode, you might as well be. The only thing that separates this game from something on the NES is the (ab)use of Mode 7 in the so-called “Super” mode and the scene where you get to poke the enemy off the plank with a sword. That scene is the only reason I gave visuals such a high score.
But, we all know that the gaming world isn’t entirely built on fancy graphics and nice music. You can still have fun without any of that junk, right? Of course! Just not in Rampart. While I give the game points for a novel concept and a little extra for the bonus stages, the general gameplay is the videogame equivalent of Panic! at the Disco. Terrible execution of the exact same concept repeated all the way through. The only difference between the two is that Rampart has better music.
So, what was it? Really, why did I spend the little money I had on such an awful game? I would have had a less painful experience if I’d spent it on the alternatives available, like the Rusty Razors Starter Kit, X-Treme Glass ShardZ, or even the ButterCream Gang.
Realistically, I have no idea what caused me to buy Rampart. I have a vague recollection of actually enjoying the game, but the memory is as indistinguishable as a “These Colors Don’t Run” bumper sticker on the back of a 2001 Ford Explorer.
Whatever the reason, I’m happy I’ll never have to deal with the game again after this. Making this review has given me some closure on a confusing remnant of my past. I’m just glad that it’s finally over.