Saturday, 10 June 2017

Action Hollywood (Arcade)

A derogatory term that's popped up with regards to modern open-world games is "tidying up games", referring to the fact that they're all mostly the same mechanically, and that they all give you a large, open playing area and a checklist of things to go and "tidy". They're very popular games, though, since while they aren't particularly exciting, they aren't really bad, either, and until a player cottons on to the fact that they aren't being excited or stimulated, they can be both addictive and time-consuming.

In many ways, Action Hollywood is a kind of forbear to those games, though purely by coincidence, since this game was never popular enough to have influenced anything. Not only is it completely inoffensive and unexciting, but it's a game about walking around maps tidying them up. Well, you're walking on floor tiles to change their colour, rather than picking things up, but mechanically speaking, it's the same thing. There's also lots of extra points items hidden in the walls, and enemies roaming around.

You can't say they didn't at least try to get a bit of excitement in there,  since there's a slightly Bubble Bobble-esque thing regarding the enemies. When attacked, they fly away from you until they hit a wall. Any enemies they hit along the way are killed, and killed enemies drop points items. You can also kill enemies by hitting while they're dizzy next to a wall. Its' still not enough, though, as there's just no satisfaction in doing it.

The "Hollywood" theme is an excuse for having stages with different themes: jungles, medieval, gothic horror and sci-fi, and you can pick which one to start on. An odd thing to note is that a short sample of the Star Trek: The Next Generation theme repeatedly plays during the castle stages. They all play exactly the same, though, other than different graphic sets (including different spprites for the player character, which is something, at least).

In summary, Action Hollywood is an incredibly average game that is neither good nor bad, it simply exists and takes up time. If it was a game that came packaged with a computer's operating system like Solitaire, that'd be fine, but it's an arcade game, and the makers expected people to pay to play it, which is practically an insult.

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