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Vanark: Playstation 1

If you’ve ever played Star Fox 64 on the Nintendo 64, you’ve played Vanark. The game mechanics are the same, much of the level design is the same, and even the ship you pilot looks similar. Unfortunately, Vanark has little of the gameplay value of the vastly superior N64 title.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game Vanark‘s designers stole most of their ideas from, here’s the scoop. You use the analog pad to fly from a behind-the-ship perspective, following a preset path through various environments while shooting down enemies.

The real problem with this game is its length–or lack thereof. We loaded the game up, and less than three hours later we were staring at the end credits. Star Fox 64 was also short, but it offered multiple paths and loads of secrets that kept players coming back again and again. Unfortunately, once Vanark was finished there was no compelling reason to go back.

If you’ve read this far (and are still interested in this game), here’s a summary of the plot. Some 200 years from now we humans practically destroy ourselves and have to move to Mars because the Earth is kaput. An alien race gets upset at the remaining earthlings because of our self-destructive tendencies and starts throwing rocks at us and calling us names. The names we can deal with, but the rocks happen to be humongous asteroids capable of turning our new homeland into space dust. You, of course, must put an end to all this bickering by strapping into a spaceship and wiping out the aliens.

Since PlayStation owners don’t have the option of playing the superior Star Fox on this system, we reluctantly recommend this title. However, the lack of depth and originality here is ultimately disappointing. –T. Byrl Baker

Pros:

  • Good graphics
  • Enormous, detailed enemies
  • Very little slowdown

Cons:

  • Too easy
  • Too short
  • Little variety and few secrets

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    All of the talk about this game being similar to Star Fox 64 is well-deserved, although it should not be in a detrimental way. This is one of the most solid shooting games for the PS1 and, even better, it can still be found for just a few dollars in most locations. On the other hand, this game is really only worth a few dollars.One of the benefits of this game are the good graphics (well, at least for their time) and the ability to slightly modify your fighter’s capabilities depending upon the wingman (or woman) you bring into battle with you. An extra bonus is that this game is moderately difficult so it won’t necessarily be a simple breeze through the game.The negatives, however, are a bit more important. The game can be completed in just a few hours and has almost no replay value whatsoever. It’s nice that the game attempts to have a plot but it also forces you into very slow-paced 3D moments where you talk to your compatriots and walk around your own base, which breaks up the action too much and extends gameplay artificially.So, if you want a quick rush of good gaming this could be right up your alley. It’s cheap and available enough to bring some entertainment into your day. However, with its lack of extras and somewhat lackluster moments, you may very well be best off trying to sell the game once you’re done with it. When all is said and done the game really is a one-shot deal at most.

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