Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Top 30 Hardest NES Games Ever. Day 3


Before this project, I had never played Abadox before.  I had seen the screenshots in gaming magazines, I had passed over the silvery MB cartridge in countless second hand stores, but for whatever reason I never picked it up.  Little did I realize it would potentially be one of the NES's hardest games, or at least kind of.

Abadox is mind-numbing hard right from the get-go.  A pure scrolling space shooter with tough-as-nails levels and a barrage of enemies, Abadox punches you in the face in the first level and doesn't let up.  As a matter of fact, in your first few forays into the belly of the beast (literally), you are probably going to die quick deaths and they are going to feel cheap.  Do not despair!  While the game has a vicious learning curve, there are two things working in your favor: the game is incredibly short and you have unlimited continues.  Furthermore, there are checkpoints in each level that will prevent frustration from building too much, because you are going to die a lot.  And the worst part of dying, like most all shooters of this kind, is that you are going to lose any power-ups you have acquired.  The severity of this is compounded by the fact that you desperately need those power-ups to complete the game.

However, if you take your time, learn the levels and the locations of the power-ups, and do not get overly frustrated with the intense level design, you can wrap this game up in a few hours.  Having never played it before and going into it completely cold, I was able to reach the end of Abadox in about 3 hours.  The unlimited continues mean you never have to start all over again to make a run.  The brevity of the game means you don't need to settle in for a six hour marathon just to take it down.  You will need patience because you will die many many times, but if you take your time and scroll through the levels slowly taking note of enemy placement and power-up locations, you can make short work of this game.
In terms of being fun, though, I am glad I finally had cause to add this game to my collection.  Abadox is a great game ideally suited for short gaming sessions or playing for score (gasp! people still do such a thing?)  However, it ends up on the bottom of our list here because it has a ferocious bark, but very little bite.  But don't take my word for it...

George Ross (as if you needed me to tell you that...)

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