Raid 2020: Drugs donít kill people; tomatoes and flies do


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By Justin Rybinski
12/02/02

I wrote a review of Raid 2020 a while back for gamefaqs.com and at the time, I believed it to be the worst video game ever created. Since then, I have played other games that have been worse, like Touchdown Fever, but Raid 2020 still sticks in my head. Itís a "futuristic" drug war game produced by Color Dreams, one of myriad companies that Nintendo never gave a license to, thankfully. Therefore, the cartridge is misshapen and teal-colored, which makes it a nice paperweight or doorstop. Like most Color Dreams games, this game is a mess. Today, free of charge, Iím going to go back and revisit this game for you, probably using many quotes from my original review because Iím lazy.

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After you hit Start on the title screen, this happens. I donít think I speak this language.

Right off the bat, we have a major problem. What the loving hell is that second screen? Really? Could someone fill me in on this? This was not a Japanese game translated into English. Is it a picture of something? If it is, all I see is an all-cow orgy taking place, while I look in from the outside with Venetian blinds in my way.

I was so confused by the second screen, I forgot to closely inspect the opening one. When you buy a vial of crack from a dealer, do they really put a skull-and-crossbones logo on it, just so you donít put it with your Vitamin C tablets? And if you ARE putting substances into your body with the poison logo on the container, thatís when you know you have a serious problem. "Letís seeÖWhat am I in the mood forÖ? Turkey Sandwich? No. Leftover noodles? Not right now. Hey! A bottle with a skull on it! How bad could it be?"

Apparently, in the year 2020, the "War On Drugs" has gotten so bad, the government has lowered to the point of hiring freelance spies to murder drug dealers with semi-automatic weapons. Screw the justice system! Kill Ďem all! You wonít be shooting at just drug dealers, either, as youíll see in a bit.

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Birds: Friends or Foes? In this game, they are deadlier than fully armed, seven-foot-tall men. Seems reasonable.

The first villains you face in Raid 2020 are not drug dealers, pimps, hos, thugs, gang members, etc. The first living entities you must kill are Mother Natureís version of the samurai swordóBirds! Yes, birds. The HTML is not wrong on this page; you really do point your uzi at blackbirds and pigeons and fire away, spraying bullets wildly along the coast. The blackbirds donít do much more than fly around, seemingly innocent. Innocent, my ass. Any time you come within a furlong of a bird, any bird, you lose two "hearts" from your power meter. You have 10 hearts to begin the game. I didnít see any way of gaining hearts in the endless minutes I spent playing. In other words, five collisions with a bird kills you. Dead.

If you thought the blackbirds were difficult, just wait for the pigeons to fly oíerhead. As opposed to the blackbird style of attack, which consists of flying in a random pattern, the pigeons fly straight up and down, which is something only the hummingbird can do. Come on. I took a total of four science credits in college and I know that. The pigeons donít just fly at an impossible angle, they also defecate on you. I believe this is the first game in which birds shit on your head, but donít quote me on that.

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If someone were to stand on my head, I would probably tell them to get off.

After you shoot/blow up the first ten thousand birds, human enemies finally show up. They look exactly like you, except theyíre wearing Converse sneaks and have trench coats with larger collars. If anyone deserves to be gunned down, itís definitely these people. Who are they? The game never tells us. Better shoot Ďem though.

If you get bored with shooting, you can always stand on the other spiesí heads. Go ahead. Try it. Itís absurdly easy. Basically, anytime you try jumping over anyone, just to avoid them, you will land on their head. Oddly enough, they donít seem to care. They carry on with their business of spraying bullets around the dock and walking in awkward patterns. Once you start jumping on heads, youíll never be able to stop.


In the future, smock-wearing robots deal drugs.

After the legion of generic spies who shop at the same trench coat store as you pass, you come across a fleet of Green Smock-Wearing Robots. I guess this is where the "futuristic" aspect of the game comes into play. Until now, this game could have easily taken place in any era after the 1930s. The robots are infinitely smarter and tougher to kill than the spies. I died several (twice) times, and not wanting to start this game over from the beginning, I stopped here for good. Thatís itÖ this is all I can stomach. If someone else wants to give the next level a gas, by all means, let me know and Iíll publish it.

That picture up above isnít screwed upÖthe screen actually looks like that during gameplay. If you run too fast, the screen gets all choppy and turns different colors. This is one of the many reasons Nintendo didnít want this game released. Note how my character ran so fast, heís no longer in this dimension. Lucky bastard.

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Bizzaro "Adventures of Link" World and exploding people.

These two screenshots probably only offend me, but Iím still going to tell the world (all three of my readers) what I feel about them. The first one is a "bonus level" in this game. Clearly, it has been stolen from the classic NES game "Legend of Zelda II: Adventures of Link." In that game, which is so many times better than Raid 2020, numbers canít express it, a very, very similar stage exists where Link jumps from cliff to cliff to get a heart container. This is what the Zelda screenshot looks like.

The second pic is an action shot of me finally defeating a non-bird enemy. When you pump 901 bullets into his face, he explodes and vanishes. You even get an exploding noise. Iíve never shot anyone before, but Iím fairly certain this is not what happens when someone gets shot. Maybe I should do some research on the topic. If Iím caught, I can say it was for the betterment of this website.


The infamous jet-pack in action.

In this game, you are given a jet-pack if you enter one of the sheds on the dock. In most games, hidden weapons/modes of transportation serve as a benefit to you. Not so much here. When you strap on the jet-pack, be prepared to have your character soar around the board aimlessly, until the jet-pack disappears, sending you crashing down to Earth. You have no control over your character with the jet-pack on. Occasionally, if you press the control pad to the left as hard as you possibly can, your character might strafe a little to the left.


Tomatoes times 100,000,000.

Look. Tomatoes. On the floor. Everywhere. Deadly tomatoes. Touch one? You blow up. Makes sense to me.

Okay, basically, this game is awful in every way, shape and form. I could go on more about how bad the graphics suck, how terrible the message of this game is, how rancid gameplay is, but you get the point. Of course, with this knowledge, I know you want to play this game. Since posting ROM images on 0catch websites is illegal (Iím making this up), IM or email me and Iíll send a copy your way. Ta.

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