I never owned a Sega Genesis growing up, but I remember TV commercials about Vector Man – and it made me want to get a Genesis just for the game! The graphics were amazing, the soundtrack was thumping, and the gameplay looked fun! I was lucky enough to play the game while my family was on vacation at a family friends house – we got far in the game but never actually beat it. It was fun revisiting this classic Genesis game!
The story is a bit complex but is nevertheless interesting. It is the year 2049 and the world is polluted and humans have left for the stars in hopes of finding cleaner plants to inhabit. Before they left, the humans created a bunch of robots to clean up the earth while they are gone. Enter Raster – the highest level of all the robots. He accidentally gains control of a nuclear warhead and decides to take control of earth and destroy the humans should they ever return. Meanwhile, a low-level robot named Vector Man was away on a garbage disposal mission to the sun and returns to find all the robots under Rastar’s mind control! Vector Man decides to take it upon himself to destroy Rastar – who now goes by Warhead – so that the world can be safe!
I terms of gameplay, this is a 2D action platforming game. You take control of Vector Man and run and jump your way through levels all the while blasting your enemies to smithereens. What made controlling Vector Man fun was his ability to do a double jump (something not commonly found during this age of gaming) and his ability to shoot his weapon in all different directions! The controls were very tight which made the gameplay all the more fun.
Vector Man could also find a bunch of weapon upgrades like triple-gun shot, machine-gun shot, and bomb – where he literally turns himself into a bomb and blows everyone up! As Vector Man was created out of a bunch of orbs, he could also transform into a bunch of different modes. For instance, you could find transformations that allowed Vector Man to more easily swim through water, or to turn into a spinning tornado which allowed him to become invincible for a short period of time. While these powers were only temporary, they added a nice sense of variety into an otherwise by-the-book action platform game
The level design was fairly consistent throughout the game, with earlier levels being more focused on destroying and jumping while later levels having a bit more puzzle solving in terms of finding a way to the exit. There was also a variety shifting from vertical to horizontal levels which changes the gameplay up nicely. A couple of stages also have boss-fights. These encounters were definitely challenging and took me a couple times to get through and did a good job breaking up the game.
Occasionally the game would also throw in a special stage that was completely different from the regular gameplay of the game. While these levels looked cool, they were poorly designed and ended up costing me many lives as it was often unclear how to proceed through them. After a couple hours with the game I did learn how to get past them, but they were unnecessary and took away from the core gameplay.
In terms of graphics, the game looks great with its unique aesthetic! The levels are all quite different in terms of colour palettes and environments, and the bosses are all large and a lot of fun to look at (see below for examples). The music of the game differently exuded a sense of attitude and does a good job setting the tone for the game. While I can’t recall any of the themes off the top of my head (they weren’t that good), they never less didn’t get in the way of me enjoying at the game.
In summary, this is a fun 2D action game that still looks awesome and has some excellent core run and gun gameplay with some lacklustre bonus stages. I still had great time playing this game, but just be prepared to spend some time learning how to play the bonus stages so that you can gain access to the later stages! Overall, I give this game a final score of 7/10.
Final Score: 7/10