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Escape from Cybercity: hard as nails

>> Monday, July 30, 2007

The Earth is under attack. "The evil Guardian's Forces are in control. Only a few continue to resist and only a you can help. Your mission is to survive the dangers of CyberCity. Fight you war to the train and destroy the Guardian's planet. Beware: Things are not what they seem... Escape From CyberCity is the first CD-interactive action adventure to utilize full-cel animation, giving the player the feel of starring in a fast action motion picture. This beautifully animated production features a dynamic, high impact soundtrack and complete interactive play." - According to Fathom Pictures, at least. But what do we think about Escape from Cybercity?

A very old title for the CD-i, Escape from CyberCity still impresses with its japanese cel-animation and fast action... even if you have to play it five times before you score a single point. It's the home version of a little seen arcade game -- I played it a few times at a Malibu Fun Center in Redwood City, California, and never got past the ''manholes'' sequence -- with just a one-time-only ''slow down'' button removed in the CD-i conversion.

CyberCity is a shooting game cobbled together from scenes from two japanese animated films, ''Galaxy Express 999'' and ''Aiedu Galaxy Express''. They've been made into a game by putting cross-hairs on the screen, allowing the player to shoot back at onscreen enemies. The game gets into a system of showing the player a street corner, waiting for a joystick move right or left to pick a path, and then shows robots, soldiers, tanks, etc., all of which the player has to quickly aim at and shoot to survive.

Where the animation doesn't have enough bad guys, the CD-i animates some characters on top of the cel-animation. Because of the choppiness of both kinds of animation, the effect works quite well -- you can tell the cars on the highway are computer-animated, but maybe not the jump-troopers.

This game is TOUGH. If you move right at the first corner, you look up to a building. One of two windows lights up and a sniper opens fire on you. If it's the left window, you've got a chance of aiming and shooting in time. If it's the right, you're in trouble.

Later on, there's an alley with a group of manholes that bad guys pop out of and throw bombs at you. It can take hours of play before you get through this sequence, even though the first one is always at the front- right or rear-left.

Once you start to get a quick trigger finger, you'll progress quickly through the game. After the manholes, the most difficult sequences in the game are a shootout in the passenger car of a train flying through space (don't ask) and the final escape sequence, which requires a lot of experimentation or help from a friend to figure out.

If you make a certain sequence of moves early on, you can actually get through the entire game in less than ten minutes. If you don't, you could end up in a loop and never get out of CyberCity. While I appreciate the fact that there are multiple paths through the game, the straight-forward path (tank, manholes, tank, highway) is too brief -- you should have to go through at least one more sequence to get out of the city. It's just too tempting to avoid near-impossible sequences like ''Skateboard City''.

The final sequence is also frustrating, and you'll probably need a hint to finish the game: the sequence of colors seen on the reactor you shoot out is the sequence of colored tunnels you need to drive the train through to escape.

Shooting with a joystick-style controller is adequate, if somewhat inaccurate and uncompelling. The game is actually better played with a trackball or even the kiddies' roller-controller. I don't know if it works with a light gun (such as the one supplied with Mad Dog McCree).

In all, "Escape from CyberCity" is an amusing laser-disc shooter, if you can hang with it long enough to get past the "manholes" sequence. It's more fluid and interesting than the static "Mad Dog McCree" series, and the variability of the game makes it less predictable than Space Ace and "Dragon's Lair". Frustrating... but somewhat fun.

Credits: Chris Adamson and Push-Start

4 reacties:

Anonymous,  August 6, 2007 at 1:05 AM

have a look here.. this guy played through the complete game!

CDI,  August 6, 2007 at 11:24 AM  

Amazing you can finish the game in five minutes! The whole game, if you play flawless, only takes 5 minutes..... wow

Anonymous,  August 8, 2007 at 12:20 AM  

Well no.. they used only one path, tghere are also alternative paths to get you there, much hurder paths than this I might add!!

TK,  November 3, 2012 at 12:33 AM  

I loved this game, I still have the disc (but not the machine) and when I saw the Galaxy Express movies for the first time I instantly recognised scenes from the game. Bear in mind I've not played it for 15 years or so and you begin to see how obsessed I was/am!

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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