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Brain Dead 13: the best of the FMV genre on CD-i

>> Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ever have just one of those days? Our hero Lance is having several of them.... all today. The premiere computer repairman for the region, he's summoned to the mysterious mansion of Dr. Nero Nurosis to repair his super-computer. Not too bad right? Most of these egg-heads have alot of money. Well, the doctor isn't exactly an egg-head at all. In fact, he's just a brain in a jar... with dreams of world domination. So, now instead of paying for the repairs, and... after a few cheap shots from Lance, he's sicked Fritz, his hooked hand psychotic sidekick to take Lance out. Can Lance elude Fritz, defeat Dr. Neurosis and escape? Will he fall prey to the Doc and his many co-horts? Will he get paid for the job?

Being a huge Dragon's Lair fan, it's one of the reasons I bought the CD-i initally, especially after seeing the pathetic, heavily (and poorly) edited editions of Dragon's Lair & Space Ace that Readysoft did for Sega CD & 3DO. So, when I first heard about BRAIN DEAD 13, I can honestly say, my hopes weren't very high. However, being an FMV game fan, I just had to give it a try, and to my surprize, there was ALOT to love about this one. Being one of the only games developed by Readysoft themselves, they weren't limited by keeping the rigid structure imposed by the original games and were able to tailormake the game game to fit the console environment it ran on. A major step up from where they were heading.

Unfortunatly for the financially strapped Readysoft, alot of technical glitches arose right at the time of release, and after they had already begun a rather hillarious print advertizing campaign, so that by the time the game finally released, it was too late and the company went under not soon after. The visuals on this one are what it was all out about, and they do not fail to entertain. With an eye toward the macbre, each of the villanous characters have a personality thats very hillarious. Intermixing them with heavily detailed backgrounds, this one does not fail to be pleasing to the eye. Even the most monsterous things like the iron maiden (rock on!! heh), vampiric blood sucking, etc, just seem so hillarious, it's more like crossing over into the classic Bugs Bunny horror cartoons.... sans the rabbit.

The biggest drawback to this one is the lack of obvious route sometimes. Often times with no real cue to know what to do next, you'll die 3 or 4 times in one location... .so the death animations get really old really quick. Even though there are a variety of them unique to each area... there are really just too few to make them tollerable. Most will want to find a strategy guide after a while, just to beat certain puzzles. The character voices in this one were over the top. With so much emphasis on the cartoony aspect of play, it needed some good work done both in scripting and casting to make the characters really memorable and enjoable. Thankfully, they did a great casting job for ALL the characters. Lance, who we listen to for the whole game has a definite root in Bugs Bunny-esqe acting... for both the quips and the way he talks. Easily, this could have been a Warner Bros. licence, it's just that good.

Great lines from characters like the sports fanatic monster 'Moose' "Ok, punk. Third Down, Bases are loaded, and we're pullin' the goalie!!", and even some subtle visual jokes for the adults (look at some of the stuff Fritz drops later in the game), add to the myrth and overal experience of the game. While with most FMV games, once you're done, theres little reason to replay... this one does offer a bit more as some of the cheap jokes and subtle humor are easy to miss. Control is really where this one shines. Out-doing the control input for other games like Dragon's Lair, ICDI's port brought over the impressive control scheme and kept it really tight and refined. Playing more like the Dragon's Lair arcade game of old, you're given the dull tone for unaccepted commands, and the ping for accepted ones. Very helpful, and not nearly as hit & miss as the others. A major step up!

Overall, this one is a great FMV game. Alot to do, not as linear as other titles in the genre as you do have a choice as to where you can go and how you get there and inifnite lives.... all adding up to a really fun game. Fair warning : Some parents might be put off by the violence level in this one, and occasionally adult-ish humor. But for the most part, it's nothing you haven't seen similar events of in classic Bugs & Daffy cartoons. Still supervision is advised for the real youngsters.

Credits: CD-i Collective. Pictures: The Black Moon Project

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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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