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Review: The Exterminators (Sega CD)

Several months ago I promised I’d review The Exterminators for the Sega CD, but I didn’t get around to finishing it until now.

This is gonna hurt...

The reason? I simply did not want to play through this, and I LIKE cheesy FMV games but this…  Seriously, turn back now. This game is so terrible that, when it was made, it was kept from stores. Not until 2000 was this… game… released as a quirky obscure title for hardcore collectors. The truth is that it should not be purchased by ANYONE.

Not scared yet? Fine, take a look at the opening credit and FMV sequence. And remember, people (me!) paid for this shit:

I’d like to apologize here for the crappy video quality. If you thought Sewer Shark on the Sega CD was grainy and ugly, you have seen nothing yet.

The story of the game is a heavily bastardized ripoff of Ghostbusters. You are the rookie in a team of bug exterminators, and you are the sole hope of humanity against an insect invasion conducted by this hideous puppet:

Using your high-tech knock-off proton packs, it is up to you to prove your worth to your team-mates as you exterminate every single creepy-crawler you find, big or small.

Now some may think that this game might fall into the category of “Being so bad, it’s good.” And I’d agree, if it wasn’t for two things. First of all, the gameplay is terribly bland and almost seems unfinished.  The Exterminators, is an on-rail shooter, where you move a crosshair over anything that moves and shoot, shoot, shoot. Sound simple? It is.. and that’s what’s so screwed up about it, in that there’s NOTHING more to it. In other FMV shooting games, there’s usually something more to it such as ammo, energy, time limit, accuracy, etc. For example, in Sewer Shark, accuracy matters since firing your ship’s cannon will deplete its energy. Also, in Sewer Shark, some targets are worth more than others, which results in the player having to prioritize their targets and fire wisely.

In The Exterminators there’s nothing holding you back from firing wildly. The only way you can lose is if you fail to hit a certain amount of bugs during a level. What little challenge there is, is inadvertanly heightened by the horrid hit detection, as hits will often not register. However, if you have a controller with a “Turbo” function, prepare to be bored as you do this throughout the game.

The experience is made even worse as, after every hit, the screen focuses in on a character’s face while the action loads.

The second thing that keeps this game from being a cult-hit is its astonishingly terrible presentation. If it’s possible for something to try too hard to not take itself seriously, this is it. The dialogue is agonizingly bad as it becomes clear that the writers were purposely trying to make a dud by making every single thing as annoying as possible.

My theory for that is this: This game was made relatively late in the life of the Sega CD, and by then it was becoming abundantly clear that FMV was hardly the artistic medium that some believed it to be years ago, as it got overwhelmed with cheesy and poorly acted games. So the developers at this point just threw their hands up and said “Eh whatever, either way it’ll be crap, so why try? Let’s just try to make it funny to appeal to the idiots that would buy this so they’ll be happy.” And there we have it, a terrible game that manages to make itself even worse with every failed attempt at plainfuly hackneyed humor.

Now thrill as the gameplay stops so Coach from Left 4 Dead 2 can get some honey.

If you’ve read my gaming reviews before, I am very generous when a game shows some measure of effort. I don’t enjoy trashing games, at least not nearly as much as playing and enjoying them. I am the guy that believes Vampire Rain is underrated, and enjoyed Shadow the Hedgehog, so surely I can find something positive about this game, right?

Hm.. well, okay. I will concede that it is short and easy. With a turbo controller, someone going into this game for the first time will beat it in well under fifty minutes. So the pain is short lived.

If you are somehow interested, here. I will go out of my way to spoil this game so you never have to play it. Here’ the ending:

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a really really long shower to get the stench of this stinker out of of my fur.

– Furry Senpai Mikekun

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