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randombullseye avatar 10:41 AM on 08.18.2008  (server time)
Old School Games: Smash TV

Do you like sadistic games shows? How about blood sports? If yes, then you'll love this old school game. Would you like to know more?

This is one of those overly priced games that my parents got on credit for me. We used to play two players on this one a lot back in those glorious 8-bit days. It was just tough then as it is today.

First up, the box is close to being perfection. Its lame and cool at the same time. A weird duality very few game covers can achieve.

Now for the game itself. Ever see that movie The Running Man? The premise feels a lot like that. You play a contestant in a blood sport game show, complete with faboulas prizes and a cheesy host. Even in the 8-bit version you hear the host yell out "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

As for the controls, your little man can shoot in the direction that he's moving. In some versions if you hold a button down, you can aim with the directional pad which way to fire. Very useful as you're going to need to keep shooting everywhere if you wish to make it anywhere in Smash TV. "Good luck, you'll need it" The host jeers as you begin your game of death.

Its the little red and blue guy against everything else. Pretty much everything shoots at you or attacks you. The only helping hand is the power ups you collect, but even they can't even the odds. I can barely get anywhere on the NES version even now. This game is brutal. "Total carnage!" the host mocks as you get murdered again and again.

As for the power ups you can collect, even in this version you've a small arsenal to pick up. A grenade launcher that sprays out death. An always useful spread gun. Stars that spin around you. A green force field that murders anyone you touch. A nice rocket lounger. Now since this is a game show, you're competing for points. The other pick ups are cash money and various prizes: VCRs, boom boxes, and similar late eighties novelty items. "Big money! Big prizes! I love it!" The host yells as you rush to collect your various prizes. All the while risking your life.

Other than my beloved regular Nintendo version, there are ports on just about every system imaginable. The super Nintendo one seems to be the most beatable and its wonderfully violent. Characters bloodily explode in that version. A more direct arcade port is also available on xbox live arcade. There was a sequel called Total Carnage released to the arcades as well as being ported to most home consoles.

I have a lot of fun every time I play Smash TV, but I can barely beat the first few levels. Let alone the boss battles, they just absorb bullets like a sponge. If you're anything of a masochist you'll love Smash TV. A fun two player game with some very catchy background music. They don't make games like Smash TV anymore. The sort where the end of the game doesn't matter so much as score.

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