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A Time to Destroy: Wild 9

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[Editor's note: Excremento takes a look at Wild 9 for the original PS1 for his A Time to Destroy Monthly Musing. -- CTZ]

With a topic so broad, you're bound to have multiple people blogging about the same thing. I mean, yes we've all played the same games; we've all done the most hideous things that the game's engine would allow. There are many examples of this.

It's as simple as the option in Lemmings where you make a lemming into suicide bomber. Maybe it could be Battletoads where my friends and I would treat it as a fighting game because that genre didn't exist at that time on the NES. How about using the 'behind the back shot' in Blackthorne to relive your Army of Darkness fantasies?

Those are great examples but a bit too easy to write about and really common. What I decided to share with you is Wild 9, a game that isn't and wasn't on anyone's radar but remains one of the best gruesome games I have ever played.


Wild 9 was developed by Shiny Entertainment and came out on the PlayStation back in 1998. It was like I said, on nobody's radar at the time except mine because it was made by David Perry and scored by Tommy Tallarico, two of my absolute favorite guys in the game industry.

For you kids out there, Dave Perry has worked on such games as: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Aladdin, Cool Spot, Earthworm Jim 1 & 2, MDK, and various other games based on movie/comic/TV licenses. Meanwhile, Tommy Tallarico has done the scores for over 250 games including Earthworm Jim, Out of this World, and Unreal. Mr. Tallarico is also the co-creator and host of Video Games Live. Yes, the same Video Games Live concert series that all of us gamers are crazy about.

The game is a basic platformer that actually rewarded you for torturing your enemies. The main character, Wex Major, uses a weapon known as "The Rig" that is essentially an electronic lasso that you use to grab characters and do nasty things to them. Take for example, the first couple levels where you need to throw the guards into various traps in order for you to get through the stage. If there's a huge turbine that is blocking your path, throw a guard in it to stop it spinning. Let's say you run into spikes lining the level's top and bottom, just take your victim and use them to get over the spikes by turning them into a meat-bridge.

Seriously, the game plays much like a third person version of Half-Life 2 ... except you don't wield an amazing gravity gun, but an electrical lasso. Perhaps the neatest thing about The Rig is that the more powered you kept it; its beam would turn red and cause the enemy to catch fire!

I had the most fun picking up guards and bashing them against the stage until they just gave up the ghost. I hate to say it, but the more primal side of me enjoyed causing the virtual baddies so much pain. I guess we all get the same way when playing games like Grand Theft Auto. Regardless of how much of a sadist we all are, you have to admit there's something therapeutic about getting frustration out of your system.

I loved playing this game and still do to this very day. If any of you are fans of Shiny's games, do yourself a favor and give this game a shot. It's twisted and weird enough that I bet you'd like it.

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