Rail Chase

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Lucasarts would be proud.

      The plot of Rail Chase is as simple and cliched as they come. An archaeologist and his wife, both of whom just happened to have a semi-automatic and an unlimited supply of ammunition with them, somehow fall into a mine cart after taking the Lost Treasure of (insert name of ancient city / civilization / deity here), and are forced to ride through a gauntlet of biplanes, hang-gliders, and shirtless, turban-wearing guys with shotguns.

      I wish I could accurately describe the intro to this game. The dialogue rivals that of the Samurai Showdown 2 intro (Long long ago, there were a man...), and the voice acting makes Resident Evil seem like a fine Shakespearean play. The voice actor for the woman either doesn't know a word of English and is reading off of a script, or is a man trying to make his voice high-pitched. The man's voice is even worse: whenever you shoot a pile of explosive crates* he lets out a sound that can only be described as a 90-pound man trying to pull off a Fat Albert-esque "Hey Hey Hey!"

* What is it with explosive crates in video games anyway? The enemies set up hundreds of elaborate traps to kill you, so why do they leave behind explosives that can blow them up, but don't even damage you?

Translation: d0oDz! d1z 7r3zur3z0rZ iZ l337!Oh no! I've dropped the treasure into this conveniently place mine cart!

      The gameplay of Rail Chase is reminiscent of the boat chase in Time Crisis 2 in the sense that it's a first-person arcade shooter, you're on a set track, and you're constantly moving. The specifics of gameplay can be summed up by the controls used: a one-button joystick. The entire game is hold-down-the-button-and-shoot-him-before-he-shoots-you. No action pedal, no shooting off the screen to reload, not even a screen set deep in the cabinet like the old Terminator 2 arcades.

No, you can't run them over.

Above: Aforementioned Shirtless, Turban-Wearing Guys
with Shotguns. Note the 3 flashing explosive crates to the right
of the cursor in the background.

Below: Somehow, a fat black woman with a pink shirt and
a mine cart with dual catapults don't go together
with the turban guys.

Sorry, no 'It's not over till the fat lady sings' jokes

      If there's one thing that Rail Chase wasn't made for, it's replay value. There are only four levels, and even someone who sucks at games like this (i.e. myself) can beat it in under 5 continues, a far cry from a coin-sucker like Metal Slug. The rail branches off to multiple paths many times, but there are only a few such occasions where this happens and you end up taking a completely different route. And even if you do, the paths still come together before they split up again, making it possible to see everything by going through the game twice. As for secrets... not really many of those. Once or twice they'll hide life behind a rock. And, uh, they'll kinda make it so that it's hard to see.

      In the end, however, Rail Chase turns out to be just what it seemed to be at the beginning: a balatant copy of Indiana Jones. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it excuses Sega from putting anything in the game that we haven't seen many times before (Note huge boulder hurtling down narrow passageway in below image).

You'd think they'd have the decency to at least go past the second level without throwing in a boulder...

Rating: 2 out of 5

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