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Reviews (N-Z)

Finest Hour

MANUFACTURER: NAMCO
1
989 (1-2 Players)


 

 

Overview and game play

Finest Hour is a horizontally scrolling shooter for 1-2 players who control a man in a robot suit called “Verneir”. A coin is required for each player who takes turns to guide Verneir through large metal tunnels filled with enemy robots, gun turrets and a forest as well as other scenes that are used by enemies to conceal their location prior to ambushing the player’s robot. The game begins with a short animation depicting a pilot inside a cockpit controlling the robot (which behaves like a metal body suit), who watches a computer screen showing a wire frame map of the terrain. After the animation ends, the players robot is displayed from a side view inside a large tunnel and the players mission begins. The robot can be controlled left and right to make it walk in those directions and pulling down on the joystick makes it crouch down. Tapping the joystick twice either left or right makes the robot run in those respective directions; which is a useful feature for getting out of trouble. Pressing button one causes the robot to fire a laser bolt in the direction it is facing or at an object that the robot has targeted with its automatic targeting system. If the robot has targeted an object, a cross hair will be displayed on the target to show it can be hit if shot. The enemies the player encounters in Finest Hour vary in difficulty and those that are tougher to kill usually require more that one direct shot to destroy them. Pressing button 2 causes the robot to fire a small jet pack attached to it that allows the robot to fly short distances and access certain areas that can’t be reached by walking or running alone. The ability to fly is also useful to avoid particularly difficult enemies but it cannot be used continuously as the robot bodysuit will overheat. A gauge at the bottom of the screen represents the thrusters’ temperature and when the jet pack is not being operated the temperature cools down. If the players’ robot is touched by an enemy or is hit by an enemy projectile, the bodysuit temperature will rise and when the temperature reaches a certain critical level, the game is over as it is impossible to proceed further. 

 

 

Fortunately, the player is given the option of inserting an additional coin to activate an emergency cooling system on the bodysuit that will reduce the temperature back to zero so play can continue. If the player is only hit a few times by enemies s/he may still survive as the bodysuit temperature gradually reduces over time. As the game progresses, more enemies’ attack and the challenge against the player increases. Points are awarded according to the difficulty of the enemy encountered with more points for tougher foes. Bonus points are also awarded for completing a round in a quick time.

Graphics

The backgrounds are well drawn and varied enough to maintain the players interest. As well as a forest, there is also a futuristic city with undulating terrain that requires use of the robots jet pack in places. The enemies each have their own animations and vary in size and colour as well as their attack patterns. The animations that play between rounds are short, but nevertheless contribute to the game play by giving the game some structure and a plot.

 

 

Sound

Finest Hour features digitised machine and laser sound effects that create an excellent atmosphere of being in a robot war. Subdued synthesised music plays in the background and at times is replaced with atmospheric sound effects that add a lot to the game play.

 

 




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