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Thread: GOTD 5/23/2016: Scud: The Disposable Assassin (Saturn)

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    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    Default GOTD 5/23/2016: Scud: The Disposable Assassin (Saturn)

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    Tonight pissed me off I ended up loathing a TV show I was truly excited for, the adaptation of one of my two favorite comic series of all time, Preacher. So, I turned it off and went to spend some time with a game based on another comic that I love just as much, Scud: The Disposable Assassin.

    For the Sega Saturn, Scud is a true odd duck of a game. Based on an independent comic book, weird punk soundtrack that even features music from a band that once contained Andy McNamara, long-time editor of Game Informer, and an even stranger awesome redbook soundtrack with a hidden comedy sketch from the Dead Alewives, known for launching the careers of Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon, who would work on projects like Monster House, the Sarah Silverman Program, Community, and Rick and Morty, which might as well be a Scud spinoff... plus they did that infamous "Summoner Geeks" skit. So, not only is there an eclectic mix of people from before they made it big, it's also a light gun game that dares to experiment and do things I have never seen done in another game.

    For starters, there are three basic light gun modes to try. They're all story mode, and they all play out as a 2D shooting gallery with well-animated pre-rendered sprites being exploded and splattered about. First, there, one player mode, playing as Scud. Next, there's two players playing as Scud and his buddy Drywall, who contains a universe inside of himself. The third basic gun mode is one player as Scud with two guns, as Scud pretty much always used two guns in the comic, save briefly when he had that werewolf arm... anyway... These all play well, and have excellent gun accuracy. They offer great challenge, and you can tell that they really had two guns in mind from the start, as enemies like to swarm in, guns blazing, from opposite ends of the screen.

    Next, the game can be played through the same environments, but with enemies redesigned and placed so that the entire game can be played as a side-scrollig run 'n gun. Here, Scud can run, jump, shoot, dive roll, and pistol whip his way through the levels, which were cleverly designed to utilize both methods of play... but then it gets better.

    I've mentioned it before, and no one ever seems to get as excited about it as my friends and I do, but there is a third way to play, where player one contros Scud in the side-scrolling mode while player two lays down cover fire as Drywall with a light gun! So, as Scud runs, jumps, and fires away, a second player can sit back and keep blowing the shit out of the enemies tohelp with their actual light gun. This is crazy fun, and to top that there are two versions of this mode! In one, the light gun player kills the enemies they shoot, but in the other, their targets are merely frozen instead.

    So, the game in any mode is fast, furious, and comically violent, perfectly capturing the chaotic tone of the comic. There is an opening cinema as well as in-between-level movies that pretty accurately recreate the Heavy 3PO story arc of the first several issues of the comic while adding in its villain in a way that doesn't affect continuity. Barry Polipooey, the Grittites (worshippers of manliness and unneccessary explosions who hide out in a burger joint), Jeff, and his eventual meeting wirh Sussudio are all covered, and it's done more lovingly than anyone would expect for a comic most people didn't read. They even took into account the suggested voice actors listed at the beginning of each issue, giving Scud a voice modeled loosy after John Malkovich and so on. Rob Schrab wrote a forward in the manual, the local bands from his home area in Minnesota he was able to get on the soundtrack... it's not a perfect game, but so much love was put into it that a fan can't help but dig it.

    I love Scud. The comic, the game, even the Tales from the Vending Machine and La Cosa Nostroid spinoffs. This Saturn game is very difficult, but I regularly 1cc it in one player, 2 gun mode. It's a dirty little mess of a game, and I can't think of any other game to try its mixed platforming and light gun simultaneous co-op, and to top it off... beating the game unlocks Drywall mode, where everything takes place from Drywall's perspective. He becomes playable in the run 'n gun mode, all of the artwork in the menus changes to be about him... it's a sweet bonus for series fans.

    I'm clearly biased toward this one. Played it?
    Last edited by celerystalker; 05-22-2016 at 11:46 PM.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    I always wanted a Saturn just to play this game. There wasn't much else on the console that grabbed me as much as the Scud game. I eventually bought a Saturn of my own and in the fullness of time bought a copy of Scud. And then... it sat on a shelf collecting dust because my enthusiasm waned by then and I never felt like pulling the Saturn out of storage to play it (and I have a Saturn light gun but it's lost in a Rubbermaid tub someplace).

    The sad thing is, I've only ever read the first issue of the comic. The store I used to go to didn't get any more issues in, and I gave up on comics about that time as well. Maybe I need to order a trade paperback or something.

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    Does this one require a light gun? I don't have one for my Saturn yet, and my system is hooked up to a rear-projection LCD set versus a CRT, so if that's the case, I wouldn't be able to play it the way I'm set up now. The nearest game shop to me has a copy of this for $35, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet (pun intended) because I wasn't sure if it was absolutely necessary to have the light gun or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalFRO View Post
    Does this one require a light gun? I don't have one for my Saturn yet, and my system is hooked up to a rear-projection LCD set versus a CRT, so if that's the case, I wouldn't be able to play it the way I'm set up now. The nearest game shop to me has a copy of this for $35, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet (pun intended) because I wasn't sure if it was absolutely necessary to have the light gun or not.
    Light gun is not required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by celerystalker View Post
    Light gun is not required.
    Does it play okay without the light gun?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalFRO View Post
    Does it play okay without the light gun?
    Without a light gun, it becomes a side-scrolling run 'n gun.

    With light guns, it's a light gun shooter.

    With one of each, player one plays the run 'n gun while player 2 lays down cover fire with a light gun.

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