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Zombies Ate My Neighbors Nintendo Wii Virtual Console Review

by: Doctor Awesome ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Zombies Ate My Neighbor, a cult classic well over a decade old, has returned thanks to the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console service. Is it every bit as good as I remember. Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes.

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    Zombies Ate My Neighbors

    zombiescover Zombies Ate My Neighbors is the absolute pinnacle of survival horror gaming. Forget Dead Rising, House of the Dead, even Resident Evil; Zombies Ate My Neighbors blows them all out of the water. It may take a tongue-in-cheek approach, but the second you face your first hockey-mask wearing, chainsaw-wielding maniac, you'll know what fear is, because your pants will be full of it.

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    Zombies Ate My Neighbors Presentation

    Zombies Ate My Neighbors originally hit the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo over 16 years ago in the Summer of 1993. Since then, it's become a total cult classic and it isn't hard to see why. There's something inherently likable about the game and its perfect blend of horror and comedy. The concept involves a couple of kids running around saving their neighbors from attacking monsters, using an arsenal of ridiculous weapons like squirtguns and soda can grenades. It's a hilarious premise, yet losing a spunky cheerleader or, even worse, an adorable toddler, to a bloodthirtsty werewolf has the power to wipe even the biggest smile off of your face.

    This is the game's biggest strength - the ability to make you afraid. Playing Zombies Ate My Neighbors fills me with the same fear and dread that I get playing games like Resident Evil, but instead of fighting horrifying abominations created by a deadly virus, I'm throwing silverware at cartoon mummies and dropping inflated clown decoys so that I can escape from Friday the 13th rejects. It's the kind of fear that, once you're out danger, you laugh out loud at.

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    Zombies Ate My Neighbors Visuals

    zombies1 Obviously I can't compare the 16 bit graphics of Zombies Ate My Neighbors to the games of today. I can, however, comment on the game's art direction, which is stellar. The character designs, which is probably the most important of the game's visuals, are fantastic. Off of the top of my head, there are around ten or so different neighbors, each sporting a funny, often exaggerated look. The clueless, picture-snapping tourists and the angry teacher with her flame red beehive hairdo will have you laughing out loud, even though all they do is stand there.

    The enemies are just as fun, if not more so, than the neighbors. While every enemy of a certain type looks the same - the shambling zombie with the brown shirt, the Chucky-like doll with the light blue onesie - there are enough types to keep it from getting repetitive throughout the game's near-50 levels. Plus, the monsters are so hilarious to look at, I'm not sure one could get tired of fighting the same enemies over and over.

    The levels deserve plenty of praise as well, both in layout and design. You're always look down on your character from above, so each level has a maze-like aspect to it, some more than others. The levels have different themes to them and you'll fight off monsters in backyards, malls, tombs, and more. Repetition really isn't an issue because the setting jumps around and you're never in one place for very long.

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    Zombies Ate My Neighbors Gameplay

    zombies2 Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a lot of very accessible fun. It consists of running around and shooting and that's about as complex as the controls get. To rescue a neighbor, you just have to walk over them. However, simple mechanics don't always mean a shallow gaming experience. There's a lot of skill involved in staying alive and getting to your neighbors before the monsters can. Throw in the large variety of weapons and usable items - like first aid kits and potions with varying effects - and you have a good bit of strategy as well.

    It's a simple formula that, coupled with the outstanding presenation, makes for a truly memorable experience, especially when you're playing with a friend. Yes, a second player can pick up a controller and join in on the same screen, making this a terrific game for couples.

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    Overall Opinion of Zombies Ate My Neighbors

    zombies3 Have I not spent an adequate amount of time gushing about Zombies Ate My Neighbors? Why are you still reading this review? This is wholesome, old fashioned gaming at its absolute finest. Anyone can enjoy it. Even with its "scary" themes, it's very family friendly, so kids can get a kick out of it as well.

    Zombies Ate My Neighbors is possibly some of the most fun you'll have on the Nintendo Wii. It's one of the games I've been absolutely pining for ever since the Virtual Console system was announced and it's every bit as awesome as I remember. This is one of the best gaming experiences you can have for under ten bucks.

    To really drive home how great it is, I'm going to leave you with a little recap of what I did in Zombies Ate My Neighbors today. I was up against a giant toddler - not King Kong sized, but definitely two or three stories - and I couldn't get into a good position to shoot him without him stepping on me or dousing me with milk from his bottle. At my wit's end, I drank a mystery potion I had in my inventory. Fortunately, it turned me into a big hairy, purple beast