Blackhole Assault for the Sega CD is another in a long line of games that I would have liked to like. I’m just a sucker for good looking graphics of the 16-bit console era, such as this space station against the backdrop of a Jovian moon:
In the next scene, the camera angle changes and moves slowly up the station, giving a feeling of depth to the lunar backdrop:
Unfortunately, the graphic style of the story scenes is perhaps the only redeeming quality of the experience. I had no idea what kind of game to expect going into this. It turns out that it’s a pure 1-on-1 fighting game. It seems that in the 22nd century, earthlings are trying to excavate resources from the rest of the solar system. Exploratory missions are disappearing “one bye [sic] one”, however, and at least one military commander is calling it like he sees it. “How can those fools say these are accidents when they’re obviously alien attacks?” I can relate– I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said the same thing in the course of my daily affairs. But earth has a powerful weapon to deal with these alleged alien attacks: Cybernetic Anthropomorphic Machines or C.A.M.s for short. And these C.A.M.s have to take on powerful alien robots one-on-one at scenic locations throughout the solar system.
Above is the Phobos level. Like I said, the game is pretty. I just can’t abide the poor, clunky gameplay, even if we are just dealing with giant robots. Fortunately, the game features an exhibition mode which allows players to customize matchups with any of the available robots and any of the game’s 10 backdrops. Further, this mode can be configured for computer vs. computer, which allowed me to cycle through all 10 backdrops for screenshot purposes.
One more pretty screenshot– this one is called ‘Asteroid’. The backdrops really do work better in motion, though.