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Cover Art Theatre

Last week we had another exciting installment of "Good Cover Art, Bad Game": we were intregued by intergalactic insanity, but provided platforming...plebeianality?
This week we'll look at a licensed game that flies the flag of '90s fashion but delivers a doodled doofus, and an unlicensed game that suggests scary skeletal robots but serves up stick-figure* automatons.
*: not this
And now, without further alliteration -- let's begin!
Rollerblade Racer
The Cover Art: Suave teenagers rollerblade through a horrible fuschia void!
Not only are they strapped in to their (ski-boot sized) rollerblades, but they're decked out in the latest in safety gear and horrible '90s duds!
(And speaking of the '90s, it looks like HI TECH Expressions hasn't quite mastered the art of Photoshop. The rollerblading girl(?) seems to have her arm/fingers poorly edge-cropped, to the point that they're tapering away into the image's horrible background color).
...but nevertheless, they're a dashing pair: there's Foreground Guy's flat top, basic black and sunglasses. Then there's Background Girl(?)'s denim-colored non-jean jacket, and the red bandanna and collar plus random florescent highlights!
In the Game: nerdy tween's got a brand-new pair of rollerblades.
The racer featured in the intro and between-level scenes reveals he's significantly less hip than we were lead to believe. His dialog makes it clear he's a goofy young'un.
And the actual gameplay graphics?
...let's say they do the game no favors.
We're in solid MSPaint territory, here...and THIS game is the one with the Nintendo Seal of Quality!
Oops!
Deathbots
The Cover Art: A snaggle-toothed T-100 is going to bite your face off
This actually looks more brutal than the skinless version of Arnie's Terminator (though I guess that's not too hard, given that they started with that mechanical skull idea, then scary-ed up the teeth and glued on some extra widgets and flanges).
This cool cover art is from an unlicensed game by American Video Entertainment. AVE isn't the King of Unlicensed NES Games (it's hard to compete with Nintendo's competitors who created unlicensed ports of their games -- for example, Tengen), but when it comes to original unlicensed NES games, they're at least the Jack of Clubs. Or something.
In the Game: Cool Futuristic Jumpsuit Dude fires one of a variety of "pew pew pew!" laser pistols at barely-animated mannequins, amongst the isometric hallways of terrible collision detection.
To damn these Deathbots with faint praise -- they look better than Rollerblade Racer's various MSPaint hazards.
There's also a variety of increasingly-not-useless firearms to pick up and inventory-manage: all weapon/ammo power-ups come in the form of completely new copies of the weapon. The bigger the weapon, the fewer shots it gets. The weird part is that each weapon can't pool ammunition, even amongst the same type; when your current gun runs dry, you have to go to your sub-menu to switch to another non-empty gun.
Another amusing note: no weapon ever shows up in your jumpsuit-guy's hand; all the bullets of varying size are just emitted from his torso! (and so I finally get to use this tag again; I thought it would be all over the place, but then I stopped talking about fighting games)
There's also a fair amount of robo-variety on display in the bots (of death) too; but none of them will ever be mistaken for a horrifying cyborg with a spiky overbite
So that's this week's story of Rollerblade Racers and off-brand Bladerunners!
Before we wrap up, let's check in one more time with Safety Stan, the rollerblading 11-year-old:
That's our Stan!
— carlmarksguy, 2014-09-26
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