Gods FI

SNES A Day 136: Gods

gods_us_box_art

Approximate Release Date: December 31, 1992
Genre: Action/platformer
Developer: Bitmap Brothers
Publisher: Mindscape

Playing Gods is a frustrating experience because of a few utterly baffling design decisions.

Let’s say you’re playing a rather generic tough-guy side-scrolling action game — which Gods is — where you have to hack-and-slash your way through tons of monsters and solve puzzles. You see a key you want to pick up. Ideally, you walk your action man over the key and it magically pops into your inventory. Depending on the game you might have to press a button while standing on it. Sensible.

Gods doesn’t do that. Here’s what you have to do in that situation:

  • Step 1: Walk over to the item.
  • Step 2: Duck.
  • Step 3: Press the attack button to put it into your inventory.

Doesn’t seem so bad, right? Well, I’m not finished. If you stop here, your character will just throw the item on the ground when you stand up. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t keep the key in my pocket. The solution is:

  • Step 4: Press the attack button again until you select an empty inventory slot. Now you can stand up.

Here’s what the B button does in Gods: attack, pick up items, change inventory slot, and (on depress) use inventory item. The only other button used is A, for jump. There’s a whole world of options on the Super Nintendo controller that could be used but instead go unused as far as I can tell. This leads to situations where I duck down to dodge an enemy’s attack, press the attack button, and my character drops a ceramic jar on the ground instead of throwing an axe into an imp’s skull.

This just makes a brutal game even more challenging. Enemies are constantly appearing in front of you, behind you, or even on top of you. The waves of enemies and general aesthetics contribute to a Gauntlet vibe, but I found it difficult to react without taking damage first due to the clumsy controls. I’m okay with hard games, but Gods is approaching a level of difficulty in these early sections that doesn’t endear me to playing any more. Unfair isn’t fun.

So I won’t be playing any more of Gods.

Tomorrow: Maybe Lethal Weapon will be better!

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