Mega Man Meets Donkey Kong Country

User Rating: 9 | Vectorman GEN

Released after the Genesis was already being replaced with the Saturn, Vectorman has become a cult classic. Its tight controls and varied level design have stood the test of time even better than most games released in that area. Nothing presented here can be seen as groundbreaking or completely original for its time, but the product as a whole is near-flawless; and that trumps any aspect which may be slightly reminiscent of other games of the 16-bit era.

The gameplay in Vectorman follows traditional platforming roots, along with elements from the Mega Man series. It's a side-scroller that takes advantage of all these roots in the best ways. Basically, Vectorman can shoot in five directions as well as kneeling down to shoot. In addition to this, he has a jet to not only act as his double jump, but can be used to damage enemies as well. Not every level is the same with a different color palette though, as some even twist the platforming format. Some are definitely stranger than others, but all are just a lot of fun. Every boss is completely different from the last, and always provides just the amount of space necessary. The final boss, in particular, is a favorite of mine. In short, Vectorman is guaranteed to give you great time. There is really not much more to add to the conversation, as it is a simple game. However, despite all this, Vectorman's difficulty is among the highest out there. Mostly due from the fact that it's a test of endurance. Vectorman is worth playing, but keep in mind it will take several attempts for you to actually beat it. And hey, if you're stuck, you can always call a cab.

Vectorman utilities an art-style similar to that of Donkey Kong Country. The environments and character models are pre-rendered 3-D models, giving the impression trick that the system was displaying graphics more powerful than it could handle; again, similar to that of Donkey Kong Country. Even though these graphics may not be "mind-blowing", as they were in 1995, they still hold up rather well, like the majority the 16-bit era. The soundtrack is filled with catchy digitized tunes. There isn't anything on the level of Terra's theme, but the music here is respectable. Again, there isn't the slightest aspect to complain about, as everything in this game works just fine.

Even though I've owned this game for years, I didn't have a particular fondness this title beforehand. I messed with it here and there, along with its sequel, but it wasn't until I went back and played it now that I realized how great Vectorman really is. Everything the game tries to do is executed perfectly. The controls are smooth, the levels are paced well, and the mechanics hold up today. Time may eventually forget Vectorman, but it absolutely deserves a place next to the Marios and Sonics of that era. It may just be my new favorite 16-bit platformer.