If this game was released today, I think it would garner significant praise for innovation. Unfortunately, since it was released in 1990, it is instead a sad game, that tries to do too much for this era.
Game: 8 Eyes
Set in an apocolyptic future, you’re character is tasked with finding the 8 jewels that will enable civilisation to be rebuilt. It’s a fairly simple story but it’s not the main focus here anyway.
The gameplay is like the Castlevania series (which admittedly I’ve never played, so maybe take that with a grain of salt) in that it’s a side-scrolling platformer and your character has weapons to take out enemies. Where this game is unique though, is in the falconer mechanic.
Your character is a falconer, so at any point you can release your falcon, who will fly erratically covering the screen. You can even issue simple commands like a swooping downward attack to help you defeat enemies. Where this mechanic falls short is that you can’t control the falcon as well – only hope that he goes near the enemy. A second player can play as the falcon, which is better, but doesn’t make the game any easier (believe me, I tried the first level in both 1 and 2 player). Adding to this frustration is that special weapons are use by the length you hold a button down, and the lack of consistency with any of the two buttons the NES offers, result in frustrating controls that render the game essentially unplayable.
If this game was released today, it would have controllers with so many more buttons to use, and two analogue sticks means that the player and the falcon can be controlled simultaneously. If this was the case, I think this game would be praised for its innovative controls, like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was a few years ago. Instead, we’re left with a game ahead of its time; with frustrating controls resulting in a game that is extremely difficult to play. For it’s attempts at innovation, I’m giving 8 Eyes 3/5 objectively and 2 subjectively.
+ Attempts to Innovate
– Frustrating Controls
– Extremely Difficult (in 1 and 2 player) due to inconsistent controls