City Connection (NES) Review

Way back in 1983, a game came out by the name of Miner 2049er. It was a great game, but even to an untrained eye, it was clearly just a combination of Donkey Kong with Pac-Man. A fabulous pedigree, but it still had the unmistakable stench of a rip-off. Fast forward – not too far! – just up to 1985, and a game called City Connection was released, which totally ripped-off Miner 2049er, but somehow the result felt completely original and unique. What’s my point? Well, mostly I’m just floundering for an intro, but I suppose I could say something about karma, archetypes or how all creative endeavors steal from their forebears. I’ll leave the interpretation up to you. I’m just typing words.

City Connection is about a cigarette-smoking anime man driving a red subcompact through New York, Paris, London, and other locales, on a quest to paint all the normally blue roadways white. It seems like having white roads would be a maintenance nightmare, but in the universe of City Connection, oil assumes the form of small red and white capsules that can be picked up by driving over them, so a coat of fresh paint probably isn’t such a bad idea. Stages consist of looping strips of multi-tiered platforms, which you navigate by jumping your car don’t question it. You basically have to drive over every inch of these platforms, trailing white paint as you do, to clear the level. Out to stop this vandalism spree is the local P.D., as well as a large smiling cat. The police can be killed, and pose relatively little danger to you, but the cat proves to be problematic. Hitting him won’t cause your car to explode (unlike a collision with a cop), but it’ll send him flying hilariously off-screen. Apparently, the guilt is what does you in.

Gameplay is kinda rough at first. The controls are what I’d call “nuanced,” but wimpy gamers might call them “bad,” probably garbling the word from having a cock in their mouth. You can’t just jump around like a madhatter – we’re talking about a damn car here. In a concession to reality, you have to get up to speed and do a poppawheeley before you can become airborne, which takes a couple seconds. There’s also a very deliberate art scheme, which sometimes has very little contrast between the fore and background, making it slightly difficult to see the platforms.

City Connection is the sort of game that not everybody is going to enjoy. It’s an arcade experience through and through, and it demands a great deal of finesse to play well. But painting that last troublesome edge of road without falling or doubling back feels great, and hitting the cat is always worth a chuckle; easily one of the least dismaying ways to lose a life in a game. It’s not quite as addictive as it’s cousin Bump ‘n’ Jump, but that’s like saying crack isn’t as addictive as heroin.

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~ by Krooze L-Roy on December 12, 2008.

2 Responses to “City Connection (NES) Review”

  1. “The controls are what I’d call “nuanced,” but wimpy gamers might call them “bad,” probably garbling the word from having a cock in their mouth.”

    Only the best reviewers can put the phrase or variation of “cock in the mouth” into an NES game review, and even fewer can make it sound relevant, which it is. Completely.

  2. Honestly, I think I might have stolen that line from something you wrote. But then I realized that I’m okay with that.

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