In The Trenches (III/IV)

Back in the late 1980's to early 1990's, the US was knee-deep in the war on drugs (and technically still is today, it's just not called that). I saw Raid 2020 for the original 8-bit Nintendo behind a store counter and was instantly drawn to it. The cover showed a futuristic bad-ass in a trenchcoat and shades, prepared to bust caps with a huge machine-gun. The appeal was overwhelming, and having to leave the game behind that counter stressed me the fuck out. I was scared someone would buy it before I could get the money (or trades) to go back there.

Somehow I was able to scrape stuff together for the purchase, and in record time I returned to stake my claim. I don't think I saw it at first, but after a bit of digging, there it was. Under a pile of other (better) games, I found it and shook my head as I wondered why such an obviously "awesome" game would be buried at the bottom of the pile. It didn't matter, though, because I had it in my hands! I was so hyped for this game, and could not wait to get it home. It was underwhelming, but I was certain there was more to it. It was just because I didn't know how to play it yet, or because I just hadn't gotten to the later stages in the game.

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For The Birds
That had to be the case, but wasn't. Funny how this game is worth something now as a rarity, because back then it definitely wasn't worth a shit (and shouldn't be now). I had more fun looking at the cover and imagining all the cool stuff trenchcoat dude could do if he wasn't bound by the makings of a bad game. I even had more fun acting out these scenarios with my toys than playing the game itself. It's hard to put everything bad about this game into one article, but let's start with the birds. Dying from bird shit is fucking bad. Being shit on by a bird sucks, and yes, it is a hazard. But this guy has a whole futuristic trenchcoat outfit complete with hat. How does bird shit hurt him? Is it actually corrosive, like an acid or something?


Is the bird shit actually cocaine because the birds are being used to traffic drugs? Furthermore, why is the game about the war on drugs when the birds here seem to be the real enemy? I shouldn't have to think this much about a game (actually, nobody should). This game is literally, "for the birds." What's worse, he doesn't even try to point up and kill them. As cool and futuristic as this dude looks, and he can't even point up and shoot at birds? That's ricockulous. And why can this asshole walk forward and backward, but not straight up or down? Up and down are only diagonal, and it's confusing as hell when you're trying to dodge bird shit. Then, orthodox up and down movement is allowed in vehicles! What the..? If Raid 2020's inconsistent controls don't kill you, then bird shit surely will...


Criminals Prefer Unarmed Victims
He may not be able to handle the Mexican drug cartels, but the birds who kill him might. There's no way this guy could wage war on drugs in the present. If he can't even shoot up or tolerate bird shit, then how could he go up against cartels and all their weapons? Mr. Smith and the Black Manta dismantled drug cartels single-handedly, but Shadow here would need lots, and lots of help. Even in his own game, he can barely survive combed-over perverts, flashers, molesters, and...the birds and the bees? What in God's name? Yes, you read right; who needs to have a talk with their kids about the birds and the bees when you can just sit them down in front of Raid 2020, instead?


Seriously, though, there's even bats, inchworms, 'gators, gay robots, and dudes in hazmat suits. The enemies in this game are fucking bad. The Uzi on the title screen is the coolest thing in the game, but is ultimately misleading because the gun you get is pathetic. The box art shows what looks like a futuristic automatic weapon, and the title screen shows an Uzi, but what you get instead is some piece of shit that fires like a jammed bolt-action rifle. Even a bolt-action rifle is better, though, because at least the shots don't disappear three feet away! BADCP tries to find the good in (almost) every game, but damn, finding any good in Raid 2020 was pretty hard. The game is just so ugly, and its unforgiving difficulty and control do nothing to make up for it.


We're (Chinese Finger) Trapped
The audio is bad-enough to make anyone grouchy. The damage sound is so rotten it makes me get bowel movement. And if I'm not mistaken, the music is the same in every stage. The music after you die is completely out-of-place, too, and sounds all happy like something from a more kids-themed title. Even the cartridge is bad; it doesn't fit right, so you could put it in, but couldn't get it out. It was like a video game Chinese finger trap; like the makers didn't want you to take the game out to play a better game!
Funny how there's so much to be said about a game that is so bad, with so little to offer. We've made shorter features on better games. It's saddening. God, I hate this. What an absolutely miserable game.

Bird Brains
Color Dreams attempted a bible-based game, too, so it's not entirely unfitting to say, "God, Raid 2020 is miserable." It's supposed to be about the war on drugs, but instead turns into an all-day excursion at the docks dodging bird shit. It really makes you question whether the game is about war on drugs or the animal kingdom. Fans of Angry Birds might enjoy this tripe, but waging the war on drugs is best done in better games. It's not quite as bad as M.U.L.E. (which is absolute garbage) or E.T. (apparently), but damn, it comes too close for comfort! Some games are treasures that you want to bury, but this one's just trash you want to burn...

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