Title  : Rampage World Tour
Platforms  : Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64
Publisher  : Midway
Game Rating  : 8.1
Review by  : Ken Gagne

George, Lizzy, and Ralph have returned to ravage the world in Rampage World Tour, for the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64. There are no princesses to save, races to win, or bad guys to defeat. The objective is simply to destroy as many villages, towns, cities, and metropolises as possible. [PSX version reviewed here] 

World Tour is the sequel to a game which appeared in arcades about a decade ago, and then on every imaginable home system. Both the original and new Rampages are two-player games, unlike their three-player arcade counterparts. The latest edition follows the three giants — an ape, a lizard, and a werewolf — as they trounce through major world capitals, destroying military vehicles, dining on passing pedestrians, and otherwise wreaking general havoc. The gameplay scrolls both left to right and up the towering skyscrapers, creating bigger cities than World Tour's predecessor. 

Rampage is not a difficult game. The goals are simple and straightforward: demolish a city to as great an extent as possible, then move on. An onslaught of attacks will attempt to prevent the monsters from succeeding, but their injuries will only be ephemeral. Infinite continues ensure that the game continues as long as the player wants it to. Some enemies are particularly crafty annoyances, but the lack of permanent damage means their destruction is usually just for fun. 

The presence of a memory card lets progress be saved. There seem to be some errors in the game's interface with the card, however. On a few rare occasions, it fails to "see" the card, and does not save; or the game may freeze when trying to load the next city. Fortunately, these blunders are few and far in between, and do not cause any permanent damage. 

Considering the monstrous nature of the characters, most everything else is small in comparison. Some edible items are hard to identify, and whether they are a boon or a curse to consume is often not known until their effects are evident. The three fiends enjoy animated appearances with which to react to many circumstances, from being singed to toppling off buildings to enjoying a particularly tasty treat. Various types of buildings and backgrounds make for locations slightly similar to their real-life counterparts, from Istanbul to Los Angeles to London to, yes, even Boston. 

The music is actually noticeable in this game, creating a fun environment in which to devour all in sight. It has a rock/metal-type sound to it, fitting with the destruction theme. The sound effects are a blast, particularly the screams of the cities' doomed inhabitants. 

With hostile citizens coming from all directions, it's a relief to know the control is one thing you won't have to fight. There are four predefined setups, all which consist of punch, kick, and jump. These buttons, when used in various combinations with the control pad, create several forms of attack. Sometimes it's not so easy for a monster to turn his bulk to the face of a building so that it can be jumped at then climbed, but otherwise it's easy enough to leap from rooftop to rooftop, making sure the impact is felt and an impression left. 

A few memorable items from the original Rampage are absent, such as the irritating photographers who blind the main characters. New surprises, such as vehicles which can be ridden and visits to foreign countries, balance off the losses. The two-player mode allows destruction at an even faster pace, but accidentally attacking a friend occurs all to often. A purposeful attack on an "ally" can be quite fun, though, especially when a megalopolis is the arena. 

Rampage World Tour is a successful build on a classic hit. There is very little innovation; World Tour is more a remake then an actual sequel. It has a few things missing and, even with more than 130 cities, is easy to overcome. But it's still a fun game, and a great way to blow off some steam. Nowhere else are the roles of good guy and bad guy reversed. Don't want to leave the house? Go on a world tour — Rampage style.


This article is copyright (c) 1997, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.

Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 03-Nov-97