Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

20th Century Fox Mega Force -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review20th Century Fox Mega Force for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Mega Force
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1982
Part #: 11005
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: 20th Century Fox Mega Force Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
20th Century Fox Mega Force Screenshot:
20th Century Fox Mega Force for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Mega Force is a single-player game based on an action film made in 1982. The movie was considered a failure on several fronts and the video game was never regarded with much more empathy. The game was dismissed as an average shooter with no outstanding qualities. Despite being a terrible movie, a sequel was considered and the title was curiously the subtitle seen on the cover of the Atari 2600 game; Deeds Not Words. The sequel was never made.

If there was anything deserving of a sequel, it's Mega Force the Atari video game. For all the complaints about the film - both theatrical and DVD releases - the Atari video game has some interesting facets. Most notably is the automatic conversion of your motorcycle from dirt bike to flying jet-bike simply by moving it across the horizon line. Slick!

Mega Force Story Arc

Your character is a clever & daring member of the MEGAFORCE and you have been sent to Sardoun. It is a city in a strategically important Democratic nation currently under attack. Your goal is to destroy the Enemy's Headquarters. You ride an advanced fighting machine, the Moto-Fighter which acts as a motorcycle on land, but takes to the air with ease and flys. You begin when you are dropped off just outside Sardoun.

You must navigate past the city and across the desert to the Enemy Headquarters. You have a limited supply of fuel and you'll be challenged the entire way by heavy air and ground attack. Should you travel too far into the barren desert, flashing arrows will guide you back to the enemy. That's the only help you'll get.

Mega Force Game Play

This single player side-scrolling game puts you on a motorcycle journey from left to right. You can turn around to fire on enemies, but you are crossing a desert to get to the enemy's Headquarters. A widget at the top of the screen tracks your lives, fuel and gives warning to various enemy activities.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Megaforce is an action film made in 1982 directed by former stuntman Hal Needham and starred Barry Bostwick. The film was a critical and commercial failure in it's release and was nominated for three Razzie Awards, Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Supporting Actor- Michael Beck.
Surprisingly, the Atari 2600 video game is pretty good. Before Bryan Cranston was in Breaking Bad, he was in numerous '80s commercials including this ad for MegaForce on the Atari 2600. Check it out on YouTube.

One gallon of Fuel is lost for every second of game play. I like that ratio as it gives you an easier way to gauge your play without having to look at the meter all the time. Your Moto-Fighter will flash when its tank is almost empty. Running out of Fuel causes you to lose one Moto-Fighter,

Each game is comprised of several increasingly difficult levels A level ends when the Enemy Headquarters has been destroyed. Remaining lives are carried over into each new level and all Objects, Prizes and Fuel are replenished. At the start you have the ability to start at more advanced levels via the Select Switch.

Mega Force Difficulty Switches

As with many single player games on the 2600, the difficulty switches are programed for 4 different scenarios that can be combined with both switches. This is the case with Mega Force.

As your bike travels up and down you convert from dirt bike to flying jet-bike. This automatic feature is pretty slick and gives the game an interesting dynamic. On the ground your missiles act more like bombs and descend on the buildings. In the air you shoot straight taking out enemies that hover nearby. Overall, there is a lot of nice detail in both the mountainous horizon and the buildings below. Explosion sounds are combined depending on the scenario resulting in some nice sound effects.

The pace is quick and the transformation from land to air is very seamless and doesn't cause any game lag. I have to say this is a great game compared with how vilified the film became. Part of it's dismissal as a generic shooter may come from it's origin. Titles like this one were often regarded higher if they were arcade ports. Coming from an awful movie may have had a more negative effect on Mega Force than it deserved.

If the manic excitement of Mega Force taxes your ability to defend your city, you can rest by heading for the desert area left of Sardoun or to the right of the Enemy Headquarters. Enemy Aircraft can't fly into these areas and while you are resting there, they will not bomb Sardoun. Sweet!

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

20th Century Fox Mega Force

is a surprisingly fun game with some interesting dynamics. Perhaps is was tainted by the lousy movie on which it's based, but it's visually pleasing with good sound and game play. The changing bike is a nice touch. We like shooting at things and Mega Force does it well.

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