Eco Fighters

-Capcom (1994)

The Story

With the advent of space travel, many people have found their fortune among the stars. Asteroid and planet mining has lead some space entrepreneurs to great riches. However, some of their enterprising enterprises have been harming the planets that made them rich. The biggest polluter is Goylock K.K. lead by the fat Russian, uh, Goylock. The eccentric Dr. Moly speaks for the people of a planet being ravaged by Goylockís machinery. Dr. Moly has modified a research vessel with a long rod gun to put an end to Goylockís greed fueled planet-cide.   

My Thoughts

We donít hear nearly enough about how the ecology of the Earth is going to hell so we need a shooter to drive the save the planet nail into the heads of our youth just a little more. For the most part, Eco Fighters is what youíd expect from the title; piloting a fighter to destroy those destroying the ecological structure of the planet. Capcom probably hoped that when easily influenced kids played the game they would want to join Green Peace and save the planet with Eco Terrorism. But wait, isnít that a poor strategy? If Capcom influences young minds with the game then the kids wonít have time to play any of Capcomís other fine products.

All the craft and vehicles in Eco Fighters are designed using the fat is cute look. I'm not quite sure on how fat things can really save the planet. Wouldnít they consume all the fuel because of their extra fatty fat weight? The cutesy vehicles are not cute all the time, though. Some of these rotund versions are disturbing or just get on your nerves for trying to be too cute. And too fat.

As for disturbing, the ship the player controls has an odd rod that can be positioned in any direction. This gives the game slightly more unique shooter operations. Rotating the rod can help dispose of foes from behind and below, but I only really used it during a couple boss battles. Positioning my rod during the rest of the game was a little pointless because leaving the rod straight like a normal shooter was enough to eliminate my pollutant adversaries. There are a few weapon power-ups, such as a useless close range concentrated laser, a weird ball attack, and the most useful weapon, the spread shot.

The round, rodded ship goes on missions that youíd think a save-the-planet group would do if they had a powerful space fighter on their side. Stage one has the rod ship fighting to save the rainforest. The stage starts out in a lush green environment, but ends in a barren land with a battle against a giant saw crane with guns. Stage two is a clear blue sea teaming with sea urchins. By the end of the level the water is brown muck with a battle against a ridiculous fat shark submarine. The other stages deal with acid rain, grassy plains turned to deserts, an underground base, and old space yards. The other bosses are a train/helicopter, a flying fortress, and a huge airship. Those bosses were fine until I got to the boss of stage six, which is simply disturbing. It's a giant torso and head of Goylock flying around in space... and he has an attack where he blows at you. This was the last thing I needed to see. Here I am, trying to save the planet when now there's a sweaty fat man trying to blow my rod cannon. Itís one of the stupidest bosses Iíve ever seen. It didnít get any better in the final stage where I faced off against a Rolls Royce space cruiser and a fat jet pack robot. The game was almost ruined with these idiotic bosses. Although, if saving the planet means getting rid of crap like that then Iím all for it.

The most interesting part of the game was the continue screen. As the timer counts down our heroís ship plummets out of control to the planetís surface. He then sees a girl in a bikini and pulls up on his control stick to get back in the fight. Here the game shows where we really need to concentrate our efforts if we want to save the planet: boobs. Save boobs and save the planet. Sounds like a good plan.

Score: 5.5






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