Here's the deal...
The New Order Nation - a powerful, corrupt alliance is crushing today's youth and destroying all things fun. It's a gruesome regime, under the iron rule of Headmistress Helga, a vicious vamp whose obvious attractions are fatal.
Suddenly, America's premier rock band, Aerosmith, is abducted by NON forces. Now it's up to you to stop the destruction... and Music is the Weapon(TM)!
REJECT! REBEL! REVOLT!
~ from the back of the DOS box
What is it with rock bands and bat-shit crazy video game tie-ins? Kiss had their Psycho Circus, The Residents had their Freak Show, Queen had The eYe and Aerosmith had Revolution X. This high-octane arcade light-gun shooter from Midway was everywhere in the mid-90s from bowling alleys, chip shops and even your home thanks to a slew of ports. I have them all gathered up here, ready to play and compare so let's begin the revolution...
The arcade game is an undoubted classic, even if it was originally conceived to be a Jurassic Park licence before SEGA secured the arcade rights. It's an insanely chaotic coin-chomper with some bizarre locations, huge explosions and scantily clad women. Aerosmith are on tour in a dystopian future where a leather-clad moral arbiter named Helga is determined to rid the world of sleaze in the most insane way necessary. She's kidnapped Steven Tyler and the band, funded human experiments and captured beautiful women to be put to work and experimented on. You are the last fan standing and thankfully you have a gun with unlimited ammo ready to travel the world and shoot down the New Order Nation (or NON for short).
Along the way, you can pick up many power ups, including a screen clearing detonation, health shakes and better weapons, but the ones that are most plentiful are CDs. The music discs do much more damage than any bullet and are key to downing armoured vehicles and choppers. After the first stage, you can choose where to go next; the Amazon (you can see bit of the Jurassic Park origins here), the Middle East or the Pacific Rim. There's a NON base that needs destroying in each of them. After that, you're off to Wembly Stadium for the final battle against Head Mistress Helga which contains some insane surprises I won't dare spoil.
The levels seemlessly transition from area to area thanks to some nifty sprite-scaling effects and the result is a blast from beginning to end, even if you are playing with mouse instead of a gun. Compare that to the ports and these home versions leave a lot to be desired. The DOS port is perhaps the best, allowing you to use the mouse, but the game cannot produce the same amont of chaos found in arcades.
The 16-bit releases fare the worst. Both the SNES and the Mega Drive / Genesis are not compatible with any mouse or gun peripheral, despite both systems having suitable chunks of plastic available for some time. They're joyless joypad-only experiences with graphics that cannot possibly do the original justice. Of the two, the Super Nintendo is a little better thanks to it taking advantage of the hardware's Mode-7 capabilities. It's interesting to see how they translated it this way, but that's about it. The Mega Drive by comparison is static and barren and shouldn't be played by anyone, even if it has more sound bytes than it's rival cartridge.
The title was a good candidate for the emerging 32-bit consoles too, with both Sony's and SEGA's machine earning a port. Both are more faithful than the others, but with no gun or mouse support, it's still a slug to play. The PlayStation suffers fairly long mid-level loading which isn't as bad on the Saturn, but the latter is missing some animations. Still, all home conversions offer unlimited continues reducing the difficulty somewhat, but with this style on mayhem, constantly losing lives is inevitable.
So, the only version of Revolution X you should play is the arcade original. In fact, it was the poor reception to the home ports that made Midway sadly reconsider a sequel starring Public Enemy. I do think each port offers up some interesting thoughts about how games were translated for drastically different hardware in the 90s, but I cannot recommend them when MAME flawlessly renders all of the crazy that could ever come from the minds of Aerosmith.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the Enhanced Community Edition (ECE) build of DOSBox 0.74 to bring the DOS port to modern systems and Retroarch with the MAME 2010, Genesis Plus GX, SNES9X, Mednafen Beetle PSX and Mednafen Beetle Saturn cores to emulate the arcade original and console games. X-input controllers supported for most games. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more info. Manuals for most games included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 1.33 Gb. Install Size: 1.55 Gb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
SEGA GENESIS / MEGA DRIVE
Revolution X is © Midway
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me