Video Game: Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Snes 1993)
Cult classics are not limited to movies. The term can also be used for other mediums such as novels, how to books, nutritional advice (hi paleo) and video games. The idea behind this is that a cult following can spring up within these mediums. Cult followings can be beneficial for video games and franchises, which may open to financial failure but receive high reviews and gather quite a following, which results in delayed financial success.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was the next platform after the original Nintendo and was a competitor with the popular Sega Genesis. When I was growing up, either you were a Sega user or a SNES user. The arguments between the two got heated and created console wars.
At the time, I attributed it to kids going straight to SNES because Sega was an unknown. But looking back, I realize it was not about what the kids wanted, it was whatever system your parents bought you. I didn’t know any kids with two consoles, so the loyalty to a console was due to whatever system you were able to get your hands on.
OpenEmu and Emulators
I am going to review Zombies Ate My Neighbors on SNES, although I was a Sega kid. The game came out for both platforms, and in the USA they played exactly the same.
Now, I was not able to get my grown up hands on an SNES. But, a rather unknown gem for MAC users is OpenEmu. Open Emu is a video game emulator. It plays ROMs (read only memory) of video games for many of the early platforms (NES, SNES, Sega, Gameboy).
But once you get into platforms that used CD’s, like PS1 and Sega Saturn, the emulators get tricky and downright do not work.
OpenEmu is great because it holds all the Rom files in a library (get ROMS here), saves games (which you could rarely do on early platforms) and allows you to configure the controls for each system. I use my PS4 Dual shock controller through the Bluetooth attachment on my MACbook Pro. It hooks up wirelessly and allows me to play all systems easily. Same goes for Xbox One controllers which have bluetooth technology.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993)
I do remember playing this game as a kid, so I was familiar with the gameplay. But even if you hadn’t played it, it was easy to get. It’s a top down shooter that plays out like a B Horror flick. Save the humans, kill the zombies. Humans were depicted as a guy BB-qing, babies running around and as cheerleaders (highest points!).
The weapons ranged from exploding cans of soda, a gun, fire extinguishers and silverware (for werewolves obviously).
There are potions where you can change into creatures and punch your way through walls. The game is setup in a maze format, so navigating and remembering your path is the hardest part of the game. Killing zombies is easy, especially with the array of weapons you have at your disposal.
My favorite part of this game is the enemies. Level three was set in a grocery store and I was confronted by the usual generic chasing zombie. Then, two babies wielding hatchets jumped out of the cereal box aisle and sliced me to death. Awesome.
There’s also mummies, zombies, giant Baby bosses, guys with huge knives, it is mayhem and it is hilarious. The gameplay is fun, surprisingly difficult and the soundtrack is even better. It is a homage to horror films with the gore and silliness of it all.
I would recommend this game to old and new gamers alike. If you have a way of getting an old console, find this game, although I have a feeling it won’t be cheap (price range from $30 to $198!) Your best bet is the emulator.
The game was released to poor earnings, high critical reception and censorship. According to Gamesradar, the game had to change the red blood to purple ooze in order to be released in the US. And in Europe, the game had to drop “Ate My Neighbors” and release just as “Zombies.”
And lastly, the following behind this game is real and dedicated. I will leave you with this Youtube video of what I mean.