Some video games can be very fun if you want to exercise your brain or reflexes, but sometimes you just want to smash things without having to try too hard. That’s where Midway’s Rampage series comes in. Rampage World Tour came out in 1997, and was the first sequel to the original arcade game released in 1986.
The game maintains the same basic gameplay as the original. It’s a 2D side-scrolling game in which you play as a giant monster, and you scale buildings and pummel them until they collapse. You also fight off the helicopters and tanks that attack you, eat humans and other types of food to regain health, and generally just wreck stuff and cause mass chaos.
World Tour, however, adds several things to the game to make it just a tad deeper than its predecessor. There is now a kick button in addition to the punch button, and there are various items and power-ups you can find as well. Also, as the name suggests, you’re not just trashing US cities in this game, but you can travel around the world and destroy cities in other countries as well. This adds a little but of non-linearity to the stages, so you’re not just playing the same levels over and over.
All of this really makes little difference, however, as the game is still pretty shallow and eats quarters as fast as your monster eats innocent bystanders. There’s really very little skill involved, and while you can make an attempt at true survival, it’s really kind of pointless, as it’s just not that kind of game. But it still supports three-players simultaneously, making it a fun party game for at least a few minutes at a time.
The game does have a fun personality, though, with bright, colorful graphics that almost look like claymation. The three monsters from the original game, George, Lizzy and Ralph all return (and still get naked when they change back into humans). Ralph was always my favorite because werewolves are cool, although a giant werewolf doesn’t seem to make quite as much sense as a giant gorilla or lizard. There are also a lot of really fun little details and jokes scattered throughout the levels, it really seems like the developers had fun putting this game together.
The irony is that while the game is fun for a few minutes at a time, it would actually take several hours of gameplay to actually get to the end and beat it. Needless to say, that would get monotonous very quickly, especially since accomplishing such a feat is based more on credit feeding than any real skill.
Aside from the original arcade version, the game was ported to several game platforms, including the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Saturn, Game Boy Color, and PC. It’s also available in the Midway Arcade Treasures 2 compilation for the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox, and it’s also downloadable on PlayStation Network.
I never played the game in the arcade, and I only rented the N64 version, so I didn’t play it much back then. Most of my time with it has come via the Midway Arcade Treasures 2 collection. I was kind of a fan of the original Rampage back in the day, and I recall popping quarters into it regularly, but today, I find it rather boring. World Tour, however, holds up just a little better because of its added variety and personality, and it’s worth checking out just for its sheer anarchy and quirky humor.