Thursday 28 May 2009

Arkenstein 3D

For whatever reason, the Super Nintendo was largely pirate free. Despite all the famiclones and piracy surrounding its older sibling, the NES, the SNES's library was pretty clean. Oh except for Super Noah's Ark 3D.

Games involving religion don't generally work and this is no exception. But it didn't stop Wisdom Tree from making these titles again and again. This one is quite famous because it's built off the SNES version of Wolfenstein 3D. Now to be fair, Wolf 3D on the SNES is pretty bad because for some amazing reason Nintendo of America decided it was in their best interests to censor everything. They took out the blood, the references to Hitler and the Nazi party and the... dogs, replacing these things with sweat, made-up dictators and GIANT RATS. Shoot at all the Germans and Rats you want, just leave those dogs alone!

There's an urban legend that Super Noah's Ark 3D was made in "revenge", because the censorship policies of the time were so stupid. It's not true, but it should be.

And as it's built on a nice engine, it's probably one of the only decent religious games ever created. Putting animals to sleep with food makes no sense, and it even goes against what was in the bible by having far more than two goats, but nevertheless, it's quite entertaining. Nothing new, but who cares.

The game is actually quite brutal in many different ways. Unlike Wolfenstein 3D, enemies hide around corners and jump on you (probably because goats can't hold guns). The SNES couldn't do 3D that well so like its port of Doom things are pixellated. Tie this with the fact that most of the scenery is brown and the music is dreadful... and you've got a pretty bad mix.

Contrary to popular belief it's not just Wolfenstein with a coat of paint however. The levels are completely different as well. It's certainly no-where near as fun as shooting nazis but as far as religious games go, it's quite high up the charts. I can't really recommend it - the SNES struggles far too much with FPS games and the SNES Wolf 3D wasn't quite up to spec either. Eventually someone will probably mod the DOS version of Wolfenstien to give a better Super Noah's Ark 3D experience (if they haven't already)... probably best to seek that out instead.

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