I'm playing The Red Star demo. I still live in Ohio. And Acclaim is still in business.
It impresses me. I'm aware of the nicely illustrated and unsubtly allegorical comic on which it was based, but the game really sells me by marrying two old-fashioned gaming staples: shooting enemy soldiers and beating the crap out of legions of street punks. Except instead of palette-swapped thugs, I'm pounding on the fur-hatted minions of an evil URRS dictator named Troika. Yeah, the URRS. I guess calling the end boss “Joseph Stallen” would’ve been too obvious.
The cover art looks like a lazy mock-up, but hey, it’s a fun action game set in a Soviet Russia full of sorcery and high technology, and I'm going to pick up The Red Star when it hits.
A few weeks later, Acclaim goes under, and amid all the gloating of now-grown ‘80s children still bitter over Total Recall for the NES, some choose to mourn the fact that the company's gone to the grave with what might have been its best game in years.
What? XS Games is publishing The Red Star for the PS2? For only twenty bucks? Sure, they haven’t set a firm date for it, but the important thing is that it’s coming and that the new cover art’s better. I bet it’ll be out soon, because the game was pretty much finished by the time Acclaim sank, right?
I'm checking ebgames.com every month to see when The Red Star is coming out. And it’s always the next month. Always. But the new cover suggests that someone's doing something somewhere with regard to the game. Even if Makita's going to catch her death of cold.
But it’ll be out soon. XS Games wouldn’t screw with us. Surely we can rely on the company that published Superstar Dance Club #1 Hits and gave The Castle of Shikigami II the worst translation ever.
Wow. They’re bringing it out. They even have a website and a press release. And they say it’s “available now.” So I’ll just head over to ebgames.com and…
Aw fuck. But I'm sure this will be the last delay. I just know it.