Nick DeMarco

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: Sega CD’s corny, grainy ‘Sewer Shark’ should be flushed

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: Sega CD’s corny, grainy ‘Sewer Shark’ should be flushed
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Even today in 2017, it is very important for a new console to have great launch titles to garner the attention of gamers. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, it was even more important for new consoles to have great pack-in games. Many times the difference between the overall success or failure of a console was traced back to that pack-in title. For every “Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt,” “Super Mario World,” and “Super Mario 64,” there were “Keith Courage in Alpha Zones” on the TurboGrafx-16 and today’s topic, making gamers scratch their heads wondering what these companies were thinking in choosing these titles, as many other games could have fared better and, thus, made the console less of a commercial flop.

Today, strap in as we end this month of “Foolishly Bad Games” (thank God!) with the Sega CD rail shooter “Sewer Shark!”

“Sewer Shark” (Sega CD)

Sound:

“Sewer Shark” doesn’t just possess sub-par, cringe-worthy music that sounds more like the Sega Genesis than the Sega CD – it also has voices from terrible actors that make you want to find whoever thought this would be a good game and throttle them. Any other music would be an improvement, and the sound effects are so generic that you assume someone just inserted one of those bargain bin sound effect CDs from a big box store and hoped for the best.

You’d think, with a name like “Sewer Shark,” that the soundtrack would be this intense, adrenaline-pumping romp, but it fails pretty hard at that.

Graphics:

This existed in a gaming universe where full motion video was the latest craze and, for the most part, it was like a Members Only jacket – nothing but tacky and embarrassing. The grainy graphics in this game make you feel as if you’re watching a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” film (they really need to get on these) with someone throwing their computer graphics final project in there on rats, bats, and other things that invoke fear in… no one. Imagine if you were playing “Resident Evil” for the first time, but instead of a scene of a zombie turning around and seeing you, it’s a smiling Big Bird. Disappointing, right?

The tubes you fly around in are kind of dark at times, too, so you don’t always know where you’re going.

Gameplay:

So the objective here is to tolerate a B-movie (and that’s being generous) while zapping poorly designed enemies that don’t mesh with the crappy movie type stuff, all while being “entertained” by a gruff co-pilot named Ghost, a poor attempt at comic relief in the form of a dorky robot, and Falco, who obviously has a thing for Ghost, even though you do all the work. You get stupid nicknames throughout like “Dogmeat” and “Beach Bum,” which sound dumb even in the ‘90s. You’re also trying to defeat the corniest boss in the history of everything, and I will just leave it at that.

Overall:

It was recently announced that another FMV game, “Night Trap,” will be getting its 25th Anniversary Edition, and I think the same thing will be said if “Sewer Shark” gets the same honor…

NOOOOOOO!!!!

Well, that does it for me, thankfully. Next month, since I turn 36 on May 1st, we will be reviewing games that are special to me.

Until then, I hope you enjoyed this month of bad reviews more than I did. Be sure to stay away from these and game on!

Tune in to NEPA Scene’s gaming column, Turn to Channel 3, every Thursday for new perspectives on retro gaming as well as fresh twists on the classics. All ratings for Turn to Channel 3 are based on a scale of 1-10.

  • Imaf

    Here’s hoping that Night Trap gets a sibling on the Switch: Sewer Shark. :-p