|Genre: Full Motion Video||CDs: 2|
|Publisher: ReadySoft||Released: March 6, 1996|
|Developer: ReadySoft||UPC: 0 92667 25028 7|
|Sony ID: SLUS-00083, 00171||PSRM: 001490, 001650
|Players: 1 Player||Memory: 1 Block|
|Accessories: Analog, Vibration|
|ESRB: Kids to Adults – Animated Violence|
WARNING: Extreme Cartoon Violence!
No Cartoon characters were maimed or mutilated during the making of this game.
A hilarious ground-breaking interactive adventure that sets a new standard in animated cartoon action!
Deep in the bowels of the sinister castle, evil is brewing…
As Lance, the world’s hippest computer repair guru, you’re called to the mysterious castle of the disembodied brain, Dr. Nero Neurosis. You learn of the Doctor’s master plan…
There’s no turning back now! Race through the evil playground of the demented Doctor’s twisted castle and battle the ultimate mishaps of science: Moose, Vivi, and Fritz, the half-human half-pet of Dr. Neurosis.
- There are no known variants.
- There are no known misprints.
Like Dragon’s Lair, Brain Dead 13 is an animated Quick Time Event-based game where you simply watch a cartoon and press the required button at the right time. Limited to just the 4 directions and an Action button, the challenge comes from the game’s lack of super-imposed visual clues. You have to figure out what to press AND when to press it. This can cause a lot of frustrations in several areas, since not every instance requires several rapid button presses right after another. I actually used a guide to plow through the game after I kept getting stuck on the first room. Even then, I still had to continue several times when I couldn’t figure out when I had to press which button.
That said, the animation still holds up fairly well after all this time. Fritz has about 100 different ways to kill you, and the character designs are brilliant. There are roughly 7 or 8 main characters, with several minor ones poking around. The game is absolutely vibrant on the PlayStation, superior to the Saturn equivalent. Providing full screen, mostly non-pixelated animations and smooth clip transitions, it’s a hoot to play when you aren’t dying a thousand times trying to figure out a 3-button sequence.
Which brings me to the strangest problem of the game, specifically the PlayStation version – the control sucks. Having played through the Saturn version first, the Sony take has this awkward lack of recognition that happens way too often. Thankfully saving options and passwords act as insurance.
Brain Dead 13 is essentially a lost art in the gaming world, both literally and figuratively. Few companies are willing to spend the time on 2D animation (sprites not included) and provide an old arcade laserdisc-like experience. BD13 is worth it for the once through, or even several to see all the death animations, but once you unravel the castle’s path, there’s really not much to do but sit there…brain dead.
- Great Animations
- Vibrant colors
- Fun cast of characters
- Controls seem unresponsive at times
- Replay value is questionable
- Lack of on-screen prompts option hurts
Final Score: 5 / 10 – Average
A fun, if frustrating romp through one of the more colorful full motion video games released back in the day. Bring a paper and pencil for the passwords, you’ll need them.
- The PlayStation version has a Options screen not found in the Saturn version. You can configure the Volume and which buttons do what.
- Brain Dead 13 and other games like it (Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, etc.) paved the way for modern games’ “Quick Time Events” – sections in a game where you need only press a button motion to form the solution. Games like Heavenly Sword, God of War, and Ninja Blade all feature QTEs.
- There are actually two possible endings to the game, determined by two very different button press sequences in the final act.
- Both versions of the game allow infinite lives and a Save option – very rare for a game of this type. However, the PSX version goes one further and even allows Passwords, so you can go back to specific locales.
- The Saturn version is a single disc, while the PlayStation version is on two CDs.
- What makes things interesting is that you actually can ‘run around the castle’ if you so choose. Rather than a straight path, you can make intersection choices in specific parts of the structure. A perfect play-through of the game actually removes the need to play 4 areas.