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Total Carnage - February 2, 2001 by Eazy Cheeze
Game:Total CarnageCompany:Midway
Type:ShooterPlayers:1/2

1992 saw the release of a bloody, gory (but fun as all hell) semi-sequel to Williams/Midway's blockbuster hit, Smash TV. This was a different game, to be sure, but it had the same mechanics: upwards of fifty enemies on screen at one time, the tongue-in-cheek humor, the over-the-top gore, and a timely theme; the destruction of a madman in the Middle East who is experimenting with genetics to make horrific mutants (OK, so maybe that part wasn't so timely). In any case, any friend of Smash TV is a friend of mine, and I developed quite an attachment to this one, known as Total Carnage. I was quite pleased to see it in MAME, and running at full speed (on my Celly 566)!
The graphic set is pretty much the same as Smash TV with a few additions/replacements: Mr. Shrapnel, the guy who exploded into, well, shrapnel, has been replaced by Mr. Butane, an even larger guy with a flamethrower. Of course, there are mindless human and mutant clones just like in Smash TV; and there are some really cool bosses that speak to you when you dismember them (Orcus, the first bot, when you destroy one of his eyes: "MY EYE!") and spit out multiple cloned tongues; very funny, that.
The sound is awesome. Each mission has a short "briefing" from your commander, including a message from your adversary, Gen. Akhboob. He speaks in an unknown tongue, but listen anyway; he says some very funny things. Of course, the sounds during combat are awesome, from the big booms of the Big Stuff (trucks, tanks, etc.) exploding to the weapons (you who liked the mortar launcher in Smash TV will love the "Whiner's" return appearance) to the characters (Mr. Butane's dying scream is particularly haunting, and your own characters cry as he flies up, then down after being hit by an explosive is awesome).
You control the game using the same "two-joystick" layout as the first game. Of course if you have a two-button joystick you'll have problems; but if you have a joystick of four or more buttons, you're set, as you can assign a direction on the second joystick to a button!
The challenge in this game is awesome. You'll find yourself battling massive hordes of enemies, just as you were in Smash TV. I counted 20-30 enemies on screen at one time, but I believe there could be more. There are also lots of hostages in each stage to rescue; some of them will be moving so you'll have to catch up with them.
The replay value is surprisingly high for a game of this type. There is a password system for various points in the game; at the beginning you have an opportunity to enter one that corresponds to an area you've been to, and you will warp there. Very handy when you must break your gameplay up into chunks.
Again, performance was solid on my Celly 566; but on my former computer, a K6 233 (yuck), the game was more sluggish than a mule through snow (or molasses in Winter). So obviously, you'll need a fast computer.

In summary, one great game; I recommend it to those who love Smash TV (and shoot-em-ups in general).
Graphics
9
10
Sound
Play Control
10
10
Challenge
Replay Value
8
7
Performance

2000 EmuViews