If you grew up in the 16-bit era odds are you played and loved Zombies Ate My Neighbors. A quirky arcade-style game that was very much a predecessor to the Dead Rising series, this also had you rescuing hapless bystanders from zombies and other horror film-inspired monstrosities using an array of weapons many of which were non-conventional.
Even as someone pretty well-versed in old and obscure games I had never even heard of its sequel, Ghoul Patrol. And these are definitely obscure enough titles that you’d expect Disney to not even bother with them, but yet here we are with a re-release of both in one convenient package on all modern platforms at an incredibly reasonable price considering how much cartridges, especially for the much scarcer Ghoul Patrol, fetch on eBay. I don’t know if this will carry over to other retro titles Disney has the rights to, but it at least opens the door to the idea that we could see many classic games being released digitally for modern platforms that have never previously been available, and that in and of itself is pretty damn exciting.
For collectors, the mere fact that you can now own these titles without shelling out a small fortune is probably enough. Unfortunately, unless you really want to relive those memories of playing these games back in the day or just like collecting retro games (which are totally valid reasons) I can’t see recommending this collection simply because nothing is done to make it a better experience then it was back in the day.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is still fun, don’t get me wrong, but even though it was just developed for consoles, it very much has an arcade-esque mentality to it where you don’t get many lives, die quickly and enemies are incredibly brutal just a few levels in.
While there are some cool extras like an interview with a developer and art assets, I really feel optional cheats would add a lot here. The closest you have is that the games both have password options and the old passwords absolutely work, but I warped to level 45 with just a squirt gun and giant ants destroyed me in minutes so that’s not really a solution.
And while there is local co-op for both games, it seems ridiculous that there’s no option for online co-op. Maybe this is money and time they just weren’t able to put into it, but that makes this package all the harder to recommend to anyone who is on the fence.
And while Zombies Ate My Neighbors remains a fun if slightly frustrating experience due to old-school limitations, Ghoul Patrol just sucks. There’s really no getting around this. It looks a little nicer but controls worse and you move very slowly compared to the first game it’s like you are wading through molasses. If you already have the game sure try it out for yourself but honestly after about 10 minutes I never wanted to pick it up again.
So again while this package certainly offers significant savings over getting physical copies of these games for their original platforms, if you are simply looking for a fun retro co-op shooter that also allows you to play online unlike these games, Zombies Ate My Neighbors/Ghoul Patrol is hard to recommend because you can easily find dozens of games no doubt inspired by this classic but nevertheless do it way better. Only pick this up if you either really need that hit of nostalgia or just want to support releases like this in the hopes Disney will put out more from its back catalog.
That’s all for today, but I’ll likely have another post up this weekend so see ya real soon!