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GamesFirst! Magazine

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by Digital Leisure

Kyi-La-01.jpg (2447 bytes)My friend Matt recently said to me, "I play games for nostalgia. I play Zelda now, because I played Zelda when I was a kid." Nostalgia is a driving force behind many of the games that get produced today. With all of the developments in the gaming world the only reason to go back to a game like Hologram Time Traveler is nostalgia. What was great about this game was the hologram effect. On the arcade maching it looked as if you could reach out and touch these little people. It just doesn’t work like that on DVD. If you’re looking for an exact recreation of that eighties feeling take a look at Space Ace or Dragon’s Lair, which are both available for home DVD use.

Cowboy-01.jpg (2638 bytes)You know the story. It’s familiar enough to all of us: Beautiful princess, evil genius, kidnapping, and time travel. The rest is just detail. The game uses live actors in its Dragon’s Lair-type play. There is no real testing of skill. It’s more a test of timing. There is no room for creative decision making. There is one way to work through the levels and any deviation from that is certain death. The game attempts to inject some variety by rearranging the order in which the various scenarios appear. But within a few plays you will have the necessary moves memorized, or you will have given into the sense of apathy that comes with any overly repetitive task. Hologram Time Traveler is the video game equivalent of assembly line work.

GirlSword-01.jpg (2800 bytes)Hologram Time Traveler attempts to recreate the holographic effect with the use of 3D glasses. The use of blue and red 3D glasses is at best underwhelming. The game only comes with one pair, so other people will get a headache if you’re comitted to playing in this mode. You do have the option of playing with the 3D effects turned off which makes the game even less kitschy, but more accessible to larger groups.

Spacemen-01.jpg (2780 bytes)Gameplay on your standard DVD player works just fine. There is a noticeable lag between hitting the buttons and seeing the reaction on screen which can be a little distracting. It can also be a little frustrating if your directional controls and your ‘enter’ button overlap on your remote. Trying to execute some of the necessary combinations was virtually impossible because I needed the use of both hands and I couldn’t fit them on the remote at the same time. The PS2 controller will solve some of these problems nicely.

VulcorMachine-01.jpg (2704 bytes)I was a little shocked to see just how violent this game was. There are stabbings, burnings, decapitations and all kinds of bodily mutilation. As five-inch holograms they were just less real, but as 2D characters on my TV screen it was a little more than I was expecting. Particularly disturbing is when you show up in the middle of a baseball game and have to duck under a pitch. Then, for no apparent reason, you have to shoot the pitcher and catcher. In an age where we have to justify our video game violence this seems indefensible.

Knight-01.jpg (3029 bytes)Also included with the game are a few promotional video clips that outline the history of the game development which are interesting, but the best part of the video clips are the glimpses into 80s video arcade fashions. It was almost as fun as watching The Wedding Singer except there was no irony.

RedNinja-01.jpg (2984 bytes)This is a definite rental title. The lack of replay value and the absence of the holographic coolness factor combine to make this considerably less than a moving title for your new PS2 or your old DVD player for that matter. The only thing to recommend it is the price. You should be able to pick this up for a good deal less than the standard fifty dollar PS2 game. Hologram Time Traveler might take you back a few years to your video arcade days, but the effect is temporary and you’ll soon find yourself asking yourself what all the fuss was about.

 Jason Frank


Ups: Nostalgia value; 3D; cool documentary footage.

Downs: Repetitive; 3D; potential difficulties with DVD player controllers.

System Reqs:
Standard DVD player;
also PlayStation 2


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