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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Hasbro
hed3.gif (3301 bytes)Unless you know somebody who worked on H.E.D.Z., you can probably be satisfied admiring the quality of its packaging and moving on.

It's sad when a game that sounds so good plays so bad. H.E.D.Z. stands for "Head Extreme Destruction Zone" and the basic concept is pretty good: You're an alien competing in the sport of headhunting against other aliens in an asteroid belt, which has been modified so that the asteroids look like game levels designed around various themes. Rather than arming yourself with guns, you collect heads, which you put on to assume each individual head's abilities. For example, there's the French Legionnaire head that shouts "Allons-y!" and shoots a rifle, and the Punk Rocker head that spits caustic lugers. You shoot the other aliens until their heads pop off, then scoop up the little head icons. Sounds not so bad, eh?

Unfortunately, the game falls flat on its naked little face trying to pull the idea off. There are some fundamental problems here. For example, when you shoot the head off an enemy alien, the naked alien tries to get to it before he teleports out. The problem is that he's usually closer to it than you are and succeeds.

hed1.gif (2129 bytes)But even if the other alien didn't beat you to the punch so often, it would be nearly impossible to pick up the head because the control is so terrible. I tried playing this with the keyboard first. There were no warnings about how impossible it is to play the game with the keyboard, but there should have been. I tried a joystick, but found that the keyboard was actually easier to play with. So overall, you're just clumsy in this game. The movement is loose in all the wrong ways and sticky everywhere you don't want it to be. Jumping on boxes or walking along ledges is almost impossible. It's difficult to keep your alien facing the right direction, and even harder to get him to swivel around properly to aim and shoot. Collecting objects of any kind is difficult, and snagging a head from an opposing alien is just a matter of luck. In general you end up running circles around the place you really want to be.

The graphics on this game are also horrible. The art on the box looks great, and the graphics on the menus and such are fine. I couldn't get the "movies" to run at all, so I never saw any intro or anything like that. The graphics during play make me wonder what Apogee is doing lately. The levels are 3D, and the view is third person. Although I had it set to display at 800X600, with smooth rendering and faraway clipping, the characters and levels were blocky, and walls and walkways disappear as if they don't want their mother to see them in such a genuinely bad game. Doorways become lost, and oftentimes you can't see what's directly in front of your character. The camera panning is atrocious, so you often lose track of your alien during combat.

hed2.gif (3266 bytes)Overall, I cannot recommend this game to anybody except the most masochistic gamer. If I weren't such an avid fan of video games, H.E.D.Z. would have convinced me to never try another. To top it off is the glaring problem of the acronym: H.E.D.Z. stands for "Head Extreme Destruction Zone." I don't know what English syntax Hasbro is using these days, but to me it all spells S.U.C.K.


cheat.gif (1707 bytes)--Shawn Rider