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Krazy Ivan, also known as Ivan Popovich, became mentally disturbed after being buried in a claustrophobic situation under a ton of masonry. Experts are unsure if this incident is the cause of his illness or whether the damage to his already fragile mind was caused by living and working alongside the mentally ill. He suffers from paranoid delusions and is convinced that the "Strange Squad" of the Red Army is following him and out to get him. He is convinced that alien life forms are to be his salvation and that he must destroy them all. Doctor Dimitri Mialosovic has diagnosed Ivan as a paranoid schizophrenic and says that if medication was to be removed that he would relapse into a dangerously psychotic state becoming severely violent. Therefore he recommends without hesitation that Ivan be chosen to save the Earth from the alien threat.
The introduction for Krazy Ivan contains the finest graphics quality I have ever seen on any of the 32-bit consoles. You'll see Krazy Ivan in an armored transporter driven by two Soviet soldiers in the icy plains of Russia. The characters are digitized from video footage and placed in a 3D rendered environment. Graphics are sharp, smooth, and look better than regular video images. The only glitch that I noticed was when the lighting reflected off of the characters faces, the graphics in that area became a little too white. Krazy Ivan, having been cooped up in the back of the transporter inside a Steel Cossack Powersuit for more than seven hours, decides that now is the time to exit the transporter and start saving the world! The two Soviet soldiers tell him that the transporter is not stabilized and that he is crazy to blast out at this time. Krazy Ivan doesn't care and gives them 15 seconds to get ready. They slam on the breaks and hurry to prepare for the launch.
The game now begins by showing the planet Earth from a distance and allowing you to move the Earth to the left or right selecting one of the five zones to be cleared of the aliens. At first you will only be able to select Russia for your first mission. In this zone you will have three areas that contain Sentient robots to be destroyed. You will need to rescue 154 humans and demolish one energy shield. There are also many Drones on the ground or in the air that may have humans imprisoned inside them. Once the robots are obliterated, any humans, Energy Cores, or detritus that can improve your skills and weapons will be released. The Energy Cores are quite important as they are used to upgrade any of your three weapon systems that include guns, missiles and special weapons. An Energy Core will also restore 10% of any armor damage you have suffered. You won't be able to use the Energy Cores until you complete the zone by destroying the energy field. Once this is done, you will be able to select the upgrades you desire. There are six special pick ups you may collect and use instantly which consist of re-arming guns, missiles and special weapons, and invincibility mode with either a speed boost, reversed controls, or slow movement.
The screen contains information regarding your weapons, enemies, and progress. For your weapons, the current gun, missile and special weapon are shown with the amount of ammunition remaining for each. There is also an indication of the gun's temperature, and you will have to wait for the gun to cool down when it over heats. The enemies are displayed in the radar and have different colored dots representing the Drones, Sentients, Humans, and pickups. The name of your locked on enemy, their damage status, and distance in meters to them is also shown. Your progress is displayed by a damage status showing red for critical and green for maximum strength, the number of humans you have rescued, total number of humans still within the arena, the number of energy cores collected, your score, and the timer.
The timer indicates the amount of time remaining before the Black Knight appears. You will want to avoid the Black Knight at all times, as he is very difficult to destroy and may result in your destruction. To stop the timer, you will need to eliminate all the Sentient robots in the zone. When you detect a Sentient robot, one of the Soviet soldiers will give you a brief run down on your opponent in a small black and white video display in the upper left corner. If you are successful against the Sentient robot, the timer will reset to two minutes and count down until no Sentient robots remain.
The game play is fairly simple. You watch your timer, kill the Drones, save the humans, pick up special weapons and Energy Cores, and eventually destroy the Sentients and the Energy Field. I found that it was easier to kill the Sentient robots by chasing them and trying to be as close to them as possible. This prevented them from being able to fire in your direction as you are almost underneath them.
Once you complete the zone and upgrade your equipment, the game will want to save your current position. If you don't have a memory card, it might be a good time to think about getting one, unless you want to replay the same zones over and over again.
The graphics within the game are also in fully textured 3D graphics. The landscape is simple flat terrains with hills. Sometimes you'll be able to climb the hills, and other times you won't. The difference from one area of the world to the next is merely how the terrains are textured with different hills and paths. The sky will change from one area to the next ranging from blue skies, orange sunsets, to nightfall. The robots are very well done and resemble the type of robots seen in MechWarrior II on the PC.
An options menu is available that will allow you to set the difficulty from easy to hard, change the control configuration, select a music track from the eight available or choose random selection, set the volume levels and turn on or off the in-game video features.
The game can be played by one or two players, but the two player mode will require two consoles, a link cable, and two copies of the game. Although I was unable to test the two player mode, it must be a great deal of fun to be able to play against a friend.
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