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It is terrible. It is tiresome. The acting is laughably mediocre but hey, that is enough about Steve McGill...

G ames with Full Motion Video (FMV) are still being flagged as the great white hope in some videogame publishing quarters. The ethos behind FMVs unfounded implementation is that it is one of the best methods of attracting adult audiences toward the interactive videogame medium. Videogames, after all, are more associated with Toys R Us, monopolistic practices, and spotty 14 year old kids.

Realistically speaking, FMV in a game represents tenuous thinking at best and a total waste of resources at worst. You could probably count the number of people on the fingers of a thumb who think that Rebel Assault has high entertainment value.
Yet, that is not to say that FMV games are necessarily a dead loss. Take The Final Gate on the CD32 from Alternative Software. A threadbare plot suspended by disbelief above a chasm of raucous laughter holds the whole production together.

You are a rubber suited hard dude placed at the bow of a powerboat armed with a big gun. The powerboat embarks on a dangerous journey up-river. Your job is to shoot computer generated objects heading toward the craft. It is reminiscent of the poor mans Space Harrier used in Microcosm. Which basically means that the core of the game quickly becomes tiresome.
But strangely, it does not quite make it into the realm of exceedingly boring. For there are real people lurking on the banks of the river intent on shooting you too. Returning the favour produces the best laughs of the game. If you shoot the potential assassins the baddies are framed in half a rectangle a Good Shot cutaway comes into play. Following on from that are the parts of the game which, if Alternative are not careful, could easily give it a cult status. The shooters fall over in a mock death that can only be described as laughable.

Hopefully, Alternative do not think we are being cruel in the criticism of the game. It is terrible, but not so terrible that it lacks charm. I have really warmed to it and made a point of showing it to as many people as possible. The death sequences are something special and the actors look as if they have graduated from the Ed Wood school of mediocrity. Hilarious.

On the downside is the fact that the game resets after just three lives, works inside too small a window to be comfortable for a Space Harrier derivative, and does not give the player the option of using a mouse.
With a bit more thought, it could have been real fun. As it stands, it is firmly resident in the also ran camp of CD32 FMV releases. But somehow that still does not stop The Final Gate from being just a little bit lovable.

Amiga Format, Issue 84, May 1996, p.52

Final Gate, The - Box 1
1. The best part of the game is shooting real people on the side of the riverbank. If you hit them then see boxes 2 and 3. If not look out for boxes 4 and 5.
Final Gate, The - Box 2
2. Mr. Happy appears if you make the hit.

Final Gate, The - Box 3
3. Then you are treated to the best acting in the world.

Final Gate, The - Box 4
4. If you miss, Mr Happy is not so happy and he cuts away.

Final Gate, The - Box 5
5. It is very hard not to die after a human hits you.

Alternative Software
01977 797777



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