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While most shoot 'em ups have centered around flying a ship around, blowing up wave after wave of incoming enemy vessels, bugs, fish, et cetera, on occasion, a developer comes a long and tries something a little different. Case in point, Wolf Team's Granada for the X68000 and Sega Genesis, a free rooming shmup where players drive a tank. With a decent amount of challenge, an upgradeable tank, and the freedom to explore a bit, there was plenty for gamers to sink their teeth into with this title.


I remember seeing a constant barrage of advertisement for this game in the various video game magazines when it first game out (but then again, it was Renovations bringing the game to the West, and they were always big on ad campaigns back then). After playing, it was well worth the effort to get the word out. I remember being rather impressed by the fact that I could go where I wanted, as opposed to being tugged along in a specific direction all day.




Exploration really was the high point of the game, as there were all sorts of nooks and crannies that players could sneak their tank into. Often times it was necessary to find these tiny paths in order to track down all of the enemies, and other secrets of a level. Moreover, levels were actually surprisingly large, with a lot of ground to cover, and areas to discover.


These facets made for a much more intriguing shooter that your standard vertical or horizontal shmup of the period where enemies hurled themselves into your gun sites.


Moreover, as players progressed through the game there was the ability to upgrade their little on-screen tank. As a fan of RPGs, little things like this have always been welcome, being able to customize and improve one's characters, gear, items, et cetera. In Granada, there were some fun, interesting options for this, and it added a bit of replay value to go back and try different things with the tank.


While the game didn't have the visual pinache that a lot of other shooters did, Granada's graphics were quite functional. It had a simple overhead view, giving players a good view of the battlefield, and a radar in the upper corner of the screen for players to keep track of where the enemies were. The game wasn't about to win any beauty pagents, but there weren't any major technical flaws in how things looked. It was a very simple, and to the point aesthetic.


There was no lack of ads for this title in the game magazines that I was reading in the early 1990s. I'm glad that after a time I succumbed to their constant, passive persuasion to check the game out. After playing one linear offering after the next, being able to just hop in a tank, wander around, and have at it was fantastic.


Mr. Nash
October 25, 2011

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