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Keith Courage in Alpha Zones


keith-courage-1.gif (11246 bytes)          keith-courage-2.jpg (51319 bytes)


Oh the days when consoles had packed-in games. It was actually a big part of deciding what console they were going to get for a lot of people. While Sega and Nintendo were constantly locking horns, pitting Sonic against Mario, NEC had their own game to offer with Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. It wasn't to the same level of quality as the previous two games mentioned, but it was that game on that system that wasn't from the two big boys of console gaming. It was a rather straightforward platformer that wasn't going to wow a lot of people, but it was better than selling the TurboGrafx-16 with no games at all.


The game actually based on an anime series called Spirit Hero Wataru originally. However, the story got a hefty overhaul before being released in the West, causing Keith Courage to take a turn for the cheesy. What players out this way got was a bunch of evil aliens who invaded the Earth called B.A.D. (Beastly Alien Dudes), while playing as Keith, a member of N.I.C.E. (Nations of International Citizens for Earth), who had to repel the alien invasion.




As players progressed through the game they would alternate between overworlds and underworlds. The former were rather cute affairs where one would attack various anthropomorphic forest animals, and collect money to buy useful items for Keith. The latter had Keith dawning a powerful battle suit, and fighting much more intimidating foes.



There wasn't a huge amount of challenge to be had in Keith Courage, especially if you had been playing platformers for a while. It was a very by the numbers outting in the genre. To a certain extent it reminded me of games like Alex Kidd when doing the overworlds as well, largely thanks to the aesthetic there, while Keith's battle suit and many of the enemies looked like super deformed Gundam.


In the end, Keith Courage was just one more platformer trying to provide an alternative to the Super Mario juggernaut, and Sega's rising star, Sonic. However, it was by no means a captivating game due to its mediocrity. All it succeeded in becoming was to be "that game that comes with the TurboGrafx" which wasn't saying a heck of a lot.


Mr. Nash
November 27, 2011

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