Not the best nickname for your wife.
PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous
PUBLISHER: Data East
DEVELOPER: Data East
RELEASE DATE: March 1990
“That is quite the heavy barrel you have there, madam!”
Don’t worry, I didn’t really say that to any particular woman, let alone an older woman worthy of the polite address “madam,” and thus, more likely to be offended because my statement, strange as it sounds, rings of truth. The phrase was honestly the first thing that popped into my head as I began to write the review. And if there’s one thing the world needs more of, it’s people writing/saying thoughtless things honestly.
But oh my, this is a game review, so let’s get to it. Heavy Barrel is Guerrilla War‘s younger, more inept brother. You know the kind: they try to copy their older sibling almost down to the tee, but in the end, they’re not smart or strong enough to ever dream of besting him. While there’s really nothing wrong with Heavy Barrel‘s gameplay – shoot through waves of dudes, while amassing upgrades to your weaponry and trying not to die – it pales in comparison to Guerrilla War‘s over-the-top, fast-paced killing sprees. For starters, Heavy Barrel is much slower, which makes any action happening much less intriguing. The screen moves behind you at a snail’s pace, and there are times when you literally have nothing to shoot for a second or two. Your weapon upgrades are sparser and not nearly as interesting as Guerrilla War‘s, so for most of the game, you’ll have to make do with a peashooter. For how slowly the game moves, you’ll die an awful lot. The hit detection seems very sensitive, like if a bullet just grazes you without penetrating the skin, you’ll still keel over, flopping on the ground. The bosses are boring machinery, the graphics are drab, and the main character walks like he has hemorrhoids; the latter is not the look you want to have as a one-man killing machine. Still, I played Heavy Barrel for a lot longer than I should have because, well, I like shooting things. There’s something to be said for releasing one’s aggression through a game, even if it doesn’t compare to other aggression-releasing masterpieces.