STAFF REVIEW of Terror of Hemasaurus (Xbox One)

Wednesday, December 28, 2022.
by Kirsten Naughton

Terror of Hemasaurus Box art I’m not going to lie to you - I’m not usually one who falls in love with retro arcade video games. I don’t have many early memories of my childhood surrounding retro 8-bit, 16-bit or others. I think the only titles I can think of that I grew up with would be Super Mario Bros and Pokemon and I didn’t even play them very much. My love for video games didn’t really emerge until 2014-ish. When I saw Terror of Hemasaurus though, something in my brain got very excited and I’m glad that I’ve gotten the opportunity to terrorize people as a Hemasaurus! I can confidently say that my new wind down is smashing buildings to rubble, eating people, kicking police and civilian cars, punching helicopters and airships out of the sky, and unleashing holy terror. Did I just say Holy? Yes I did!

The Church of the Holy Lizard has determined that humanity is treating its planet recklessly. To deal with humanity, four monsters have defrosted due to climate change and are now alive and ready to wreak havoc! The main monster is Hemasaurus, following with Autonomous Hemasaurus, Clocksloth and Salamandrah. There isn’t much flexibility in their abilities, as all monsters do the same thing. The Church of the Holy Lizard knows exactly how to deal with humanity. They have unleashed these four monsters onto the people. I found ‘The Church of the Holy Lizard’ to be downright hilarious and a welcome addition to the storyline. Honestly, if you’re looking for a deep story, you’re not going to find it in Terror of Hemasaurus.

In terms of what Terror of Hemasaurus has to offer, it’s a side scrolling, beat em up. There are basic moves you can do as a monster such as punch, kick, climb and eat. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Most levels will start with a building in front of you. As you progress through the level, destroy everything in your path whether it be people, cars or buildings. Destroying the buildings, airships and helicopters is the biggest way to gain the most kills of people in the population. If you can’t reach something, climb a building! It doesn’t matter if the building is half standing or not; if it’s still standing, you can climb it.

The levels themselves are about five or so minutes long in both modes. Story mode includes the narrative and a basic tutorial. I played a few levels of the story mode, but my happy place is in the endless mode. The endless mode basically throws you in and includes a couple lives. You figure it out as you go and off destroying and eating everything in your path until the end of the stage. My one criticism of the controls are that when you are trying to jump, you have to stop what you are doing and then jump which becomes a little difficult when you are trying to beat up a building and defend yourself from a helicopter or cops shooting at you from the street. It’s a little nitpick honestly and it’s nowhere near a deal breaker.

The music and graphics in Terror of Hemasaurus is bang on. I love it. The music keeps you engaged and gives me old-school vibes of how soundtracks used to be in video games back then. Even with my very short span of knowledge in retro video games, I knew the vibe the developers were going for, as they nailed it on every level. The graphics worked very well for the atmosphere and I feel like the developers wanted to achieve that classic Rampage feeling. I believe that the art style works perfectly with all the chaos I create destroying everything. At some points, there’s a lot going on and I’m thrilled that there was no lag or issues with performance, and overall I’m super happy with everything.

In terms of a recommendation, I feel like if you like beat-em-up games already, it's an easy sell, and bonus points if you like the retro genre. Even those who aren’t huge fans of retro, I feel if they give Terror of Hemasaurus a chance would like it too. If you like the same thing over and over again with a simple premise of destroying everything, Terror of Hemasaurus is your game. The sound, the graphics and the overall gameplay has me hooked and I just want to destroy everything in my path. If you'll excuse me, I need to take out that helicopter and smash a skyscraper because I can.

**Terror of Hemasaurus was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series S**

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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