This is one of those video games based on a movie that has been giving me nothing but grief for almost two decades, and this is one of the most toughest Arnold based games ever made for the video game consoles. Just like Terminator 2 and True Lies, this game will get your pissed off meter to the very top, test your gaming skills, and even make you insane that forces you to break your controller by throwing it against the wall. Before this is said and done, it's time to review this game and help you tame the beast that is Total Recall. To tell the truth, I'm a huge fan of the movie. I still remember Arnold fighting Michael Ironside, long before Michael was the voice of Sam Fisher.
Plot. During a visit to "Rekall", construction worker Douglas Quaid becomes unaware of what's going on, when people are trying to kill him. When he arrives home, his own wife Lori attempts to kill him, but escapes with his life and then chased by Richter and his gang. He then learns that he must go to Mars, and save the planet from a greedy businessman named, Vilos Cohaagen. The game's plot follows some elements of the movie, while some elements are just from the game.
Concept. You have to guide Douglas Quaid in his escape from the goons of Rekall and Cohaagen avoiding Richter in the beginning. Then you have to fight Quaid's wife at his home, and beat her. Then you visit Mars and fight against Cohaagen's men, including Richter in order to save the angry red planet, so you can be "home in time for Corn Flakes" (quote from the movie). ^_^
Design. The graphics of this game are good, as Quaid looks like his movie counterpart. The scenario sequences after beating a stage look real good. For example, Richter in the scenarios looks almost like Michael Ironside, which developers did an amazing job.
Music and Sound. The sound effects were ok, and the music was decent. But what's bothersome in some stages is that it's the same theme over and over, and it may force you to mute your television.
Memories. When I was 7 years old, I played this game with my cousin and we could not beat it. Only place we ever got to in the game was on Mars, but we could never get past the car stage because it was automatically fast, and a major pain in the ass. Resting from this game we would play games like: Super Mario Bros, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Years later when I had my computer, I finally manage to download an emulator and beat the game, but it's not quite an ending I expected to be.
History. This game is an adaptation of the movie of the same name. The movie was directed by Paul Verhoeven and it cast was Arnold Schwarzenegger, an emerging Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin, and Ronny Cox. The movie was really good, and it remains a cult classic up until this day. The action sequences were epic, and the music was very well composed by the late Basil Poledouris (RoboCop, Starship Troopers). I remember Michael Ironside in two Verhoeven movies, Total Recall and Starship Troopers. In ST, he plays a former Colonel and teacher who later joins the battle. Later, Ironside would become Sam Fisher, in Ubisoft's Splinter Cell series.
Rantings. The game truly pissed me off with it's high difficulty and excruciating gameplay. The melee attacks could barely hit at times, and switching weapons was a bother as well. Enemies I hated were those karate midgets that got you in the basement in the Earth stages. Also, the stages in Mars are nerve wrecking such as breaking the windows, because if you get too close, then you will be sucked out and lose a life. What also bothered me is that if you get caught by Richter, you'll lose a life as well.
Good Aspects. Sound effects and design are ok, but this does not save you from the punishment that this game will give you, since it's pretty difficult. This game will eventually get on your nerves, plus it has low replay value.
Overall. My final score for Total Recall is a 4 out of 10.