Utter pap. Just so you're in no doubt as to the quality of this game. I'll repeat that. Utter pap. Utter, utter pap. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me describe the game to you. Final Gate is in the broadest terms, a shoot-'em-up. Pumped up with a Full Motion Video hose, you sweep down a river in a speedboat and blast away at the approaching baddies before they collide with your face. Snipers line the riverbanks and take pot shots at you, requiring you to blow them out of their waders at a moment's notice. Operation Wolf a la mer., with a garnish of 'interactive movie'. In theory.
Described thus, Final Gate actually sounds quite exciting. But, oh no! It's not. For a start, the description I gave you might suggest that this is Miami Vice-style action. But from the moment the FMV chugs into life, it becomes clear that this was actually filmed on some grimy canal in industrial England. The hideous monsters who hurtle towards you could have easily wandered from a Space Invaders machine circa 1981.
They lurch towards you, and unless you shoot them they just sort of vanish. This apparently means they've hit you and a bit of energy is lost. As they move quickly, and the gunsight doesn't, this happens a lot. The only consolation is that they appear in exactly the same place each game, so you can soon predict what's coming next.
The hideous monsters who hurtle towards you could have easily wandered from a Space Invaders machine circa 1981
The 'actors' on the riverbank are highlighted by a half-box gunsight, presumably to help you pop their clogs. Very kind of them, but perhaps collision detection might have been more useful. Many times I held the gunsight over the fella in question, with the fire button firmly depressed, sending bullets all over the general area as I sped past. And still I missed. Maybe I'm rubbish, but the fact that you can't use a mouse makes it very frustrating when you have to haul the sights over the screen with the joystick. Should you manage to shoot them then some bloke appears and gurns at you saying "Good shot". You then get to see the gunmen fall over and your boat continues down the river.
And that's pretty much it. It's basic, but that's usually a blessing for most games. Add the myriad defects here though, and it's a recipe for disaster. Some of the other annoyances that depress me too much to discuss in any depth are the tiny playing area, the use of the generic Amiga font throughout the game, the way you have to restart at the beginning of the first level every time you die, and the way the whole game resets when you run out of lives.
One of the most painful games I've ever played.