Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
What does God want with a starship?
Or a Star Trek V game, for that matter?
Nothing, it turns out, since that game does exist but really doesn’t, if that makes any sense.
A Star Trek V 2D platform game was indeed created for the NES but it never saw the light of day and remains mostly unfinished and only available as a bug-full rom. It was developed by Bandai to coincide with the film’s release but for some reason they decided to give up on that idea and to this day you can only play what might have been so this won’t be a full-on review just a sneak critical peak into what I’ve seen/played of the game.
The game starts with Uhura fan-dancing naked to an 8-bit rendition of William Shatner singing “Rocketman.”
No, in fact the game opens with you playing as Sulu who is tasked with going to Paradise City (where the grass is green and the girls are pretty), to rescue a bunch of hostages. You’re side-scrolling from left to right in a desert landscape with hooded bad guys showing up every so often, sometimes really out of the blue, to shoot at you. It’s pretty tedious and repetitive, so not the best way to start a game. If you die, you’re beamed back to sick bay where McCoy works his magic (usually this involves him hovering a plastic, glowing phallic item over your wounds for a few seconds) and you’re soon back in the game!
Right at the start of the level, of course.
Damn it Jim! He’s a doctor, not a Game Genie!
The game then gives you the opportunity to play as Scotty, hardly the most limber of your team-members but never mind. It turns out that the hostages were part of Sybok’s (bearded magic Vulcan) evil plan to capture Kirk, McCoy and Spock so once again you’re off on a rescue mission.
Yes, McCoy, the guy who beams you back if you die on that very level.
Take that, puny Jedi!
This level has more to it than the previous one in that it has more platforms for you to jump on, more places to go, but it’s still pretty darn repetitive and unimpressive. It’s easy to see why this game wasn’t really worth it so far…
*sets phaser to “yawn”*
Actually, that’s a little harsh. Though there’s very little challenge and very little in terms of action in the game thusfar, you do get some very entertaining little nuggets of joy here and there. For one thing, the spelling throughout this entire game is abysmal, it’s like a 5 year-old child wrote all the text!
Then again maybe I was…
…”braih-washed” into forgetting he ever existed.
Oh, or how about that iconic starship, what was it called again…?
Enerprise! That’s it!
Nearly every piece of text in this game is like that! Forget “Conglaturations!” and “Bimmy And Jimmy,” this is where it’s at: typo city.
Also, occasionally you’d die and not know what killed you.
Check out this screenshot:
Killed by a… log that shoots fireballs in the background?
Instead of giving us over half a screen of SKY, couldn’t they have spent more time detailing your enemies a little bit more?
I guess maybe all that stuff was fixed in later versions, if those ever existed, but I doubt it. Take away the hilarious written missteps and you’re honestly not left much to amuse yourself with. That said, the game does make an attempt at introducing some sort of variety soon enough. In a segment slightly reminiscent of Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, you’re controlling the Enterprise as it flies through space shooting at incoming blue rocks (or Na’vi poop, not quite sure).
It’s a good idea to have a level like that in there, to shake things up a bit, it’s just a shame that the execution is so tedious once again: you’re made to repeat your blue rock-shooting spree a second time and only then do you face-off against those dastardly Klingons.
This level should have been a satisfying, easy but fun, space flight simulator but instead it comes off more like those never-ending Batwing levels in that old Batman Game Boy game: irritating and dull when it should be glorious.
But ok, at least the game was somewhat trying there, fair enough.
Which is more than I can say for how it ends!
Side-scrolling again, you’re now Kirk, walking around in a rockier setting facing off against God.
The Ghost Rider, I’m not sure.
I’m just picturing Nicolas Cage in a Star Trek movie now and I’m having a killer time!
The boss is easily disposed off and the game ends with a selection of ugly-looking pictures of the crew which you’ve seen time and time again.
I can’t really pan the game too much though, as it’s unfinished and it shows! You’ve got levels that repeat, pick-ups you don’t need, lazy designs, nearly empty levels, hundreds of typos, it’s uneven to say the least. Some say the movie’s lack of action and game-worthy sequences are to blame for why they never bothered to finish that NES game.
I call bullsh… Shat on that.
You’re telling me that a movie where Kirk is climbing mountains, Spock flies around wearing rocket-boots, three-breasted cat ladies lurk around every corner didn’t make for enough material to base a video game upon?
What more do you need?!
Besides, it’s not like the game follows the story properly so blaming the movie doesn’t really make sense.
Honestly, there was potential for a decent enough NES game there: flying the Enterprise is always a good idea, playing as loads of different characters also, the music and sound effects aren’t too bad. Hell, it would have been better than Ghostbusters at least! Surely there are far worse NES games out there that should not have existed but do exist.
Oh well, I for one would have liked to see a finished (improved) version of this game and I bet it probably exists somewhere deep inside the bowels of the interwebs, where a proud, talented Trekkie deep in our web space went where no man has ever gone before and completed that lost game their way.
Then again, probably not.
Yes Star Trek V was mostly silly but it was fun! It had a goofy charm to it and its core plot was certainly promising, plus a lot of it was undeniably lolgasmic. This attempt at an NES game adaptation certainly captures the clunky execution of the film but fails to nail the entertaining, campy aspect of it.
Alright, one more Star Trek-related game review to come and then that’s it, promise.
To sum up, I’d say this Star Trek V game was…
What’s the word?
Erponeousiy! That’s it!
It was erponeousiy enjoyable.
*fan dances naked*