Game Reviews

Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane

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Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. By the same token, you can hand a war veteran a loaded weapon, but can't make him shoot on target.

Thus endeth the lesson of Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane: the shooter that hands you side-scrolling action, but can't make you enjoy it.

Clearly inspired by the beat-'em-ups of old, Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane attempts to spit-shine the formula with the addition of a fairly sizable arsenal and leagues of Team America-style bad guys.

Your job is to run and gun through each short stage, slaughtering any crazed terrorists that happen to walk in front of your gun's muzzle. It's a simple concept injected with variety in the form of different weapons with which you can mow down enemies.

Jumping without joy

A lack of sophistication isn't the real problem with Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane. What really tears play apart at the seams are controls, which make shooting with any sort of accuracy impossible.

The problem stems from the targeting system. You move through each stage – via a fairly loose virtual thumbstick, it has to be said – with your gunfire corresponding with your direction of movement.

This is an unfortunate arrangement because it prevents you backing away from enemies and attacking them at the same time.

Keeping your fire fixed on your target means either standing still and facing him or running directly toward him. The result is that each and every tussle involves running straight into anyone you're trying to take down.

Flap and attack

Of course, by doing so you lay yourself wide open to enemy attack, your health depleting with almost every second you spend trying to clear each stage.

It is an ill-conceived, poorly designed system and one that is in no way aided by the constant slowdown that grips the game every time a target waddles into view.

It's a little bit unbelievable that Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane has managed to make its way all the way onto iPhone and iPod touch, in truth, both in terms of the current state of the gameplay and the flippant nature in which it treats its – albeit nonsensical – subject matter.

Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane should do everyone a favour by heading straight back to boot camp.

Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane

With controls that make shooting an ordeal, Al Rambone: Hussein in the Membrane is an ill-advised take on the war on terror that is terrifying itself