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Time Gal Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 40%
Time Gal
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  • Review Score:

  • C-
Full-motion video games aren't always real good about giving the player context. They're hoping that you'll be wowed by real actors or cartoon-quality animation and not stop to think about what's actually going on. Time Gal takes this a step further by constantly changing the scenery and barely giving the player enough time to catch their breath. But
even with the constant explosions, aliens and time skipping, I couldn't shake one lingering question: Who is the Time Gal?

This question isn't easily answered. At no point do they explain where she came from, what she's doing or why she can harness the power of time. Her adventure isn't well planned, as she spends the entire time running away from unexpected danger. It's as if she's simply skipping through random time periods for no reason. By the time the wraps up, I was left with a lengthy list of unanswered questions.

Time Gal (Sega CD)

Time Gal is little more than a Dragon's Lair clone. The player watches an animated movie and interacts when prompted. Usually this is nothing more than pushing up on the D-pad to jump or down to duck. Occasionally there's more to it, with our hero using a futuristic laser gun to destroy boulders and shoot enemies in the face. In a new twist to the genre, the Time Gal is able to pause the action and take a few seconds to decide the correct path.

We start our adventure all the way back in 70,000,000 B.C. Predictably, we spend much of our efforts fighting dinosaurs and trying to outrun the prehistoric world. Before long we are whisked away to 44 B.C., where we are forced to go one-on-one to the death in a coliseum. From there we fight the Grim Reaper in 999 A.D., sink a pirate ship in 1588, enlist in World War II in 1941 and so on. By the end, Time Gal will travel through sixteen different time years from the pre-historic past all the way up a future filled with robots and aliens.

Time Gal (Sega CD)

Unfortunately, not all of this makes sense. At one point, our hero fights a woolly mammoth long after they were extinct. Other things defy physics, like Time Gal jumping from one World War II-era airplane to another with the greatest of ease. It's also curious that nobody has trouble talking underwater. And let's not even get into the laughable versions of 2001 and 2010, which are complete with flying cars and Deep Impact-style meteor strikes.

All this happens so quickly that you may not even notice the weird plot holes and inconsistencies. The player spends little more than a minute in each year, which ultimately works against the narrative. Instead of trying to impart some sort of story, Time Gal is just a series of chases. The game's crazy time jumping slows down towards the end, but not to set anything up. It's as if the artists couldn't come up with ideas past 4001 A.D.

Time Gal (Sega CD)

It doesn't help that I find the Time Gal character to be borderline offensive. On one hand, she's an incredible athlete that is able to pull off superhuman moves. But her voice actor plays it as if she's a mindless 16 year old mallrat. Worst of all, these voice clips sound like they were added in for an American audience. They are often bad to the point of being distracting; taking me completely out of the otherwise solid presentation.

Even if you can get past the childish voice acting and the nonsensical plot, you're still left with a game that is nothing more than fifteen minutes of quick-time events. Neither the story nor the character are interesting enough to take my mind off of the lousy gameplay. Time Gal may be better than Dragon's Lair, but that doesn't mean you should add it to your collection.
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