Looking at the Roger Dean artwork on the cover of Fatal Rewind would make you think that it has to be one of the greatest games ever to hit the Genesis. Playing it, however, will make you think otherwise.
It's got an interesting story behind it. Kind of like the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man, you're an unwilling participant in a futuristic game show. Your life is in danger so that millions of television viewers can be entertained. Even the first thing you read at the beginning of the first level, "Get Ready to Die," makes you think this game is going to be great.
Unfortunately, that saying is all too true. You will die. Time and time again. Eventually it gets to the point where you'll wish you hadn't wasted your time with this game. The first couple levels aren't so terrible, but the rest of the game is definitely no cakewalk.
Of course, a game can still be fun despite its difficulty. Such is not the case with Fatal Rewind. Even if it were easy, it just wouldn't be that fun. For one thing, you play as a guy in a machine. Hunched over in robotic armor, you look like a walking pistol without anything past the barrel. While the main character is a human being, he doesn't look like one.
Related to this, the graphics just aren't that great. The colors meld together on the screen so that nothing is as truly distinguishable as they are in other platform-styled games like Super Mario Bros. (which actually has better graphics on an 8-bit machine than the 16-bit graphics of Fatal Rewind).
If the game has anything going for it, the "replay" feature can prove to be useful if you did well up to a point and want to jump in when things got hairy. Also, the puzzle element gives it some brains as it tries to combine elements of platform games and shooters. Still, this combination just doesn't seem to work. A much better attempt at this on the Genesis (although the "shooter" element is significantly less) would be something like X-Men (a hard game that is still fun).
So for all its great artwork, its catchy title, and intriguing story, Fatal Rewind seems to be trying to compensate for the most important thing, which it lacks. It's not fun. ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide
The graphics are quite simple and tend to blend with each other so that nothing is truly distinguishable. ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide
The sound effects are simple, not a single one of which will make you say, ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide
Even for a shooter/platform fan, this game just isn't very fun. ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide
You can only die so many times before you've had enough. ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide
Everything you need to know is here, even an entertaining story. ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide