Zombies Ate My Neighbors emerged from LucasArts at a time when the company was better known for the likes of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island, but it's gone down in history as one of the studio's many classic games. Taking a break from its traditional point-and-click adventures in 1993, LucasArts jumped into the home console world with the more open, action-oriented Zombies Are My Neighbors. It was released on both the Sega Genesis (aka Mega Drive) and Super Nintendo, so today I'm here to answer the question: Which version should you play?
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is an often-overlooked cult classic run-and-gun horror movie parody. It features a robust weapons selection, excellent cooperative play, 40+ levels, and tons of enemies (including a couple of bosses) to shoot down. The game's objective is simple: save your neighbors.
The SNES version of the game looks sharp and colorful, while in comparison the Genesis version is dulled down. Because of the Super Nintendo’s support for a higher number of simultaneous colors, the Genesis couldn't match the level of detail of the SNES. The default three-button layout on the Genesis controller left no room for a map button, so the map was quite literally squeezed onto the screen—which was a downright lazy way of making up for the extra width that the Genesis output.
Every track of the SNES version's fantastic musical score makes fine use of the hardware available. Sound effects are just as good—character vocal samples sound clear and the other audio is all very appropriate. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the Genesis. All sound samples are noticeably compressed, resulting in frequent popping and static noise. The music suffers from the same fate, and is simply not done justice; the Genesis was obviously capable of much more.
SNES - Monsters Among Us
Genesis - Monsters Among Us
SNES - Mars Needs Cheerleaders
Genesis - Mars Needs Cheerleaders
Gameplay is similar across versions, with a few notable differences. The map on the SNES version is brought on-screen with the L button, while on the Genesis it's always visible. The button configuration is a little clunkier on the Genesis—thanks to the three-button controller—requiring combinations to switch items, whereas on the SNES there are dedicated buttons for each function. Lastly, the flamethrower weapon is missing from the Genesis release.
It's a hard day in the life of a Genesis fan to see such an underwhelming version, but the SNES release is a better game in almost all aspects. Without a doubt, Zombies Ate My Neighbors for the SNES takes it on this one.