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  1. Apr 16, 2018
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Reviews for this game are as scarce as can be, and that is no surprise. H.E.D.Z is one of those rare games that never got around the world too well after its release, which is why it's not known by most.

    H.E.D.Z---probably one of the most original names for a game---is an abbreviation for "Head Extreme Destruction Zone"; a game (or intergalactic sport) that an alien race known as the "Hedz" have invented. It involves using the powers of exactly 230 unique heads to engage in explosive battles across the 20 different asteroids.

    The object of the game is to blast through all 20 levels while collecting as many heads from your opponent Hedz as possible. You, as the player, are the most determined Hed to become the "Head-Hunting Champion" in the galaxy, which is known as the "Nappa Flux". This means that all of the other Hedz are out to get you---only you!
    You'll have to rely on strategy and instinct alone in order to attain that desired title---the fame, the recognition, the reputation---you want that prize!

    Now for core aspects of the game...ahem:

    Controls: The game supports keyboard and joypad compatibility, and they both can be configured in the splash menu once you've launched the game's EXE file. Regardless of which one you use, the controls will not be up to par with what we're used to today. You can run, use your abilities, strafe, jump, rotate the camera, choose from heads in your possession, and also open your "Backpack" to sort out which heads you want to use (these are obtained from other Hedz while in a level).
    That's it. Pretty basic stuff.

    Music: Although most of the game's music does not automatically play on modern systems, the few that do play will not disappoint, nor will the rest of the soundtrack. It consists of house-styled music, to jazz, to metal, to techno---you name it, and it's most likely there. There's also some nice ambience that always play throughout each level, which is definitely a big help with not getting too bored if the music does not play.

    Sounds: One of my personal favorite parts of the game. The sound effects come in a wide variety from realistic, to cartoony, to just strange. Each head that you select from the Headcase, or slap on in a level, even make their own signature sound effects. You'd might get a few chuckes from many of them. My favorite sound effect in the game is when the Hedz spawn from, or get beamed out by, a UFO (which is inconspicuously unseen during both events). It is the most common sound you will hear throughout the game.

    Heads: Considering that there are over 200 heads (exactly 230), you can expect to see (and recognize) each one. Each head has its own wacky name, animation, sound, etc. You'll notice that each one will share mixed animations from each other, but none of them are exactly the same; some have their own animations that none of the rest have.
    Their "Statz" also seem to be misleading, but that's not a big deal.

    Levels: Each level is based off of Earth's many environments, such as childrens' playgrounds, cities, warehouses, haunted castles, war areas, and a few more.

    Graphics: The graphics honestly aren't the greatest, even for a 90's 3D PC game. The models are detailed well enough to hold the player's entertainment for a while, at least.

    Textures: They're mostly flat and lack significant detail; often stretched out, but it doesn't bother me at all. What does, however, is the next aspect.

    Physics: The way the game reads physics is not very good at times. Often, you'll find yourself stuck in place and cannot jump, or stuck in the "falling" animation. This can usually easily happen if you jump directly on the edge of a platform.

    AI: The AI behave differently depending on which difficulty setting you've chosen. For the most part, they will attack you if they can---some will wait for you to come into range, while some will automatically come after you no matter where you are and attack you. However, if the AI are wearing non-attack heads, they'll either evade you or just stand there until you eliminate them (assuming they don't switch to another head if they have one.)
    I personally always play on Hard Mode, and I must point this out: the AI's ranged attacks travel to you incredibly fast that you almost can't even see the projectiles coming, especially Guided Missile attacks.

    Overall, the game is simple, but can be too difficult for some people, and it already doesn't appeal to most who do end up either trying it or just looking at it. I've been playing this game as a kid when it came out, and I still enjoy it very much to this day. I'm always finding more secrets and exploits in the game that keep me going. You could try collecting all 230 heads as motivation, as you will most likely not collect all of them after completing the game for the first time (21 of them are hidden; two in the first level and one each in the rest of the levels.) So make sure you get them all, and not lose any!
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