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The Ignition Factor

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Released: 1994

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: Jaleco

Developer: Jaleco

Submitted by: Steven Ronald Jackson

Jaleco Entertainement have developed and published some pretty obscure games over the years but one of the most obscure has to be The Ignition Factor (or Firefighting in Japan).

Now until I downloaded this game off the Wii Virtual Console, I had never heard of it. My impressions from just the name made me wonder what it actually was. I thought it was a SNES 2D shooter, how wrong I was. To my surprise, The Ignition Factor was actually a firefighting simulation/action hybrid and a good one at that. Now I know Darran has done a video and talked about Human Entertainment's, The Firemen and from looking at The Firemen they are highly similar. However, because I've never played The Firemen I wouldn't know which one was better or worse, but that being said The Ignition Factor is still a great SNES game (and the advantage of being in English unlike The Firemen which is in Japanese).

The Ignition Factor has you taking on the role of a fireman, who has to put out fires and save civilians in tower blocks and factories. As well as this, the player has to avoid the many hazards which can arise or else death is imminent. And if that isn't enough the player has to try and do this to a timer or else the rescue mission fails. To equip you on your rescues, the player can choose a variety of different items to aid you on your rescues including oxygen masks, CO2 bombs and fireaxes. However if you carry too many items, you slow down and cannot move quickly enough meaning precise decisions have to be made on what you do and don't need.

Now as expected The Ignition Factor is quite a challenging game. It takes a lot of patience to put out fires, to save civilians, to choose the right items and to work to a timer, meaning rushing in all guns blazing (no pun intended) won't get you anywhere. Trial and error is the name of the game and it takes along time to master (and fully appreciate) this unique experience, but with persistence this game becomes a classic.

To conclude, The Ignition Factor is not for everyone. Its a great looking and sounding game which really gives you the feeling of being a real firefighter. However, it is very difficult and only with persistence can this game be fully appreciated. It is available for 900 Wii points (as it was never released in Europe) and I would only recommend this if you like unique SNES experiences as The Ignition Factor is as unique as you can get.