perjantai 20. toukokuuta 2011

REVIEW - Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games (1995)

GENRE(S): Compilation
DEVELOPER(S): 7th Level (PC), Tiertex Design Studios (SNES)
PUBLISHER(S): Disney Interactive (PC), THQ (SNES)

The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa were THE dynamic duo of the 90's when it came to movie buddies. They got their own spin-off cartoon in 1995, and on its heels, came a collection of minigames entitled Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games, exclusively for the PC. However, two years later, it was stripped and ported to the dying Super Nintendo Entertainment System, obviously in the lack of passion and more suitable games. Even as a simple, very small collection of minigames, Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games fails to impress or captivate in every imaginable way.


Everything but the kitchen sink... wait... that's
a kitchen sink.
The bottom line of course is, that I didn't expect anything out of this game. To be even more honest and precise, I wasn't sure what kind of a game it was before I took it for a spin. Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games was originally a compilation of five different minigames, in the SNES version the number of those games is reduced to four. I was hoping I'd find just one harmlessly addictive minigame out of the bunch to praise the wasted cartridge on some level, but I couldn't. Not one. I'm not sure whether or not I should even rate this game, but I will. It might've been decent (free) preschool fun on the PC. Today, it would make for a great mobile game. But on any console, handhelds included? No, it just doesn't work, and nobody would pay for it besides stupid parents who don't take the time to read the back cover of the game before paying their asses sore for nothing.

That's the second-emptiest pinball table I've
ever seen.
The visual side of the game is a very traditional run of the mill. It looks appealing in its cartoony ways, but technically, it isn't much. Same goes for the music, it's appealing to the target audience, but in reality it's just leftover material scooped up from wherever it was found. The SNES version naturally does not feature full voiceovers the PC version did, not even one voice sample aside from Pumbaa's burping.

The first thing I should mention is that the game does not support the SNES Mouse, even though it would obviously make at least one of the games play out a little better since it has a cursor. Let's establish some sort of an order here. First up, we have Burper, which is namely my favourite minigame in the bunch, and it's even remotely fun for a while. It's a shoot 'em up in the style of Space Invaders, in which all kinds of shit's falling from the trees, and you need to control Pumbaa on the ground and destroy the debris, fruit and insects by burping at them. I'm a sworn fan of gas humour, so I enjoyed this game for the duration of a few levels. It gets boring real quick, but at least there's some fashion of attraction to it.

Virtua Cop vs. The Lion King. What?
Jungle Pinball's very self explanatory, unfortunately so. First I was like "yay, pinball!" Then I went inside my head and began to reminisce all the frustrating, totally non-dynamic 16-bit pinball games I've played in my life and came to the conclusion that this has got to be even worse - and it is! It has no real pinball feel at all, the angle's all screwed up, and I have never seen such a generic table, not in any game, not even on the 8-bit, let alone real life. The ball's impossible to keep on the table, period, and the game doesn't seem to respond to tilting the table either.

We've already passed the halfway checkpoint here! Slingshooter is somewhat of a 3D rail version of Burper. In this game, though, targets cannot hurt you. Your only goal is to hit a certain amount of targets within a time limit, and keep in mind that your ammunition is also limited. There's no punishment in this game, for example, for hitting a wrong kind of target - they're all the right kind. Just shoot away and you're done with this bit, as long as you keep your eye on your ammunition.

This is so boring it's almost exhausting.
Last and least, we have the game with the weakest control, a Frogger copy by the name of Hippo Hop. As the name suggests, you need to use Timon to jump back and forth on logs, hippos and turtles and gather items, all the while avoiding falling in water. Not only is this game the most boring and unoriginal game in the whole bundle, it also has serious control problems when it comes to jumping from platform to platform. Either Timon fails to respond to commands, or he jumps by himself, from time to time.

That's it, that's all you're going to get. Consider this a forewarning to when you next log on to an auction site and go for a hunt for some obscure, rare SNES cartridges. For your totally unnecessary information, a new copy of Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games currently goes for fifteen bucks on eBay. Even if I was a collector, I wouldn't pay more than fifteen cents for it. 

SOUND : 6.5


a.k.a. Disney's Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games

GameRankings: 58.00%

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