perjantai 7. lokakuuta 2011

REVIEW - The Addams Family: Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt (1993)

GENRE(S): Platform
RELEASED: February 1993
DEVELOPER(S): Enigma Variations, Ocean Software (SNES)
PUBLISHER(S): Ocean Software

An animated series largely influenced by the original sitcom The Addams Family followed the first full-length movie, and Ocean once again placed their grubby paws on an inevitable video game license. The first version of Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt was released on the SNES, followed by a fairly faithful Game Boy port. Someone began demanding an NES port of the game, and so Ocean had an idea. Since the original Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt for the SNES was practically a clone of the NES version of The Addams Family, they thought it was only fair to make Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt for the NES a clone of the SNES version of The Addams Family. Did you get all that? Doesn't matter.

Pugsley the Bobcat

Yep. I was serious.
In a plot totally different from the 16-bit version's plot, and literally cooked up in five minutes, Pugsley searches the Addams mansion for key items he can use to save his family from a group of monstrous kidnappers including a fire-breathing dragon, a crazed snowman and a mad scientist.

I pretty much hated the original 16-bit version of this game and I was delighted to hear this one was completely different - I was sure it wouldn't be good, but I thought that at least it would be different, and a fun game for a fan to try out. Sure, it would've been kinda fun to try out... the thing is, I've already played this game - or a version of it that looks and sounds lightyears better (though not that special in itself), and is more comfortable to play. It had a better and more natural lead character, too. Seriously, I think this game was released only to show people that The Addams Family on the SNES wasn't such a bad game after all. It could have been done worse, it seems.

Bland colouring and lame design, lethal delays in the framerate, a sound bank that was compiled by a two-year old. The game looks bad and sounds horrible, all the way from the title screen. "Cheap", "rushed" and "completely unnecessary" are written all over this bullet to the head. Even the previous NES game looked better and I don't think it's such a great idea to leave background music out altogether when the sound effects suck this bad. At their worst, the sound effects remind me of a certain 8-bit game with red vegetables for villains. The Addams Family theme song by Vic Mizzy plays in the beginning as always, but horrible sequencing renders it an awful start to a near-awful game.

It would be nice to be able to make out half of
that password.
Near-awful is quite right. Although it doesn't look like much besides some smelly remnants of a Saturday night special, the NES version is almost playable compared to its 16-bit counterpart which I think I was a little too soft on back in the day. The more generic, therefore easier levels are quite fun to hack through, in spite of their shameless and endless combination of copy and paste. It doesn't take too long before the lack of good physics starts slapping you across the face. The game's "challenges" as opposed to the controls, not to mention your pathetic maximum health, take a swift turn to near-impossible to complete - at the very least, impossible to enjoy. Checkpoints are a-plenty, but you're going to hurt yourself in the same spots over and over again, there's virtually nothing you can consciously do about them, especially impregnable walls of enemies that cannot be dealt with without hurting yourself in the process. To make things worse, the game borrows some of the 16-bit version's worst qualities - or errors in programming: anything may and will deal damage from a distance. On top, the line between a background item and obstacle is not all so clear; a recurring flaw in the whole series of games.

The flying cap is back. Colour me excited.
Speaking of the whole series, I've played almost every game in the Addams Family video game franchise - I can tell you right now that this will probably be the last one I'll review - and I've kind of grown used to their soddy gameplay. I'm not sure what bothers me the most about this particular title: its awful audiovisuals or its repetition in conjunction with the fact that it's basically the first 16-bit game in a much crappier mold with the most boring Addams family member for a protagonist, and practically useless candy bars standing in for money. No matter. The most important thing is that the game bothers me as a whole, sometimes the enjoyment of the gameplay even degrades to the point that the only thing standing between Pugsley and Bubsy the Bobcat in the first Bubsy game is a tick of extra health or two. The movement of the two characters is quite similar, and the games are just as hectic, with sudden death looming around every corner. Well, at least in this game you don't die from falling. There aren't any great heights to fall from anyway - or bottomless pits.

The game remains half-playable for a while, and it's really not a very long trip in its entirety, but finding interest in it beyond hacking through two or three levels is hard. It's so scruffy, generic and repetitive, and there are a million altogether better basic platformers out there. The bosses are even more laughable in design than they ever were in any other Addams Family game. I could keep on pointing out every single thing that is wrong about this game, and wasting every good anecdote in my reserves on it, or just admit the unfortunate fact that the name of the game is quite enough to tell everything there is to tell about the game. 

SOUND : 3.0


GameRankings: 62.50% (GB), 70.50% (SNES)

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti