Sunday, 14 January 2018

SNES Review 135: Animaniacs

Animaniacs known in Japan as Animaniakkusuis a platform video games developed by Konami for the Super Nintendo, based on the hit animated series of the same name, there was a MegaDrive Animaniacs game but it was a totally different game even though both of them were developed and published by Konami a company that was certainly very much in the lime light back in the 16bit games. I never owned this as a kid in fact I have only just recently gotten my hands on it, I have played the MegaDrive one before so I guess in a way that is sort of a template my mind will be comparing this one to as well as well.

Now its important to say that I have a very big soft spot for Animaniacs I used to watch it when I was younger and its just this perfect mix of humor, awesome pop culture references and just a sprinkle of learning. Songs from the show that listed the various countries in the world or American presidents or other such things were done with such a charm and were just so darn catchy that you were entertained enough not to realize that they were daring to educate you a little bit. Then at other times it would literally have me in fits of laughter. I loved everything about the show, it was filled with the most amazing characters so full of life surly this would make them perfect characters for the world of gaming?

Ok so whats the games story? Well Pinky and the Brain steal an important movie script from Warner Bros. Studios, and plan to make the film themselves so that they can become filthy stinking rich and then use this cash to do what they try to do the same thing they do every night try and take over the world. The CEO of Warner Bros. recruits Wakko, Yakko and Dot (the Animaniacs) to retrieve the script pages and stop Pinky and the Brain. Each level contains a number of script pages, you don't have to collect all of them but the ending that you will get if you finish the game depends upon if you got enough of these pages or not. In general it is quiet a good idea for a game story and they use it to decent effect as each level has a different theme be it Sci-Fi or Adventure, and there are plenty of humorous parodies of famous films to be seen if you keep your eyes peeled.

 The graphics in this game are quite good. There are nice, bold characters that look very much like their cartoon versions, and a fair amount of characters from the series pop up in the game, throw on top of this that there are some very detailed backgrounds and enemies as well. The sound is also pretty decent. The music is very  fitting to the game and the shows theme is used so there is a plus point for fans, the sound effects are best described as average though and also kind of under used.

I have always liked the saying ''gameplay is king'', what it basically means is that the most important part of a game is the gameplay, a game can have a good story, it can have good graphics, it can have an awesome soundtrack but all of that sort of stuff is just nice, the real important thing is gameplay. If a game plays badly then it doesn't matter how pretty it looks or how great it sounds, if it plays bad then the game is bad. The gameplay here well its not awful but it is kind of awkward and frustrating, its one of those games were it is hard in places not because of any challenge but because when your jumping your not quiet sure if you will land where you think you will. So when your in a game which at a time could feel a little unfair youd want a lot of extra lives and such wouldnt you? Well here you get three lives, each of the Warners is basically a life, so to die you have to get Yakko, Wakko and Dot killed then if your lucky you will see a continue screen, and when you continue it will be from the last check point. So the obvious question is how many continues do you get? Well that depends you see the whole time your playing the game there is this like slot machine at the bottom of the screen which when you collect enough coins it starts to spin and you can win continues and stuff, personally I find this the most annoying waste of screen space in a game, it doesn't only take up screen room it draws your attention to it and away from what your supposed to be doing. Also if you had a set number of continues then you'd possibly get a little further into the game each time you play and as you improve but here we are adding some luck to the proceedings so I am not overly keen on it. I could go on to moan that the passwords are long but I think if the game was a solid diamond then no one would realistically give a monkeys about that

OK so I guess its time to say how I feel about the game overall. Well in honesty I think this game is a very very average game, I would give it 5 out of 10. The most surprising thing about this all for me is that the game was made by Konami, and when it comes to the 16 bit era you think Konami on the SNES and you think about a company which was probably one of the companies with one of the best records on the machine. I spent £7 on a loose cart of this game and in all honesty if you really want to try this game I would advise that you don't spend anymore than I did if you want to avoid disappointment. In fact if you own both systems I would advise spending your cash on a copy of the Megadrive Animaniacs instead

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