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FGC #414 Joe & Mac

I don't even know...Let us discuss the curious case of the Super Nintendo port of Joe & Man: Caveman Ninja.

Like with many videogames of the early 90’s (1991! Did such a far off year ever really exist?), this story starts in the arcades. Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja (alternately known as simply Caveman Ninja or Joe and Mac: Caveman Combat) was one of those vaguely beat ‘em up-esque 2-D action titles that you usually only saw out of Capcom (I still remember you, Magic Sword). Joe and Mac are caveman bros that must hold back an entire Neanderthal army and rescue a few “cave babes” from the likes of dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, and at least one giant skeleton monster. The title is comical and cartoony, and seems to lean heavily into being a sort of “parody” title. Tyrannosauruses barf out cavemen, Little Shop of Horrors lends a certain giant plant to the proceedings, and we even get to “laugh” at the tired “overweight woman is boy crazy, boy is repulsed” trope. Real knee-slappers all around! Humor aside, though, Joe & Mac is an enjoyable arcade experience, and exactly the kind of game you’d expect to play in a pre-Street Fighter 2 arcade.

What set Joe & Mac apart from its arcade brethren? Well, once you cut out the comedy and expressive sprite-work, there’s pretty much nothing. But why would you ignore that!? Joe and Mac isn’t trying to be the Citizen Souls (Dark Kane?) of gaming, it’s a just a fun way to blow some quarters for the afternoon. There are improvements to be made across the board, but most of those advances would ignore the requirements of an arcade game. It’s a little too easy to lose health quickly and painfully… but considering loss of life necessitates another quarter, I don’t hear any change machines complaining. And the stage selections mean you will miss levels when choosing between Path A and Path B, but, that’s just an excuse to play the game all over again to see all the content.

Hm. If Joe and Mac wasn’t tethered to the arcade, it could be a better game, so the console ports must show stark improvement.

… Right?

ZAPLet’s review a few of the console ports. The MS-DOS port (what passed for “PC” back in the day) was basically the arcade version, so one would suppose that doesn’t count. Similarly, the Sega Genesis version tried to be the arcade version, and is pretty much the same thing, give or take a few graphical tweaks. As one might expect, the NES version is severely compromised, as the big, bad bosses of Joe & Mac don’t really translate to 8-bits very well. They had to make the generic baby dinosaur mook a mini-boss! And no one bothered to animate the cave babes actually kissing our heroes! Regardless, it’s compromised, but it’s clearly an attempt at directly porting Joe & Mac Arcade. And the Gameboy version might actually be better than the NES port… which isn’t terribly surprising, given it was released a year later. It’s still not great, but it’s passable for an early 90’s Gameboy title. Oh, and like its NES buddy, it follows the basic rules and flow of the arcade release. So that only leaves the Super Nintendo port, and… it’s a little different.

If you were to play Arcade Joe & Mac, play some other games at the arcade, and then scoot home to play SNES Joe & Mac, you might not notice much of a difference. These are both games that feature the titular Joe & Mac rescuing cave babes from the forces of evil. In both adventures, Joe & Mac fight (almost) the same bosses, which employ (mostly) the same patterns. There is jumping and weapon hurling and meat grabbing. And, while the SNES version has an overworld map, the basic flow of the game is almost exactly the same, give or take the ability to try those “forking” stages in one continuous playthrough.

But, if you play the two games in rapid succession (perhaps because you live in a glorious future where entire arcade cabinets may be digitized into tiny MAME roms), you will note that the arcade and SNES versions of Joe & Mac are as different as a caveman ninja and a Neanderthal.

Little bubFirst, and most noticeably, the SNES version completely drops the Master Higgins-esque health system of the arcade. There is a constant “health timer” in the arcade version, and, should Joe or Mac stop eating everything in sight for longer than six seconds, they will certainly expire from insatiable hunger. This eating disorder is absent from the SNES port, so Joe and Mac can explore their environment at a much more leisurely pace. And that’s great, because there are bonus rooms around, and they can only be accessed through vigilant determination. Oh, and you’re allowed to toggle obtained weapons with L&R, so you’re no longer stuck with whatever weapon you happened to bump into (anyone that played the earlier Konami titles is well aware of the “joys” of accidentally ditching your holy water for a stupid dagger). And these are all improvements! Joe and Mac for the Super Nintendo is the superior Joe and Mac version! Everything is good forever!

Except… SNES Joe and Mac left a surprising amount of content on the cutting room floor. For one thing, the weapons selection has been severely limited, which eliminates some of the most interesting attacks. Joe can no longer launch gigantic sparks at opponents, and Mac has completely lost the ability to summon a spiritual “other self” to menace an ankylosaurus. And speaking of offensive options, Joe & Mac can “charge” attacks for bigger bangs in other versions, while that option is sorely missing on the Super Nintendo. And, believe me, stronger attacks are dearly missed when bosses are massive HP sponges. Oh, and the stages that randomly transform the title into a dedicated shooting game are missing entirely, which is a major loss for anyone that ever wanted a caveman based shoot ‘em up (guess we have to go back to Bonk for that). Frankly, the Super Nintendo version is missing a number of features that made Arcade Joe & Mac great.

And then there are the weird changes. The final boss of nearly every version is some unholy amalgamation of a dinosaur and a Neanderthal. It is never explained where this creature originated, but it makes a kind of sense at the end of a game where you fight dinosaurs and Neanderthals (separately) every five seconds. The SNES version introduces… Satan. Or… some kind of devil, at least. And he’s living inside a T-Rex’s belly, and is kidnapping cave babes because… uh… He was bored? And the multiple endings of the arcade game were dropped… sorta. The “funny” ending where Joe & Mac are chased by a bevy of heavy ladies is gone. That is, unless you know a key sequence that reinstates this alternate/tired ending. Why bother with such a thing? I don’t think “slightly different ending with a secret code” was exactly a selling point back in 1991.

BEAT EM ALL

But this all brings us back to the original question: why?

Joe & Mac was published in the arcade and at home by Data East. The most accurate ports all originated with Data East. This was not a situation where Capcom made the arcade cabinet, and then LJN was somehow responsible for the port. This was all in-house, and any changes made to the formula must have been overseen by at least the same producer. And, by all accounts, none of these changes were the result of “memory issues” or similar excuses from the 8-bit days. If the Sega Genesis could handle that deleted tusk weapon, it certainly could have appeared on the Super Nintendo. AwogaBy all accounts, there’s no real reason for the changes made to the SNES port, and we’re unlikely to ever have a clue why these changes were made. Was this an attempt to segue into a more adventure-y sequel? Establish the Joe & Mac extended universe? Play around with the L&R buttons? The world may never know the answer.

Joe & Mac for the Super Nintendo is just different enough from its version brethren to raise a few eyebrows, but not different enough to feel like its own game. And the reasons for that are lost to prehistory…

FGC #414 Joe & Mac

  • System: Joe & Mac get around. Let’s say the arcade version is the start, and then we’ve got Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Gameboy, Nintendo Entertainment System, DOS, and the Amiga for some reason. All that, and I don’t think it has returned in modern times for any sort of Virtual Console.
  • Number of players: Joe and Mac. And, depending on the version and mode, you can clobber your buddy into submission while fighting your opponents.
  • Favorite Weapon: The wheel revolutionized human transportation, and it was a fine way to whack a pterodactyl.
  • Favorite Boss: There’s this gray, water based dinosaur that rules over the waterfall/river stage. It’s not that remarkable, but it’s doing that 16-bit thing where its neck is a series of disconnected circles. For some reason, I always find that endearing.
  • RollyDid you know? During two player games, a gauge will appear to track which character has clubbed the boss the most. The winner earns a kiss from a cave babe, and the loser has to sit back and watch his pal get the girl. This is sexist and stupid and the cause of way too many fights when I was playing this game with friends when I was ten.
  • Would I play again: Like any beat ‘em up-alike, Joe & Mac is pretty fun when you have a playmate in the area. And I inexplicably have fond memories of this title, so it’s probably going to get played again. Now, which version to play…

What’s next? We’re closing out 16-Bit Cavemen Week with the sequel to Joe & Mac! No, not Joe & Mac 2. That would be silly. I’m thinking something a little more… caper-y. Please look forward to it!

FGC #398 Jr. Pac-Man

This is how reproduction worksIf you’re at all interested in videogames, you’ve probably heard of the horrors of game preservation. Videogames are, almost by design, ephemeral. They’re here on the current software, and, if a game is a hit, you can be sure you’ll see it return in the next generation (maybe with a HD remaster!). If a game is a “cult classic”, you might spy a few nerds getting really excited when it shows up on what passes for the next generation’s virtual console. But, if it fails to make an impact, and it fails to have a big name attached to it, then it is likely gone forever. There are literally thousands of games that have languished on their original hardware, never to be seen by an audience ever again.

And this is, without question, a bad thing. More than any other medium, videogames are iterative and absolutely rely on what has come before. Sure, we all like to look at “defining” games like Mario and Zelda to explain where gaming has originated (and where it’s going), but the failures are just as important as the successes. Krion Conquest shows us exactly how to make Mega Man wrong. Early Metroidvania titles (Goonies 2 comes to mind) exemplify what features should be left on the cutting room floor (like God damn birds that steal your items). And the early xeroxes of Doom and Final Fantasy 7 demonstrate exactly what can go wrong in a FPS or JRPG. A bad movie is generally just a bad movie, but there is so much involved in a bad videogame, that there is much to learn past “don’t do that”.

And then there are chunks of our history that are lost forever not because they were somehow unworthy, but because of the great equalizer of all mediums: the legal department.

Munching alongJr. Pac-Man is a Pac-Man arcade game from 1983. The title made it to the Atari 2600 in ’86 (four years after the initial, disastrous Atari Pac-Man), and DOS/Commodore 64 two years later. In other words, it made the rounds in its day. However, you won’t see Jr. Pac-Man past 1990. It did not appear on any of the “modern” consoles, like the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was not an unlockable in the arcade of Pac-Man 2. And, even today, when you score a Pac-Man collection on your platform of choice, it does not contain Jr. Pac-Man. The character of “Pac-Man’s son” might pop up from time to time, but his titular videogame is nowhere to be found. What happened?

Well, the answer to that is simple: Jr. Pac-Man never should have been born. Namco is the creator of the once and future Pac-Man, and merely licensed the property to Bally-Midway for release in the states. Then Pac-Man fever infected the nation… and Midway needed to sell more arcade machines. Everybody already had Pac-Man, and, thus, only arcade owners were raking in the quarters, not the arcade cabinet manufacturers. So, in a desperate bid to revitalize the Pac-Market, Midway released a slew of new Pac-Content. Ms. Pac-Man is the most famous example, but we also saw Baby Pac-Man, Professor Pac-Man, and the abhorrent Pac-Man Plus, a game that I’m almost certain is naturally haunted (not talking about the ghosts, they’re normal). And, from this bumper crop of Pac-Merchandise, we also saw Jr. Pac-Man.

So flashyAnd Jr. Pac-Man might be one of the best of the Midway Alterna-Pacs. It’s never going to dethrone Ms. Pac-Man, but it has some pretty interesting mechanics. For one thing, for better or worse, it’s the first Pac-Man title designed with a scrolling maze. This means bigger stages, naturally, but also a little more tension with monsters that could be doing anything when they’re off screen. And the bonus items now have much more of an impact on gameplay: an item (no longer just fruit, now we’ve got bicycles, trains, and… a cat?) will move around the maze of its own volition, and “fatten” the traditional pellets. A fat pellet will grant Junior more points, but they also slow this Pac down the tiniest bit… which can make a significant impact when there’s a ghost on your tail. But that’s not all! In a move that can only be described as a betrayal of everything a bonus item stands for, if an item comes in contact with a Power Pellet, both the item and the pellet will explode! And you’re down a Power Pellet! Oh, the humanity!

And, most bizarrely of all, Jr. Pac-Man decides to add to the Pac-Mythos. The round clear cinema scenes of Ms. Pac-Man showcased the pairing of two Pacs, and the attract mode of Jr. Pac-Man features the stork dropping off the new Pac-Bundle. Jr. Pac-Man scenes show another love story, but one between Junior and… a ghost! Yum-Yum is Blinky’s daughter, and it’s clear that he does not approve of these star-crossed lovers. Will Pac-Man Jr. run off with a tiny ghost with a bow in her hair (“hair”)? Play the game to find out!

Or don’t, because you can’t play the thing anywhere.

So verticalFor the sin of creating a licensed-but-unapproved Pac-Man title, Bally-Midway will no longer see any profits from the adventures of the second-littlest Pac. As a result, Jr. Pac-Man is not allowed to appear in any Pac-Collections, and, should you mention Jr. Pac-Man in polite company, the duchess shall be offended, and you will be asked to leave the premises. Jr. Pac-Man may be an interesting twist on the Pac-Formula, but it is nothing more than a redheaded step child to Namco, so it must be thrust out into the cold, never to be seen again (except maybe at Thanksgiving).

And more’s the pity.

Jr. Pac-Man isn’t the best Pac-Man game out there. It might not even be in the top three. But is it better than Pac-Land? Is it more of a Pac-Man game than Pac-Man 2? Does it have more to say about Pac-Play than Pac-Mania? There’s a clear “yes” to each of those questions. Jr. Pac-Man might not be an instant classic, but it’s unavoidably part of the Pac-Pantheon, and should be regarded as such. Jr. Pac-Man deserves a seat at the table, and that means someone born after 1988 deserves a chance to play it.

But it’s never going to happen, because of a licensing dispute from thirty years ago.

Videogame preservation is important, but it seems like the legal department is more important.

FGC #398 Jr. Pac-Man

  • System: Arcade, Atari 2600, DOS, and Commodore 64… and then never again. If you can’t tell, you’re seeing Arcade and Atari 2600 for this article.
  • Number of players: Two player alternating. Does this means the Pacs have two sons?
  • Attempted Preservation: In an effort to find some version of Jr. Pac-Man, I managed to turn up a random flash version online.

    Not wakka

    It is… not great.

  • Continuity Issue: Actually, Jr. Pac-Man first appears as part of Ms. Pac-Man (the game… man, the phrasing on that sentence is weird) being dropped off by the stork as part of a later cinema scene. But then he arrives at the start of Jr. Pac-Man, when the Pacs have a home? Which is it, Pac-Authors?
  • Favorite Item: The final released maze is the “beer maze”. Let’s just go ahead and assume that’s a root beer, and Jr. Pac-Man is not trying to get drunk with his bad-influence ghost girlfriend.
  • What’s in a name: The orange ghost of Jr. Pac-Man is known as… Tim. Maybe he’s a ghost wizard?
  • Did you know? Ms. Pac-Man was a Midway hack, too, but Namco liked it. Go fig.
  • Would I play again: I would like to, but there’s no way I’m fighting the Atari into playing this cartridge anytime soon. I suppose I could always drop a quarter in this guy, though…

    WAKKA WAKKA

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Pocket Tennis Color for the Neo Geo Pocket Color! It’s going to be 399-Love here at the FGC. Please look forward to it!

FGC #080 Zool 2

NINJA!On a nigh daily basis, I drive into Atlantic City (no longer the highest unemployment rate in the country: those people died of starvation!) via the fabulous Atlantic City Expressway, a strip of roadway paved with the tears of broken dreams. Atlantic City, for those of you that are blissfully unaware, is basically the East Coast’s Las Vegas. I draw the comparison not only because of a heavy emphasis on gambling, stripping, and general debauchery, but also because much of the history of the town is centered on various criminals, to the point that there are random statues around town memorializing so-and-so who founded what-and-what but spent the last years of his life in jail for such-and-such. Combine this with the fact that it’s difficult to cruise so much as a block in this city without passing a pawn shop or porno palace (or both, Dave’s Dildos for Dollars is pretty popular), and you might start to get the impression that Atlantic City is a den of depravity.

But everyone, from the humble smut peddler to whoever is running Trump-not-Trump Taj Mahal, has to make bank, and advertising is the way to do it. Radio, TV, Internet, that’s all fine, but my main exposure to local businesses is through the parade of billboards that I zoom past on the Atlantic City Expressway. I prefaced this article with that little screed on the lack of morals of Atlantic City because if you think you’re driving into a Mormon retreat, you will be divorced of that notion shortly after your third billboard with a “tastefully” nude woman advertising a burlesque show (and, to be clear, that isn’t a turn of phrase, we’ve got actual, honest-to-God “burlesque shows”. It’s like a damn Clint Eastwood flick). I would estimate that, whether they’re advertising sex directly or not, about half the billboards are based almost exclusively on the premise that your wang (don’t have a wang? Meh) will be pleased with Atlantic City (“Come to Generic Beach Bar, our lady customers are sluts!”), and the other half are based on appealing to man’s other baser desires: money and steak. It’s… an oddly specific roadway of ads, particularly when you consider a healthy portion of people keeping Atlantic City financially solvent (or close) are (and this isn’t a stereotype, it’s the actual demographics) elderly Asian women. But, sure Atlantic City, keep hammering that tasteless horny white male demographic. That really seems to be working out for you.

Amongst these billboards for the best ways to satisfy your (assuming you’re a white male, age 25-40 or so) creepiest desires is one, and only one, billboard that “advertises” public serviceGotta go fast messages. It’s an electronic billboard, so it can advertise anything in rapid succession, and it flips between ads for sports events or television shows, but it also displays important messages about stopping child trafficking, prostitution, and underage drinking.

And, in a weird way, it might be worst billboard on the expressway.

Advertising is something of the great equalizer of modern society. Even if you’ve “cut the cord” on cable or adblock every site you find, you’re still constantly bombarded by advertising if you choose to leave your home for greater than five minutes. There mere act of buying groceries, even if you ignore the weekly circular, is now a cold, calculated attempt to get you to buy everything in the store, complete with fresh, green items enticing you at the entrance, and bread and dairy way the hell at the other end of the store so you may be tempted by delicious Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows ™ in the intervening aisles; and you’ll experience this all with a piped in intercom system either playing the greatest hits of yesterday and today (available on iTunes) or a friendly salesvoice just telling you what to buy. That’s a mere, what, hour of your week? Advertising is gonna getcha, whether you know it or not.

This is a problem, because, let’s face it, it’s bad for humanity. No, I’m not one to claim advertising will turn us into mindless pod people that are simply awaiting our next instruction to consume Butterfingers™ now; no, what I’m talking about is the thick layer of cynicism and distrust that is inadvertently created by a world of advertising. How many people do you know that claim advertising “doesn’t work on me,” yet wear any number of branded items? Oh, that doesn’t count, I just bought these randomly… at a humongous retail store or online retailer. But that’s just a side effect of the disease, the most overt symptoms are people that see any kind of advertising, whether it be on television, internet, or olde tyme radio, and naturally assume they’re being tricked into buying something they don’t want. Okay, yes, that’s all advertising is, when you get down to it, but it creates an innate feeling of “everybody is out to get me,” I just don't knowwhich is simply not a good thing when people that need people are the most productive members of society (like, we’re talking almost literal definition of society).

So let’s revisit that billboard. Amongst a string of (occasionally literally) naked attempts to appeal to primal desires is a billboard that is plainly asking you to be a good person. Report child abuse. Stop teenagers from underage drinking. Stop drunk driving. These are all worthwhile, noble pursuits… heck, they’re barely even that “noble”, they’re just how you be a good human being. We need more good humans! They’re in short supply around here! But there’s a problem when the “be a good person” billboard is stuck between every other appeal to a lizard brain that desires only sex and chocolate (that’s what lizards eat, right?). I don’t want to generalize (this is a lie), but the person that starkly tracks the naked breasts billboard is not someone that was worried about drunk driving to begin with, and the person that thinks everything is a scam is going to lump the good message in with all the bad, and assume it’s some kind of trick just the same as the lottery billboards. Give your dreams a chance? Bah! Save a child’s life? Double bah!

I’ve always considered it a point in video gaming’s favor that it is a medium primarily not dominated by advertising. Yes, before you flood the comments with examples of Mutant Turtles shilling for Pizza Hut or how Smash Bros reminds you to buy buy buy every time a new costume is coded, I am aware that advertising and video games are already well and truly connected; but what I’m lauding the medium for is the fact that it is not so entrenched in the advertising world as its other entertainment brothers. Television was brought to you by cool, smooth Death Stick Cigarettes ™ since its birth, and movie theatres make more money hawking products at the preview crowds than actually selling tickets. Comparatively, video games are downright quaint when they’re only shilling a season pass that works with the game that already holds your interest.

Which makes it all the more obvious when a game is so totally soaked in corporate sponsorship.

Zool 2 is a not completely terrible Sonic the Hedgehog clone. Specifically, it’s very reminiscent of Sonic & Knuckles, as you have Sing it with me now!two different heroes (Zool and Zooz) who each have different techniques for overcoming the same obstacles. Actually, that’s kind of inaccurate, the two control very similarly, but their weapons affect different distinct blocks throughout the stages, so it’s possible to take different paths. It’s less the difference between Sonic and Knuckles, and more the difference between Sonic and, I don’t know, some lazy, darker color swap of Sonic. Regardless, this is yet another video game that learned the wrong lessons from Sonic, and while it’s always fun to dash around at top speed, it loses something when you have a very limited life bar, and enemies don’t spawn quickly/obviously enough to be avoided. So creep along like an old lady, because you’ll be in the grave if you’ve actually gotta go fast.

But, as you can likely guess this far into the article, that unpleasantness isn’t what caught my eye. What’s more interesting to me is that Zool 2 is covered from head to toe with ads for Chupa Chups lollipops.

Chupa Chups (is that… plural? Should I be… oh, nevermind) is a company that is no stranger to interesting advertising avenues. Supposedly, it was CC’s founder that first recommended that its candies be placed near the cash register, so “little hands” could grab for the treats and badger their parents well into the 21st century. The Chupa Chups logo was designed by Salvador Dalí, and Madonna was a spokeswoman at one time. Chupa Chups!The current advertising for Chupa Chups lollipops is a play on anti-smoking campaigns with the phrase, “Stop smoking, start sucking”. I… want to say that there had to be a better way to phrase that, but it certainly gets your attention.

So it likely seemed like a good idea to sponsor an “up and coming” video game character like Zool. History has forgotten Zool, but at the time, he had not only video games across every platform, but also a pair of YA novels. Zool was poised to be the next great video game mascot, and we’d all be begging for Zool to join Smash Bros in a few years (“What’s Smash Bros?” “A N64 game.” “What’s a N64?”). Chupa Chups hitched its wagon to the franchise, presumably to get in on the ground floor of this star’s ascent, and must have provided a lot of cheddar for Zool 2.

I presume this because the Chupa Chups logo is everywhere in this game. It’s right there as the game first boots, it’s a scrolling background behind all the text, and it’s a large pickup item that should be discovered and claimed in every level. I assume some of the smaller collectibles are Chupa Chup lollipops, but they’re not nearly as prominent as the logo that is freaking everywhere. You will never forget the company that ponied up for this game.

Which is why it’s kind of funny when advertising mixes with video games. I mean, really, any executive can sit down and watch a movie or read a book and confirm that, yes, their sponsorship has gone to something good, and their product is well represented. Video games, however, are wildly subjective because they have to be “played”, and, Go get it!depending on your experience, you, the player, can get a very different impression than what the designers intended. I literally have no idea what the creators were thinking, in, say, Mega Man X7, but I can safely say that just typing the words “Flame Hyenard” causes a PTSD, reflexive twitch in myself that is unlikely to ever go away. Similarly, if I see the “Now Loading” screen from Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 ever again, it will be far, far too soon.

Zool 2 is a forgettable and not wholly enjoyable video game. It’s probably somewhere around Bubsy in the pantheon of “generally regrettable mascot games” of the era. But good job, Chupa Chups, now every time I see one of your lollipops, I’m going to think of this not at all fun experience. Zool 2 left a bad taste in my mouth, and I rather hope your product doesn’t similarly cause the bile to flow.

So, like the one good billboard on the Atlantic City Expressway, keep advertising out of video games. Yes, it might work, and your product might wind up wrapped into a good experience, but it’s a lot more likely that your pride and joy will get sucked into a void of crass commercialism and anti-fun, and it’ll come off as yet another awkward con in a world filled with them.

Because that’s how they get you.

FGC #80 Zool 2

  • System: Atari Jaguar for the review, but also available on the Amiga and DOS. That’s a murderer’s row of forgotten platforms.
  • Number of Players: 2 player alternating. No, you can’t have two ninja save the world at the same time. They don’t play well together.
  • Animals didn't teach me thisGo Ninja Go: Zool (and Zooz) has one acrobatic ability over his platforming brethren: he can perform triangle jumps off flat walls. Couple this with Ryu of Ninja Gaiden, and I’m forced to conclude that Space Bounty Hunter Samus Aran is also a ninja. And Mario, depending on the game.
  • Just play the gig, man: Also forgot to mention: the soundtrack is primarily composed of fart noises, as if everything was slapped together by a sixth grader with a Casio keyboard.
  • Favorite Chupa Chups Lollipop flavor: Cherry. Wait… where are these questions coming from?
  • Did you know? Zool’s female counterpart is named Zooz. Replace the Z’s in that name with B’s. Classy.
  • Would I play again: Even if I was hungering for some white, hot Atari Jaguar action, this wouldn’t be the game I’d play. Hell, if I really wanted to satisfy the Zool 2 itch, I’d hit Bubsy, and you know that’s a bad sign.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Toki: Going Ape Spit for the Sega Genesis. Oh, what lovely punnery. Come on, do the monkey with me! Please look forward to it!