Saturday, November 24, 2012

Video Game Review: The Adventures of Mighty Max

We've talked before about Mighty Max, the toy series from the 90's and the TV show that it spawned. Well, we're not quite done talking about it yet, because there's one more thing that needs to be brought up.

Developed by Ocean Software, a company known primarily for making crappy video game adaptations of movies, The Adventures of Mighty Max might just be one of the worst video games ever made. I'm almost positive that when Ocean's developers were told they were making this game the first words out of their mouths were "What the Hell is a Mighty Max?" I'm equally positive their next words were drowned out by the sound of them all dying from terminal incompetence, because seriously? Even Sunday Funday was a better game than this.

Wait, what's that, Mr. Back Of The Game Box? You ask how I could possibly hate this game when I can...
You lying assholes. Take a look at this.

Damn it, Ocean of America! We told you Mighty Max was "action horror" not "horrible non-action!"

That right there is about a fourth of the game. Yeah, this game only has four unique worlds: the Inca Temple, the Volcano, the Water Cave, and then depending on whether you have the Sega Genesis version or the Super Nintendo version the last world is either the Jungle or Outer Space.

Oh, sure, it does have fifty different levels within those four worlds, but trust me when I say there will never be anything new. You enter through a portal, jump around, dodge enemies, then grab some doohickeys and take them back to the portal. Rinse and repeat until the sun goes supernova. There's never any new enemies or puzzles to challenge you, just a long, hard slog to the finish line. If this is what Max calls an adventure then it's no wonder he doesn't want to be the Mighty One.

Why is it like this? I know it's annoying that I keep bringing up a show you probably haven't seen, but... the show's main selling point was that you never knew where Max was going to end up, or what new and horrible thing was going to challenge him once he got there. Same thing with the toys. They had aliens, dragons, mad scientists, dinosaurs... basically everything that young boys think is cool made an appearance at some point. So, why isn't any of that stuff in this game?

KR Rating: [1] HORRIBLE

The thing is, even if you know nothing about Mighty Max and judge the game solely on the standard of being a game, it's still awful. There's not enough story to explain why you should care about who these characters are or what they're doing, the graphics and sound are passable at best, and the gameplay is pretty much tuberculosis in digital form. It basically works - the controls are responsive and it's not riddled with glitches - but that's about the only good thing that can be said about it.

As for the nameless copy writer who created the box, that guy can go to Hell. Here are a few of my favorite reasons why.

I know all his moves? What moves? Are you talking about the one time when he tripped a guy? Max doesn't have "moves" and, you know, that's kind of the entire point. He's not a street fighter or a saiyan. He doesn't have any Wolf Fang Fists, or Hadoukens, or Kamehamehas. He's a normal kid caught up in a destiny he doesn't want, facing off against villains that are way out of his league, forced to rely on cunning and surprise to win. That's a big part of why the show was awesome.

How can one sentence get so much wrong? First of all, "be the Max?" What the Hell could that possibly even mean? Why not say "be the Mighty One?" Not only is that less grammatically awful, it's also actually a thing from the show.

Second, tennis ball cannon? I hate to keep saying "on the show" but... on the show Max hardly ever used a weapon and when he did it was more like a sword or a crossbow; you know, a real weapon. If Max showed up to fight an average villain from the show wielding a tennis ball cannon, they'd laugh at him and then he'd die horribly.

Okay, at this point you've officially crossed the moral event horizon. You are no longer just casually missing the point. You are now officially trying to make little children cry. Sure, we all want to torment and/or murder little kids, but there's no reason to be a jerk about it.

Oh, goody! That means two players can share the existential torment! Also included are a revolver, two bullets, and a manual on how to carry out a mutual suicide pact. Actually, this game never made me want to kill myself, but it did make me want to kill other people. Among those people: whatever pencil-pusher at Sega is responsible for this:

Sega's highest standards of quality, apparently:
1. The cartridge is not just a taco shell filled with canned pig brains.
2. The game's programming is written in actual computer code, not incantations to Tiamat.
3. That's about it.

Take a look at the back of the box in all it's anti-glory! Click the image for a better view.


David said...

This game has a feature that the back of the box neglects to mention: The Worst Jump Algortihm Ever™.

It's really bad, and makes an already awful game completely unplayable.

Mike M. said...

Hahaha! Wow, how could I have forgotten to mention the jumping? Yeah, Max jumps like Mario with a head wound.

Peter Thomos said...
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