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Old 08-25-2003, 10:54 AM   #256
Deal with it.
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Who's Bad?

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker - Arcade - Rating 2
To think that I actually enjoyed this game back when it first came out in 1990. Wow. What was wrong with me? I was probably too disconcerted to notice how bad this game really is. I've played games on ColecoVision with more fun and undeniable ambition. What is wrong with this game? Read on.
Where to start? Let's take it from the plot. Apparently, Mr. Big is kidnapping children and trying to take control of the world. And so Michael Jackson must rescue all the children and stop Mr. Big. .......phew! What a plot. Ok, let's try the gameplay. MJ must battle through five stages virtually all designed around his music video sets such as Smooth Criminal and Thriller, defeating Mr. Big's henchmen such as the men in three-piece suits that try and shoot MJ, soldiers with bigger guns and even flame throwers, zombies, four-legged robots, and what can only be described as a 'diabolical creation': a massive robot with a rather pronounced pelvic region which it uses to try and strike MJ. Hmmm, the end credits say that Michael came up with the game concept and design. That pretty much explains everything. ;) The gameplay is done from a 3/4 perspective. MJ can use his glove to shoot blue flames, charge for a stronger attack, and use his special move, Dance Magic, which will make all the enemies/bosses on-screen dance along with MJ to a groove from one of his songs which climaxes with them being destroyed (unless it's a boss or strong foe with enough energy to withstand it). Sometimes, when he performs his Dance Magic other stuff besides enemies gets destroyed, such as windows shattering - a nice effect. There's also Michael's pet chimpanzee Bubbles which appears in certain locations. If Michael can make contact with Bubbles he'll transform into a robot version of himself capable of firing long-distance lasers and retaining his dance steps as well. As MJ progresses through the stages he'll have to rescue children who yell "Thank you Michael!" upon contact, usually giving extra points, health replenishment, and more Dance Magic. If MJ dies, he can continue right where he died. Inbetween stages are short cut-scenes done up in a comic-book style showing Mr. Big capturing children or whatever, with Michael always shouting out "NOOOO!!" Speaking of voices, you'll be hearing Michael make a lot of screams, yells and the usual stuff like "OWWW!!!"
The gameplay is unsophisticated (as expected) but also rather devoid of fun. Walking around, destroying enemies and objects eventually gets mundane and boring after a short while. Three players can play at once each with their own version of the gloved one. Thankfully, the game itself isn't long at five stages. Graphically, prepare to be underwhelmed. Even for an arcade at that point in time, Moonwalker is anything but impressable. Look at Moonwalker ~ And now look at the original Konami TMNT Arcade which predates Moonwalker by a year (1989). Screenshot #1 ~ Screenshot #2 ~ Moonwalker looks as if it's done on a Genesis. In fact, the only thing about the Moonwalker arcade that probably couldn't be done faithfully on Genesis is the amount of sprites on-screen at once in certain parts without slowdown. Speaking of which, the Moonwalker game on Genesis is actually a lot better than the arcade. It's more fun, more interesting, harder, longer, etc. There is also Moonwalker on Sega Master System, but I've never played it.
The music is all bad renditions of Michael Jackson songs like Bad, Beat it, and Billie Jean. For some reason, songs like Thriller, Rock With You, etc. aren't used which I find strange because they make for better material than Smooth Criminal and the song Bad being used twice. By the way, Rod Temperton wrote most of MJ's best songs (Thriller, Off The Wall, Etc.) and the only song that Michael Jackson himself wrote that I like is Billie Jean with its infectious bass groove, smooth pacing and sensible melody/lyrics. The versions of the songs in this game fall way short, sounding like they could've been done on a cheap old Casio keyboard or something. The sound effects and voices are ok from what I heard though.
You'd be best advised to stick with the Genesis Moonwalker which is a completely different game than the arcade. I understand that Sega stood to make money off of Jackson's image and such but time has once again pulled the veil on another shoddy excuse for a game. I'd rather play with my old WWF action figures than have to sit through this game again. At least I'd have something constructive to do with my time. Even this review is a waste of space. Who's bad? Michael Jackson/Sega, and not in a good way.

This game harmed more children than it suggests.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 08-03-2004 at 10:52 AM.
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