Title : Animaniacs
Publisher : Konami
Genre : Platformer
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1994
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$7
It's time for the Anniiiimannnniiaaaaccssss. And we're zaaannnny to the MAX! So just sit back and relax, you'll laugh to you collapse. We're the AniiiiMAAAAANNNIacs!
Wow, who didn't love this show when they were a kid? The obnoxious Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and their sister Dot along with a hilarious cast of other new characters. Who could forget PINKY and the BRAIN!? Seriously, one of the most bizarre cartoons back in the 90's. Leave it to Executive Producer Stephen Spielberg to be part of this.
So of course, there has to be a few video games based on this series.
The games I was familiar with were for the SNES and GENESIS, although one also came out for the game boy but I never played that one. Surprisngly, the games for each system were pretty different in terms of game play, so I was going to go ahead and go over each one pretty quickly.
I'll tell you this much, both we're a heck of a lot of fun and really captured the humor that Animaniacs always tried to portray. Not to mention the artistic style for both games were absolutely spot on. Oh, and please don't tell me I was the only one who memorized the theme song as a kid?
(SNES TITLE SCREEN)
Looking at each game side by side, you could tell that each console really reserved the right to create their own unique version of the Animaniacs game.
SNES - The SNES version played like a side scrolling beat 'em up, where the Warner siblings need to track down Pinky and the Brain who are, of course, trying to take over the world. They're doing so by stealing movies from WB studios (not sure how that will help taking over the world, but I'll roll with it). So it's up to the Warner Siblings to stop them.
The gameplay involves the Warner Brothers working together as one on the screen, but being careful not to collide with any enemies as it's usually a one hit kill. There's no health bar for the SNES version which can get irritating. You know how I hate games with no health bar.
You rush around the stage, collecting items, and occasionally taking part in a slot machine mini game at the bottom of the screen which can help you with recovering lost characters, or providing temporary boosts.
The game itself is INSANELY difficult. It took me ages to figure out the trick to beating it, and the real key is to just constantly move around as much as possible and keep that slot machine rolling. The slot machine is more helpful than anything else in the game as it always seems to provide you with even the slightest bit of aid.
Visually the game is colorful and the animations are flawless. It's almost as good as watching an Animaniacs cartoon. The music and sound effects are another thing that are done superbly well. Most of it is pulled straight out of the cartoon, and really sets the theme for a cartoon based video game.
Agh, if it wasn't for the extreme difficulty, the game would have been so much more enjoyable. Seriously, it's almost impossible to beat, and it ends up frustrating you more than anything.
Final Score (out of 5) :
GENESIS - Now the Genesis version takes a different route entirely. This time you have a straight forward platformer where you once again you take on the role of the Warner Siblings. This time they're looking for movie memorabilia to sell in their brand new store. Um, okay? You're faced with four different levels, which you can tackle in any order you want, and ultimately come face to face with Pinky and the Brain again.
Story lines were kind of weak in these games, but hey, what are you goinna do?
You can switch off between Yakko, Wakko, and Dot as each character has their own special abilities. Yakko uses a paddleball to hit enemies and is able to move larger items around. Dot can blow kisses, which is basically only used to move past certain areas. Wakko has a giant mallet which can activate switches for the most part. Unlike the SNES version, you've actually got a health bar in the shape of the characters faces, and their health depends entirely on their facial expression. Smile = good health, sad face = bad health. Obvious enough.
So if the lack of life bar pissed me off in the SNES version, it's the fact that this version is TIMED for each level. AGH!!! I HATE TIMED LEVELS! I want to pace myself, not rush around and get killed.
And that's one problem with this game. You're constantly wanting to scour the levels in order to collect items for new lives, but you never have the time. If I wasted even one second, I always found myself barely completing the level. You always have to keep moving.
Visually I thought the SNES version was a little bit better. Then again, I felt like this for a lot of Genesis games. The colors aren't as vibrant, and the animations aren't as fluid. As for the music and sound, this is also not up to the same level as the SNES version. It's very scratchy sounding for the most part, and I'm hoping it was just my cart but I can't tell.
The one thing this game has over the SNES version as at least it's a lot easier. I had no problem beating this game compared to the SNES one, but is that necessarily a good thing? Perhaps, it was too easy?
Both games were decent, but far from being masterpieces. Then again, you shouldn't expect much from these types of games as they're typically not even good so this should be considered a treat. If you're looking for a challenge, go for the SNES version. If you're looking for a quick platforming adventure, check out the GENESIS version. Either way, they're both pretty good, and if you're a fan of ANIMANAICS deserved to be checked out.
Until next time, keep on gaming!