Title : Ardy Light Foot
Publisher : Titus / ASCII
Genre : Platform
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1994
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $25-$30
Every so often I encounter a game that I never knew existed. Occasionally this is bad thing, but sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised. When I first saw the box art to this game, I thought to myself "Oh boy, it's like another Conker." To me, Conker was one of the greatest characters ever devised, and the N64 game was the epitome of brilliance.
So here we have Ardy, who is a....uh......fox...? Cat? Catfox? Foxcat? Bobcat? I don't know what the hell he's supposed to be. And he has a blue penguin as a sidekick...sure why not. Oh, and he has to defeat this evil king named Visconti who stole pieces of a rainbow that grants wishes.
I kid you not.
Just by looking at the plot, I know I'm in for something either completely off the wall bad, or something surprising. I'm REALLY hoping for the later, because I really can't put up with many more bad platforming games for these consoles.
We take control of this weird, anthropomorphic creature who uses his pet blue penguin named Arc as a weapon. That's right. You get to chuck around a penguin as a weapon. Be careful not to get hit though, because then you'll lose your ability to abuse your friend. And you don't want that now do you!
Then again, you can always bounce around on your tail to kill enemies. That works. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to bounce on someone in a fight....jump over their heads, and stomp on em.
Back to what I was saying. You don't get a much more generic platformer than this. You've got difficult jumps, annoying enemies, and stars to collect. There's a boss at the end of certain levels, that of course manages to just annoy the hell out of you more than anything else.
Strangely enough, the game is oddly addictive. The story line progresses pretty well, and there's numerous cut scenes throughout the game either from the villains standpoint, or Ardy's standpoint. You'll interact with a lot of different characters, that actually help draw you into the game a bit more.
Yes, I'm admitting that I'm actually enjoying this play through. The game is simple so far, but it's actually pretty fun.
The levels are also separated by some brilliantly designed over world map. Seriously, this is one of the best overhead map designs I have seen so far on the SNES. Then again, if you take into account some of the other artwork in this game, it's all pretty well done. The colors, the animations, the designs. They aren't GREAT, but they're done in a pretty good style. So props to the art department for this one.
Tell me this isn't an awesome map. Honestly.
Then there's the issue of where the game falls short. There's a lot of inconsistency in this game, meaning that there are times when I'm just breezing through a level, and then there are times that another level just proves impossible to beat. You know in other platformers, the levels progressively get harder? Well, this one it's like a see saw.
Not to mention, there's nothing revolutionary done with this game to make it stand out. The play style is just like every other platformer out there, and while it's fun for the first 30 mins or so, it easily becomes monotonous.
I also felt like more could have been done with your penguin side kick. The truth of the matter is, you don't need him. He's there to help sure, and can provide some support for enemies acting as a buffer, but that's about it. He's no Yoshi, or Diddy Kong. He really loses his value, and you basically forget about him as the game goes on.
There's really only one level where you need him and his special abilities, but other than that, screw him. He's just a stupid blue penguin.
Other than that, the game is decent enough to enjoy a playthrough, but not something you'll revisit. It's really only good to fluff your library with a game that's semi-rare at the moment for the SNES. The game took a lot of aspects of Mario and tried to make it it's own. But come on, you can't beat Mario.