Title : Awesome Possum...Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt
Publisher : Tengen
Genre : Action Platformer
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1993
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $6-$10
Back in the early 90's, we all probably watched the Captain Planet cartoon. Hell, I even collected all the action figures for it. Those villains were really well done. The thing that made Captain Planet great, was that it was a legitimate environmentalist platform, and hell the cartoon was pretty damn good too. Of course, cartoons are a great way to get kids involved in supporting the environment, but who would have thought that video games were involved too. Seems legit, right?
Listen, I'm all for cleaning up the environment. I support Don't get me wrong, this world is a filthy place. Pollution, Deforesting, depleted ozone, global warming. You name it. We're doing a really crappy job of keeping this planet alive. So if a publishing company creates a game with a goofy mascot trying to clean up the world, let's go for it. Of course, let's not try to be too tacky, shall we?
Enter, Awesome Possum.....kicks Dr. Machino's Butt. Just by the title alone, I'm not going to take this game seriously. Hell, as a kid I may have thought it was an awesome game title, but there we go again with some anthropomorphic hero trying to save the day. Reminds me a bit of Sonic vs. Doctor Robotnik, but I won't go there. Yet...
The first thing you'll probably notice once you start this game up is.....WHOA!! VOICE ACTING!! No....freaking...way. But there is! This is one of the first games that ever had active voice acting throughout the entire play through. Sure it wasn't much, but damn it was actually pretty well done. I'm of course talking about well done for the 16-bit generation. It's not like that 8-bit voice over that you'll find on the NES which was just frightening.
But the voice acting.....it does get a bit irritating. Awesome Possum's one liners will just start boring into your brain. Eventually, you just want to make him die so he'll shut up. I know he's a possum, but he shouldn't play dead. He should just die....seriously...listen to him for more than five minutes and tell me you don't want him as roadkill.
So the goal of the game is to go through each level (which there are 13 of) spinning around, and collecting rings...I mean...cans. Ha, well, remember how I said this game reminded me a bit of Sonic? Well the game plays EXACTLY like sonic. Awesome Possum spins around (just like sonic), and collects cans (just like Sonic collects rings), and hell the screen moves and positions itself just like Sonic games. At first, it seems like a direct rip off, which it really kind of is, but the game does add some elements that make it a tad different. I'm not just talking about the Possum main character.
Certain levels have animals which you can hop and ride that will assist you in traveling faster or taking down enemies quicker. Although it's not really that hard to kill enemies in the first place. That is, if you can handle this games horrendous control scheme. I don't even know how I'm controlling the damn possum half the time, and he's just bouncing all over the damn screen. Anyway, like I was saying, there's a bunch of different critters like rhinos, bees, or manta rays that could help you out, but whatever.
As if collecting cans and beating up deforesting robots wasn't boring enough, this game also throws some environmental questions at you. And this is where I lost it. I understand having underlying themes of environmentalism, but do not shove questions down my throat. It interrupts the game play, and it just irks me.
So what exactly is wrong with this game besides being a Sonic clone, the horrible controls, the choppy graphics / animations, and the irritating voice overs (that I liked the first minute of). What isn't wrong with this mess. It plays like a game that was thrown together in a week. They took Sonic the Hedgehog, and gave it a pitiful make over. It's not even a makeover...it's a plastic surgery gone wrong.
Listen, there are plenty of other great platformers out there, and hell if you want an environmental game that's good, play the Captain Planet game because that is actually decent! Do yourself a favor...avoid this. There's no need to torture yourself.