Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #133: Cliffhanger


Title : Cliffhanger

Publisher : Sony Imagesoft

Developer : Malibu Interactive

Genre : Action Platformer

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1993

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $20-$25

Sylvester Stallone was one of the kings of 90s action flicks alongside Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mel Gibson. Who doesn't remember the classics like Daylight, Judge Dredd, Demolition Man and of course Cliffhanger. This movie had one of the most dramatic opening scenes in any action flick. You know you remember it. Sylvester Stallone holding on to that woman, as his glove slips off his hand and she falls to her death into a chasm below. 

Then the moment after...when Sylvester Stallone screams. That curled lip and roar. "RawwaAAArrwwARrnOOOOooO!". Acting Brilliance! Nah, but the real gold to this film was John Lithgow playing one of the most vile villains in movie history. Not as good as Alan Rickman in Die Hard, but still pretty bad ass.

Now, when you think of video games based on movies, you usually think of LJN. Thankfully, Cliffhanger was made by Sony Imagesoft which had a pretty decent history making some good video games. However, this game also came out in 1993, which was pretty much when the NES was over and done with.
That brings us to two factors - a) this game was hard to come by, so it's actually worth a pretty penny for NES collectors. It's only $20-$25, but that's still above average. b) the game most likely suffered from repetitive and overused gameplay that we've experienced for almost 10 years playing NES games.

Let's find out how well this game fared. Strap on your gear, and arm yourself with your best Sylvester Stallone impression. Time to get our Cliffhanger on.


Cliffhanger immediately wins for the worst title screen in NES history. Come on, you're out in 1993, you can't afford to have a picture of Sylvester Stallone hanging from the cliff!? That's absolute BS. I don't want some blue silhouette over a crappy background! LAZY!

The game loosely follows the movie where you answer a distress call from a group of terrorists trapped in the mountain who have stolen money and also kidnapped your partner Hal. It's up to you, Gabe, to rescue your friend and kill John Lithgow. All while jumping around mountains. I bet you can already guess this game is going to be heavy on the platform elements.

Just when you think the title screen was bad, the game loads up. The cutscenes look like they were drawn by a three-year-old, and the music is quite possibly the worst I have ever heard on a NES game. I seriously wonder if whoever composed this soundtrack just slammed his fingers on a keyboard and just hit the repeat button.

Oh......but then the gameplay starts......*sighs*


Take a second to just look at the above screenshot. That is an actual screenshot from a NES game from 1993. You would expect more right? I didn't even know Sylvester Stallone had green hair, and since when are money bags the same size as a human being. Not to mention those are the SMALLEST trees in the world.

The gameplay is absolutely pathetic. The ability to move your character is limited by the fact that the controls are quite possibly the stiffest imaginable. At first I thought my controller was broken when I tried playing it, but nope, it's the game. You'll spend most of your time avoiding enemies, because you barely find any weapons. Even when you do find something like a knife or a gun, they don't help you for long. Your best bet is to just run from left to right as fast as you can.

Thankfully the horrible gameplay is broken up by some even worse boss fights at the end of certain levels. Dance around them for as long as possible and just punch them when you can. Beware of their absurd hit detection though. They can hit you whenever you want, but you can barely lay a finger on them. Sounds fair.


Yes, that's me using a guy as a snowboard. I don't know what to say about this game. It's quite possibly one of the worst movie to game translations, and it wasn't even made by LJN. That's saying something. To beat them at their game is an accomplishment in their own right, so good on you Sony! You did the impossible.

As for me, I'll stick to watching the movie. How does the rating work for this game? I say its deserving of at least one pixelated Sylvester Stallone face.

Final Score (out of 5) :



Until next time. Keep on gaming!

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