Title : Darkman
Publisher : Ocean
Developer : Ocean
Genre : Action
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1991
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $12-$15
Now that the Thanksgiving long weekend is finally over, and I pretty much got all the Turkey goodness out of my system by now, it's time to get back into the swing of some video game reviews. We're starting off December with a game that was personally one of my last ever NES acquisitions before I moved over permanently to the Super Nintendo. I never saw the film as a kid, but there was something about that box art that drew me in.
Going back to the movie this was actually based on, has anyone seen it? I feel like I'm missing out on some cult classic or something. Do I take the time out of my busy work schedule and give this movie a whirl on netflix? What say you fellow retro gamers? I mean, it does have Liam Neeson in it...you can't go wrong with Liam Neeson.....Tak3n is coming out soon..ha..Tak3n..they had to throw that 3 in there didn't they. God dammit Hollywood. You piss me off.
Wow, apologies for being side tracked, but this is about games is it not? So let's see if Liam Neeson is capable of saving this NES game. Probably not, as we know with most movie based 8-bit games, they're pretty much a guaranteed crap fest.
Now tell me that isn't an incredible start up screen. Look at all those damn options! You've got a story option, so you don't have to deal with paying attention to any of the cutscenes in the game (which there are like two of). You can play the game...continue the game...pick a one player...even though the game is only one player so this part confuses me...view your hi scores (which will probably be horrible because this game is atrocious) OR turn off the music and sound! Which you might want to because it's the equivalent of a hellish torment!
We're off to a good start, aren't we? When the best thing the game has to offer, might only be the title screen.
In Darkman, you play as Darkman..ha...a semi-superhero with the ability to wear the faces of his enemies. In each level, you'll actually disguise yourself as the boss of each level, which is kind of entertaining, but get's pretty old pretty fast.Then again, the concept is pulled from the movie...somewhat.... You'll also gain the abilities of the boss, but you need to hurry because time will run out, and you'll just end up turning into good 'ol bandaged up darkman again. YUP, a time limit game. YOU KNOW I LOVE THOSE.
There's three different type of levels you'll encounter throughout Darkman. The first is the traditional side-scrolling platforming game, which basically is reminscient of every other side-scrolling platforming game you've played before on the NES. Nothing different here. Shoddy hit detection from your amazing punch and kick attacks, because that's all you get. Horrible controls...oh and I mean those controls where it feels like those brick walkways that you're running across are actually made of ice.
Don't you love that slip and slide effect? Is it really that hard to program your avatar to just STOP. People don't slide in real life when they change directions. Imagine the chaos!?
The next sequence, is Darkman swinging from a rope punching out villains. Yeah...I don't get it. Exciting? No...
The last segment, is having to take pictures of the upcoming boss in order to be able to make a mask of them. You'll have to pan back and forth, taking pictures of the boss whenever he appears, all while avoiding a slew of gunfire. It's like one of those Bayou Billy shoot 'em up segments. Just as bad too. BUT you need to take some good pictures too, otherwise you'll get less time to beat the next level. So you better make sure your photo skills are good, or you'll be screwed with time.
Ugh, what else can be said about Darkman. It's visually an okay game to look at. I'm kidding, it's not. The character designs remind me of Dick Tracy villains, but all look like hideous burn victims. Even Darkman doesn't even look like Darkman half the time. The only time he ever looks remotely interesting is when he is swinging on that rope like Tarzan.
Going back to the audio. I warned you before. You better take advantage of that option to turn off the damn music because you're going to want to. It's bad enough to make your ears bleed.
So while the game may be trash, I'm still curious about the movie. Do I dare?!
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time. Keep on gaming!