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Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (Genesis) artwork

Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (Genesis) review


"BlueSky Software, who later went on to create the Vectorman games, should be commended for doing their homework, from successfully recreating the atmosphere and sound effects, to the vivid animations that make you feel part of its world."



Back when the Genesis was still pumping out games, I played Desert Demolition much more than I should have. And it's not because I had a small library, I owned a decent amount of quality titles I loved coming back to. The reason I played DD a lot is due to it being a neat, little Looney Tunes game starring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner that stayed amazingly true to its source material. This hits you right away, too, when you see the SEGA logo at the start, which quickly explode in pieces when Wile crashes into it, narrowly missing the crafty bird. Afterwards, you're then met by the Looney Tunes title card, accompanied with a low key rendition of the well-known opening music sequence. Then you see the coyote chase after the road runner on a desert landscape, both freezing and being introduced (fake Latin names included) right in front of the game's title, where you're then given the option to pick either character.

Talk about a good first impression.

The spirit isn't just exclusive to the opening segments, either, as the world of DD faithfully reconstructs the Chuck Jones shorts in gaming format. The characteristics of each animal is humorously reproduced, like Wile, whose presence is known by the dun-dun-dun-dun sound effects that follow his footsteps, changing to a rapid drum beat when he runs with energetic animation. His assortment of Acme gadgets are also available, from rocket skates that can knock him into a bed of cacti, to that absurd green suit that allows him to fly into huge rock formations if not careful. Road Runner, too, keeps up its sly personality, popping up in odd places, sticking its tongue out, eluding the hungry coyote at just the right moment, and of course, there's an action button that allows it to go "Beep! Beep!"

BlueSky Software, who later went on to create the Vectorman games, should be commended for doing their homework, from successfully recreating the atmosphere and sound effects, to the vivid animations that make you feel part of its world.

Now, as a game, DD isn't something you could get a whole lot out of. Even when I played it all those years ago, I found its platforming design to be a bit odd at times. Some stages are so simply-designed that you can run across them, obstacles and all, within two minutes. The devs apparently combat this issue by giving you a side mission. At least I think it is a side mission. The task: collect 126 stamps littered around each zone. Do that, and you'll get to play bonus stages, ranging from flying rockets into space to being chased by a train. Collecting really does sound unexciting, but this is the only way to extend the length of DD and have a semblance of challenge. Finding stamps actually is difficult in more places than others, as well, since there's usually explosive barrels and a pretty strict timer that you have to beat. The only way to keep it ticking is to search for clocks in out-of-the-way spots or "catch" the AI controlled coyote/bird stalking you in every stage.

Unfortunately, even when you latch on this collectathon job, DD can be beaten in a very short time frame. Just a little under 30 minutes, to be exact. But you get to play either Wile or Road Runner, right? Right. But each character share the exact same stages, only slightly altering item placement. It's sad the game design isn't up to par with the presentation, because if BlueSky had pushed a little harder, something special could've happened. Then again, if they tried harder, it would've turned out like Vectorman. Hmm... Fans of these characters will easily get a chuckle playing this, but gamers looking for more content will see Desert Demolition as just another licensed product.

Rating: 5/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (August 19, 2012)

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