"The Disney games are always impressive in both visual and audio but never really bring anything new when it comes to gameplay. I think I've played all of the Disney games on Genesis and Pocahontas was the last I played. It also was the best one, in both graphics/music and gameplay. It was a pretty good surprise. "
The Disney games are always impressive in both visual and audio but never really bring anything new when it comes to gameplay. I think I've played all of the Disney games on Genesis and Pocahontas was the last I played. It also was the best one, in both graphics/music and gameplay. It was a pretty good surprise.
Pocahontas and her tribe lived peacefully in the forest of North America until the men from England came to ''steal'' their land. The chief of the tribe, Pocahontas' father, send her to spy on the newcomers to see what they are up to. Pocahontas is helped by her friends; Meeko the raccoon and Flit the hummingbird. She leaves her village and go through the forest with her animal friends. On her way she meets one of the English men, John Smith and they fall in love with each other. Sadly, it's a forbidden love. The story line then expands after each levels and follow the story of the Disney movie.
The word that comes to my mind when I think about Pocahontas' graphics is the word pretty. The graphics were pretty and beautiful at the same time. The whole game may be in the forest of North America, but each level is different in a way or the other despite always in the same forest. What gave me this nice feeling while playing the game was the way I really felt like in a real forest. You know, leaves floating around in the air, swirling around you as you advance through the forest. Ducks swimming peacefully over the water and suddenly leaving the water and flying away. Rabbits running around on the ground as you pass next to them. Squirrels climbing around on tree branches. Birds chirping and flying around in the sky. Water quietly falling from a waterfall and sliding onto the rocks to the lake. Yes, there's all that in the game. You feel like in a real forest, lush and full of little details. All the animals move exactly like real animals and everything look beautiful -the trees, the grass, the rocks, the water, the sky-, really everything. It's hard to describe exactly how good the game looks, you'll have to see it for yourselves, and I really recommend you to do so. It's really worth it. The levels aren't very varied though, it's always in the forest but in some levels it's night, in others it's day, or before the sun rises, when the sky is orange. Some of the backgrounds are a little plain but considering how good the overall levels are, you won't even notice it. You can even see the shadows of the trees reflecting themselves into the lake's water. Very pretty and nice. The underwater was a little plain too, like there could have been a little more like seaweeds and more different fishes (though there's already some fishes and otters). The characters and animals were nice, from Meeko to John Smith and others but somehow, Pocahontas was very well animated, but looked a little like a man and that annoyed me a bit. I still think this game is one of the best looking on Genesis.
The music and sounds were yet another aspect of the game I really liked. I'll start with the sounds, as they complete the nice visuals of the game. Here again, the sounds add to the feel of being in a real forest. You hear the birds chirping, the splash of the otters jumping in the water, the small animals moving in the bushes and the animals' cries. In fact, there were so many different sounds that I couldn't pay attention to all of them at the same time. The animals' sounds sounded like real animals' calls, you could hear Pocahontas running in the grass and the water falling from the waterfalls. Very nice sound effects. The music was awesome too, for the most part. The first level had music from the movie and it really fitted well the nice and peaceful look of the forest. It was catchy and added to the feel of the game. It sounded exactly like in the movie and that was great, considering there were tons of animals sounds at the same time, all that went in great harmony. The music on later levels didn't really caught into my mind, I was hearing it without really realizing it was playing so it wasn't special but fitted well the levels, I guess, seeing how I didn't really paid attention to it. The music is more low at night time and more catchy at day time, things like that. So all that seems to sound great, doesn't it ?
Sweet. The gameplay is absolutely sweet. There's many reasons for it to be sweet and I'll tell you all about that. You play as Pocahontas, obviously, but you can also play as Meeko (the raccoon) and this adds a lot to the gameplay and is one of the best aspect of it. You can switch characters at any time through a level simply by pressing the C button. Meeko is the character that controls the best and that you'll like the most to play as. Meeko isn't one of these slow and blocky animal character from other games, Meeko moves like a real raccoon. He runs fast, jump high and controls perfectly. You'll really feel like a raccoon running around in the forest... Meeko can climb up trees, pick up berries, enter small passageways, moves boulder and more. Pocahontas can do most of the things Meeko can do but she doesn't run and jump as well. In fact, switching characters isn't just an add to the gameplay. No, it's used to solve puzzles. The game is a kind of platfomer but filled with puzzles and you need the 2 characters to solve the puzzles and make your way to the end of a level. Pocahontas can't reach the ledge above ? Switch to Meeko and climb up the tree to get on the ledge. Push the boulder below so Pocahontas can climb. This is an example of how the 2 characters help each other. You always have to find a way to help each other get over some obstacles. Meeko can't swim so sometimes you have to find a way to make Meeko cross to the other side of the river. Are you gonna use that tree trunk floating over the water there ? The puzzles in this game are very clever for the most.
Through the levels, Pocahontas has to find and rescue animals and receive their spirits. When she's awarded a spirit, she'll earn the animal's power. With the deer spirit, she can run. With the otter spirit, she can dive and swim. With the squirrel spirit, she can climb up trees. There are 9 animal spirits to get in total (deer, otter, bird, squirrel, fish, wolf, bear, owl and eagle) and 9 different powers to obtain through the levels. There are no real enemies in the game, all the animals are your friends but you can hurt yourself if you fall from tall cliffs and fall into gasps. The only enemies in the game are the English men but they kill you in one hit. There are 4 levels in total, but the game can be long because all the levels are long and some puzzles can take you quite some time to figure out. The last level has no puzzles, it's pretty linear, you run and jump over pits, using the animals powers you got from the spirits. Sometimes you have to pass tests to earn the spirits, like racing against the wolf or following the owl in the dark. There's a lot of hidden things in the levels, things you're not forced to get to complete the levels, but it's really nice to try and get them all by solving the puzzles. Meeko can find these 60 berries scattered through the levels and there's always a clever way to get them, it was really fun for me to explore all the levels and find all the secret passageways as Meeko. I couldn't say the game is easy, it's quite hard and you always have think about what to do but nothing is really difficult either. The game is entertaining and you won't stay stuck on any puzzle. It's not a game I'll replay before long, but it was a really enjoyable experience through the nature and I hope you'll give it a try someday.
This game isn't kiddy in any way, even if it's starring Pocahontas. If you like nature and platformers with puzzles, this is definitively for you. I'm sure if the game was longer and didn't feature Pocahontas, more people would have been interested in it. Forget about Pocahontas and just play the game for what it truly is, an awesome and brilliant game.
Community review by wishingtikal (September 01, 2003)
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