MC Kids (NES) review
"Burgers: Recycled pieces of old meat bundled together with other unidentifiable pieces of.... something, to make one, greasy, whole. "
Burgers: Recycled pieces of old meat bundled together with other unidentifiable pieces of.... something, to make one, greasy, whole.
This game: Recycled pieces of old platformers bundled together with something original to make a very appealing whole. Only this game isn't served in a sesame-seed bun.
See why this is a McDonalds game??
This has to be right up there with in the list of most under-rated games of all time. The reaction it gets now is very similar to the reaction when Sony announced that they were going to produce Playstation, or the current reaction to Microsoft's forthcoming XBox. People are so busy saying the words 'cash-in', 'these companies have no place in gaming' and 'rip-off' that they never stop to notice that, hey, this game is actually very good. In fact, it could well be one of the best on NES.
Many aspects of this game bare similarities to other platform games - the map for each world being ferociously ripped straight from Super Mario Bros. 3, for instance, although Ocean have added some ingredients to the mix - like ketchup, not only do these things make the game taste better, you can't imagine the game being as good if these things were missing.
First is the block aspect. Blocks can be picked up across the levels, and used to kill foes. Kill another foe with the rebound and your health is replenished. Not only does this provide a breath of fresh air after the jumping on heads of almost every other platformer of the era, it is also vital to progress through the levels. For instance, you may come across the ghostly outline of a platform, but to use the platform you will need to find the relevant block to fill the outline. Similarly, come across a springpad that won't go down far enough to allow you to jump that pesky wall? Carry a block to provide the spring with more weight. Simple, but it adds a unique flavour, in the same way that Big Macs are different to Whoppers. Or something.
Second is the 'upside-down' aspect. Many levels feature blocks that send you to the underside of the platform, essentially doubling the size of levels - one on the floor, one on the ceiling.
I have heard this game criticized for it's poor plot, although the plot is no different to Doki Doki Panic (a game many of you will know as Mario 2). But that game has Mario in, so all is forgiven. Basically, the M.C. kids are reading a book in their tent, when they somehow (beats me) end up living out the events. Something to do with McDonald characters (Ronald the Scary Clown, Birdie the, um, Bird, Grimace the...... purple blob....) and a magic bag. This style is kept to well throughout the game. Bonus areas are accessed by use of a tent-like zip, and each new world is introduced by way of a new chapter in the book.
All in all, a genuine under-rated classic, a shining beacon in the hordes of NES platformers. Why this game never had recognition is beyond me. Maybe it should have had Mario in it.
Community review by tomclark (February 02, 2004)
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