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The Moonlight War novel by S.K.S. Perry

Psycho Fox (Sega Master System) artwork

Psycho Fox (Sega Master System) review

"What images do you get when you put the words Psycho and Fox together? Possibly your mind will come up with some bizarre pictures but I bet that you won’t even come close to what the game Psycho Fox is like. When I first head of this game I was in wonder about the nature of the character that I could play. Was he an ordinary fox with simple ambitions or was it something more? "

What images do you get when you put the words Psycho and Fox together? Possibly your mind will come up with some bizarre pictures but I bet that you won’t even come close to what the game Psycho Fox is like. When I first head of this game I was in wonder about the nature of the character that I could play. Was he an ordinary fox with simple ambitions or was it something more?

What I found was something very odd indeed! A cute platformer that seemed to appeal to the younger generation rather than my “mature“ group. I picked it up anyway as I find myself unable to resist “cutesy” games like this, especially on the older systems. At first I had a few problems, such as the sloppy controls. However, once used to it, I found it a pleasant experience. Then I discovered:

This game IS Decap Attack!!

In Decap Attack, you were a mummy like creature with two heads. One was in his chest and the other between your shoulders. This creature could extend the head in his chest rapidly and headbutt enemies. Also if he picked up his other head he could throw it at enemies. In Psycho Fox, the extending head has been replaced by an extendable fist that every character can use also the head feature has changed into a friendly crow. If you collect the crow, it will perch on your back and you can throw him at enemies like you could do with the head. The bonus levels are similar to those in Decap Attack, you have five paths and each path leads to special item at the end. Collecting coins during normal levels allow you to take part in the bonus stage and the number of coins you have, the more chances you have at winning an item.

One unusual feature in this game is ability to switch to one character to another almost instantly. You can switch between Psycho Fox, who is an all round character that can do everything evenly. The hippo is the strongman, who can actually break some walls down and the monkey is very fast and can leap higher and further than anyone else. The other character is a tiger, which is way below average, mainly due to his poor reach and his weak jump. This feature is pretty fun as you may find some platform games can run short because you get sick of just doing the same thing over and over. Since you’re given a selection of characters to use it can make the game last a bit longer because you can experiment with different ones and pick the one which is best.

The only main problem here are the very stiff controls. When you jump forward you’ll barely cover any ground so you’ll have to get running to gain momentum to anywhere. This is extremely very irritating at times, as you don’t know how far you’re going to go before you go too far. Also you can only be hit once, the characters you control go at breakneck speed so if you stop too late you’ll end up dead, also the stiff jumping will probably just make you fall down. If you jump forward you won’t go far so in order to create a long jump you must run and jump together, combining two awkward moves together doesn’t help you in the long run.

Psycho Fox has some pretty weird bosses and enemies, and I’m happy to say that they aren’t from Decap Attack. A giant fly, a funny looking oversized gopher, who blends into the scenery quite nicely and a heavenly Fox God are some of the gallery of bosses you‘ll have to overcome. Oddly, the bosses need a special gadget to kill them unlike your traditional punch and jump routine. Here you will have to use swift skill and your razor sharp reflexes to use the gadgets provided to vanquish your opponent. The gadgets you are given allow you to be able to spray aerosol into the eyes of a giant fly, shoot cannons at a ring monster and throw rocks at a God. This is one of the only games that allows you to throw rocks at God.

All in all though I enjoyed Psycho Fox , although it wasn’t my favourite Master System game but it was worth playing through. I guess if you collect these kinds of games then I recommended digging it out but only if you have finished with the other platform games. Alex Kidd and Wonder Boy are a lot better in many ways but if you have done with them then you may as well try it out. It remains only for the collector and those who are huge platform game fans but for people who don’t fit that criteria it isn’t worth picking up.

Rating: 7/10

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Community review by goldenvortex (October 08, 2004)

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