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Taz-Mania (Sega Master System) artwork

Taz-Mania (Sega Master System) review


"That dizzyingly hyper Taz is hungry once more. Of course, anyone familiar with that cooky freak knows that when Taz's stomach rumbles, he needs something fast to go yummy in his tummy. This time, Taz disembarks to the Lost Valley; a hidden gulch bearing numerous treats that he is just dying to get his hands on. "



That dizzyingly hyper Taz is hungry once more. Of course, anyone familiar with that cooky freak knows that when Taz's stomach rumbles, he needs something fast to go yummy in his tummy. This time, Taz disembarks to the Lost Valley; a hidden gulch bearing numerous treats that he is just dying to get his hands on.

Of course, there's no hint that getting to this "Lost Valley" will be an easy task. Spanning through five stages, Taz will be forced to spin through plains where docile creatures roam, transcend the deadly jungles in which snakes and other monstrosities lurk, find his way through a deep cavern of spooky things, and finally traverse through the ruins before reaching the Lost Valley itself where destiny awaits... and dinner too.

Taz-Mania takes the standard interface of a side-scroller. Enemies will continually appear in an attempt to knock Taz off his trail. Among the first few levels, the various enemies will consist of some spiders and a few spear-taming mice that barely poke you at long enough to avoid Taz's unrelentless spins. As Taz progresses through the stages, some new faces will appear to terrorize your journey. As Taz enters new stages, deadlier snakes and even skeletons will stand in your path.

Not to say that these enemies actually get more intelligent. Basically, you'll see that they simply walk back and forth paying no attention to their surrounding apart from turning around when they bump into walls. Most of your opposition will just fall off the stage with a quick spin from Taz himself. However, a player can't just spin through an entire level. Getting tired from too much of that exercise, Taz will rapidly drain his energy bar. Therefore, spinning for more than a few seconds is impossible without stopping. This little setback can get particularly problematic when you're faced up against multiple foes. Luckily, they don't notice you most of the time anyway.

To add to each stage, large pitfalls, quicksand, lava, and spikes will swallow you up before you know it. When fighting through each level, Taz will have to keep in mind where to jump or fall as a misstep can send him tumbling downwards into the abyss or smack-dab onto a sharp spike (without the blood effects of course). Later on, these natural haphazards frequent levels more often in strategic locations. It's not surprising when Taz stumbles across multiple pits together with small land pieces in-between. In these cases, you'll be forced to jump onto each small piece separately. Considering how difficult it is to land each jump absolutely perfectly, these areas become annoying really fast.

Apart from all the perilous aspects that can hurt Taz, there are various powerups hidden throughout levels just as well to help him out. Occasionally, one might come across a cooked chicken just sitting there in the middle of the path. Eating it will replenish a portion of Taz's health bar. This is the ONLY way for Taz to heal himself so no need to go looking for other forms of food if you don't like chicken (How did a cooked chicken get in Tasmania?). Other powerups might include the occasional 1UP which gives you another life if you happen to lose all your health. Finally, there's a star which gives Taz the impeccable ability to become impervious to all enemies. Yep, just like Mario.

Fans of the original Taz cartoons will love the backgrounds and detailed landscapes. Although trees and such may look a bit disfigured and blocky, the overall mood created by the atmosphere makes it very similar to the cartoon itself. The outdoorsy stages are bright and lively with brightly colored scenery and sky. Throughout the caverns stages however, the mood is dark and foreboding as skeletons roam the rocky floor and bats fly through the air.

It's pretty fun soaring through the air as you land upon unsuspecting foes through the bright landscapes of Tasmania. Taz-Mania is not the best-looking game nor the "coolest" game to play. However, it had its fair share of charm which made playing through the game itself a fun and interesting experience.

If you love the cartoon, you'll love the game just as well.

Rating: 8/10

masterzero99's avatar
Community review by masterzero99 (April 18, 2005)

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