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Mohawk and Headphone Jack (SNES) artwork

Mohawk and Headphone Jack (SNES) review


"Over the years Iíve played a countless amount of bad videogames. In the matter of fact Iíve played so many terrible ones that I donít have the slightest clue of which one is the worst. But Black Pearlís Mohawk and Headphone Jack is the ultimate example of a great game gone bad. It has traits that have made games in the past awesome, but they are butchered so badly to the point that the game is unplayable. It just might be the game that comes in dead last. And thatís saying a lot. "



Over the years Iíve played a countless amount of bad videogames. In the matter of fact Iíve played so many terrible ones that I donít have the slightest clue of which one is the worst. But Black Pearlís Mohawk and Headphone Jack is the ultimate example of a great game gone bad. It has traits that have made games in the past awesome, but they are butchered so badly to the point that the game is unplayable. It just might be the game that comes in dead last. And thatís saying a lot.

Mohawk and Headphone Jack is the SNESí attempt at Sonic the Hedgehog. This might sound cool, but first of all remember that the SNES is no Genesis. It is a console that has often fucked up games that wouldíve been decent, such as Super Castlevania IV, Aladdin, and Contra 3. This time a badass blue hedgehog is replaced by a dick-less, yellow clay person, speed has been sacrificed for extra Mode 7 effects, and awesome level design has been turned into one confusing mess.
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Even the protagonist is a total loser. You play as Mohawk (or Headphone if a second person is playing), a yellow clay figure with a green (or red for Headphone) Mohawk and no clothes that runs around with a CD player like heís some sort of cool shit. Well, heís not. There are millions of people out there with CD/MP3/whatever players, and the fact that heís a yellow turd without a penis doesnít make him any cooler. The game borrows heavily from Sonic the Hedgehog, but instead of being able to run at a lightning speed Mohawk has the ability to defy the laws of gravity. The punk can surely run, but the emphasis is heavily on the Mode 7 effects (the SNESí shitty graphical effects for those who donít know what Iím talking about) rather than what made the Genesis game so awesome.

Lets forget about the Mode 7 crap for a moment. The actual game isnít very exciting at all; the few enemies that appear arenít anything interesting. They do exactly nothing except sit in the same damn spot for eternity. Do you remember the string enemies from Super Metroid found in the water world? Well think of those, except they stand upright and donít make the slightest attempt to pose a threat to you unless youíre dumb enough to run into them. And thatís all youíll be encountering throughout the whole game.

The levels are just as repetitive and dull as the enemies. You will travel to several different settings, such as on land, in pipes, and in water, but they are all the same area disguised as something else. Once you complete the first level (IF you can get through it, more on that later) you will see everything that youíll encounter for the rest of the game. The backgrounds might change but the rest of the game wonít, and the fact that the enemies are the exact same in each level will make it seem like youíre playing different variations of the first level over and over again.

So Mohawk and Headphone Jack is a bland and repetitive game. These problems surely make the game boring, but they donít make it unplayable. Well what I just mentioned is nothing; in the matter of fact you probably wonít even notice it because of how bad the game is. The gimmick that it relies on is what really brings it down.

Just like Communism, Mohawk and Headphone Jackís premise looks great on paper, but it just doesnít work out at all. The ability to flip the direction of the gravitational pull while attempting to get through a maze might sound cool, but in reality itís a total mess. At the start of each level the game drops you at the beginning and expects you to make it to the end. No big deal, right? Well it wouldnít have been if the game didnít make it so freakiní hard to find your way around. I mean every damn room looks exactly the same, and after spinning and spinning youíll have no clue where you are supposed to be going. The game doesnít do anything to help you, either, except for arrows that lead to nowhere and a map that says nothing. In the matter of fact most of the stuff I found was by pure luck. I would be spinning around for hours, and all of a sudden run into a lame boss that requires no strategies or tactics and then the exit! If you ask me to do it again right after I finished it would probably take me just as long since I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. Itís sort of like bobbing for apples and trying to pick out the one green apple with 20 red apples in the pot. Youíll get it eventually, but the question is when.

Even if you find the solution right away every time (trust me, you wonít, but lets pretend you will for a moment) youíll still want to stop for the sake of your life. Since the SNES processor is less than half the speed of the Genesis one, thereís no way in hell that the SNES could pull off a Sonic-type game without MAJOR slowdowns. So to keep the game running smoothly Black Pearl decided to use shitty Mode 7 effects to make it seem like youíre really running fast and flipping the direction of gravity. The problem with this is the game always tries to keep you on a flat surface. So if you move up an elevated surface the screen will tilt to the left or right depending on which way the elevation is. If you decide to jump onto the ceiling the whole room will quickly flip around.

All of this spinning happens so often and so rapidly that it wonít be long before you get dizzy and want to call it quits. When I was really little I used to get enjoyment out of running around a couch or table until I got dizzy to the point where I would collapse. Well thatís what happens with Mohawk and Headphone Jack. Youíll get so dizzy by watching everything spin that after a minute or so youíll have to stop to take a break. The only way to prevent the constant spinning is to move like a snail, but then the game will take forever. Since finding each exit is based on pure luck and could take a long time, it will only take longer by moving slower. Even Nintendo said you better ďpack the PeptoĒ, since they didnít want any Snerds throwing up orange shit all over their SNES.

Iíll be honest here Ė Iíve never made it past the fourth level. I usually play games until the end, but I just couldnít stand this game any more. It took me hours (with maps by Nintendo Power) to get there, and I just couldnít take any more nauseating spinning around in endless mazes. I can tolerate a game with boring and repetitive enemies and level designs, but I canít tolerate one with levels so confusing that making your way to the end is based on pure luck. I can also put up with a game that tries to innovate, but I canít put up with one thatís innovation makes you dizzy and nauseous. In other words, I canít tolerate Mohawk and Headphone Jack. I canít say that about many games.

Rating: 1/10

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Community review by grassroots (January 12, 2006)

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