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Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure (Genesis) artwork

Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure (Genesis) review

"Truth, Justice, and the Flatulent Way"

The planet has been littered with waste; so much so, that a scientist has created a device to send all of it to a different dimension. Surmising that something is amiss, Snotty Ragsdale decides to go undercover as a janitor at the scientist's lab. It doesn't take long for his suspicions to be confirmed, as an ominous hand materializes from the waste basket below the hovering device, snatching it, and then disappearing. Snotty reacts by... running to the restroom... and moments later he emerges as the super hero Boogerman, donning a black domino mask, a red cape, and a green spandex outfit. He then leaps down the waste basket and into Dimension X-crement, where an army of green goblins are eager to fight him in one sticky and smelly battle after another.

Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure officially begins here, where your protagonist fights sentient boogers across six stages, each further being separated into rounds. As Snotty runs and jumps in this side-scrolling journey, he has several weapons and tricks to use as he comes across several enemies and obstacles. Given the namesake, his primary attack is flinging boogers in an arch by default, unless he acquires a milk bottle power-up that allows for straight projectiles. Secondary attacks include burping and farting, each of which can be charged for more damage. Boogerman is a surprisingly well-animated character too, so whenever you charge his fart attack, you're literally watching his face grimace in pain while his spandex fluidly expands in the buttock area prior to release. Interestingly, all of these attacks aren't limitless, meaning you have to restock throughout each round.

While forcing players to carefully deplete their resources makes for an interesting challenge when done right, it almost feels tacked on considering the overall design. AI patterns in the game are pretty straightforward: the majority of "encounters" are just enemies walking back and forth in limited capacity. Furthermore, 99% of your opponents only melee attack, so you have the advantage of killing them from a distance. In some instances, the design tries to be sneaky by having certain platforms barely out of sight when leaping to them, thus coercing a sudden confrontation with an enemy. However, this is usually avoidable if you don't rush, plus the game allows you to sneak a peek above and below Snotty.

Unfortunately, platform structure and enemy placement pretty much make Boogerman feel too repetitive and generic. It gets to a point where you can literally predict when to throw a snot and kill an enemy as they're walking on screen. It gets that predictable. It doesn't help that enemy variety is borderline nonexistent past the first few rounds. Each stage attempts to introduce a new foe, but they're either slight variations of earlier stuff or they're just underused. You know that goblin sprite that keeps reappearing over and over again? How about two goblins stuck together, which you need to hit twice to kill it! The only enemies that are genuinely challenging are the boss fights, due to the fact that you're battling most of them with no refills within a condensed area; you have to make do with your default stock.

So that really just leaves players with the central gimmick. It's disgusting and juvenile, but that's the point, and thankfully it's not done in a mean-spirited and grotesque manner. It's about on the level of something you would see in a Ren & Stimpy episode. But is it pulled off well? It's oddly hit and miss. In some stages, the devs go in hard on the joke, such as being in a mansion decorated with checkered green walls and slimy green pillars, or climbing up a mountain where liquid snot is spilling out of a skull's nose. But then you get a stage that takes place in a bland village at night that segues into a bland mountain... which segues into a bland cave; or you have encounters with, of all things, ghosts coming out of tree hollows. In these instances, it feels like the devs couldn't come up with enough gimmick material to sustain a full playthrough, so they used unrelated substitutions.

That's the game's biggest gripe: it doesn't fully commit to its own gimmick, along with having some very uninspiring stage structuring. Even if the gimmick was wholly embraced, it won't mean much if the game isn't fun to play throughout. And considering this game is on a console with so many quality side-scrolling platform titles to begin with, Boogerman's antics are mediocre at best.

dementedhut's avatar
Community review by dementedhut (February 07, 2023)

Tidbit: the protagonist of Umihara Kawase has made appearances in games outside of the series. She can be played in the fighting game Blade Strangers (2018), the puzzler Crystal Crisis (2019), and even as a selectable character in Cotton Fantasy (2021).


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