Dizzy the Adventurer (NES) review
"Meet Dizzy. Dizzy is an egg. Dizzy comes from Yolkfolk village. Dizzy has an egg girlfriend (hot, I know) named Daisy. On one eggcelent day (I'm sorry, really I am), they discovered a secret entrance to the evil wizard Zak's castle. Little did they know, Zak himself was watching them through his crystal ball! He set a trap for them in the form of a horrible, awful, terrifying, spinning wheel (DUN DUN DUUUN!). It mysteriously spun infinitely due the magic spell placed on it by the wizard. ..."
Meet Dizzy. Dizzy is an egg. Dizzy comes from Yolkfolk village. Dizzy has an egg girlfriend (hot, I know) named Daisy. On one eggcelent day (I'm sorry, really I am), they discovered a secret entrance to the evil wizard Zak's castle. Little did they know, Zak himself was watching them through his crystal ball! He set a trap for them in the form of a horrible, awful, terrifying, spinning wheel (DUN DUN DUUUN!). It mysteriously spun infinitely due the magic spell placed on it by the wizard. Overwhelmed by curiosity (hey, who wouldn't be?), Daisy couldn't help but touch the wheel, only to be pricked on the finger. Apparently wise old wizard Zak had prepared the egg tranquilizer and put it on the wheel. Daisy collapsed immediately to the floor. Dizzy panicked, especially when he heard a door opening behind him. He spun around only to find Boris the troll, who grabbed Daisy and threw her into an underground prison. It is now up to Dizzy to find her and make sweet, yolky victory love to her.
After that epic tale is spun to you, it's time for you to get to work. The "prison" they tossed you in conveniently has some straw, a match, and a pail of water waiting for you next to the wooden door. Now the game realizes that a puzzle of this magnitude might require some deep thought, so it gives you a few moments to think before offering help in the form of tips. Thank God, because I was completely lost. After several 'wink winks' in the general direction of the straw and match, I finally figured things out. Amusingly, I found that if you walk into the fire without putting it out, you can fry up a nice Dizzy Omelet. But to advance in the game, you must put the fire out and be on your way. Now with a start like this, I doubt anyone could have high hopes for intriguing gameplay or tricky puzzles. But don't give up on the game yet, because it does redeem itself somewhat. Note the word somewhat, because it's the key one there.
Popping out of my little prison hole I realize that it opens up to an open space outside the village where several people are sitting around waiting for me to talk to them. This made me wonder how the hell they didn't notice the gaping hole in the ground leading to a wooden wall where a screaming egg was trapped. This question is never answered, but some new ones are brought up in the forms of missions. The jester needs you to find him some objects that he can juggle. The lion has something stuck in his foot that he needs taken out. The sleeping guy is a waste of space and doesn't do anything. Basically, they all require you to find items for them. Soon enough you'll find them, as they're just lying around. You can only carry three items at a time though, so you need to choose carefully. I thought it was clever that the way to empty out your whole inventory is to pick up a little black dot. The resulting menu tells you that you just picked up a black hole and everything fell out of your bag.
There are some other little charms like this throughout the game, but there is not nearly enough to make this game acceptable. It's hard to care about any of these characters since you hardly know who they are or what they do. But anyway, like any good gamer, you must carry on and save the girl (er, egg). Now I wouldn't say any of the puzzles in this game are complex, but they're certainly better than the one right at the beginning of the game. Once you find the items you need, it's all pretty straight-forward. There are a few traps, but for the most part little gets in your way of saving Daisy. There are no enemies to jump on like in most platformers, and the few enemies that there are you have to avoid. But don't worry, because you'll die a lot anyway simply by touching water.
Yes, apparently eggs can't swim because the slightest touch of water makes Dizzy die instantly. I find it curious that a little water kills an egg, yet falling all the way down to the ground from a cloud in the sky just causes the same egg to sit on the ground with little birdies flying around its head for a few moments. Perhaps Dizzy is hard-boiled. Anyway, like I said the fact that touching water kills you is one of the many annoyances in this game. At the beginning of the game you have to cross a small bit of water on a boat that goes back and forth. The boat moves incredibly slowly, and this is really boring to wait for. But when it finally comes back to you, if you jump to it you will almost definitely roll over the side and into the water, meaning you have to wait for the slow-ass boat to make its way back to you again, only now you have one less life. Argh.
It's slow-downs like this that make you really want to stop playing this game. Another slow-down is how Dizzy has to stop and clap for you every time you get a little cherry point bonus or a star. There's a lot of these, and having to watch him clap for a few seconds after every single one makes you want to just avoid them rather than collect them. But the most annoying thing in the entire game is the jump controls. See, you can't jump up and then move right or left like in most platformers, no, you can either jump up, or jump up and to the right or left. Then, when you land, you usually have to roll like the egg you are for a few moments. This makes landing on some of the platforms incredibly frustrating (like the boat). Often you will climb a long way up a tree or something only to roll off the edge of the highest branch and have to do the whole climb over again.
This and the other problems add up to enough frustration to not want to continue the game. At least the good thing is that there's plenty of times to stop, since you'll probably die a lot when playing (at least half of your deaths will probably be falling into water). Since this is one of those games that is sort of guess-and-check in your jumps and item selection, it will probably take you several tries to beat. But if you're like me, you just won't want to start over and do it again, because it's boring and frustrating. While the game does offer some charms and humorous moments (at one point you end up seeing heaven, meeting St. Peter, and subsequently receiving "special cheese?" from him), it also offers lots of frustrating jumps that force you to re-do lots of tedious things. You'll surely lose your patience quickly and realize that this game simply isn't worth playing until you win. Oh well, Daisy was always a nagging egg anyway.
Community review by iamtheprodigy (August 12, 2007)
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