Taz Mania (Genesis/Mega Drive) (1992) Review

Cool a game based on Taz Mania, this is gonna be great………right?

Game Cover

 

Taz Mania was a popular cartoon series based on the Tazmanian Devil from the Looney Tunes shorts, the show was about Taz and his family and the crazy antics they would get up too, I watched this show as a kid but I wasn’t a huge fan of it and unlike some other shows such as Ducktales and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers I dont have many fond memories of watching Taz Mania.

Taz Mania was fairly popular and just like many other cartoons of its era, video game developers started to create Taz Mania video games to make a quick buck but unlike Ducktales and Rescue Rangers whose games stayed on one system Taz Mania had a video game on a whole bunch of different systems including the Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Super Nintendo and the Nintendo Game Boy, unfortunately I haven’t yet gotten around to playing most of these but as a kid I used to play the Genesis version a lot and I remember really enjoying it, but was it good as I remember?

openingThe games plot is simple and straight to the point, Taz and his siblings are told a story about giant sea birds that used to rule over Taz Mania, the birds were so big that if someone was to steal one of their eggs it would feed that thief and his entire family for one whole year, talk of these giant eggs make Taz hungry and he soon leaves on an adventure across Taz Mania to find one, like I said the plot is very simple and straight to the point I don’t mind this because firstly I was not expecting some epic storyline for a video game based on the Tazmanian Devil and secondly this honestly seems like something that Taz would do because at the end of the day he’s a wild animal who loves to eat so the thought of a giant egg is immediately going to get his attention.

Level 1 waterThe game looks pretty good for a licensed Sega Genesis game, the graphics are not very realistic looking which isn’t a problem because they actually look a bit like the cartoon which is a nice touch from the game developers, it shows that they did research of the original cartoon and as a result both the genesis game and the show have a similar art style which is an aspect that many fans of the show will appreciate.

 

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Graphically the game is very impressive but the level design is awful, the biggest problem is the plat-forming because a lot of the platforms you need to jump to are off screen meaning that you need to takes risky jumps and leaps of faith hoping that you don’t fall to your death, another problem is that sometimes its very difficult to figure out what objects you are able to jump on, this gets very confusing because sometimes you are able to jump on platforms that are either in the background or the foreground while at other times you cant so its not easy to identify what is an actual platform and what is just there for scenery, speaking of scenery there really isn’t a lot of it and because of this all of the levels are very bare with just a few things pasted into the backgrounds, its really not that interesting to look at and its a shame considering all of the effort that went into the games art style.

The game has very tight controls which are easy to remember, you control Taz with the D-Pad while the three other buttons are used to perform the games actions, such as Jumping, Spinning and breathing fire when its available.

The most important ability in the game is spinning, Taz can spin really fast allowing him to knock enemies off of the screen but you must be careful because you are also able to get rid of special items such as lives and health if you accidentally spin into them.

taz snow level

Taz will eat everything in his path and this can be very useful as he can eat enemies, lives and food but you must not eat any of the bombs, if Taz eats a bomb it will explode inside of him causing a considerable amount of damage, these bombs can be very annoying especially when they have been placed unfairly, for example a lot of the time the bombs are placed at the bottom of small ledges and you cant see them until you jump off the ledge and sometimes the bombs are placed behind foreground objects so they are impossible to see which makes it very unfair on the player.

This entire game relies on the player memorising which platforms are safe and where the bombs are located,  if the game had unlimited continues this wouldn’t be as big of an issue but unfortunately the game does have very few continues (not including the ones you can find) making the entire experience of playing the game very stressful and annoying.

The levels are very difficult due to bad game design but ironically the boss fights are really easy, this is because when Taz is spinning any enemy that hits him is immediately damaged and this is the same for the boss fights, if you keep spinning into the bosses you are going to defeat them very quickly and very easily, there is one boss fight near the end of the game that is so easy too beat that you can defeat him while taking no damage by just spinning in one spot until he dies.

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The music is not memorable at all most of the songs are just loops of very short tunes and the biggest problem is that you can hardly hear the music over the games terrible sound effects, the sound effects literally sound like they came from a cheap collection of Royalty Free sounds and nothing about them or the music is very creative at all, the most unusual sound choice the developers made was that every time Taz takes a step a music note plays as if the entire game is a piano, this sound choice makes very little sense and it gets annoying very fast.

Taz Mania was a very disappointing game, I used to love this game as a child and I remember having a great time playing it, the game has tight controls and sticks to its source material with its very simple plot and and its art style which represents the original show quite nicely but unfortunately bad game design, terrible sound and music choices and for the most part awful game play makes Taz Mania for Sega Genesis a very bad experience and honestly I am relieved that I never have to play it again.

3.4/10

Thank you for reading my review of Taz Mania for the Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

 

 

 

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Anastasia (1997) Review

When I was a child I remember visiting my Grandmother and watching a bunch of Animated movies that she had on old VHS tapes, Anastasia just so happens to be one of those movies, as a kid I thought it was amazing and I watched it all of the time but now that I am an adult I haven’t seen the movie in 13 years.

Until now

Was it as good as I remember?

Anastasia

The first thing that caught my eye was that Anastasia was made by Don Bluth who is famous for some of the greatest animated movies of all time such as An American Tail, The Land before time and the Secret of Nimh. I had a strong feeling that Anastasia would be just as amazing as some of his other work especially since I loved the film with a passion when I was a child.

Let me just begin by saying that the animation was incredible, everything in the film was extremely well detailed, the animation moved very smoothly and the use of a mixture of light and dark colours really helped build up the atmosphere for multiple scenes that were shown throughout the movie. The animation blew me away and it can easily compete with the animation of some of the Disney films of the time.

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The movies plot was really cool if not a little hard to follow.

A party is being thrown to celebrate 300 years of ruling of the Romanov Family, The Dowager Empress Marie is leaving for Paris and a very young Anastasia is sad that Marie is leaving.

Marie gives Anastasia a music box so that she will always remember her, at this point the films villain Rasputin enters the palace and is immediately told to leave, Rasputin says that he will not stop until the entire Romanov Family are dead.

Rasputin sells his soul so that he has the power to for-fill his dark purpose. With his new Dark powers Rasputin Controls the Civilians of the town to charge the palace, with little choice left the Romanov family flee Russia to find safety.

Anastasia and Marie are saved by a servant boy called Dmitri, Marie and Anastasia are about to board a train.

Marie manages to to board the train but Anastasia does not, they grab eachothers hand but they slip from each other and Anastasia falls unconscious.

We cut to 10 years later and Anastasia is leaving an orphanage to try and find her real family and to learn about herself and her past.

The films plot is really well structured and it allows enough time for the audience to be able to understand and sympathise with all the main characters that are introduced throughout the movie.

The music is really hit and miss with me because I love all of the instrumental music used to help build the atmosphere of certain scenes, its really well conducted and the final result being a combination of Choir and Orchestra is something really beautiful to listen too.

I cant say the same for the voice acting or any of the songs that are performed vocally, all vocal performances seemed really emotionless it felt as if the actors and actresses didn’t really want to be lending their voices to the film and because of this it really makes the whole experience a little boring and hard to watch with the exception of Christopher Lloyd who voices Rasputin because he did a remarkable job voicing the films main antagonist, you could really tell that Christopher Lloyd loved playing this role in the film.

I also did not enjoy the majority of the vocal songs for the exact same reasons as I previously stated again with the exception of the movies villain song which was catchy but I wont be adding it to my I-pod any time soon.

Watching Anastasia again really reminded me of a lot of warm childhood memories but it deeply saddens me that I found so many issues with such an important movie from my past.

I may not have enjoyed it as much as I had hoped that I would, but Anastasia will always be a very important film to me as it helps me remember what it was like being a little kid and visiting my Grandmother and even though my grandmother has not yet passed on, this movie will always be one of my fondest memories of her.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Anastasia

Have you got any films from your childhood which are very dear to you?

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan