[EXPRESSO] Congo’s Caper/Joe & Mac 2 SNES | Sun Wukong Upon A Star

Ah, yes, the three inescapable truths of life: death, taxes and SNES caveman platformers that somehow you didn’t play or knew existed, like todays’s Congo’s Caper, just recently rereleased on the NSW Online subscription/retro apps.

This one it’s a bit more recognizable than stuff like Prehistorik Man, as it’s basically a spin-off of the Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja series by Data East, but also the second game in the series, since it was actually sold as Joe & Mac 2 in Japan and PAL regions.

And i kinda get why, as Data East also recycled some characters from the mainline Joe & Mac series, like the devil or the first stage t-rex boss , and the controls are similar, as it retains the high jump, but not the weapons, as you use only a small club to attack.

The more distinctive feature is the player character turning back into a monkey if hit, and regaining your human form with a red crystal (Mario style), with the ability to enter a “super saiyan” invincibility state too, you’re a half-monkey man after all.

Controls are actually pretty smooth, arguably better than the original Joe & Mac, the new protagonist has some new abilities like hanging from vines, so it should be better…. and it arguably is, it’s definitely more polished, has a lot more levels, BUT it’s too easy for its own good, it’s fun, but it lacks challenge, and the level themselves are very short, while also not providing anything you haven’t seen (or heard, as some of the sound effects are pretty much “ripped off” of Super Mario World…. or its sound libraries) done better in terms of level design.

So it’s not a bad game, but a decent one that could have been potentially quite good.

Shame, really.

Dino Dicember #25: Turok: Son Of Stone (2008)

Taking some time to spotlight this 12 years old, fairly forgotten direct-to-video animated movie about the most popular Native American dinosaur-slaying character in videogame, Turok (yes you are he).

Which is fitting, since the games themselves were based on the Turok comics, the first one titled “Turok Son Of Stone”, but before going any further, i have to say i’m not exactly that familiar with Turok in general, and what little i know comes from the first Turok videogame, and some cultural osmosis. I didn’t grow up playing Turok games on the N64, when i got my very first console the series was already quite slumming as Akklaim itself was inching ever closer to bankruptcy.

This was released alongside the 2008’s reboot simply called “Turok”… which didn’t help in breathing some life back in the series, so the planned sequel to that was scrapped and the series layed dormant until Turok: Escape From Lost Valley released in 2019.

Continua a leggere “Dino Dicember #25: Turok: Son Of Stone (2008)”