§ August 9th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

As The World’s Biggest Swamp Thing Fan™, I’m always on the lookout for Swampy goodies of all varieties (remind me to tell you about the very first item I ever bought on eBay). Now, I’ve known about the Swamp Thing video game for the Nintendo system for quite a while, but it wasn’t until very recently that I got to play it for myself.

Like the majority of Swamp Thing-related merchandise, the game was based on the nigh-unwatchable Swamp Thing cartoon (coming soon to a DVD near you). The title screen features the image (based on a drawing by Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala, I believe) that appeared on all the Swamp-stuff:

Before the game begins, you get a brief overview of Swamp Thing’s origin:

Did I say brief? The “cut-scenes” go on forever. You get to watch this image of a burning barn for about an hour and a half:

You don’t follow Holland’s burning body offscreen…the text at the top of the screen tells how he dives into the swamp and turns into you-know-who. But, really, it takes forever to do so, and the whole time you’re watching a barn burn. And yes, I know I could have interrupted the cut-scene at any time, but I sort of felt obligated to watch it, being The World’s Biggest Swamp Thing Fan™ and all.

After you start the game, you get another interminable cut scene, where you stare at Arcane’s purple face for a day or two while he explains his plan (something about getting hold of Swamp Thing’s body, that naughty man).

And then the game begins. Like 90% of all post-Atari video games, it’s a run/jump/hit game. Here’s Swampy jumping:

…and here’s Swampy hitting:

Not shown: Swampy running. Er, lumbering, actually.

Anyway, since I’m old, and my video game heyday predates the Nintendo (back in the good ol’ days, when all we had to deal with was killing alien invaders and eating glowing pellets), I suck at this game, and could only get through some of the first level so far. One, I’ve only had the game for a day or so, and two, according to this review it may not entirely be my fault, due to the game’s bad design.

One nice touch is that, unlike most video games, falling in the water doesn’t mean immediate death*:

Your enemies include robot birds and robot…armadillos, or something. One thing I don’t get (and is also mentioned in the review I linked above), is the deadly tin can attack. Tin cans, either floating in the water or falling from some indeterminate source in the sky, cause damage to Swamp Thing. Somehow.

Anyway, I saw this screen a lot, which is what the game shows you when you die:

Unlike the other cut-scenes, this one is relatively quick. Thankfully. No reason to add insult to injury.

This game is no competition to my favorite comic book inspired video game (which was also the inspiration for my 404 page). But, I’ll probably still play it, just to see what other bizarre situations the game designers tried to squeeze Swampy into.

* Pal Dorian always wonders why falling in the water would mean death in the classic video game Frogger. It’s a frog…they’re amphibious!

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