|Title: Whomp 'Em
Rom Player: nester
Reviewer: Mr. Gaijin
Synopsis: The title of this game is obviously a pun, especially when you look at the cart and see the stereotypical Indian brave on the cover. Jaleco uses a hearty dose of Native American spirituality (read: wilderness-movie mumbo-jumbo) to try to disguise what is essentially a Mega Man ripoff.
You are Soaring Eagle, the whitest-looking Native American on the plains. Your task: reclaim seven medallions from some evil something that wants them for some reason and...sorry, what I mean to say is, there's very little plot involved, except that you play a 9-year-old white boy with war paint ard a generic Indian Guides nickname.
Large and cartoony, but still rather plain, and not very Native American-like. I highly doubt that the Dakota Plains had glaciers or volcanoes in them.
Music comes in two varieties, repetitive-yet-sorta-catchy (intro, Sacred Woods, Secret Cliff, Fire Test) and really-repetitive-and-also-makes-me-want-to-stuff-eagle-feathers-into-my-ears (everything else, particularly the same-four-notes-repeated-over-and-over-again drone of Magic Forest.) SFX are nearly nonexistent.
If you played any Mega Man game, you know how it goes: choose a stage, beat boss, collect new weapon than works against boss from another stage, lather, rinse, repeat.
Soaring Eagle's only weapon is his spear, which at least doesn't only have a range of a few pixels (although it does stretch like a certain organ, especially when you get a powerup for it.) The medallions basically do things to your spear, such as:
-twirl it in a circle, which breaks rocks but reduces your range significantly
-shoot a blast of flame that has half the range of your basic attack
-shoot a blast of icy wind that is just a recolor of the fire attack
-shoot a tangle of silk threads (another pallette swap of the fire spear)
-release a cloud that serves as a platform, but you can't attack very well while it's out
-launch the spear to the opposite side of the room, which at least is the useable type of suckiness
-the final attack, a dragon-shaped burst of energy that kayoes most enemies, but uses up so much of your life energy that it's still useless.
So to make a long story short, you get seven subweapons, and the basic spear works better than all of them. What are the odds?
You go through each stage, impaling hundreds of assorted creatures that want you dead (most likely, for impersonating an Indian), collecting gourds to increase your life meter, and solving a few garden variety jumping puzzles, before coming to a boss that you either (1)quickly figure out its attack pattern, cut down, and walk away whistling, or (2)start cursing at the screen because some bosses have the ability to refill their life meters-by STEALING your extra lives. And since extra lives in this game automatically refill your own meter when it runs out, you're running on vapors, kid.
The last stage contains a number of bad platformer elements, such as bosses reused as regular enemies (minus the life-stealing part), vertical sections with hard jumps that, if missed, unceremoniously dump you at a spot near the beginning of the level, and a zero-gravity section that doesn't even let you control your character. By this point, you could care less about Custering the bad guys.
The whole quasi-Native-American schtick was different for its time, but when you copy the basic elements of another company's game, you won't score many points in this category.
Playing this game is like getting scalped; you're suffering the whole time, and you're likely to be missing some hair when you're done. Skip it.
Best Cheats: None to speak of.
Game Play: 4
Overall Rating: 3
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