Saturday, September 4, 2021

Game 33: Agro Soar


Well, we're back in familiar territory here. I'm not talking about "skateboard games starring Australian puppets" or "licensed games that had 4 names depending on which region they were released in," despite how familiar those are. No, I simply mean "extremely bad games." Really, if there's anything I've learned about the Game Boy library over the years, it's that getting two good games in a row was more than just coincidence; it was a god damned miracle.

Luckily, there's at least some interesting things to talk about in this game that I didn't manage to get past level 1 in. I'm talking intrigue, I'm talking vegemite, I'm talking...

Is the text below the image now? Great, I can insert the Read More link.

First of all, this game was released under 4 completely different IPs. In the US this was "We're Back!" based on the Disney movie about dinosaurs not being extinct, I guess? I can't remember.

In PAL territories (other than Sweden) this was released as "Baby T-Rex" which, as far as I can tell, is an original IP just for this game. 

Sweden has the best version of this game as far as IP goes, and that would be "Bamse: The World's Strongest Bear". I'll save that talk for the year 2075 when I finally get to Bamse, but suffice to say Bamse is a bear version of Popeye who gets real strong when he eats dunderhonung which is literally translated as "thunder-honey." Also he aged in real time for 30 years and had a kid who is in the spectrum and literally everything about this sounds amazing. 

And finally, we come to Agro. Agro is a puppet from Australia who had a morning show for kids for about 8 years. If anything, he is the opposite of Bamse in every way. He eats flies, sexually harasses his co-star, talks about having a hand up his ass, and is generally unpleasant. And when I say that he sexually harasses his co-star, I mean that in the sense that the comedian playing him should have been sued out of existence, and I genuinely feel bad for the poor woman playing Anne-Marie. Only watch this if you wanna have a bad time.

In other words, I hate this puppet!! Also he looks like a cut-rate version of Monster from the muppets, which the first version literally was. They took a toy puppet version of Monster and basically just put it on TV. Incredible.

But the game does have an amazing introduction:

The "I'm the goddamn Batman" of 1993

Anyway, let's dig in! From the title screen, this looks like a skateboarding game, but of course we know that all licensed games must be platformers. In this case, it feels like being on a skateboard, but has the precise challenges of a platformer. Oh, and by "feels like being on a skateboard," I mean that as someone whose only experience is falling off of a skateboard 3 times and giving up.

This combination means that I'm basically playing "How many times can I run into the first spike trap because my momentum is almost entirely out of my control?"

Oh, and the character doesn't even have a skateboard in-game:

Just icy feet, I guess

It's impossible to demonstrate via still images just how fast this little bastard is, and how hard he is to stop. Sonic the hedgehog starts up slower and stops faster than this character. It's ridiculous!

In other news, this is also one of those games where you have projectiles, but you have to collect them first. In practice this just means that I never use my projectiles, which is good because you also lose them when you get hit. All of them. 

The means that every time you run into a pterodactyl or spikes or an ant whatever, not only do you lose one of your four hearts, you are now totally defenseless. Incredible!

Once you get past the spike trap, there's some weird bouncy plants, a nice elevator, and a pterodactyl at the top. Easiest to just run by that bird as fast as possible rather than try to hit it with a dinky rock.

I failed to capture the pterodactyl because I was too busy enjoying the lack of spikes

After that, there are a few more ramps and hills and whatnot, and then a huge jump over an instakill ocean. You have to have maximum momentum to get over it, which is somehow still difficult despite Agro's insistence on wearing pats of butter on his feet.

Oh there's one of those bouncy plants by the way, also I'm dead

And if you manage to make it past that, there's an ant that will knock you into the ocean!! And you can't kill the ant, because it's too small!!!!

I hate this game!!!!!!

cool CRT tho

The music is fine though, and honestly I die so fast that it's better than the endless "welll maybe I can do this" feeling of games like Rocky and Bullwinkle. I honestly feel like this game, if it's not literally impossible, is so cruel as to be functionally impossible. 

And hey, I guess it's honest! And it seems to match the incredibly shitty attitude of Agro himself who, I cannot emphasize enough, is the worst. 

oh god theres an album???

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