"I love you, Mr. Nutz." --Me, after watching the ending.
Developer: Ocean Publisher: Nintendo Genre: Side Scrollin' Hop 'n Bop 'n Stuff Players: 1 ESRB: K-A (?!) Difficulty: Easy
Back when I was a young buckaroo of about 10 years old and had a Super Nintendo, there were games out there that I had never gotten the chance to play, due to the fact that I had an allowance that would starve a hobo. Therefore, I thought I'd never be able to play the craptacular games in life; I only played the "good" games. My life as a gamer was somewhat unfulfilled.
Now, when I think back on all those days of "But I wanna play Sonic Blast Man! *cry* *cry*", I just open up my trusty ZSNES, go online, and download one of those crappy games that I never got to play! Knights of the Round! King of the Monsters 2! Megaman Soccer! These games still suck, but they suck in a good sort of way--a way that lets me go into chatrooms and be hailed as some sort of gaming god for playing games the other people have never heard of before, no matter how hArDkOrE they are.
[Serpent231 has entered |-| 4 r c| |<
0 r 3 cj 4 /\/\ 3 r Z]
Anyway, this brings me to the game that I'm playing right now. It's a game that has evil inside it, outside the cute 'n cuddly exterior, a game that almost kept me up all night, had I not been knocked out of my trance by my sister screaming about her newly-acquired Crash Bandicoot 2...
"Why 2?! 3's out, and better than this one!"
...and a game that had some seriously sick people working on it. This...is Mr. Nutz.
Gameplay--Remember when just about every gaming magazine on the planet described all of the mediocre platform games as "your average platform fare"? Remember those games like "Prehistorik Man" or "Iggy the Egg's Egg-celent Adventure"*? Well, Mr. Nutz is THE ULTIMATE "average platform fare"! All the standard platform hopping, jumping on enemies' heads, and collecting coins is included here, only this time, you play as an extremely Conker-ish squirrel called Mr. Nutz. He's got the exact same hideous grin found on the evil face of Conker, and it's kinda disturbing how he ALWAYS seems happy, whether he's whacking enemies with his tail, falling 30 or so feet from a tree, or throwing his nuts at his cute little enemies (who split in half sometimes). I guess the guys over at Ocean see squirrels as grinning killers or something.
Anyway, the actual gameplay is pretty basic. You run around big levels with enemies, pits of spikes, and other obstacles , defeating cutesy enemies by throwing your nutz at them, try to find secret areas, etc, etc. We've all seen this before, but the one thing that Mr. Nutz throws into the mix is the element of Trying To Find All The Secrets and Coins In Each Level, which has now become required to challenge every 3D hop 'n bop character that we see nowadays (Crash, Gex, Banjo, Mario, and so on). This game may be the earliest game to feature the TTFATSaCIEL syndrome. Actually, I have no way to back that up, but, uh, let's just pretend I'm right, okay?
*forgot the name, but all I know is that it starred a mountain climbing egg who wants to save his girlfriend from a giant in the clouds...
Graphics--Just as basic as the gameplay, the cutesy 2D graphics look right out of a Saturday morning cartoon (BTW, have you seen what the Saturday morning cartoons have become lately? To be blunt...they all 5uCX!!!). The cuteness of Mr. Nutz himself makes the player either want to take him home and hug him and pet him and say "Boojie boojie!" a lot, or spend countless hours at night plotting his demise--he's so SICKENINGLY CUTE, it's scary!
Cuddly squirrels aside, there are actually some double entendres in the game that should NOT be in a children's game like this...but they make the game more enjoyable all the same. Besides the fact that the game is called frickin' Mr. NUTZ, the game includes the following references to the male genitalia:
I don't know if these refs were unintentional or not, but my guess is that the developers at Ocean were in cahoots with the same guys who slipped all the hidden references into the Disney movies.
Sound--Spectacularly average. Worse than the graphics, even! The music is a unique ho-hum blend of happy forest pop, and has yet to be found somewhere else in the world...not that that's a good thing. The ONLY memorable part about the sound in this game is the sad/hilarious little squeal from Mr. Nutz whenever he gets hit...it makes you want to intentionally play badly!
Other than that, though, the sound can easily be summed up in one word: Bah!
Control--Even though they're set up like every other platform game in the world, the controls in Mr. Nutz are surprisingly frustrating for some reason (probably because I'm using a keyboard...). When you play, expect plenty of spots where you fall off a ledge that took you thousands of times to scale! Expect to get hit be a wimpy enemy after you've cleared a huge number of obstacles! And definitely expect to reload a situation with the nifty ZSNES save/load feature...it's damn near impossible to beat the game without it! I think there were as many people who beat (let alone, bought) Mr. Nutz as there were letters in its name.
Fun Factor--Mr. Nutz isn't something that lethally injects you with heavy doses of adrenaline like the latest Capcom fighter, nor a high speed Sonic the Hedgehog-paced game either. It's just a slow, happy-go-lucky, all-the-time-in-the-world-even-though-there's-some-big-yeti-threatening-to-destroy-us kind of game. It's a little frustrating at first--and, well, still is, come to think of it--but after a while, it's kinda fun in a so-bad-it's-good sort of way . Trying to find every hidden area in the game will, no doubt, take a while (that is, assuming you're actually gonna spend that long with this game), as will trying to collect every coin in the game. Both are kinda fun to try for, though, and the levels (especially the second) yield plenty of secrets and hidden coins. It's almost Donkey Kong Country-ish in its "Gotta find 'em all" quests for 100% completed levels, but what kills the whole concept of finding everything in the game is that you CAN'T RE-PLAY LEVELS! The game's completely linear! You've only got one shot at getting all the goodies for one level, and if you don't do it, then...well...nutz to you! What was Ocean thinking?
Overall Satisfaction--I truly believe that Mr. Nutz could've become a cult favorite among the likes of Mega Man, Plan 9 From Outer Space, and Mr. T, but unfortunately, to become a cult hit, the game/movie/character in question usually has to be either really good, or incredibly awful. Sadly, Mr. Nutz (both the game and the character) is so spectacularly average that he'll never reach the lofty cult status achieved by his friends. The unintentional references to the squooshle make the game memorable enough, but the rest of the game just doesn't pack enough meat (pardon the pun) to keep the gamer interested. Surprisingly enough, it also looks like Mr. Nutz never became popular among the 16-bit crowd, since Ocean "cleverly" hints a sequel in the ending like so many games love to do......only to leave Mr. Nutz without a sequel later on. ...*sniff*...I feel tho thorry for the little guy!
Therefore, I'm going to try to (unsuccessfully) spread the word to all you readers of this review: Go down to www.oneminuteleft.com, look around in the Super Nintendo section for Mr. Nutz, and (assuming you have an SNES emulator), download and play the ROM right now! Sure, it may suck at first, but if you stick with it (or have a lot of spare time), you might actually start to like it! Heck, mail me and tell me if it's cult-worthy or not!
To end this review, I'd just like to rip off Toastyfrog.com and give these closing words to my favorite squirrel...
"I love you, Mr. Nutz..."
"...too bad your game plays like crap."
Highs: Hilarious, possibly
unintentional references to the Kumberbuzzle...but...