Prehistorik Man Review


With Prehistorik Man out of the way I am once again caught up on the new SNES games to hit the service. Hopefully Nintendo speeds things up a bit because I want more games to check out. Well, this one’s definitely not as good as you would have expected given the platforming nature of the game. I’ve always considered the platforming genre to be one of the safer ones out there due in part to the fact that as long as you can move and jump the gameplay should continue to work from there. Unfortunately the issue here is that it decides to add some exploration elements to the game which really backfire. You don’t want to do that, trust me.

The basic plot of the game is that the local village is running out of food. Additionally one of the cavewomen has been kidnapped as well. The main character will now have to search the land to save her and while he is on the journey he is also tasked with bringing back a lot of food so that the village can thrive. It’s a big mission but one that he is absolutely ready to conquer. The world definitely does not realize that it is about to witness the birth of an ultimate hero. This guy doesn’t have a lot of personality though. He’s very similar to Crash. The hero is always grinning but he doesn’t actually seem to understand what is going on. It may be for the best since the chief is always insulting him.

On its surface the game has pretty pleasant gameplay and solid levels. You have to jump around until you reach the goal and you can also attack enemies with your club or even with projectiles at times. The levels are quite large so expect to be moving around a lot. Now this is where the game fumbles the ball at the end. In some levels instead of making it to the end you have to find a pair of keys or a firefly. Doing so takes a long time as you navigate the level only to realize they cannot be found. That’s when you do several laps around the place until you finally find the little corner the objective was hiding in. If you ask me the game should not have had the collection element in. It would ultimately just end up being rather tedious the whole time. Then you’ve also got some levels where the design isn’t very good.

For example there’s a fire level where you have to keep moving forward but eventually there is nowhere left to go. Well, the answer was you had to use the club to strike at a specific part of the tree which could be broken. This was definitely something that came out of nowhere and would have been difficult to realize on your own. Additionally there are invisible platforms which don’t appear until you strike at the air itself. Now that just comes across as rather cheesy.

So when you add all of those elements up it definitely had an immediate effect on the game’s quality itself. Instead of being a solid 7 and going on its way the game managed to lose 2 stars just like that. Definitely not a good look for the game in the slightest. It’s just not designed very well and a platformer is so hard to mess up ordinarily that it becomes quite noticeable. It’s not as if the story is especially strong to hold it up either. It’s rather plain but standard for a platformer.

As for the graphics, those are pretty good. The game feels a whole lot like the Donkey Kong Country titles. It has a very similar graphical style, sound effects, and even text boxes. I feel like perhaps this was originally being developed as a DK game and then at some point they had to scrap the process but they kept it around just in case as a whole new game. It makes a good amount of sense at the very least even though it was never confirmed. The soundtrack has a similar energy to that as well and works with the stages. On a technical level I definitely have no complaints with the game.

The game’s length is a bit more impressive than a lot of the other SNES games. This should last you close to 3 hours I would expect. Particularly since you should get lost at least once while playing through the game. I wouldn’t say there is any replay value here though. Once you complete the game then that’s basically it. Don’t expect you will be coming back for more. Considering that it’s free with the Switch Online though that’s not too bad.

Overall, Prehistorik Man could have been a lot better than it was. It got too tricky for its own good with how the game was handled. Having to go and find things is just not a very useful way of getting the level objectives across. It slows down the flow of the title and works completely against everything the game was trying to accomplish. If you want to make a platformer then you design solid levels and let the player jump to the end. If you want to do a puzzle game then you can do that but mixing the two is not something I would recommend. Definitely give this one a skip as almost any other platformer surpasses this one.

Overall 5/10

Psycho Dream Review


Next up in the review ranks is a game that throws in some good sci-fi angles at us. Psycho Dream is fairly short but has good gameplay and a solid story. Of course with a game like this it is quite interpretive so to an extent you get to decide what the plot is. If you were to look up the game’s plot online I’m sure you could come away with a definitive answer but purely from the game’s context a girl has been kidnapped and now you need to find her. The main character has a pretty cool suit. He looks kind of like a ninja and with the way he’s running around that may not really be on base. Either way this made for a great setup to start the game.

This rescue won’t be easy though. For starters there are a bunch of giant monsters running around. The whole game plays out like a dream with each world getting weirder than the last. It’s nice because the game is able to go all out with the graphics. The level designs are very creative. You get to visit a whole assortment of places and the bosses all have fun designs as well. You definitely won’t get lost or anything while you run around the levels. It’s all pretty straight forward. As for the gameplay, it’s in 2D. You have various weapons at your disposal such as a blade or even laser blasts. Throughout the levels you are able to change and upgrade your weapons to fit the situation.

This is one game where I would say that it’s not always good to power up though. The best weapon you can get is one where you can use your sword and then your energy blasts nonstop. Unfortunately the middle power ups just have one laser which doesn’t cover nearly the area that the blade can. Most times you are better off just sticking with the blade. It doesn’t deal the most damage and it isn’t the fastest weapon but it’s definitely one that you ca count on to get you some nice wins. It has a good reach for every boss you may end up coming across so I’d say it’s the most consistent weapon.

There’s certainly room for a sequel with how suddenly the game ends. Who knows, maybe there is already a sequel out there somewhere since this game is so old. At the very least from the new SNES games added to the collection this would definitely have to be one of the higher recommendations. You can beat it in around an hour or so and there is no replay value so you really just need to have fun on the opening playthrough and then you’ll be set. I don’t see why you wouldn’t though, all of the fundamentals are intact.

The soundtrack isn’t very memorable but I want to say it was decent. I would have probably given it some more rock tunes or fast paced techno to fit in with the game’s layout. Imagine jumping across the platforms in the final boss fight while you’re getting really intense battle music. I think that would have worked out rather well if you ask me. Definitely a good way to amp up the game but it’s a solid all around title either way. It’s an hour where you should have a blast. The game is reasonably difficult. It’s not as tough as Doomsday Warrior but you still can’t go in expecting to walk all over the game or you will definitely be in for a surprise there.

Overall, Psycho Dream goes all out with making sure this is a very original video game experience. It does a great job of making itself standout among the crowd. There just weren’t a lot of games in this era that looked quite like this one. The only thing I’d say against the game is that I don’t get why the laser is so weak. I feel like all power ups should be stronger than the original weapon. It feels like a trap if you get a power up because then you may be stuck fighting an enemy who is too powerful when it should be the opposite. It’s just a little odd having to recommend you keep your initial weapon but that is the case here.

Overall 7/10

Doomsday Warrior Review


The SNES certainly had quite a few fighting games back in the day. Doomsday Warrior is one of those titles that you probably won’t remember for very long because it doesn’t do a whole lot to stand out. I’ll give it props for having a real story though so you at least have a little something aside from the actual combat. The game is also a lot more difficult than you would first suspect as well. It’ll take a lot of fundamentals to complete the game. Still, it’s a good game in the end and worth playing through.

You get to choose from several different characters. I picked the one who looked the most like he would be the lead. Then like in a Mega Man game you choose who you will want to fight. After you beat the main 8 enemies that’s where things get interesting. You get to fight a dark version of yourself as well as two cosmic beings. Then you face off with the final boss who suspiciously looks like he may be your father. That leads to a solid epilogue. So the story is rather good. It’s basic of course and there aren’t a whole lot of cutscenes but I don’t expect you would have really been thinking it would be more than that. For its time and given the genre I was pretty satisfied with this. The climax actually felt like a real one you could see in an RPG.

The gameplay is a bit of a weak link for the game though and that’s not good when you’re a fighting game. I would say the main issue is just that it is not very inspired. The attacks are all rather cookie cutter and plain. There isn’t anything that really helps this game stand out. Part of the difficulty is also in the fact that the attacks have a very short range and the computer is always able to jump in and land the right blow at the right time. Short of stopping time and freezing them in each encounter you won’t be able to do a whole lot. Some characters at least have one basic special move though which I appreciate. It at least spices things up a little bit. Maybe making the gameplay a little faster would have helped too. At the end of the day all I can say is that it didn’t click as well as you would expect.

I still enjoyed the style but as it felt weaker that is the main thing that kept this game from getting the solid 7. Additionally I wouldn’t say the replay value is incredibly high. You can beat the game as the rest of the characters I suppose which should be pretty fun in itself but I’m not sure if that would be quite enough to push it into the next tier. Most likely after you complete the game with one character you will be ready to call it a day and move onto the next game.

As for the graphics, those are fairly decent. The illustrations at the end of the game have good art which is nice. In the actual gameplay there isn’t a ton of detail but what we have there looks good. The soundtrack is a little forgettable but it’s not bad. That’s really what describes most of the game. It’s not bad and it is good in the end but it just doesn’t stick out. Only being good when there are so many other fighting games to try out is a pretty dangerous spot to be in. You really need to stick out at this point.

Overall, Doomsday Warrior is a good fighting game, but one that won’t last you a whole lot of time. The character roster is fairly small and there isn’t a whole lot of reason to go back and replay the game more than once. I will say that the characters had fun designs though. One of them reminded me of Chaos Zero from Sonic. These guys all feel rather different which is especially important if the game only has a handful of characters to choose from. If you have the Switch Online service then I would recommend checking this game out. If you don’t have it then I would say that it’s probably time to keep moving. This isn’t the kind of game you would buy a whole service for. I do think there’s a lot of potential here for a remake or a film someday. The core plot seems interesting and any action plot that involves robots, aliens, and monsters has to have potential.

Overall 6/10

Fire ‘n Ice Review


It’s always fun when the Nintendo Switch Online adds some more games to the service. It’s at a pretty slow feed at the moment but each new game tells a story. This one is apparently a prequel/sequel (Seems to be debates on this) to Solomon’s Key which is neat. I’m not sure why the name was changed for the American version. Needless to say the gameplay is pretty much the same as the original only this time there is an emphasis on a fire vs ice theme. This was pretty nice to see as those two elements are naturally polar opposites and work well against each other.

The game starts with the kingdom calling you in need of some services. Every capable warrior in the kingdom answers the summons but ultimately they choose a magician in training as their chosen fighter. You will have to use your magic scepter to conjure up ice blocks and vanquish the fire monsters in your path. Doing so will allow you to ascend to the next limit of your abilities. More importantly, it will keep the kingdom safe. That’s the general formula of the game. There are 9-10 worlds which each have 10 levels in them. Clearing them all will result in your clearing the game.

The controls are very simple. You can move from left to right and conjure up ice blocks that are one square down and to the left/right of you. You can also cause them to vanish. Additionally you can push individual ice cubes into the enemies in order to take them down. The goal of each level is to take down all of the fireballs. The initial levels are a walk in the park of course but then the difficulty really expands. I was able to beat all of the levels to the first two worlds with ease but world 3 got tricky. I beat around half of those levels and then settled for beating the first level of the remaining worlds. I didn’t go any farther than that.

The difficulty is certainly real and that means if you decide to play this game to the end you will really have to think each puzzle through. There are no easy answers here. You must have a great amount of determination and fire to get to the end. If you can pull this off then my hat’s definitely off to you. The fact that the controls are so simple is also what makes the game impressive because these puzzles are crafted really well in spite of this. It never feels unfair because you know the full extent of the controls from the start. There are no hidden secrets or anything. You just have to think things through rationally in order to proceed.

Graphically the game holds up well. I was happy to see that we had some real cutscenes here. I don’t believe the original game had anything like that so this was cool. Additionally the hub world is great. You have the tree from the Kirby games and the Power Star from Mario. It made you feel like this game was actually part of some secret crossover. The main villain also has a pretty decent design. Ultimately this game looks a whole lot more like a SNES title than a NES one so major kudos to the developers on this. The soundtrack is more on the bland side though. You may even forget it is there while playing through the game because of how subtle it is. That may be intentional but I’d like for the game to have had a little more pop personally.

It’s hard to say how long the game is since it heavily depends on how well you do at the puzzles. With roughly 100 puzzles in the game I went to say this should take you around 3-4 hors to clear the whole thing. If you do 1 world an hour then I guess it would be 10 which would also be very impressive to be sure. Most NES games can’t even come close to touching that level of time. I’m not always a big fan of puzzle games as I tend to have my qualms with the execution but I have nothing bad to say about this one’s. My only thing is it can be a bit repetitive and without a stronger plot it would be hard to incentivize me to play through the whole thing.

Overall, Fire n Ice is definitely a good game. With the entire game being focused on the puzzles it is possible that you could grow bored at some points through. It’s impassive the way the game was developed and the difficulty is legitimate, however you may find yourself just wanting something more by the end. Keeping yourself to 1 world a batch would probably be the easiest way to get through this. If you already have the Switch Online then this is a good title to add to your collection. You’ll be one step closer to having played all of the games on the collection. Hopefully soon we get either some bigger games (If there are any left) or we finally enter the next console. I think it’s about time Game Boy and Gamecube get to jump in.

Overall 6/10

The Ignition Factor Review


When the SNES Online added a firefighter game I figured that it had some potential but unfortunately this game’s not very good. I will applaud the fact that it has a lot of different gameplay mechanics going on at once and tried a bunch of things. It’s definitely not your average classic game. There’s a ton of different items to worry about as well and so it ends up being a complex game but one that forgot the fun factor.

The general premise is that you’re a firefighter getting ready to go into burning buildings to save a bunch of people. In order to do this you are going to need to check each floor. In each level there are around 5-6 people to save and you have to decide at the beginning of the level which items to bring with you. You can bring all of them but then you’ll be super heavy and barely able to move at all so that can be a bit of a trade off. Typically I would choose to just bring the axe and the main fire spray. If during a level you find that you cannot progress without more items you need to locate another firefighter and ask him for the extra gear. With that then you’ll be able to go forward.

Of course this will take some time so you’ll need to keep that in mind as well. If you don’t get out of the burning building in time then you lose. Of course, if you escape with less than the required amount of people then you also lose. It’s worth noting that there are extra people in the building as well so you can also save more than the minimum amount of people for extra points. You can also grab objects that are important to the people you save for extra money but break or lose them and the points are deducted from your score. Once you’ve cleared the level then you get to do it all over again.

The levels do seem to have different layouts though so at least you won’t be replaying the same one each time. There’s also a bit of a basic plot going on as at the end of one level we recruited a new firefighter who’s known as more of a hot head. I’m sure he’ll definitely cause some drama depending on how many cutscenes we get. I don’t expect there would be a whole lot of them but you never know I suppose. So why wasn’t this game a lot of fun? Well, constantly having to switch out gear felt more tedious than interesting. Finding the fireman could also take some time.

You want to be able to just go in and save people but with the system set up this way it isn’t possible. Seeing some green fire or a window around just meant that your game would be delayed as opposed to it being a lot of fun. Extra gameplay mechanics can be good when utilized correctly but when they’re more of a burden like this then you know that something went wrong. The game has a lot of depth to it but in the end I guess I’d say that it had too much depth. More of a simple arcade firefighter game where you put out fires would have worked out better.

The graphics are pretty solid though. The level designs all appear to be on point and the character models are solid. I would say that the mannequins look too much like people but based on the hints provided in the level that was actually intentional so that’s a pretty neat diversion. I’d like to see what the in universe reason for this would be but maybe we’re actually in the future where the mannequins are all super realistic. The soundtrack is also decent even if a little forgettable. I don’t expect you will remember it at all by the time you complete the game.

There isn’t a whole lot of replay value but with the different stage variations I suppose you can keep playing through those. I expect there has to be an ending of some kind by the end unless it’s an infinite loop like Pac-Man. For now I would assume that is not the case so playing until you get there makes sense. That should buy you some time especially since the game is actually rather difficult. The people you are trying to save always end up running around the place and if you don’t move fast enough than they burn up so you really can’t afford to take your time.

Overall, The Ignition Factor is a pretty unique game. You don’t get a lot of firefighter type games around after all and for being back on the SNES it was actually rather sophisticated. I just think it’s an example of a game that was overdeveloped and it’s really any fun. For that reason alone I would not recommend this game. You can find tons of better SNES games to play on the Online service so I would recommend checking those out instead. This one is best left forgotten to history. Now I’ll be eager to see if the HELP Wanted game for the Wii does a better job with the firefighting gear. It could be a while before I get that one though.

Overall 5/10

The Peace Keepers Review


It’s time to look at a very retro beat em up. The Peace Keepers is pretty interesting and I feel like it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. The combat is very smooth and holds up really well today. While 2D beat em ups tend to have a little less variety than the 3D counterparts (Although this is heavily debatable of course) this one has quite a few moved up your arsenal. It’s old school and yet you feel like you can do a whole lot here which is impressive. It’s a game that will hold you over rather well for an hour as you play through it.

The plot is a little vague from the cutscenes although I’m sure a booklet will have more. That’s not to say there aren’t cutscenes because there are a lot but the story beats happen very quickly. So there’s one villain who’s been going around and making a mess of things. He kidnaps one guy’s brother so that the guy has to work for him. The villain turns the brother into a zombie and then turns a girl into a monster that we are forced to fight. He can’t fight very well on his own but he’s hurting a lot of innocents along the way so the main character needs to put a stop to this.

There are some twists here and it is implied that the main character is actually an android. It would explain why he has the ability to transform and massively upgrade his fighting potential. His Super Saiyan form looks pretty awesome and you actually get to play as it for a full level which was really cool. In that form you don’t take damage and you can fly which is unheard of in this genre. I had a blast and then you’ve got the villain’s son who is also an android with this ability. Now that was a tough boss and it took me about 5 lives. You’re given around 10 lives in the game which is a good amount.

As for the gameplay, you can go for quick hits, jump moves, kicks, or power shots. The power shots are easily the best moves to use of course, but they come with a huge drawback. Every time you use the attack you actually lose some health. It’s something to take note of because if you start to spam them then you could find yourself with low health despite not getting hit once. That’s not a spot you want to put yourself in even if the attacks are good. At the same time, if you go with normal blows but the enemy hits you a lot, then maybe you would have been better off using the power move. At the end of the day the ball is in your court here. After you land the first combo you’re good to go for grabs. You need to position yourself right above the opponent while they get up and then you’ll be able to slam them back down. If you ask me that’s definitely the best way to go about things here.

The graphics are definitely pretty solid as well. The character models are good and there’s a solid amount of detail here as well. The stages all look different and the attack animations are on point. The Super Saiyan mode looks good and so does your final smash. There’s a way to activate it but I couldn’t figure that out. I was able to do it by just button mashing though so do that and you should be good. It’s probably one of those Street Fighter type inputs so I know how to mash in a way that it tends to activate those most of the time.

Overall, The Peace Keepers is just a really fun game. It’s short so you’ll beat it in about an hour but that’s not unheard of for games back in this era. The fact that it’s free with the Switch Online service doesn’t hurt matters either. I’m definitely all here for it. There isn’t really any replay value although there are multiple characters so maybe they all have variations of the story. If that’s the case then I’d say that adds a bit of replay value since I’m sure they’ll all handle things differently. I wonder if they all get Super Saiyan modes or if that’s a main character advantage. Either way I highly recommend checking this game out, it’s one of the more enjoyable games we’ve gotten in the updates.

Overall 7/10