Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
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4  |  Moonwalker - Run, Children, RUN! (Genesis Review)
larsoncc , 2/19/2003 4:58:49 AM

Hello little girl...  GET IN THE VAN! (pic) Don't you worry about a thing, little child.  Michael Jackson is here to save you.  As he shows his magical crotch to you, you'll be able to get up, look around...  AND RUN.  RUN LIKE THE WIND.  

Everything about Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is magical.  Michael's hands, his feet, his hat, and his fanTAStic pink tie.  In the early days of the Genesis, there was Moonwalker, Thunder Force II, and Altered Beast.  That was about it.  At the time (early 90s), I just thought that Michael Jackson was a just fading pop star, and that his game was a very poorly done side-scrolling "beat-em-up."  Looking back, I can see that the programmers of Moonwalker were capable of seeing into the FUTURE.  

Your mission in Moonwalker is to free children that are locked up and / or tied up in closets and the trunks of cars.  Some guy named Mr. Bi or Big or something stole all the rug rats, and it's high time Michael Jackson suited up and rescued them.  See, back in those days, the name Jackson was almost heroic - there was no jumping off of balconies at the first sign of a child shortage.  Anyway, I digress.  You, as Michael, rescue kids and move to the right as much as you can.  Any time Michael rescues one of these children, he spins and does that patented Michael Jackson pelvis-thrust-hand-thingy.  That seems like it'd be just fine, on the surface of things (welcome to Michael's life).  At left, you can see what this ends up looking like in Moonwalker.  Michael has his hand behind the head of a little girl - a tied up, sobbing little girl...  While he um...  Presents himself.   

Hit me! (pic) As a relatively normal, football loving guy, I couldn't help but feel completely emasculated while playing Moonwalker.  I simply can't believe how big of a role fairy dust plays in this game.  It's Michael's main "weapon", for heaven's sake.  When you are faced with a mean ol' crowd of bad guys, you'd better be one fairy dust slinging fool.  This game is about Michael Jackson, when he was REALLY Michael Jackson, before the media and his own misguided actions turned him into "Jacko."  So, there is some cool stuff along those lines, like dancing.  You can take out a whole group of bad guys by forcing them to dance.  But even the cool stuff isn't cool.  I mean, you get to throw your hat like Kung Lao, and that SHOULD be cool, but there's no blood as you waste your foes.  You can do sweet special moves, but they make you weaker.  And you can spin.  Spinning, ESPECIALLY when combined with fairy dust, could never be cool in the eyes of the average guy.  Yeah, sure, Yoshimitsu spins, too - but he spins with a sword.  And even that's not all that cool - he gets all dizzy and falls down like a pansy afterwards. 

I think that Michael had a big say in the game mechanics of Moonwalker.  This is part of the reason why Moonwalker sucks.  I can almost see Michael Jackson's handlers telling the programmers that Jacko wasn't to make contact with any villain.

hat's off (pic) "Now, Mr. Jackson doesn't want this game to be violent."
"But, but - our biggest sellers are fighting games.  I don't know if I can program anything else!"
"Look kid, I just got back from the artist's department, and they weren't too happy about putting a rainbow on the cover of the game, but they did it.  Are you a team player, kid?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"Good, cause the game has to have a lot of kids in it.  Mr. Jackson loves the children."

The fact that this is a 16-bit game based on a movie doesn't help either.  Now, that's not to say that Moonwalker is all that bad.  I don't mean the game, here.  The game obviously sucks big time.  Given the topic, the artists and programmers did a great job.  The animation was spectacular (which, if I recall correctly, Sega was really proud of).  It's a very collectible game because it's unique.  Hey - remember, there are sequels for a reason - "unique" is usually another word for "suck."

I don't know what to give this game as a final score.  On one hand, I'm having a hard time looking at myself in the mirror with any manner of pride.  On the other hand, this game will someday be worth money, and I like money.  Hmmm.  Well, I'll give it a 4/10. (Failure - play at your own risk).

10  |  Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
los_gofles , 4/23/2003 8:47:00 PM
With new technological breakthroughs in the video game industry, and with new systems such as X-Box, Playstation 2 and Game Cube, nothing compares to the hilarity and entertainment of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker.

Though there is no save feature in the game, hours and hours of play is common for me. The levels are pretty easy, but not boring. Everything about the game is hilarious, and by the end of the game you'll be pissing your pants or crying. Or both at the same time.

From Michael's crazy 80s moves to the monkey on his shoulder, to the crazy cats jumping out the window, this game is ridiculously amusing. What video game combines saving little children with throwing glittery magic at ghosts? Or shooing dogs with fairy dust and pelvic thrusts? I could seriously play this game for the rest of my life!

It's best when playing with a group of people. You notice all the elements together. Also, if you play with two players, the second player gets to wear a sweet RED suit!!! Wow!

It may not be gory, the graphics may not compare to ANY newer game, but Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is a classic, and anytime you need a good laugh, cheer yourself up with this brilliant game. If you don't enjoy it, I promise you will at least have a great time criticizing this game for it's ridiculousness.

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