Saturday, October 31, 2015

VGR Scooby-Doo Mystery (SNES)

Scooby-Doo! It's Halloween, where are you?!

"Wight heeeere, in this SNES wame!"

Scooby-Doo - where are you?! Right here:

VGR: Scooby-Doo Mystery (SNES), also simply refereed to as just Scooby-Doo SNES
From Argonaut Software/Acclaim/Sunsoft/Hanna-Barbera Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment 
Played on Super NES
Also available on Sega Megadrive as a completely different game

Type Sidescroller
platformer/adventure/puzzle game
Year 1994

Here's the perfect Halloween game. A good Scooby-Doo game on 16-bit console.

Did you know back in 1994 there wasn't one but two completely different Scooby-Doo games by the same name?

Scooby-Doo Mystery on the Super Nintendo was a sidescroller adventure/puzzle game with platform segments. While Scooby-Doo Mystery on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis was a more traditional point & click adventure. Both titles were released exclusively for the US.

Completly different from one another.

Scooby-Doo was famous for its cartoony humor, mystery-solving episodic format and colorful cast of characters. Let's see how well that translated into this game, shall we?

The game is divided into 4 levels, or "mysteries". Kind of like the more episodic modern games we often see nowadays.

Scooby and the gane move from one scene to the next driving the Mystery Machine around in cutscenes setting the next story.

The levels cover this shipwreck that is haunted by "One-Eyed Matt", a ghost pirate, an amusement park plagued by some Evil Clown, a swamp in terror of the Tar Monster and finally the old mansion of Daphne's Uncle, who's haunted by this Count Bagosi

The objective of the game is to find out who really is behind these hauntings. Spoiler alert, they're always humans in disguise, trying to sell some place for profit or running illegal operations really.

In that way the game perfectly recaptures the narrative from the show.

You control directly Shaggy. Scooby is really there following Shaggy around as an assist. As for the rest of the members of Mystery Incorporated they're more of minor role in the games and non-playable characters really.

The gameplay is pretty interesting all things considered. You have to find these clues around to solve the mystery. There's a bunch of tasks you must find out (which means this is a get that will get much easier and repetitive once you figure things out, but it's still pretty fun).

Scooby can sniff hidden clues around.

Our heroes possess a "Fright Meter" on screen. Each time they meet an enemy the meter will rise up and once it's full.. it's Game Over for you! Yes, because there's not only the local ghost enemy to avoid but also all kinds of small critters and stuff as obstacles.

You open new areas by exploring and looking to interact with clues. You can also interact with the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang. Each one has a different role. Velma analyzes the clues you've found, Daphne can give you Scooby Snacks to get your "health" back up and Fred helps build the trap to capture the monster at the end once you have all the right items. Then it's up to you to lure the monster into the trap before the final reveal!

There's also a couple of bonus stages you can get from time to time. First up is Make a Scooby Sandwich, which you get whenever you hit a kitchen and has Scooby catching food. The other pops up completely randomly, and it's a whac-a-mole game called Wac-A-Monster.

All in all, it's a really fun idea for a game!

Maybe a bit too complex for kids. It requires some time to get a hang of, but once you're familiar with the mechanics it's really worth it. 

There's also a very useful password system.

The graphics are cartoony and the animations answer to the eye. Really gorgeous graphics that capture the art style of the show. Everyone's perfectly recognizable and in-character. Strangely enough the only problem I have in the entire game is that they somehow colored Daphne's outfit the wrong colors (possibly due to the palette limitations tough). Someone give this girl some pants as well!!

The music specially completely recapture the atmosphere of the show and all the tracks are easily identifiable! Much better than what we got in most licensed games.

A bit on the short and easy side. But it's just a great game!!

Overall, Scooby-Doo Mystery is a really fun and unique take on a licensed game!

Instead of forcing a franchise on some established gameplay mechanic, they improvised an original formula around the show. And the results speak for themselves!

It's a great game, Check It Out if you can and it's a must for any fans of Scooby-Doo and Hanna-Barbera series in general. This is a cartoon game done right!

This is how you adapt a cartoon into a game, how to translate a mystery-based episodic series into actual gameplay. That is if you don't simply go the obvious way and make it a full interactive adventure as a point & click video game.

Next up... same premise, same title, different console, completely different game!
I give it:
2 / 3 Bubbles!

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