Wednesday, March 30, 2016

VGR Death Valley Rally

VGR: Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, known in Europe as Looney Tunes: Road Runner and in Japan as Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote 
From ICOM Simulations/Sunsoft
Played on Super Nintendo
Also available on /

Type Sidescroller
platformer game
Year 1992

Back in the early 1990s, cartoon animal characters were huge in the entertainment industry, mascots were everywhere. It was during that same time that animation went through a revival of sorts, thanks to the likes of Warner Bros' Animation's Silver Age and the renewed success of Disney films.

It was the perfect time to bring the Looney Tunes back, and welcome them to the world of video games. What with the graphics finally catching up enough to retranslate cartoons in pixel art.

While Sunsoft handled the games on Nintendo systems, Sega developed their own separate titles internally.

Road Runner's Death Valley Rally is a 1992 game starring the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote, developed by ICOM Simulations for the Super Nintendo.

The game starts just great by showing the characters in pursuit along with made-up fake Latin names, as usual.

There's no real story to speak off. Like in most of these kind of games the player controls the Road Runner who has to outsmart his nemesis Wile E. Coyote.

The game takes you all over the place, from the traditional desert locations to a construction site, a moving train, mines and finally... Mars! But don't expect Marvin the Martian to be the final villain as he tends to be, running from Wile E. Coyote remains your main focus through the entire game!

Throughout the game, the goal is to reach the finish line as quick as possible while avoiding the Coyote and all sort of other annoyances as well.

He will come at you with explosives and all kind of other gizmos. Once you safely reach the end, his contraption will usually fail. And every 3 levels there's a boss battle where Wile E. comes at you with even more advanced A.C.M.E. machines!

Controls are fairly standard for a platformer but since you play as the Road Runner in this game they're kind amped up to uncontrollable levels.

You can run and jump. Thanks to a boost level you can get pretty fast pretty quick, no need to actually build momentum like better fast-paced platformers out there like, say, Sonic the Hedgehog.

You need to eat Bird Seed you can find around to replenish your life and turbo. There's also a button to make that infamous -beep beep- sound, although that has no real purpose aside from having fun and having the Road Runner stick his tongue outside. (Do it whenever the Coyote falls to his doom for a better immersion!)

Finally, the game also has collectibles in the form of hidden flags to find, some are really difficult and frustrating to find...

Let it be said, this is a beautiful looking game that actually looks like something out of a Warner Bros. cartoon. It looks like you're actually playing a Road Runner cartoon.

But does it actually feel like playing one? No really that much...

Controls are punishingly bad. You always end up overshooting your jumps. There's way too many cluster on screen that can kill you.

What's worse, there's not even a password feature for what is a fairly long game, you must finish it in one single sitting!

The best part of the entire game is easily whenever you defeat Wile E. Coyote and his plans backfire on him, it actually looks exactly like in the cartoons! And those ending scenes can even be pretty funny and well animated.
But the game also has really awful music that really detracts from the overall experience. Composed by Nu Romantic Productions, let's just say it's preferable to mute the sound on this one...

Overall, it's a decent game, but barely. If only they slightly toned down the Road Runner's speed and had better sounds and music in it...

Death Valley Rally actually was the first Road Runner game, coming a year before the Sega ones. Sadly it's a far worse experience.... I only recommend you Check It Out if you're a diehard fan of the Looney Tunes.

They originally planned a sequel for this game, which would have been developed by Software Creations, tentatively titled Looney Tunes: Wile E's Revenge which would allow the player to control Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner this time. But it ended up being scrapped when Sunsoft went bankrupt back in 1995. 

Thankfully there's one last and actually good Road Runner game I will review next time!
I give it:
1.5 / 3 Bruces!

No comments:

Post a Comment