Wednesday, March 9, 2016

VGR Desert Speedtrap

VGR: Desert Speedtrap Starring Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote or simply Desert Speedtrap
From Probe Software/SEGA Enterprises
Played on Sega Master System
Also available on Sega Game Gear

Type Sidescroller
platformer game
Year 1993

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.

Desert Speedtrap is Master System and Game Gear title starring the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote, developed by licensed material regulars Probe Software released in 1994.

Our story.. is quasi-inexistant. But seriously, what could you expect from an 8-bit Road Runner game?

Like in most of these kind of games, the player controls the Road Runner.

His nemesis Wile E. Coyote is hungry and he's coming after him. 

Your role as the Road Runner is to outsmart Wile E. and outrun him in this huge "desert speedtrap".

Gameplay is that of a fairly standard platformer.

As the Road Runner you can jump and run! And that's it! It's as straightforward as possible. Holding down you can speed up.

To replenish your health you have to eat birdseed

You must reach the exit before the clock runs out of time. If you grab stars you will add more time on the timer.

There's also some additional power-ups you can find, as well as bonus stages. 

There's about 12 stages. Although levels are not that varied despite covering a highway, a canyon, caves and a mountain.

The thing is that the Road Runner is just to find for this type of game. He can get pretty hard to keep control of since he's just so fast. On the Master System it works for the most part, but on the Game Gear version the view is just to close and narrow to prevent any good controls.

The game is difficult but fun.

It actually looks great, colorful and cartoony. Probe worked some great graphics and it gives the game an authentic lovely Looney Tunes feel on an 8-bit title for once.

The problem are the imprecise and difficult controls, but nothing you can't manage.

The music made by Allister Brimble is decent, not quite memorable due to the limits the Master System could perform.

Overall, Desert Speedtrap is a decent little Road Runner game for the Master System.

It's a fairly simple and short game, if you can get a hold of the controls.

While the main Master System versions looks great and colorful, the Game Gear port is kind of a messy affair because of the limited size of the screen which doesn't give as good an overview.

The game received a sequel of sorts in the much better Desert Demolition. But next time we'll check some other unrelated game for the SNES beforehand...
I give it:
2 / 3 Bruces!

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