Friday, April 29, 2016

VGR Desert Demolition

Will Wile E. Coyote finally catch that annoying Road Runner?

Maybe if he could finally get a decent game... Here's one!

VGR: Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote or also known as simply Desert Demolition
From BlueSky Software/SEGA Enterprises 
Played on Sega Mega Drive
Also available on /

Type Sidescroller platformer game 
Year 1995

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 Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote is a 1995 Sega Mega Drive developed by BlueSky Software, the developers behind a lot of underrated cult classics on Sega systems including Vectorman 1 & 2, Jurassic Park and its sequel Rampage Edition as well as the infamous 32x game Spider-Man: Web of Fire.

 Desert Demolition appears to be quite a lot inspired by Recreational Brainware's Taz-Mania for the  Mega Drive in 1992 in a lot of aspects. More on that below.

Desert Demolition sees the return of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote in an all-new adventure in a race!

This time Wile E.'s not chasing the Road Runner because he wants to eat him, as usual, but instead they're both competing to win an ACME prize!

The Road Runner just wants unlimited bird seeds deliveries, while the Coyote dreams of unlimited access to all sorts of ACME gadgets to help him defeat that bird.

Like in most of these kind of games, the player gets to control the Road Runner. But for the very first time the game actually allows to play as his nemesis Wile E. Coyote as well!

The game is about 6-stages long, each level consisting of 2 distinct parts plus hidden bonus levels you can reach if you collect every ACME stamp in said stages.

Taking you from the usual desert landscapes to an abandoned old town, the obligatory train level as per Road Runner games tradition, mines and caves, the desert at night, mountains and finally a factory apparently partially recycled from the aforementioned Taz-mania game.

Depending which character you select, if actually feels like two distinct campaigns. While you will visit the same locations, it controls like two fairly different enough gameplay schemes to warrant several playthroughs.

As the Road Runner your role is to outsmart Wile E. Coyote and outrun him to the end of the stages.

The Road Runner can speed around really fast and jump pretty long distances to avoid the Coyote's ambushes.
Like the other previous Road Runner games, it's a really fast-paced and frantic gameplay. You can run top speeds pretty easily to escape from the Coyote. To complete the levels you just need to reach the end zone unarmed and avoid getting hurt, taking damages from the Coyote.
Not only can you go as fast as you can go, you can even scare the Coyote with the Road Runner's classic "Meep Meep" sound and  run him over!
It's mostly an harmless Sonic-clone, it's all about gaining speed and momentum, running through springs, loops and tracks.

Playing with Wile E. Coyote, it's all about getting your hands on the Road Runner and getting the best on him using all sorts of gadgets you can find around inside these ACME boxes laying all over the place.

The gadget you obtain are all taken from these classic Looney Tunes animated shorts: rockets, TNT, rocket-powered roller blades, train tracks-roller skates, foot-springs to jump and even the classic flying green suit!

Despite just needing to reach the ending to complete a stage, it's always fun to try capturing the Road Runner even if it's not required to complete those!

Not only can the Coyote use gadgets but it also has more emphasis on actual platforming instead of running.

It's nice to try using these ACMET gizmos without getting flattened by these crazy contraptions.

Also the Coyote can even make a last minute-leap attack as a last resort to grab the Road Runner.

Both campaigns look the same but they actually really feel different from one another gameplay-wise, depending on your character's controls.

The game is also gorgeous to look at, splendid art. It looks like a perfect recreation of the Looney Tunes cartoon world recreated in beautiful 16-bit graphics. It feels like experiencing a real interactive cartoon.

Despite shared assets and stages, it almost feels like two separate games. The Road Runner is as usual hard to control and he starts running ahead way too fast. But for once they took that into account designing the levels, but it's still a pretty easy game.

The Coyote offers a really fun experience, it's also the best possible choice to enjoy the gorgeous artwork and animations, they put a lot of effort and fun details into the game.

Finally we have to drop a word on the music composed by Sam Powell for the game. Taking a page from Taz-mania like I said, all the music is played through the sound effects. Whenever you walk, the music follows suit. When you stop, it stops. When you start jumping around or running, it zips through and speeds up. All the items make different sounds. It feels cartoony and it's a really fun way to recreate the tone of a Saturday morning cartoon. And it wasn't as annoying as Taz-mania since they really did learn a note from what worked and what didn't in that one.

Overall, Desert Demolition is a fantastic game! Easily one of the best Looney Tunes games ever made, it's that great!

Highly Recommended for any platform, sidescroller, retro gamers and Looney Tunes fan out there! 

It's really fun to play, it's lovely to look at and it feels faithful to the classic cartoons!

But it's not perfect either, playing with the Road Runner it's just way too easy. The best way to enjoy the game is to go with the Coyote right away!

Gorgeous graphics and animations. Controls can be a bit frustrating at first but it's a really enjoyable game, and far better than its older SNES equivalent.
I give it:
2.5 / 3 Bruces!

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