Thursday, October 27, 2016

VGR Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday

Here is an appropriate game for this time of the year, originally released for Halloween 1995!

Strangely enough Porky's only main-starring videogame, which is odd considering he was the first proper Looney Tunes character created by the Warner Bros. animators!

We're all a little looney, and here's my other Looney Tunes-related reviews!

VGR: Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday also known as simply Porky Pig (SNES)
From Phoenix Interactive Entertainment/Sunsoft/Acclaim Entertainment
Played on SNES
Also available on /

Type Sidescroller platform game
Year October 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 into pixel art.

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

Porky Pig has always been one of the lesser known Looney Tunes characters, often playing second fiddle to the other more famous faces, despite technically being the oldest one of them! Sadly, Porky never obtained the same star-power as Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck.

Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday for the SNES is Porky's only leading role as main character in a video game!

There is a story in this game! It's bare bones, but it's in there! And it is even told via a few still cutscenes.

It all takes place the night before Porky's next vacation. Porky was thinking where he should go... before falling asleep..

...only to find himself trapped in a nightmare!! And in true Nightmare on Elm Street fashion, if he wants to wake up he must face his fears!

The goal is to explore various set pieces to help Porky wake up from this terrifying nightmare.  Starting with haunted woods filled with goblins, ghosts, spiders and other bats, next up is an old haunted Western town before facing Sheriff Sam, then the ruins of Atlantis under the sea and the boss here being the "Willie Great White", an abandoned old mine where lies Hyde Tweety, a snowy mountain that suddenly turns into a visit through Wackyland mid-way through protected by Hugo the Abominable Snowman and the final level, the castle of Daffy The Count and his robots!

Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday is a typical platformer like most other Looney Tunes games.

And like most sidescroller games, Porky here can move around and jump, he can also climb and swing from chains to chains, etc. There's even a bunch of doors to open up more areas. There's some original ideas like these spring jumps in the form of special pads that will bring Daffy as The Count Duck to scare Porky to jump higher. 

You defeat foes by either jumping on them or throwing fruits at them. Fruit baskets are the main item here, you can collect fruits for power-ups. There are various power-ups like a fruit that inflates Porky like a balloon to float in the air.

The game is about 6 levels-long and there's a big bad boss at the end of each stage. You start the game with several lives plus there's various checkpoints scattered around through the levels.

Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday is... a very strange case. On one hand the game has fairly unique distinct graphics and visuals. It's like they just came short to make the game look actually cartoon like a Mickey Mania or Earthworm Jim, for comparison. The animations are well done and smooth, but the art itself is not very detailed and very rough. 

The game itself feels like a bland, bad and generic platformer.. so much hope in the premise but it's ultimately a huge letdown.

But the game does feature some nice effects like this impressive 3D-rotating tree in the first stage. Some really great parallax scrolling rarely seen outside of a Sonic the Hedgehog
And the game also features a rather unique weather effects. Simply said, every time you play the game the weather can actually change!! I've never seen this in any games outside of huge adventure games featuring a calendar for the plot. It's completely random. Sometimes one level might be sunny, other times raining or snowing!

It's a very average game. Way too easy. There's really no challenge here, they clearly made it so little kids wouldn't have too much trouble finishing it in under an hour.

It's a very simple game. Only one level can be sort of tricky - the obligatory water level! Because Porky's sloppy controls get even slower under water...

Finally the music and sound effects composed by Kev Bruce are really.. weird. Like the rest of the game, weird is the word. The music is kind of strange here. Often loud and annoying, other times really minimalist and repetitive. Loops are way too short. The first stage has music that would have been a better fit for Resident Evil! You have the famous "The Merry Go Round Broke Down" song, aka the Looney Tunes theme song, but then you also have the track "The Office" taken from the Terry Gilliam's film Brazil in the Wackyland stage for some reason! And the final boss has possibly the most annoying ambient "music" ever made...

Overall, Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday is a pretty strange platformer.

It's not the worst game ever, but it's clearly not one of the better Looney Tunes game out there either.

On one hand it's a really average platformer, really simple and forgettable. But on the surface it has a very unique distinct personality. A really odd strange experience between the odd visuals going for it, the original weather mechanic and the really strange music.

But let's be blunt, I'm really sorry but the game looks like a bad fangame. It's kind of ugly for the poor SNES...

Skip It!

I would say the best aspect of the entire game is its unique weather gimmick system, it's such a unique idea. I kind of wish more games would have played with this, it really boosts the replay value!
I give it:
1 / 3 Bruce!

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