REVIEW: Oscar (1996, SNES)

Alright, what are we doing today?

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Oh. ANOTHER Sonic clone…and I can’t even tell what type of animal the main character is supposed to be…joy.

Developed and published by Flair Software and Titus as a port of an extremely obscure computer game released three years before it and released at the slowly but surely approaching end of the SNES’ lifespan, this game follows the titular Oscar, a…something, as he travels throughout several worlds based on popular movie themes while trying to collect Oscars scattered throughout the levels.

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Yes, THOSE Oscars.

But regardless, seeing as how the 13 or so people who actually remember this game REALLY don’t have nice things to say about it, how bad can it possibly be? Let’s find out, shall we?

THE LOOKS –  If there was a perfect word to describe how exactly this game looks, “cluttered” would be it. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, from the backgrounds, the character sprites, and the use of colors (good lord, the use of colors) just feel sloppy and thrown together. Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Dude, it’s just a port of a computer game, so it’s gonna to look like crap!” And to that, I respectfully disagree entirely. Believe it or not, there ARE computer games that can look just as good, and in some cases better, than 16-bit console games. Great examples of this would be Superfrog, Jazz Jackrabbit, THIS, I could honestly go all day. So, in all, there really isn’t any excuse, and even if you still look at it as just a computer game it still isn’t very impressive by any means.

THE SOUND – When the title screen music literally goes nothing beyond a jumbled bunch of ear-piercing guitar riffs, you know that the rest of the soundtrack is NOT going to go easy on the ears. And, surprise surprise, it doesn’t! When it’s not being annoying and all-around intolerable, the music is just flat-out boring and bland. I am not joking when I say that none, I repeat, NONE of the music in this game is good, or at the very least, decent. Look, I know that this was released when the SNES was at death’s door, but that does not excuse the lack of effort in any way!

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It might not look THAT bad at first…but then you play it for yourself.

THE GAMEPLAY – Just when things couldn’t possibly get any worse for Oscar, they somehow do when the gameplay is put into the equation. Never in my life have I seen such an incompetent and borderline-unplayable 2D platformer since Rocky & Bullwinkle on the NES! Getting the first out of MANY problems out of the way, Oscar’s controls. Not only do they feel VERY stiff and strange, but he is just way too fast for his own good. Second, the level design and gameplay is as basic and unimaginative as you can get. All you do is just wander around aimlessly collecting Oscars and letters, with nothing interesting or varied about them. Lastly, a majority of the power-ups are some of THE most useless I’ve ever seen in a 2D platformer. While some CAN be somewhat helpful, like the one that slows you down, and in a ironic turn of events – actually makes Oscar more controllable and the game slightly more playable -, the others are completely worthless and in some cases, can even make the game WORSE! Now, I’ve seen some pretty bad Sonic rip-offs before, but this one honestly takes it to a whole new level.

THE BOTTOM LINE – Oscar is one of those games that can show just how badly you can screw up even the SIMPLIEST of video game genres, with awful and unappealing visuals, ear-grating music, and gameplay that fails to hold your attention in every way. Thankfully, this game was quickly (and rightfully) forgotten after its’ release, and will never be remembered as anything more than just another terrible Sonic clo-

WHY!?

2/10

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3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Oscar (1996, SNES)

  1. Pingback: REVIEW: Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (1993, SNES) | retr0pia

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