The Looney Tunes are a group of characters that honestly don’t need any sort of introduction, mainly because of the legendary impact they’ve had on not just animation, but media as a whole. For over 80 years and counting, they’ve entertained and enchanted people of all ages, as well as having helped to establish many of the tropes and rules that we see in comedy today. Needless to say, they’re the very definition of the word “timeless”, and have only gotten better with age. Like many beloved properties, branching out into other mediums are pretty much bound to happen, and as such, video games started coming out…followed by the countless therapy sessions.
If you think that Warner Bros. has tried desperately to “reinvent” the Looney Tunes “for a new generation”, they’ve had even worse luck trying to make a successful video game out of them! And considering some of my past experiences with licensed games, that’s saying a lot. So, get ready to wish that you were watching Space Jam instead, as we take a look at Looney Tunes Games.
To start things off, we’ll be taking a look at a game starring the fastest mouse in all Mexico, with Speedy Gonzales in Los Gatos Bandidos for the Super Nintendo.
This game’s premise revolves around…well, Speedy Gonzales, who must embark on a quest throughout Mexico to save his rodent brethren from the clutches (or in this case, claws) of a group of cat bandits led by Sylvester the Cat. Now, Speedy isn’t a character who’s on the level of popularity of Bugs or Daffy, but even that’s not a good enough excuse for how bad and boring this game is! For starters, aside from a few differences here and there, it’s a direct rip-off of Sonic the Hedgehog. I’m not joking: you run in a certain direction and increasingly gain speed as you do so – just like Sonic! You go down slopes and hills – JUST LIKE SONIC! You bounce off of springs and collect stuff – JUST LIKE – well, you get the idea. I know that Speedy is a fast character (I mean, his frickin’ name is an adjective revolving around quickness), but seriously, Acclaim? Is that really as far as your imagination can go? Look at Superfrog – it might feel like a clone of the blue blur’s classic adventures at times, but it also built upon the formula of them and even added in some ideas and mechanics of its’ own to provide the player with a fun experience as well as an engaging challenge. This game on the other hand, does not. Add in some iffy controls, bland music, and levels that can be a chore to navigate, and you’ve got yourself one seriously unimpressive action-platformer.
Next up, we’ll be going from 16-bits to 8-bits, as we take a look at Daffy Duck in Hollywood for the Sega Master System.
This game’s premise revolves around Daffy Duck, as he must make his way throughout several worlds based off of film genres in order to retrieve Yosemite Sam’s stolen film sets (try saying that five times fast). Seeing as how this game was developed for a console that’s a bit more simplistic in the SNES in terms of technology, how does it fare on its’ own? Well…it’s slightly better than Los Gatos Bandidos, but not by much. The level design is a lot more traditional this time around, which also means that it’s a lot less derivative as well. The controls are also much better this time around, feeling more refined and a lot less loose. However, in terms of compliments, that’s all I got, because this game really isn’t that great. While the levels aren’t painfully boring to navigate, they can still get rather confusing and repetitive at times, which ultimately ends up dragging down the experience. The only legitimate highlight here is the music, which isn’t great by any means but is still nice to listen to.
Next up, we’ll be going from consoles to handhelds, in The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle for the Game Boy.
This game’s premise revolves around none other than that wascally wabbit, Bugs Bunny, as he must make his way throughout the titular castle all while avoiding several foes. This game is actually quite different from the last two, in the sense that it’s more of a arcade-esque puzzle game rather than a platformer. Seeing as how the puzzle genre is a rather simple one, you’d expect that this game would be pretty fun and decent. However, they couldn’t even get THAT right. For starters, the graphics are just lazy, even for the Game Boy! Not only are they way too simplistic, but they also resort to constantly recycling the character sprites. Second, the gameplay is boring as all hell. Basically, every single stage goes like this: Go through doors, avoid the enemies, collect carrots. Go through doors, avoid the enemies, collect carrots. Go through doors, avoid the enemies, collect carrots – AAAGH, THE MONOTONY!!! MAKE IT STOP!!! In a way, it’s kind of like Hotel Mario (another terrible puzzle game), minus all the door closing. Lastly, this game isn’t hard. At all. If anything, it might just be the easiest game I’ve played yet. While you do have to avoid the enemies, it still doesn’t provide that much of a challenge, and it gets even more easy when you kill all of them using the power-ups, because by then all you have to do is just go through doors and collect carrots! And the most baffling part about this is that this game got four sequels, all of which are blatant carbon copies of one another! Ugh, let’s move on to another game before I fall asleep out of boredom.
Alright, one more game before we wrap things up. Let’s take a look at Taz-Mania for the Sega Genesis.
This game is particularly interesting in the sense that it was developed at a time where Taz was actually more popular than Bugs or Daffy at the time, as he was making the rounds in all sorts of merchandise, including a Saturday morning cartoon of his very own that this game is named after. Seeing as how all of the previous games were pretty lackluster, you’d think that this game would at least be a tad bit decent… unfortunately, that’d be giving it far too much credit, ’cause not only is this game bad, it’s also one of the worst Looney Tunes games OF ALL TIME. First off, the sound is probably some of the worst that I’ve ever heard in a 16-bit game, or maybe even the worst ever! Aside from the ear-piercing title screen, some of it barely even counts as actual music, as what you’ll mostly be hearing throughout your playthrough is a complete and utter mish-mash of sound effects, faint music, and random instruments. Next, Taz’s controls are loose beyond possible description, and they get even worse whenever you end up in quicksand or if you use the spin attack. Thirdly, the gameplay itself is just MISERABLE. In fact, it might just rival Oscar in terms of crappiness. Not only does it offer nothing new or interesting in terms of design or mechanics, it’s also yet another case of cheap difficulty, and probably the most severe one that I’ve come across yet. Most of the time, you don’t know whether or not the jump you’ll make will result in you falling to your doom or landing safely on a platform. Because of this, the levels can be extremely unpredictable in terms of design. And lastly, the theme of the cartoon is nowhere to be found. I mean, you got the license, so what’s preventing you from putting the theme in? I mean, Rocky & Bullwinkle for the NES had the theme song…well, a malformed, abominable rendition of it, but still! Either way, this game blows.
Well, there’s a look at some of the Looney Tunes games. I know that there are several more, but it’ll probably be a while until I get around to covering them. Perhaps in the future I’ll make a sequel to this article, but for now…I ain’t risking my sanity.