Back when they actually gave two craps about the industry, Konami were one of the most beloved developers/publishers of the classic age, with a resume of titles such as Metal Gear, Contra, and Rocket Knight Adventures. However, like many other video game corporations, they also had their fair share of licensed games, some of them good, and others being throughly mediocre. And seeing as how I already covered a few games by them in the past, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at yet another one, that of which being a game based off of the most beloved cartoons to ever come out of the nineties, Animaniacs.
Seeing as how I’ve already covered a fair share of licensed Konami titles, some good, and some bad, how does this one stack up? Let’s find out, shall we?
ROUND ONE: THE LOOKS
In what seems to be a running gag whenever I do a Konami game in these articles, the SNES version offers the best translation of the show’s style into a video game format. Not only is the spritework of the characters 100% spot-on, but the backgrounds are delightfully varied and vibrant, offering one of the most lively games to ever come out on the SNES. The Genesis and Game Boy versions, while still good-looking, don’t exactly manage to hold a candle. Despite some smoother and arguably more detailed animations and backgrounds, they kind of lack the charm of the SNES version. So, I’ll be crowning the SNES as the victor.
ROUND TWO: THE SOUND
While the SNES may have won with great success in the previous round, that doesn’t mean it’ll carry over to the other ones. And in this case, the Genesis version easily has the best sound. Don’t get me wrong, the SNES version still has a good amount of decently catchy tunes, but none that I would really classify as “memorable”. The Genesis version on the other hand takes those verbs with profound grace, being pure ear candy in every sense of the word, with the music fitting each and every stage that you’ll find yourself in. Heck, in some cases they even mix up tunes from the show! As for the Game Boy version’s soundtrack, it’s alright, though it’s more or less a downgraded edition of the one from the Genesis. With that said, the GENESIS wins this one.
ROUND THREE: THE GAMEPLAY
After a temporary victory by the Genesis, the SNES has managed to come back with a vengeance. Getting the Genesis and Game Boy versions out of the way, they can best be summed up as dull, mediocre platformers that don’t really bring anything new to the table. While the controls are fine, the relentless tediousness of the level design really brings them both down, ESPECIALLY in the Game Boy version. Now as for the SNES version, it’s sort of a challenge to really describe the way that it plays. The best way that I can, however, is something of an isometric side-scrolling platformer with a few arcade elements thrown in for good measure. There’s simply way too many things to praise here; the tight controls, the sheer amount of variety between levels, the scale of the aforementioned levels, the balance between the platforming and arcade elements, the fast pacing, practically everything was given to people who really wanted to give it their all. If there is one little quibble that I have, it would have to be the fact that in order to free one of the captive Warner Siblings, you have to play this rather obnoxious mini-game. Still, without question, the SNES is the champion.
THE RETR0PIA RANKINGS:
GAME BOY: D
AND VICTORY GOES TO…THE SNES VERSION!