Friday 19 June 2015

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (Mega Drive / Genesis review)

Developer: Sega (AM7)
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1990

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is an action game that is entirely different from the Arcade version of the same name.

Your mission is to destroy Mr. Big and rescue a certain number of children in each level. Some are in plain sight but others are hidden inside doors and windows that you can open by pressing Up. While you're busy searching each floor enemies will try to interject and your primary attack consists of kicking fairy dust. There's also life depleting special moves where you can either fling your hat at enemies or make them perform the Thriller dance until they die! The first two levels are located in a Club and on the Street and they're great fun to play. In the latter you need to search car trunks but occasionally bombs fly out that you need to avoid before they explode. Once you've saved all the kids in a level Bubbles the monkey appears and points you towards the direction of a boss. The bosses are terrible and mainly consist of waves of enemies that you've recently faced. The Woods level is bland and sees you battling jumping zombies while searching for children in tombstones! The Cavern is a maze of small, cramped caves and hidden walls that house numerous enemy types and many cheap hits. The Enemy Hideout is full of cameras that shoot lasers and the barrage of projectiles is overwhelming. It's not exactly a fun level but at least you get to turn into a robot in 5-3! The final round sees you taking to the skies in a space shooting scene against Mr. Big. It controls horribly and it's difficult to manoeuvre your vehicle without taking hits. The music is outstanding though with instantly recognisable MJ tunes including Smooth Criminal and Billie Jean.

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is enjoyable for the first few stages but it quickly becomes repetitive and wears out its welcome. The gameplay is far too limited and the fact that most bosses consist of waves of generic thugs is a major disappointment.

Random trivia: The game was once rumoured to be due for re-release on the Wii Virtual Console as it was rated by PEGI. However, it appears it was quietly cancelled.

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