Wednesday 16 December 2015

Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude! (Mega Drive / Genesis review)

Developer: Sega Technical Institute, Interactive Designs
Publisher: Sega of America
Released: 1992

Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude! is a platform game that was also ported to the Sega Game Gear in 1993.

The objective is to locate six pieces of the Surfboard of the Ancients that will remove a cursed pendant that's stuck around your neck. Your main method of attack is a flying disc you can throw at enemies but special weapons can be found that include a Super Disc that seeks out enemies on its own and Umbrella Hats that make you invincible. Most of the gameplay is typical platforming fare such as jumping on moving blocks and swinging on vines but it does have a bit of variety to keep things interesting. One area is reminiscent of Adventure Island (1988, NES) as you jump on a skateboard and use it to leap over spikes. Another stage sees you scuba diving but it has annoying vacuums that suck you up and send you back to the beginning of the level! In between stages you board a pedal-copter while punching birds and avoiding water. The controls are stiff and it feels like you're constantly battling against them as you try to line up a punch; thankfully these areas are short. There are a few bosses but they're anticlimactic as the music doesn't change and they all take on the same exact form. The last level has an area filled with rising and descending water and you must leap onto higher platforms to save yourself from drowning. Unfortunately it has no final boss battle and instead the game randomly ends and doesn't tie up loose ends! The experience is short with only six stages and it's also incredibly easy as you can take an inordinate amount of hits before you die. The music is awesome with bass heavy reggae tracks but while the graphics have smooth animation there's also some clipping.
Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude! is nothing you haven't seen before but the game has its moments and its main strength is its variety. The main problem is that it feels rushed and doesn't have the right level of content, polish or finesse to warrant repeated play-throughs.

Random trivia: Although the ending hints at a sequel it never actually materialised.

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