Released in 1993, Awesome Possum Kicks Dr. Machino’s Butt, developed and published by Tengen, sought to join the ranks of platformer mascots like Sonic. However, it struggled to live up to its ambitions.
Gameplay: A Frustrating Experience
The game follows Awesome Possum on a mission to thwart the evil Dr. Machino’s plans to destroy the environment. Gameplay involves navigating through levels, defeating robots, and avoiding hazards like spike pits and jets.
Unfortunately, imprecise controls make tasks like jumping a challenge. Collision detection issues add to the frustration, often causing confusion when engaging enemies.
Starting with the objective to save the rainforest from Dr. Machino’s clutches, players soon encounter the game’s greatest hurdle – the controls. Jumping, a fundamental action in platformers, is an exercise in patience due to the lack of precision.
Awesome Possum’s movements can feel erratic, leading to frustrating sequences where regaining control becomes a chore. This issue compounds when engaging with the enemy robots.
The collision detection is often inconsistent, leaving players perplexed by seemingly erroneous hits. What should be a straightforward action becomes a source of annoyance.
The slow pace of Awesome Possum’s movement exacerbates the challenge. Progressing through levels feels sluggish, causing the game’s difficulty to spike. This imbalance in pacing leaves players feeling ill-equipped to handle the obstacles in their path.
The frustration is further amplified by the fact that any contact with an enemy robot results in immediate defeat. This punitive approach to gameplay diminishes the overall experience.
Furthermore, the level design introduces respawning enemies, a decision that can lead to moments of intense frustration. Defeating a group of adversaries, only to have them reappear upon revisiting an area, disrupts the flow of the game.
This dynamic proves particularly aggravating when navigating vertically, as it can result in unwinnable scenarios. The lack of adequate space to maneuver, combined with Awesome Possum’s already challenging controls, leads to numerous instances of undue frustration.
Boss battles, a hallmark of platformer games, present their own set of problems. While the bosses themselves are visually impressive, the confined spaces in which these battles occur prove detrimental.
The limited room for maneuvering often leads to players feeling cornered and vulnerable. Once again, the issue of speed comes to the forefront, as the lack thereof hampers the player’s ability to effectively engage with these formidable foes.
Repetitive and Lacking Depth
While initially entertaining, the novelty of defeating robots wears thin quickly, leading to a sense of monotony. Oddly, you can progress without necessarily defeating all enemies; reaching the end suffices. Boss fights also lack engagement, failing to provide compelling incentives for players to persevere.
The gameplay’s repetitive nature exacerbates the aforementioned issues. The core mechanic of jumping on enemy robots lacks the depth needed to sustain interest over time.
What initially promises excitement and challenge gradually devolves into a tiresome exercise in repetition. The lack of variation in gameplay elements stifles the potential for a more engaging experience.
Surprisingly, Awesome Possum introduces an unconventional approach to progression. Unlike many platformers that require the defeat of all enemies, this game simply mandates reaching the level’s conclusion.
This design choice further highlights the game’s reliance on running and sporadic jumping, reducing the overall complexity of the experience. The absence of a more nuanced objective structure hampers the potential for deeper gameplay engagement.
Environmental Education: A Gimmick
After each level, players face environmental trivia questions. Despite aiming to educate, these questions only yield bonus points. Collecting trash for extra points and encountering unexplained icons contribute to the game’s disjointed experience.
One of Awesome Possum’s unique features is its attempt to incorporate environmental education through trivia questions. These questions, presented after each level, touch on ecological topics.
While the intention to educate is commendable, the execution falls short. Correctly answering these questions results in bonus points, offering minimal impact on the overall gameplay experience. As a result, the environmental education element feels more like a superficial addition than an integrated, meaningful component of the game.
Additionally, the inclusion of trash collection as a means to earn bonus points adds an unconventional layer to the gameplay. However, the mechanics behind this feature remain unexplained within the game.
Players are left to navigate this aspect without clear guidance, contributing to the overall disjointed feel of the experience.
Audio: Missed Marks
Voice acting attempts and an introductory sequence prove to be more of a nuisance than an enhancement. The repetitive exclamations of “I’m cool!” become grating. Similarly, the music lacks depth and becomes tiresome over time.
The audio elements of Awesome Possum contribute to its overall shortcomings. Voice acting, an ambitious choice for the time, falls flat. The character’s recurring exclamation of “I’m cool!” quickly transitions from an attempt at endearment to an irritant.
This repetition detracts from the game’s audio landscape, diminishing the player’s overall enjoyment.
Similarly, the music fails to complement the gameplay effectively. The tracks lack depth and variation, resulting in a repetitive auditory experience. The potential for a more immersive sonic backdrop remains untapped, leaving players with a soundtrack that struggles to engage or enhance the overall gameplay experience.
Awesome Possum’s good intentions to deliver an environmental message are overshadowed by gameplay flaws, control issues, and lackluster audio. It falls short of making a positive impact.
Join Awesome Possum on a mission to save the environment, but be prepared for a frustrating journey.
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