super-awesome "double deal"pack: dracula and Frankenstein
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Sega CD game. Needless to say, my Sega wasn’t happy about it. It wasn’t cooperating at all. The Genesis part worked just fine, but the CD part wouldn’t turn on for a while. I was like, “Don’t give me that ‘why didn’t you call?’ attitude, you should have sent out more seizure-inducing subliminal messages.” Then I apologized and sweet-talked that bitch out of her PMS, so now she works fine. In related news, I’m pleased to announce the arrival of a BRAND NEW old TV to my bedroom. (Special thanks to Rachel, my sister, and Kyle, her boyfriend who is actually reading this.) Until now, I had no idea my Sega could look this good. I mean, of course it still sucks, but now it sucks BETTER. Anyway, back to the review at hand. It’s a pack with two awesome titles, which means two probably shitty games. Now I can’t just go into this garbage unprepared, so to set the mood, I watched Michael Jackson’s Thriller 13 times while, of course, moon-walking and grabbing my crotch.* I probably shouldn’t have done this in the middle of Radio Shack as the police tend to frown on that sort of thing. After some random hookers bailed me out of jail for some reason, I rented both of the early nineties horror films, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (which I had previously never seen). However by doing so, I threw the universe off balance. I was promptly informed, by a floating chimp with an eye-patch, that I had just five hours to restore equilibrium to all things before total chaos ensues. Being responsible for the doom of billions is not something I want to live with for all five hours of the rest of my life. Besides, I didn’t want to be the one to explain to God why I caused Apocalypse before He did. So I bought Young Frankenstein and An American Werewolf in Paris, two of the most awesome monster movies ever. That seemed to pretty much fix everything, so as an afterthought, I picked up From Dusk Till Dawn.
*Once again, my spell check has tried to kill me by means of a horrible, stress-related death in an all out assault against the English language. I wasn’t sure how to correctly write “moon-walking” so my spell check told me to change it to “moonwalking.” Then, fucking, it tells me that “moonwalking isn’t even a word and I should change it. Goddamn electronic grammar Nazi.
The movie was pretty cool, but I’m not Roger Ebert, which means I’m not here to watch movies and eat hot dogs and have heart attacks for your enjoyment. I’m here to review video games, bitch, and review video games I shall. I was surprised when I started watching the intro and I didn’t vomit in a bulimic rage. It actually didn’t look like shit. But shit sometimes likes to disguise itself, so I was skeptical. It’s not like they took unimportant scenes from the movie, dipped the film in ketchup, and then transferred them to the Sega disc like they usually do in these games. They actually put effort into making a good intro. And the music is the best noise I’ve ever heard come out of the Sega CD when it’s sober. And not just Sega CD-good, GOOD-good. My ears were so happy, they cried. When I tried to tell everyone, all they did was give me some antibiotics. Weirdos. The beginning is nothing but a full moon, a bunch of random stairways and music that’s somehow better than the music from the movie. Then you see the big, mechanical submarine-bathtub-coffin used to give the Frankenstein monster life. The next part shows… something… pouring into the tub. It looks like a giant turd mummified in taffy coming out of a big, pulsing anus. But after watching the movie, I know the much less disgusting truth. It’s only a bunch of electric eels, swimming in AMNIOTIC FLUID, coming out of a big, pulsing anus. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie. Then you see an eel slithering across the ground. No, not a snake. An EEL. They’re the ones that live in water. And don’t slither across the ground. You don’t get to “see” any characters in the whole scene. You only see the Creature’s hand, and nothing of Victor Frankenstein, who was apparently out of town when his lab decided to come to life and create zombies.
Knowing nothing of this game, I first went to “OPTIONS” and then “PRACTISE FIGHTS” and finally, to my instruction manual. The fights seem to be a complicated and well thought out battle system where the object is to crouch in a corner and hit the A-button until the opponent dies. This is actually identical to my strategy when I use Blanca in any of the 56 Street Fighter II games. The Creature then head-butts the air and acts like a boxer with a limp. Despite his superhuman strength, it still takes about 500 hits to the groin to kill any of the enemies. Loving this game too much already, I decided to play it. When you start, you get a brief but necessary scene involving Kool-Aid-filled test tubes and a crystal ball. The first level is filled with wondrous things like barrels, beakers, bread, acid (unspecified type), random enemies, and best of all, cardboard monkeys with tiaras and spears. Now that I’ve played this game for five minutes, I realized how bad they fucked up on the movie. I mean, they totally left out all the zombie pirates that hide under throw rugs, not to mention the cardboard monkey princess warriors. God damn. Way to ruin a movie, guys.
The first level pretty much ends when you get bored of wreaking havoc on the town by freeing prisoners and setting houses on fire. It seems that, in level 2, you have somehow stumbled into Metroid II territory in the “Forest of God Damned Similar Screens,” with pigeon calls, train whistles, and death rays in the background. You have to walk around and get lost, praying that you either find civilization or the dog that kills you every time you get close. Since you walk slower than the tarantulas in the game, this gets annoying really fucking fast. Shit, I have a snail puppet that moves faster when it’s collecting dust on my bookrack. And every time I pause the game, it goes to black and white. It’s like I’m playing The Blair Witch Video Game Project. But I’m really just saying that because I recently purchased and watched The Blair Thumb. God bless you, Steve Oedekerk. If you can harness the amazing amount of skill needed to find out where the fuck you’re going your only reward is a crazy old man who rambles about flutes and cereal. “Help me, someone’s beating me up!” “WAAAAAAAAAH!!!! Someone stole me Lucky Charms! Go find them!” “BOO HOO!!! I lost my recorder!” Jesus Christ, dude. No wonder the monster ran screaming from you in the original movie, you nagging bitch. Your character isn’t much better, though. He is a soulless creature pieced together from parts of dead convicts and brought to life by electric eels in amniotic fluid. However, when he comes across a bug in the forest, he says (actual quote from game), “THEY ARE HORRIBLE AND SLIMY. I DO NOT WANT TO GET ANY CLOSER.” ...Here let me reiterate. The creature happened when, like 3 hours ago, this anus:
I really don’t think I can comment on that anymore than I just did. You can draw your own conclusions about it. Actually, now that I think about it, that all does sound pretty traumatizing. This guy's life sucks. This level ends when you pummel the Sega CD and yourself with bricks because you can’t fucking get past it. The honest truth is this: I can’t beat the forest level. After looking for a pixilated, whiney, blind shit’s recorder on the same 28 screens you’ve already been slowly hobbling across for the past 5 hours, there’s only so much you can take before your body starts coughing up organs in an attempt to kill you before you can cause it any more pain. I mean, I know TONS about video game torture, and that’s even hard for someone who can live through three agonizing Sherlock CD adventures. If any of you mouse-fucking psychopaths have this game and hate yourselves but love me, by all means send me a strategy guide.* Note: yes, this makes you legally insane in 19 states.
*When I say, “by all means,” I mean just email. Please, PLEASE do not find some way to call my house.
However, scratch that. I’m happy to announce that this won’t affect the rest of this review. Thanks to the coolest divine intervention ever, I am able continue this game from the NEXT level. You see, somewhere in my sordid past of ignorance and mystery, I used to play the Sega CD for “fun.” It seems that years ago, I had saved the game ONE LEVEL AFTER I somehow got past Satan’s Forest. The reason I never played it again was because I got stuck at that fucking level. I mean God damn, Sega CD. Do you know why the suicide rate is higher in Japan? Because they probably have more Sega CD games!!! No wonder I took so many pills as a kid. But because of God’s love of all things and His apparently awesome sense of humor, I just managed to get past the part that stumped me years ago. I had no idea God read my reviews. … Uh oh. From what I can tell about this next level, it involves lame tasks like stealing mousetraps from people who have God damned MOUSETRAP CAMOFLAUGE as their décor so it’s a little hard to find. It’s like finding a needle in a PILE of needles, only the one you’re looking for is the one that doesn’t have poison all over it. And now, it’s time to meet the evil psycho that made you and left you for dead… and greet him with gifts and flowers. The good doctor must have gotten bored with his dusty old attic and poured glitter all over it, ‘cause it sparkles like crazy in there. When you finally meet your maker, you have a nice conversation about things that just aren’t true. One of the things the Creature says to Victor is, “I have been forced to kill many people to be here with you.” There are two things that bug me about that. One is that I think he’s only beaten up a couple people; I don’t remember killing anyone. The second is that if he kills people, why the fuck am I running around looking for mousetraps and pumpkins when I could totally just kill everyone?
The next cinematic scene is pretty amazing. It shows the shadow of the Creature limping by a wall. Which goes perfectly with the whole running theme of walls throughout the game. Now you return to the first level of the game… at night. And let me tell you, this town gets pretty fucking insane at night. One of the houses has a sewer connected to its living room, guarded by a man with a giant Q-tip instead of giant alligators and ninja turtles.
God damn insanity. I finally get all the body parts and live rats needed in order for Frankenstein to make me a bride while occasionally shouting, “IODINE FOR GOOD BRIDES AND THINGS!!” for completely no reason. Then I meet Frankenstein, and he tries to shoot me. You can probably guess what happens next. I try to run away and VICTOR’S WIFE comes in to kick my ass. AND SHE’S A FUCKING KUNG-FU WARRIOR GODDESS!!!!!! And speaking of demonic possession by Satan, my Sega is at it again. Normally the game goes silent when you pause. This time was no different… for about five minutes. Then it starts playing the intro music, only now it’s twice as fast as it normally is. The Sega is a very scary and vengeful entity. Take caution at home and stay as far away from one as possible. Use only as prescribed.
What happens next is actually the best scene in the game. After killing the mad doctor’s possessed wife, you watch in awe as he shows off his surgical skills, as well as his tight six-pack. Some people just have everything. Anyway, the whole process of resurrecting someone takes about thirty seconds and goes something like this:
1. Cut patient’s hair off.
2. Remove patient’s face and other body parts.
3. Take your shirt off.
4. Sew patient back together.
5. Submerge patient in mechanical bathtub-coffin.
After that, the reanimated Mrs. Frankenstein gets up and starts dancing with the Creature. And there on the floor lies a crumpled, broken Victor Frankenstein, weeping at the agonizing horror that has unfolded before him. But then, instead of continuing like a normal plot, everyone spontaneously travels to the north pole. It’s like amidst all that’s going on, they thought the best thing to do now was to ask Santa for some cookies and therapy. The next thing you know, you’re on a ship with a masturbating transvestite, which means that I now hate this game more than anything ever before.
Then you have the most important, plot-essential conversation in the history of videogames:
CREATURE: Hello. TRANNIE: Meet me on the ice. CREATURE: Okay.
It’s like the Creature was given the brain of Forest Gump. Now it’s time, once more, to meet your maker. And this time, it’s personal… Again. Only now you have to kick his ass like his wife kicked yours. But the Creature doesn’t exactly have a black-belt and already walks with a limp, so the fight probably won’t turn out the way I want it to. Fortunately, I have two lives left and full health. Unfortunately I’m lying. I have no lives and am one hit away from death. So I’ve decided to do what any normal kid in my situation would do. No, that’s not true either. Actually, I busted out my bulky and cool Sega arcade pad with Megafire™. Then I crouched in a corner and punched some more. HOLY GOD PRAISE JESUS I WON!!!!!! That was one difficult mofo, and now that I’ve spent about 3 hours and 5,822 button-mutilating fights in complete failure, I don’t even need an ending. I beat Frankenstein; my task is done. In fact, it fills me with so much God damned pride that an ending can only make things worse. So here’s the ending. I guess the transvestite is your undead wife, who you are supposed to meet on the ice. You now have two items. A lantern for setting things on fire, and a tarp which is useless. If you try to tell the Creature to use the tarp and dress up like a ghost, he’ll say “I RECALL DR. FRANKENSTEIN ASKING ME TO BRING HIM THIS, SO I BEST NOT USE IT.” If the Creature ever remembers that he killed Frankenstein, he might do something interesting with the tarp, like make a hat out of it or set it on fire or both at once. But until then, he sets the ship on fire and walks away with his wife in the snow. Then you go to sleep. Because you’re tired. And you’ve been writing shitty game reviews all night. I guess they didn’t like the movie’s ending so they made up a happy and less dramatic one.
RATING (OUT OF 10)
GRAPHICS: 6 The levels didn’t quite look 16-bit and the cinematic scenes were like a good movie on a TV that got bad reception. So above average I’d say. But then, there was that forest level. SOUND: 10 Well, it finally happened. I gave out a ten. The music was the best thing the Sega CD has ever produced. Although, the forest level didn’t have any music. PLAY CONTROL: 3 There aren’t a lot of things to do in this game. You can pick things up, look at them, use them, then crouch in a corner and punch the guy that doesn’t like it when you use them. Oh, and you walk slower than Peter in HOOK. GOD DAMN HOOK!!!! And there was that forest level. FUN: 2 Forest… Fucking…LEVEL!!! Oh, and the rest of the game was kinda shitty too.
OVERALL RATING: 5
Frankenstein is a very boring game that you can only beat if you somehow accidentally passed the forest level. So I guess it was pretty challenging. But if most of the challenge comes from the crappy gameplay and terrible level design, you don’t want it. And the music kicks your ass in the ears. Or… vice versa… or something…
Maybe I’ll make a movie about the great and terrifying adventure with God I just had. I’d call it Jesus Saves Nathan From Hell… 2!!! Starring Me as “Nathan” and “Weird Al” as “God”. Or Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Savionator!! ...I think I got a little sidetracked. Anyway, the game sucked, here’s Dracula: