Captain Planet review - Nintendo Entertainment System
The planet Earth is dying and only you can save it! The evil Hoggish Greedily has decided to drill for oil on all of America's national parks. The American government haven't even notices this, or indeed the squadrons of warplanes and armoured installations Greedily's constructed over spots of historical interest and natural beauty. Quite how this is destroying the whole of planet Earth is a bit of a mystery, but the fact remains, Mr Greedily is a very naughty boy and must be stopped.
Each level is split into two sections. The first is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up, where CP's sidekicks fight off the marauding hordes and wreak mass destruction upon Greedily's operation. The second half shows the Cap's efforts platform-style, with our man flying around destroying a huge enemy installation from the inside.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Captain Planet was bad enough as a cartoon, and it would seem the game is perfectly in keeping with this image. At first it doesn't seem so bad, although the shoot 'em up elements fails to tie in with the cartoon. But once you've been killed in the same spot for what feels like the hundredth time, the whole thing wears more than a little thin. The exploration part of the game is mildly diverting, but it's all a bit dull, unimaginative and repetitive. Captain Planet's sad graphics and sound could be excused if it weren't for the game's habit of placing you in an impossible position from which there is no escape. Even doubling the number of hits your vehicle can take on two would have improved the gameplay no end. A lot could have been done with Captain Planet, but even the environmental angle has come to nothing.
I've never seen the cartoon before, but if it's anything like this game, I'm glad I have a massive lie-in every Saturday morning. It's an odd sort of game, really. The "outside" shoot 'em up levels all seem to be incredibly difficult. It took me over an hour of frustrating play just to get past level one! The thing is, after that, the "inside" levels are pretty simple to complete and are far more rewarding. The graphics throughout are okay, but not spectacular, and the sound is quite unfortunate, with some very bizarre tunes. If the gameplay on the shoot 'em up levels had been tightened up, I'd have greeted Captain Planet far more enthusiastically. Unfortunately, progress is always halted by the absurd difficulty level. Frankly, I was very disappointed with this, especially since it was designed and partly programmed by the creator of Boulder Dash.