Moonwalker review - Sega Megadrive
The plastic pop star strikes back! Michael Jackson, all-round good guy and champion of "the kids" makes it to his own console game, based on the "massive" movie.
In case you didn't know, Mr Big has kidnapped all of the kids and is ready to subject them to the horrors of drugs! Michael is a bit miffed at this to say the least, and pausing only to jump into his Smooth Criminal designer gear, decides to risk five levels of Mr Big's domain in an effort to rescue the kids and bring Mr Big to justice. Hooray!
There's four rounds to each level and in each, Michael has to run around the platform environment dishing out magical death to any crony that decides to cross his path. Our hero must search the level, opening doors and moving scenery to find and rescue the kids. When all the kids have been safely rescued, Mr Big appears and sends some of his most terrifying henchmen to try and dispatch Michael.
When they're safely out of the way, it's on to the next round with yet more kids to rescue. Each level has its own Michael soundtrack, including the funky Smooth Criminal, Beat It and Bad!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
When Moonwalker first came into the office, it proved to be extremely popular - just for the comedy value alone. Cameo screens with an animated Michael asking "Who's Bad?" give this game a comic aspect unrivalled by any other Megadrive game. The formation dancing is great as well - even the dogs and spiders join in! However, as with the Master System version, the limited gameplay may put a lot of hardened gamesters off. Highly recommended to Jackson fans (are their any left?) who like rescuing kids.
Similar in many respects to the Master System version, but with better defined graphics and some great tunes and sampled speech (all the "aaows" and "ooohs" you could possibly want, and even a "who's bad?" thrown in for good measure), this platform game offers a load of laughs. There are some great touches, my favourite being the formation-dancing dogs when you use your magic at the end of level two - they're hilarious. Like the Master System version, Moonwalker isn't a particularly tough game, and good players might find themselves completing it all too quickly. And even though there's plenty of fun to be had doing it, that might not be enough for some.
Jackson's career is pretty much in tatters today, so it's easy to forget that not so long ago he was the biggest star on the face of the Earth. Moonwalker the movie may have come at a time when he was just starting his slippery slide into loonsville, but Sega still did well to secure his support in the 16-bit console war. Moonwalker the game is a side-scrolling platform affair (the arcade game was an isometric action title - shame Sega didn't convert it as it's brilliant) and as such provides little in the way of surprises. The 'save the kids' concept is straight out of Shinobi, for example. The only original touch is the idea of 'dancing' your enemies to death, and these animations never get dull. The representations of Jackson's music are decent enough considering the limitations of the Megadrive's sound chip. All in all, there's not a great deal here to keep you interested, but that's not to say it's a terrible game.
Have your say about this review
Tris Wicks - 05 Nov 2008, 03:20 GMT
Jackson's influence on the Sonic 3 music (he was nearly credited by Sega until he lost face - sorry) made better use of his talents than this dull find-a-thon platforming excuse for a game.
Dan - 19 Feb 2009, 14:54 GMT
Damo's right, such a shame we didn't get a port of the arcade version as that was flippin ace. This weren't bad tho, good music and comedy aspects combined to make a novel, if not slightly repetative and occasionaly dull, game which was great for educating kids on the wrongs of drugs - you either end up walking Mr Big's path of doom, or Jacko's comin for you! Either way your screwed!
byron - 14 Jul 2009, 11:21 GMT
lol what a joke since his death people are going nuts on ebay for this pooh of a game...it's not worth more than £5!!! 20,30,200's,999 £££ on ebay = muppet
easyest game too.
sassy - 16 Oct 2009, 08:18 GMT
MOONWALKER AND SEGA ARE THE BEST! ANYONE WHO THINKS DIFFERENT IS JUST A LYING HATER! STOP HATING ON MICHAEL RESTING IN PARADISE! YA'LL SAY THE GAME SUCKS BUT I BET YOU BOUGHT IT AND MADE HIM ANOTHER COUPLE MILLION HAHAHAHHAA! HAAAATERRSS!
Jaz's Sheep - 23 Jun 2010, 14:15 GMT
Sassy, don't you think there's something a bit comical about this game being based on MJ's search for kids, what with him being an "alleged" pedophile an'all?
Tens - 17 Apr 2013, 16:15 GMT
Quite a good game this one, Has quite a good challenge and some good music with equally good controls, Just a bit repetitive after a few levels.
Although at the time of it's release used to keep us occupied for hours.
You control Micheal Jackson and use his hat a weapon with the occasional dance move thrown in as a special weapon
Probably now classed as a collectors item rather than a game to play.
If you are thinking this game is like the arcade then have caution.....It's quite different.
Either way not a bad game
7/10 I give this.