Genre: Platformer Developer: Grey Matter Publisher: THQ Players: 1 Released: 1993
Wayne’s World the film is one of the greatest movies ever made. It is a postmodern classic comedy that spawned a thousand catchphrases and meant that Mike Myers could have a proper film and TV career and never have to face the horror of working on Breakfast Time UK Children’s Television (He was a presenter on the Wide Awake Club along with Timmy Mallet, trivia fans). The film was basically about two slackers called Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) who have their own cable TV show called Wayne’s World. Along the way they foil the attempts of a slick producer (Rob Lowe) to compromise their integrity artistic. Wayne gets a hot babe (Tia Carrera) and both Wayne and Garth get to present the show on mainstream channel.
It was hilariously funny and really, as a comedy, rather a bizarre choice to make into a video game, especially when games and the film industries don’t have an auspicious record at the best of times for conversions either way. In the early 1990’s it was even worse, with every film that was even moderately successful having a crappy, side-scrolling platform game made under their name. Surely if you were going to attempt to capture the genius and humour of the Wayne’s World movie you would try and make the game as accurate and witty as possible portrayal of the film. If you were a developer and publisher worth its salt you would not just create yet another crappy, side-scrolling platformer based on a COMEDY film. That would just be cynical exploitation and surely they would never do that.
Sigh, whom am I trying to kid. Welcome to Wayne’s World the crappy side-scrolling platform game for the Mega Drive/Genesis. This is a game that not only disgraces the name of Wayne’s World, but it is quite frankly another of the most terrible games I have ever played. Most unforgivably, the sheer contempt this game has for the player is breathtaking. It’s like the developers thought to themselves, “boy this is a lame game and hey lets rub it in and TELL the suckers playing that we knew it was lame all along. But we don’t care! Bwahahahaha!”
The game begins with shoddy still pictures of Wayne and Garth on their sofa. They speak in speech bubbles and jerk occasionally into another still image position. They do the extreme close up which is TERRIFYING. Wayne’s badly pixilated face screams up at you and his hideously slurred voice groans the cry “wooooaah!!” Gulp. Then Wayne and Garth go on to tell us they were in Noah’s Arcade the other week and made a top ten list the worst games they played there. I shall give you the list in full as it’s the only actual part of the game that is at all Wayne’s Worldish:
10: Regarding Henry: The Video game
9: Bicks World of Goop
8: Adventures of the Potato People – Where’s my Stuff?
7: Toxic Timmy’s Nuclear Knob
6: Sputnik the Boll Weevil
5: Gord’s Fun time Checkers
4: Supersonic the Lyme Tick
3: Toxic Timmy 2: I’ll Waste you All!
2: Slob and Goober
1: Zantar the Gelatinous Cube
(Fans of the film may remember that Zantar was the game created by Noah of Noah’s Arcade to screw as much money out of kids as possible, by making it impossible for them to reach level three.) So already we have what promises to be a terrible game, laughing in our faces by presenting a list of crappy games that actual now sound much more enjoyable than the game we are in now.
Wayne and Garth then go on to tell us that while playing Zantar they got zapped into some kind of computer game world, then a “giant purple appendage” (hmmmm) appeared and snatched Garth leaving Wayne with his now oversized head (!!!!!) all alone in an unfriendly version of the music shop he got his guitar from. Then Wayne does the “diddly-doop, diddly-doop” and the screen wobbles into a flashback, which is now the start of the game.
So now you find yourself in control of Wayne. He is armed with a guitar and his huge and bland sprite is exceedingly hard to control. You have to make your way through the first level where you are attacked by homicidal musical instruments (bagpipes, accordions, trumpets). Everything about the design falls into the checklist of how NOT to make a great platform game.
Let’s see, do we have terrible collision detection? Yes we do. When Wayne jumps on a speaker in the first levels, it’s touch and go if he stay on top or just fall straight through. Now do we have unseen enemies in places where you have to make blind jumps? Oh yes we do, and as a special bonus that craptacular extra design flaw of jumping past a higher platform and being damaged by the enemies sitting there as you head brushes past. What next? Oh yes, bad character control. Wayne has to make many leaps of faith as well as short hops across traps like electric wires strung between speakers. If he does land on top of the speakers or indeed any small platform taken at a running jump he will do a “skid-to-a-halt” animation and slide off into the trap. Finally we have a special bonus of enemies who attack much faster than you can avoid or attack them. Wayne has a guitar as a weapon, he twangs the string to fire it, if he is jumping he will whirl his arm around before firing. So you actually have to be able to memorize when you need to attack and do second or so beforehand, as the attack animations Wayne has mean he does not attack as soon as you press the fire button. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHH!!!
Now factor in the stupid and boring level design. The Music shop is just a maze of metal grills, speakers, and iron platforms roamed by such beasties as killer accordions and Bagpipes with their amazing two frames of animation. The Bar/Nightclub is similarly uninspired. Killer dart boards, pool tables etc. In fact the whole design reeks. The sound is ghastly. The music is plinky-plonky crap, with scary digitized speech from Wayne, mainly when hit he roars “Nooooooot!” in a slurred, deep voice. At one point Stacy appears (Wayne’s stalker) and says “Hi, Wayne,” she too sounds like she is on dope.
So have I made my point clearly enough? This game sucks. The biggest joke is at the expense of the hapless player, who very soon begins to think that “Sputnik the Boll Weevil” would indeed be preferable to this game. It certainly had me imagining my own game where I played a tapeworm who lived in the colon of the games designers, my goal would be to crawl up their insides and wrap myself around their hearts and squeeze until they were dead. Then escape by chewing my way out through their left ear. For that is how vengeful this rotten, vile, turgid piece of software has made me feel towards the cynical cash in merchants who churned this out and besmirched the memory of one to the twentieth century’s finest films.
SCORE: 1 out of 10