This game is officially and unarguably the first game that I ever got for the Super Nintendo and as it is currently the only game I own for the system (virtual consul games notwithstanding) it is unequivocally the best game I own for the system. That aside, the game is actually quite good, which is apparently rare for Looney Tunes games. It follows a story that Porky Pig, on the night before his vacation, falls asleep while reading a scary book and has a bad nightmare which you inevitably play through.
The game has received mixed reviews over the years for one major reason: the game is too easy. Maybe 20 years ago if I had paid full price for the game I would be a little disappointed in that aspect, but in this day and age with the price it goes for now, that is certainly not a problem. Also I am not the greatest gamer out there, so when I beat a game it feels pretty good. It’s not unconscionably easy to play, 4 hits and you die, and there are enough traps and bad guys in the game to keep you on your toes, but you do get unlimited lives so you won’t have a reason to stop playing.
The main attack you have throughout the game is Porky’s jump, which has to be fairly accurate in order to kill the opponents. There is a throw attack as well, but in playing the game I only found one power up that let me throw. The ammunition appears to be unlimited, but once you lose a life you lose the ability. Despite the game being “easy” I still manage to go through a lot of live. Like I said, I’m not the best gamer out there.
There are only 6 levels in the game, but each level is divided into multiple segments, and when you die you return to the beginning of that segment. Even when you get a game over and continue you still start at the beginning of each segment, which I won’t complain about but I can see why others might. In most of the levels, two or three of the segments are rather long and have check points in the middle of them as well.
What makes this game so good, in my opinion, is the graphics. This is not one of those cases where the artwork on the cartridge sets up a false hope for the game. They really captured the artwork and spirit of Looney Tunes very well. Porky can look pixilated at times (around the edge) but the rest of the background is sharp and detailed. Any dedicated fan of Looney Tunes will recognize an awful lot the enemies and background details. This is exactly what you want to see in a video game based on a movie (or TV show et. al) and so often do not. This is exactly why Aladdin on the Sega Geneses did so well (see a soon to come review for more details, a lot more details actually.)
My favorite level in the game is Level 5 “The Alps” you start off in a snow covered alpine looking level, and in the introductory seen you see just the foot of a large white monster, and you already know who the boss of this level is going to be. However just before the second segment begins there is a clear screen brake which looks like you are walking into a desert (similar to Level 2 “Dry Gulch” but at twilight) however this level is not a desert, it is an absurdist dream world with diffident inspiration drawn from Salvador Dali (one of my favorite painters and not something I ever expected to find in a video game). There are even suspended fired eggs (from the painting “Eggs on a Plate Without the Plate” and others by Dali) which you have to stand on in order to be “scarred” and boosted to a higher platform. This is a similar mechanic used in the first level, however in the first level, Daffy “The Count” Duck (as he is credited), comes out and scares you, in the second level it’s the same voice but this time a donkey face that does it (clearly an allusion to “The Andalusian Dog” an experimental short film that Dali collaborated with Luis Buneul on in 1929, also again not a reference I would expect a video game to make). In the end you do return to the Alps and fight the end boss, which is The Abominable Snowman from the Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck Cartoon “The Abominable Snow Rabbit” from 1961.
The one downside to the game for me is the background music: most of the time it is very minimal, not awful, but not as good as it could be. The one section that is really bad however is Level 4 “The Abandoned Mine” in which they have a clear rip-off of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt, this would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that they changed second half of the melody. It’s already a perfect song and in the public domain so why did they have to mess it up?
Bad music and lack of difficulty notwithstanding, this is a great game for any fan of Looney Tunes, and since it is generally considered “not great” you should be able to find and pick it up at a pretty reasonable price.