Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Oscar (Amiga CD32)

Oh great, another Sonic the Hedgehog wannabe.

Hmm, this yoyo sounds like it'll be downright essential, I should keep an eye out for that. Wait, the game uses the shoulder buttons for jump?

Well I guess it makes sense, because they needed the other four buttons to... fire the yoyo. Man, this yoyo had better be amazing to need 4 buttons to use.

The game starts at a cinema, featuring nine different movies. Unfortunately none of the movie posters on the walls have the titles on, so I have no idea if anything decent's showing.

Take 69... of course.

Oh great, this is a bloody collect 'em up. Wow, I'm playing a guy called Oscar who goes into movies to collect Oscars (little statues that look like him). How clever.

Damn this is like Knuckles' Chaotix all over again. It's like when the developers were given this new console to work with, they immediately went mad trying to show off all the new colours. I can barely make out the enemies against the background. Hey, is that xenomorph down there wearing trainers?

Enemies don't seem to be much of a threat if I'm careful, they just do their thing and I jump on them a few times to kill them. The trouble is, bouncing three times on an enemy's head to kill them is a pain. Plus Oscar freezes for a half second after landing so I need to get it right. Or better still, just ignore them.

The elephant is actually a checkpoint, not an enemy. Which doesn't really explain why I have to knock him out of the way to save my place.

The music is actually way more bearable than I was expecting. I assume it must be CD audio, because it fades out every time it loops, and it's looped a few times now.

What? First time I came down here I fell down the surprise bottomless pit and died. Next time I fell through the lift and died. And now I've just died again trying to jump from the lift to this ledge.

At least I'm hoping it's a ledge and the orange wall isn't a barrier, because I really have nowhere else left to go. Fortunately the game doesn't reset my Oscar count when I die or lose a continue or else I'd just quit right now.

It does make me wait through a 5 second countdown each time I respawn though. Every single time.

Yes, I did it! I collected all the Oscars and made it to exit! The director comes and shouts at me and I can move on to the next stage.

The next stage looks a lot like the last stage. And now I've got to go collect all the Oscars again.

It's made a little difficult though when I can't actually get to them because there's a damn enemy in the way. I can't jump over him because the ceiling's too low (that blue area is impassable), and I can't jump onto him and kill him... because the ceiling's too low. I can't even just run through him and take the damage, because I get knocked back. Maybe if I had that damn yoyo I could kill him...

Fortunately I think there's more Oscars on the level than I need, so screw him, he can keep his little Oscar. I hope he likes having it sit there and grin at him all day for the rest of his life.

Okay that's just disturbing. Trolls in alien cocoons. I can't seem to save any of them though, so they're just going to have to stay here and wait for the facehuggers. Sorry guys.

Oh damn, I can run out of credits? My reward for failure... pictures of the developers.

Okay I'll skip the Sci-fi level and go to the Horror level instead. This time I apparently play the role of Dracula... during the day.

This thing's new. A hidden spike trap, completely undetectable until it shoots up and causes me damage. I'll have to keep an eye out for these things. Except I can't because they're completely undetectable.

It wouldn't be so annoying if it was easier to get health back. In fact I'm not even sure that I can get my health back without losing a life.

What, is this a memory test or something? Players who fail the memory test jump along the trail of floating items... right into the hidden spike trap at the base of the gate. In my opinion trails of pick ups should always lead somewhere safe.

That's some nice art in the background though. Now I feel a little bad about comparing it to Chaotix earlier.

That's a nice effect. The water mirrors everything above it until I jump in, then it becomes totally clear. Well, almost everything, Oscar himself doesn't seem to want to reflect.

At first I was thinking 'that's cool, they remembered that he's a vampire'... but he doesn't reflect on other levels either.

Well I failed the Horror level too. And to be honest, I don't really care. This game is pretty terrible and I'm sick of it.

But the game won't let me leave so I guess I'll check out what the other levels are like.

The Cartoon level is horrifying.

The Western level actually has Oscar smoking a cigarette. It's subtle but it's definitely there. I guess they thought that kids wouldn't notice. Or at least the parents wouldn't.

The War level somehow manages to drain out the colour without making it easier to see anything. Well to be fair I can see Oscar very clearly now, but that doesn't help me avoid running into grey enemies hiding against the grey background.

Also they've blocked my path with enemies again. I guess I'm supposed to use an underwater spring to jump up behind them, but I can't seem to get enough height. I don't know where else to go so that's another mission failed.

Pity I haven't found that yoyo yet, that would have sorted this situation out.

It's a shame too, because this level actually looks good. I wouldn't mind getting a clearer view of that background.

The Game Show level brings back the colour, and the enemies under ledges. I'm determined to kill this bastard washing machine though. I just about have enough space to land on him, I just need to manage it two more times and I can get my Oscar.

Then I have to go backtracking to find the other 5.

Wait... Game Show level? Did they run out of movie genres already?

Watchmen smiley spotted!

There's another genre they could have used, superhero movie.

Prehistoric level... we're back to movies again! I have to wonder what kind of creature has bones like that.

Huh, a computer level? Seriously? It's not even made to look like Tron or something, this has absolutely nothing to do with movies or even television.

Though it does have walking Commodore logos I can stomp on.

The choice of enemies in this game is just plain weird, and half the time I can't tell if I can collect or kill something until it starts moving.

Even worse are the platforms that aren't actually platforms, or the walls I can walk through. They haven't done a good job of making it clear where I can and can't go.

Wow, it's a CD32... inside a CD32 game! Somehow I get the feeling that this level is a little different on the SNES version.

Hey wait a minute, I can walk through these speakers? I just passed a stack of these things that was totally impassable. Even the developers can't keep track of what is and isn't background.

The first game that literally uses the shift key to jump. Except I just missed it so now I'm falling down a bottomless pit. It'd help if they didn't bounce me up so high that the springs are off screen as I start falling back down.

The final level is a Children's TV level? With more CD32 pictures?

There's so many other movie themes they could have gone with. Like Pirate, Gangster, Indiana Jones, Kung Fu, Medieval, Sports... they didn't even use Fantasy epic.

And what's with that background? Did their artist go on strike or insane or something?

I do feel sorry for the poor artist though. He had to draw out every frame of animation for Oscar, including the idle animations, nine times.

I couldn't resist posing next to this giant statue of Oscar. Fortunately I can resist playing any more of this damn game. That's the last level, I'm done.

This game was actually bundled with new Amiga CD32s, which almost explains the last two levels, but not quite. I think they were hoping that Oscar would be the CD32's version of Sonic or Mario, a mascot for the console and the next big thing that would sell thousands of units. But things didn't really work out that way.

Next game.


  1. It was a great game, i actually enjoyed playing it back in those days.

  2. Game looks retarded.


Semi-Random Game Box