Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tom & Jerry (NES)

Today I'm playing (by request) Tom & Jerry, aka. Tom & Jerry (and Tuffy). No clue who Tuffy is, except that he's not important enough to get to pose in glasses on the title screen. He doesn't even get an ampersand next to his name.

Will the game be any better than the last Tom and Jerry game I played? The title screen is making me think... no. But I've been wrong before.

Uh oh, that darn cat is up to his old tricks again! This time it's kidnapping and attempted murder.

Jerry needs a helpful player to remotely control his body via a NES pad because he's too lazy to save the day by himself.

I'm not liking the idea of hidden dangers though. I like my dangers to be clearly visible.

Wow, the poor little mouse is going to suffocate before I even get there.

The game doesn't waste any time putting me in danger, as I start off in a corner surrounded by... toys I guess.

I immediately jumped into action, and ended up losing a heart. At least now I've learned that I can't jump on enemies to kill them, but I can take a few hits before losing a life.

Like in the SNES Tom and Jerry game, Jerry can fire marbles (or whatever) at enemies to kill them in a couple of hits or less, and this time I have an infinite supply. Unfortunately he throws like a mouse, so I have to get right up close to hit anything. I tried jumping to get some extra range, but that changes his throwing arc too so it's hard to judge where the balls are going to end up.

Hmm, I seem to have run into a bit of a problem. This metal pipe isn't actually just part of the background, and I can't find any other way to get out. I can't believe I'm already stuck only a minute into the game.

Oh, I can climb the cables! Well that makes sense.

And then I got knocked off the cable by a fly as big as a mouse, and had to climb back up. Shame there's no way to throw marbles when I'm climbing.


Either this level's taking me all over the place, or I'm going around in circles. I'm relying on the theory that if I see a pick up I haven't grabbed yet, I must be going the right way.

The game doesn't actually look bad for a NES game I reckon, though the music sounds like they took random clips of songs from the cartoons, gave them to the music programmer and said 'do this, but faster and more annoying'.

The game was ported across to DOS two years later, and although it doesn't look all that fantastic, the gameplay seems to have survived the transition intact. Though I'm sure they've made those annoying flying bug things even more of a pain in the ass.


I really hope this is the level exit, because I can't be arsed going back and trying a different route. This stage really is huge.

Also holy shit, Jerry's tiny in this game! I didn't really realise until now. He's even smaller than a fuse.


I already hate these snails. They don't explode when I shoot them, they just hide in their shell for a few seconds, then pop back out. So I have to get past them in a hurry. The trouble is that they disappear into their shells when they turn around as well, so sometimes I'll think I've got one, start running up to it, and it suddenly pops back out and hits me.

Fortunately if I run out of hearts the game resurrects Jerry pretty much at the exact point he was killed.

It seems I can equip other items I find along the way, like this bubble power up that I've just wasted to get up this ladder faster. And then immediately lost when a water drop flushed me back down again.

Oh that's great, this crab looks identical to the last ten I blew up, but he refuses to die. He just disappeared into his shell like the snails did.

I suppose he'll stay in there long enough for me to jump over though. Probably.

Son of a bitch! The water drop just flushed me into a snail, costing my last life!


Good news is I've got a continue, bad news is I have to play that entire level again right from the start now.

Crap, its a boss fight against Tom, and his marbles are bigger! I guess I have to jump over there on those floating... things, and shoot marbles at him then, or something?

And I've lost another continue. I hope I've got a few (or infinite) of these things.

Tom doesn't even react to the death of his nemesis. He's held onto his anger and bitterness too long and has become a hollow shell of a creature, incapable of empathy or joy.


I guess I'm in the kitchen now then. A pretty damn filthy kitchen actually, with all these bugs crawling all over everything.

Did I mention how slick the game is yet? Because it is really slick, and Jerry himself moves around the screen with the grace of, well, a NES game character.

Well this doesn't look good. It wouldn't be so bad if I was going up, but I'm trying to get down and there's no way to drop through platforms.

I really hope I'm jumping onto a ledge here. The game is really vague at times with what can and cannot be jumped upon.

I haven't found any bottomless pits yet, but with only one heart left a fall from this height would kill Jerry just as fast. Yep the game has falling damage. Plus all those enemies I killed down there will have respawned, so I'd probably land on one of them.

Thanks to the magic of 2d perspective, Jerry can run straight across the outer rim of a pan. Not sure it's a great idea to do it when the cooker's on, but I don't see any other way around.


And then I make a stupid mistake and lose my final life on the first screen of the next level. GAME OVER. For real this time as I'm out of continues.

This doesn't actually seem that bad at all. The music did its best to strip away my sanity, but the gameplay is reasonably solid, the graphics are decent for a NES game, and it hasn't really done anything to annoy me. I don't think I'll ever want to play it again, especially considering how stingy it is with the continues, but it was alright while it lasted. Much better than the SNES game anyway.

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Semi-Random Game Box