Review by Psycho Penguin
"Yeah, I'm giving it a 9. Sue me. No, seriously. Here's my lawyer's number."
I have enjoyed a wide variety of games over the years, ranging from some of the popular favorites, to some of the more unknown ones, to the very bizarre ones. I think the game reviewed here falls under the third category. Puss and Boots: Pero's Great Adventure is a weird game. It's fun, but let's face it, any game which involves a mouse trying to save a cat by going around the world is just a TAD weird, don't you think? Like I said, this game is fun as hell, and I really enjoyed it. It is one of the better games to ever be released for the NES, believe it or not. Maybe you think I am hyped up on some drugs or something, but that is honestly how I feel about this game.
When I first played this game many years ago, I didn't really know what to expect. I had enjoyed a lot of the so called kiddy games released then. Yo! Noid, Circus Capers, and Fester's Quest were just a few of the games I liked. So, I was hoping I would like the game. It turns out I did, and boy did I really enjoy it. It's one of the most underrated games ever, and definitely one of the most underrated games on the NES. It is a ton of fun to play, and sports all of the key elements needed to be a classic game. The graphics are solid, the music is cheery, the gameplay is fun, and the control is solid. What more do you need?
Well, the storyline isn't exactly the most original on the planet, but it's not like it's a huge deal. It's like the storyline for the Mega Man and Mario series. At the end of the day, who really remembers how unoriginal and quite frankly boring those storylines were? No one. All they knew is that the game was fun, and that's all that mattered. Same here. The storyline is basically this mouse going out on a great adventure and needing to save the world. You know, I probably could have come up with an original storyline by watching a Barney episode, but oh well. The worst part of the storyline is the fact it doesn't really develop throughout the game at all. The player is not introduced to the story right away, and they are never really developed into it, so there really was no point to even care about the storyline to begin with. Couple that with the unoriginality of it, and the storyline just plain sucked.
Why doesn't the storyline really matter too much to me? Because this is one of the most fun games I have ever played! The game is a basic platforming game, like a Mario or Sonic, but it has a lot of elements to it that makes it a lot of fun. First off, the stages are well varied. You have everything from a stage where you are flying overhead in a helicopter, to walking around left and right. For the most part, the stages have you kill enemies and do platform jumping. Later on in the game, you will start to encounter mazes and other wacky buildings.
You go from area to area, and each srea has a certain amount of stages. As you progress through the game, you will notice the amount of stages in each area increase. Most areas have a platforming stage, an adventure stage (helicopter, swimming), and a boss stage. Some have a combination, some have more than one of each, some only have one type. I really enjoyed the variety of stages in the game. The bosses are really cool, as well, especially the mutant frog. It's like Blaster Master all over again! I really felt the stages and bosses were really cool. The variety of them was definitely top notch, and it certainly rocked. The enemies were all placed in select locations, and overall the stage design was really solid and impressive.
You get a points system in the game, as each enemy is worth a certain amount of points. After a certain amount of points you accumulate, you get an extra life. You also get a choice of a few different weapons. You get a main weapon, which you use to kill enemies (at first, I went around jumping on enemies, big mistake), and you also get a few select special weapons, which are more powerful than the regular weapon, and they have certain advantages as well. Mainly, each weapon can fire in a different direction, etc. You only get a lmited use of each one, though, so using them wisely is a good idea. =) You get hit points in this game, only 2 or 3 though. You get hit, you lose one, you lose them all, game over. You jump off a ledge, game over. Basic stuff, of course.
Controlling the character can be a ''pain in the rectum'' according to my brother, but you know what, I never really experienced any problems with the control. The only thing I could possibly point out is how Puss slides after he jumps, so sometimes you will find yourself sliding right off a platform after doing a jump. That really isn't too much of a big deal, however, because basically, you will get used to it really quickly. Moving up and down is simple, which is a good point because in the helicopter and swimming stages, you will need to move up and down quickly. You can even move left and right to shoot enemies from behind and in front. Definitely cool. I liked the control in the game, and getting used to jumping doesn't take very long.
Graphically, Puss N Boots probably won't impress you that much, because it looks rather plain, but dammit, I liked the graphics in the game. First off, the backgrounds. I liked them a lot. They were designed rather plainly, as there was basically a blue sky, white clouds, and whatever design they decided to implement for the stages. The only problem I ever really had with the backgrounds was in the New York maze stage, because the background got a little distracting sometimes. Otherwise, I was really impressed. The character design could have been better, but there was nothing too wrong with it. Enemy designs kind of sucked, because there were only a few types of enemies, but the ones that were there were pretty nicely designed, so I am not going to hate on them too much. The graphics were nothing special but I liked them regardless.
Music wise, this is not the greatest game ever, so don't expect a soundtrack of epic proportions. This sounds like an 8 bit game. The bleeps and bloops are present, and most of the music is solid enough. I really enjoyed the main theme to the game for some reason, as well as the first stage theme. The music tended to repeat in some stages, but it was really no big deal. Like I said, I didn't really expect a majorly great and varied soundtrack, so the music that was there was definitely solid. Sound effects were pretty decent, but unspectacular. The coolest sound effect was the sound of a weapon hitting a boss. That sounded pretty cool. Otherwise, the sound effects were nothing to write home about.
You will want to play this game a few times until you master it, but after that, you may get bored of it. I never really got bored of it, but I am a realistic person, and will expect the average game player to quickly move on to something else. I really enjoyed the game, however. It was a lot of fun, and I had a blast playing it. I first started playing it ten years ago, and I still play it to this day. That should tell you something about what kind of replay value it held for me. Like I said, I don't expect it to have that kind of replay value with it, but at the very least, you will probably see yourself playing through it a few times.
Challenging, this game is not. Okay, so maybe it is a little bit of a challenge. The first few stages are so simple, you'll probably see yourself saying, ''I am just going to roll through this kiddy game!''. I myself made that mistake, because once you get to New York, the game challennge definitely picks up a lot. The maze stage is one of the hardest stages in the game, as it requires you to basically make a mental map of the zone to get your way through it. There are a ton of doors and areas to go through, much less killing enemies. The bosses are pretty easy, besides the fact that you have to find a way to kill them. Once you do, however, they're a cinch. Each boss has a different strategy to kill, so you won't see yourself employing the same strategy for two straight bosses.
Overall, this is one of the greatest games on the NES in my opinion. Maybe that is stretching it just a tad, but damn this game is great. I really enjoyed it. The game is a ton of fun to play, combining elements of two of my favorite games, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Adventure Island. The stage variety is really something to behold. The helicopter, swimming, and other adventure stages rule and are really fun, as was the maze stage, although it was just a tad challenging. The graphics could have been better, but they were still pretty solid nevertheless. The music and sound effects were decent, but unspectacular. The worst part of the game was the storyline. Chances are every person in America hates this game, but I loved it, and I am doing this review, so a 9 it gets. Download the ROM at the very least!
-The game combines platforming elements with adventure game elements to create a classic combination.
-The graphics are not spectacular, but were definitely decent enough. I had no major complaints with them.
-Each stage was different in a way, which made the game a ton of fun to play.
-The variety of stages was awesome, from the helicopter stages to the normal platforming stages.
-The music and sound effects, while not memorable, were solid and definitely fit the game perfectly.
Not So Good Points
-The storyline in the game is really unoriginal and could have been much better.
-I can see why a lot of people wouldn't like this game, but it is pretty damn fun.
-The backgrounds in some of the stages can get a tad distracting.
-The first few stages can be completed while looking directly at your local wall.
-Not many secrets, and side quests, so the replay value kind of suffers in that regard.
I Rate This Game, Psycho Penguin Style!
Storyline - 1.6/10
Graphics - 8.3/10
Music - 7.3/10
Sound Effects - 6.9/10
Control - 9.4/10
Gameplay - 9.3/10
Fun Factor - 9.6/10
Replay Value - Average
Challenge - Average
Game Length - 1 Hour
Rent or Buy? - Buy it, since it's cheap enough..
Overall - 9.2/10
Psycho Penguin Lays The Smackdown!
The Bottom Line: What, you expected me to give this game a 2 or something? I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to play, and was one of the more underrated games I've played. It may not be everyone's choice for the perfect game, and yeah, I can see people disliking the game, and I don't expect everyone to love it like I do, but give it a chance. It doesn't take long to beat, so give it a chance and see if you like it. It's so cheap, you won't be disappointed. I loved it, you should at least play it to see if you at least like it. Won't hurt anything.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/09/01, Updated 11/09/01
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