Review by Tyrant007
"One of the most overlooked NES games is also one of the NES's best platformers."
Felix the Cat, created by Hudson Soft in 1992, is a platform game based on the cartoon star Felix the Cat. Felix's girlfriend has been captured by an evil scientist in outer space. Your job is to save her.
But why has Felix's girlfriend been captured?
Because the evil scientist wants Felix's magic bag, of course! Felix's magic bag is the ''unique aspect'' of this game. It's what sets it apart from other platformers. You start off in the first level with a boxing glove. You may soon realize that the boxing glove does not go very far, so it is not easy to kill many of the enemies you encounter with it.
But wait! There are little Felix heads scattered around the level...and you said something about a magic bag before! What's going on?!
Well, I'm glad you asked! I was just getting to that. Felix heads are the things you collect in this game. They are similar to coins in Mario or rings in Sonic. For every multiple of 10 that you get (10, 20, 30, etc.), a heart falls down. Getting this heart upgrades whatever weapon you currently have. In the first level, there are a total of four different weapons: the boxing glove, magic stars, the vehicle, and the tank. You acquire these weapons in that order. The boxing glove is a limited area horizontal attack. The magic stars attack makes stars shoot out of your body. It attacks in about the same radius as the boxing glove, except it hits everything around you. The vehicle shoots out a horizontal bullet type thing that goes a few times as far as the boxing glove. The tank, the best land weapon, shoots out boulders on an arc that bounce and go pretty far. These aren't the only weapons that you can get. In the air levels, you can upgrade from an umbrella to a balloon to a plane. In the water levels, you can upgrade from the raft to the dolphin. And this isn't it! There are also underwater and space levels, too.
Hey, wait a second. What are those things in the upper left of the screen?
After you get your first upgrade, hearts appear in the upper left. These drain over time. You must restore these by getting bottles of milk or getting an upgrade heart. Bottles of milk appear whenever you get a number of Felix heads that has five as the ones digit (5, 15, 25, etc.). If these hearts run out, you will revert back to your previous weapon. Keep in mind that it takes a while for this to happen, though, so don't worry. :)
Alright, now I know how to fight and upgrade my weapons. But how do I die?
Touching an enemy or being hit by an enemy projectile will cause you to change back to your previous weapon. If you get hit while you're in your base state, i.e. the boxing glove, you will die. Falling into a pit will be instant death also, whether you have the fourth weapon or the first.
Okay, so I know how the game works. Is it easy to control Felix?
The controls are pretty easy. Press B to attack and press A to jump. It's not unlike other NES games. Controlling Felix can be annoying sometimes. You will probably miss a platform or accidentally bump into an enemy in the air a few times while you play the game. Felix does not move much in the air, so make sure that your jump was timed right. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a pit.
Great, now I know how to play the game. How does it look and sound?
Since the game is a late-generation NES game, the graphics are a lot better than a lot of the NES games available. The environments are nicely colored and detailed (when you take into account the time of the NES), and Felix looks pretty good. Again, compared to a game such as 10-Yard Fight, Felix the Cat's graphics really aren't too shabby. The graphics of the enemies could have been better.
The songs are not exactly bad, but they are repetitive. Of course, you must take into account the time of the NES again. Some of the songs are okay to listen to for a few levels, but some are just downright annoying (the first level comes to mind).
How fun is the game? Is it challenging? Will I want to replay it after I beat it?
Though Felix the Cat may not be as hard as games like Blaster Master, it's definitely one of the most fun games to play on the NES. It borrows heavily from the Super Mario Bros. series, but hey, nothing is totally original, is it? You will probably beat the game on your first play through if you are an average gamer or better. The enemies are not challenging to kill, and besides the occasional slip up jumping over a platform, you probably won't get killed. Even if you do, the game grants extra lives liberally. The levels are of average length, similar to the length of the levels in Mario. There are a total of 9 worlds; all of the worlds have three levels except 8, which has 1. There is a boss at the end of each world. The bosses are EXTREMELY easy; just hit them about five or six times, and they die. Their attacks are a joke. Most of the bosses will just shoot an easy-to-dodge projectile at you. The only boss that killed me was the final boss, but even he is easy.
The game's easiness may be a good thing, however. If you are frustrated with some of the impossible NES games, give Felix the Cat a try. It's relaxing and very fun to play through. I can see myself playing through it many, many times again (I have). Because the game is pretty easy, you can make up your own challenges. For example, try beating the game without attacking, or beat it without getting any upgrades.
I always recommend this game to people trying to build their NES collection. It's easy to see why this game belongs in any NES gamer's collection, whether they are casual or hardcore.
Thanks for reading!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/26/04
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