Review by Rick L
"I'd rather make 'em jump out the window."
Fisher Price: Firehouse Rescue is a game that's basically made for the kiddie generation back when it was made. Well, that was kind of obvious, as you don't see forty-five year old men running around with fake plastic lawnmowers about that go up to their knee. Anyway, the company did attempt a few times to get some video games out there for the NES. And that they did, with this little thing being one of them. This game seems to oddly mix two extremes of really bad with really good, something I really didn't think could possibly happen in a video game.
The gameplay consists of you going through a few different mazes per level in order to rescue the Little People of... umm... Little People Town, from ''burning buildings'' and other sorts of ''dangers''. There are four skill levels to choose from. Skill Level 1 is so easy that I could complete it with ease while upside down and blindfolded at the same time. Skill Level 2 gets a wee bit harder with the addition of double-screen mazes. Skill Level 3 is the same as level 2, only with a time limit. Skill Level 4 is actually the one that would keep actual players interested. There's a time limit, but you also have to find a key that's lying around the maze in order to get into the house to ''save'' the little people. As for the actual ''rescue'' of anything, all you do is move the car underneath the person or cat (that only appears in one level) and press A. That's it. They just slide down with a ''Whoooooooop!'' and get the hell out of there. I don't know about you, but if I tried to slide down a ladder, I'd end up falling and landing right on my head. Anyway, once you've done all the rescuing around, you finish that level and you get a ''promotion''.
The graphics act like my own mood swings. Sometimes they're good and actually not that bad, and other times you'd think that little kids actually did create the graphics, which even in a Fisher-Price game is a complete no-no. On the opening screen and the maze itself, the graphics aren't really all that bad to look at. They're colorful and appropriate, meaning there's no annoying colors that make your eyes shut down because of how vibrant they are. However, some places, like the ''promotion'' screen and the side view are just plain awful. The other Little People themselves look as if they've been staying awake for six days without a single cup of coffee to keep them going, not to mention they look like they're dressed like slobs. And as for ''saving'' them...there's nothing to save them from. There's no fire in the windows, no smoke coming out of the building, no indication they're in any danger. Is the fireman trying to save them from their own stupidity or something? I don't know, but it would've been nice to see that they were in actual imminent danger. I know it's only a kids game, but even they know fire fighters don't just rush to the scene just to help people leave their houses via the window to get to work or something.
There's next to nothing to comment on here. The ridiculous and inappropriate circus theme at the beginning of the game appeals to kids, but I find it utterly annoying. That's really the only music there is. Other than the sound of the fire engine itself (and there's no sirens on the thing, thank God), the sounds are nothing more than ridiculous clangs, bloops, and whoops. C'mon, guys, I know you can pull off much better stuff, because the fire engine without the sirens sounded quite believable.
This is one of those games you'll probably play a little bit, then pass it off to a younger sibling to have them play over and over and over again. While it's not exactly doorstop-worthy, you can always give it to shut up the children for a little bit...hopefully.
As stated before, the game ranges from really impressive to really crap-tacular with no real middle ground in between. More effort could've been put in this game to make it better, but I'm assuming this was a sort of rushed game by Fisher-Price so they could hurry up and get it to the kids as quick as possible.
Rick Rating: ''Half-Worthy''
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/29/04
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