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SummaryA Fantastic Game for Those who GET IT!
The GoodWhat did I like about the game? Everything! In fact, it hurt a lot to read the comments of others (especially considering the poor use of grammar and spelling). So many people missed the point of the game: it's supposed to provide a good time. While others were busy nitpicking the "poor" graphics and bad story line, I was busy having a blast playing the game.
I don't simply like the game because it heralded a new era in graphic adventures. Why do you think all those other graphic adventures came after Maniac Mansion? Because of the precedence set by Maniac Mansion! Do you honestly believe that if Maniac Mansion was a poorly-conceived flop, other graphic adventures, such as the Monkey Island series, would have been released? No! Corporations may not always know what product will turn out to be good or bad until it's released, but sales figures and customer feedback doesn't lie! Maniac Mansion was a solid hit in 1987, and it has left a legacy still being felt today.
The game play is great! Even though the graphics were unrealistic, I was still panicking (and yes, putting an ING after panic includes a "k") when Weird Ed (one of the villains) comes down to get the door and I'm still in the living room.
The creators of "Monkey Island" didn't wake up to a comic epiphany in the middle of the night. The comic genius of the creators is very evident in Maniac Mansion, even though some of it is missing in the watered down NES version (by the way, there is much more to Maniac Mansion than you think. You should read "The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion" at http://dott.mixnmojo.com)
I can't say enough about the game.
The BadThere's all sorts of reasons why people don't like the game, I'll describe the most common complaints:
THE GAME GRAPHICS ARE BAD! Well, no offense, but "DUH!" The game was made in 1987. Also, if some gamers find that graphics are the sole point of playing a game, then they should probably consider playing more "up to date," "shooter" games. The graphics adventure genre probably goes over their heads anyway.
THE PLOT'S STUPID! And so are the special effects on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Have many gamers missed the point? It's a PARODY of really bad teenage entertainment of the '80s (do I have to bring up "Hobgoblins?"). Obviously people associate bad graphics (due to being dated, not the fact that they were particularly bad in the first place) with a bad plot! If you're not looking for humor in a game, might I suggest "Loom?"
IT'S SO OLD! Well, granted there are nice things about games being new, but who says that old is the same as bad? Is the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird" bad? Is the Mona Lisa or Michaelangelo's "David" lame because they're aged?
The only complaint I've ever had about the game was the fact that you can waste certain objects that will become necessary in a future puzzle. This will just teach you to be careful and save the game often.
The Bottom LineHow would I describe this game to others? I don't know, let's see...will I have to use picture flashcards?
Some think that Maniac Mansion is remembered fondly because it brought about a new age in graphic adventures. On the contrary, Maniac Mansion was so GOOD that it was able to bring about a new age in graphic adventures. If Maniac Mansion really was as bad as some of these reviews describe, most of the games would have been banished to the backs of closets and landfills across the U.S. by now.
Serious graphics adventure gamers who are looking for a campy classic, listen up! Don't let the "McDonalds-esque" instant-gratification gamers deceive you! If you're looking for a solidly built graphic adventure from a long forgotten era where gameplay mattered more than whiz-bang special effects, THIS GAME IS FOR YOU! Get to eBay immediately and pick up a copy. You certainly won't break the bank, they only go for $3-4.