Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (Genesis)

66
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Guy Chapman (1744)
Written on  :  Feb 13, 2006
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

For What Is Is, It Remains A Classic.

The Good

Moonwalker the game is an interactive music video, and one of the first "Music" games ever created. Based off the mini-movie of the same name, players guide a magic flinging smooth criminal (or Michael himself, for you non-MJ music fans) through a series of levels to save children from Mr. Big.

The game allowed players to really work with the background elements. From sliding down banisters to swinging off tree branches, to checking every nook and cranny for the missing kids, the game had a lot of places to explore. There was a method to the searches, though: Find the right child first, and players can catch a falling star to transform Michael into a flying, missile and laser launching robot. As crazy as it sounds, it made for a great time of blasting through waves of enemies as a giant, virtually unstoppable robot.

The main highlights of the game focused on two areas: Graphics and sound. Graphically, this game was very impressive for its time. The animation did a great job capturing Michael's plethora of dance moves, and the tight control made them fluid and simple enough to pull off, that any player could pull off a moonwalk in seconds. The highlight of Michael's dance attacks were to bring in as many thugs as possible to join in as ill-fated back-up dancers. The hilarious part is that birds, dogs, spiders and zombies would even get caught up in the show and would bust a move until they died.

As far as music goes, it really captured the grooves of Michael's music. Five great songs: "Smooth Criminal", "Beat It", "Another Part Of Me", "Billie Jean", and "Bad", and while MIDI, were quite catchy and well done. This is all backed up by digitized voice from Michael, most notably all of his "Hoos" and "Ows".

The Bad

There are a few things to note about the game. The gameplay, while fun, can get a little repetitive at times. And the final boss fight is a bit anti-climatic for all that you go through in the game.

While the sound is very good, it would be easy to see people tiring of Michael's screaming and asking "Who's Bad?" Another oddity is the omission of "Thriller" from the graveyard levels. They do the moves, and the zombies are there, but "Another Part Of Me" is the level music of choice. It makes you wonder if Sega planned a Captain EO game somewhere down the line.

And if you don't like Michael Jackson, the game concept may be a bit hard to swallow, and it's not likely going to change someone's mind.

The Bottom Line

This game was one of the highlights of Sega's Genesis days, and remains a classic landmark in gaming. It was one of the first celebrity/video game crossovers that actually worked during its day, and retains the fun factor even now. It's a solid action-platformer with detailed graphics and sound, and a good example of Sega's innovation to set itself part from the titles that Nintendo produced.

As far as the game goes, it's a title that any video gamer should check out, even as a passing curiosity to see what the hype was back in the day. There might even be some enjoyment had while playing it.

A recommended classic.