Taz-Mania (Genesis)

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Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2014
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
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Egg-Cellent! You Will Want To Take A Bite Out Of This One!

The Good

In the early 1990s, the Tasmanian Devil was given a bit of an, well, er, "character makeover", if you will, in order to star in his own animated series.

The series gave the anti-social and wild Looney Tunes character a nuclear family to support, and an overall more respectable, albeit still laughably, "looney" image. Aw, shucks!

Frankly, I preferred the more "traditional" portrayal of the Tasmanian Devil as a wild bachelor. Although I could appreciate the makeover efforts, and, yes, the relaunch of the character made possible some great merchandise, including this video game.

In the video game, knowledge of the cartoon series is, thankfully, not a necessity. The "domesticated" Tasmanian Devil goes on a quest to locate a legendary delicious egg.

Getting this egg is not quite the same thing as walking a few mealy blocks to the local convenience store. Taz's prehistoric neighborhood is less "The Flintstones" and more like the "Land Of The Lost" or even the deadly Savage Lands (if you prefer a "No-Prize", comic book reference with your game reviews).

Taz-Mania for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive is an excellent, or an "egg-cellent", single player, platformer. It stands among many other popular comic book/cartoon characters successfully brought to the home console system by Sega.

The player controls the looney character through several, action-packed levels. Each level wonderfully recreate the sights and sounds of the franchise's prehistoric land.

The game's graphics, animation, music and sound effects all demonstrate the hardware potential of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.

It is nice to play a video game based on a licensed character where the developers appreciated the need to push the hardware capabilities in order to bring the characters and his world to life. Sadly, that does not happen too often.

"OK", you may be thinking to yourself. "The game looks and sounds great, but is it fun to play?" Not only is the game fun to play, it is also probably one of the funniest games released for the Genesis/Mega Drive.

Taz has the standard platforming moves, including the ability to jump on most enemies to cause them damage. It is easy to control the character and the difficulty level never jumps into the realm of "cheap shots".

However, what really makes the game stand out, is the ability to have Taz eat objects, even characters, in order to restore your health points or gain an additional weapon.

Taz has his trademark spin or whirlwind attack, which also can give you a slightly higher jump. Yet, one of my favorite aspects of the game, is all the normal and odd things in the game you can make the character chow down on.

The detail to animation, as seen with how your character reacts to what he eats, in this game is simply amazing. The game's developers must have been familiar with the Loony Tunes characters.

For example, if you eat some chilli peppers, Taz gains the ability to breath fire. Not only is it great to watch, but it allows you to fight off some of the tougher enemies in the game. Taz can also throw bombs, which look like Loony Tunes bombs should look, and weed killer at enemies. However, eating either of these two items is not advisable (although it also looks cool).

Taz will take plenty of abuse in the game, if he is to make it to the final boss. Thankfully, this video game version of Taz is not a fragile wimp.

Taz can see and do lots of things in this game, and you will want to see and do everything.

The Bad

Taz-Mania is probably one of the best, single-player platformers for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. A two-player option would have been great, but probably impractical for a cartridge video game of this type in 1992.

The Bottom Line

Taz-Mania, was published at the height of the "Nintendo vs. Sega" console wars, and it certainly adds weight to the old advertising slogan, "Genesis does what Nintendon't."

More important then the console wars, is the place that Taz-Mania has among large library of video games based on licensed characters.

Many video games have been made starring characters from popular films, TV shows, toys, cartoons, comic books and the like. Too many of them are crude disappointments; uninspired products designed to sucker consumers into buying a bad game because it features a with a familiar character. Taz-Mania is different.

The people behind Taz-Mania did not want to disappoint. They did not want to rush a poorly, designed product onto the shelves in the hopes that simple name recognition would sell.

Everything about Taz-Mania reflects the desire of people to produce a top-quality video game title, which honored the original source material and showed off the hardware capabilities of the Sega Genesis/Mega Driv