Written by  :  Andrew Fisher (399)
Written on  :  May 30, 2017
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars

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Summary

Better and funkier than the first (unfortunately)

The Good

What I like most about this game is that it's like Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids set on another planet. Toejam and Earl explore their 'hoods, having fun with their alien friends. Funkotron is apparently home to a vast array of alien races and many of those aliens are actually part of the scenery. It's interesting because when I see a strange creature approaching, my reaction is to dodge or kill them, but in this game the strange looking aliens are harmless and you can just walk or swim past them. The human "tourists" are the ones you have to dodge and defeat. But really, the game lets you enjoy the stages a bit, before forcing you to be on your game.

It's unfortunate that the more conventional platformer is the better of the two. But I read that JVP was going to have Toejam and Earl return to Earth to hold a rap concert in the second game, so we would've had more of the first Toejam & Earl and presumably none of what I think makes the eventual Toejam & Earl 2 great i.e the weirdness of the alien planet, Funkotron. I think it makes more sense to have the second game set on Funkotron. They could've tried an overhead view again and it probably would've worked for me, as long as you could still mix with the alien races and talk with some of them. Though I don't suppose the overhead view would've allowed the characters to be as large and detailed. Perhaps an isometric view like Landstalker could've worked.

The funky soundtrack is AWESOME!

The Bad

Well the game isn't free of frustrations and "swear at the computer" moments, but I'm not sure that's there's anything I'd really want to change. I'd have to think really hard about it. Ok so the levels look a bit too similar to each other and I'm sure there are many other faults, but I have to forgive them because I feel that the central part of the game is exploring and enjoying Funkotron.

The Bottom Line

To people who haven't played the first game, I'd say this is a well above average platformer, but it's especially good if you like TV shows like Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids, Hammer Man or other shows that focus on Afro-American youth. I think the founders of Toejam & Earl are white, but they probably do a good service to funk and hip-hop with this game.

People who liked the first game for its "rogue" elements (random level generation, mystery items, secret paths etc.) presumably will not much like this game. But I think people who liked the funk/hip-hop of the first game, should like this game even more. The music is better, well the main theme is the same, but re-produced to sound better, but there are some other great themes. The graphics are much better, I'm sure most will agree.