>by Aron Deppert
Imagine this: you are in control of an animal-human mutant creature, with the ability to jump really high and perform devastating spin jumps to decimate the robotic army that wants to take over the world. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Unfortunately, we’re not imagining the classic Sonic The Hedgehog. Instead we are imagining it’s red-headed step-sibling, Awesome Possum Kicks Dr. Machino’s Butt!
Before nit picking this game to death, it is worthwhile to address Awesome Possum’s (developer Tengen’s attempt at creating an eco-hero) one positive selling point, it bears mentioning that there are over 80 lines of digitized voice acting in this game, which was a first for the Sega Genesis. Awesome Possum has some awesome phrases he repeats over, and over, and over again. Such as:
“Quit it, bad guy!”
“You’ll never pollute again!”
“I won! Nya nya nya nya nya!”
The tinny voice of the possum gets old faster than you would imagine, but innovation is innovation so we’ll move on to this game’s nauseating Sonic wannabe-ness. You are an anthropomorphic creature charged with destroying an evil doctor’s (who, in both games has a penchant for robotics) efforts to ruin the world. In both games, the mutie critter under your control can perform a spinning jump to eliminate the evil doctor’s robotic minions. Awesome Possum has the disadvantage though, because he has to find a power up in each level to gain his spin jump. Speaking of power ups, the main two, a speed boost and invincibility are ripped from Sonic as well.
Unlike Awesome Possum’s blue counterpart, he does not get very varied environments to slay robots in. The first stage, the rainforest, has four sections which are all indiscernible from each other. In the second stage, Awesome Possum has to clean up oceanic pollution. The areas you swim through just seem like someone flooded the rainforest.
One of the many, many identical environments you must suffer through to clean up the environment.
For bonus points, instead of racing through a cool 3D tunnel to grab Chaos Emeralds, you have to answer eco quizzes. The answers are all pretty obvious as long as you read each option presented to you. If you land a correct answer you are rewarded with 10, 000 bonus points and the intimidating panel of animal judges make very creepy happy faces at you.
You better answer correctly…OR ELSE!
Overall, kudos should be given to Tengen for trying to deliver a pro-environment message to kids and for pushing the limits of the current gen’s hardware by adding so much voice “acting” (the word acting is used hesitantly here) to a game. Sadly, that’s where their originality ended in this wacky, and not-so-charming Sonic The Hedgehog clone. If you’re looking to spin jump metal menaces into oblivion, it’s best to stick with the real deal.
Image Credit: Screenshots, en.wikipedia.org