Alright, here's another requested game, Snake Rattle n Roll on the NES, created by legendary developer Rare back in the days when they made games instead of Xbox Avatars.
Okay, it seems that I'm playing as a head, sliding around a isometric checker-board world. I mean that literally as well, because there a checkers piece sliding around down there too. I'm going to spend a second getting used to the controls before I dare going near it though. I'm having to recalibrate my brain so that it understands pressing up on the d-pad will actually move him diagonally up and right.
See, this is why I need the practice. Fortunately my head can jump so I'm soon back on land and the Jaws theme switches back to its normal classic rock n' roll soundtrack. A bit unusual for a game like this, but it's bearable.
Oh... OH... I'm a fucking idiot. I've just figured out why it has a 50s rock n' roll soundtrack. What else would a game called Snake Rattle n Roll have for its tunes?
Or... not. Nope, no matter how much I jump, I just can't activate it. Presumably it's the switch for that pink door as I can't go through there either. Damn, I can't believe I'm stuck so early on a NES game.
OH SHIT, I've just noticed I have 14 seconds left to finish this level!
FOURTEEN SECONDS LATER.
I think I may just go have a glance at some instructions before giving that another try. Just a quick skim through until I learn what I did wrong here.
The trouble is, the tail length is also my health meter (that's why I able to survive a few hits earlier), so if I get hit I lose my flashing tail and have to go back to grab another couple of bites (while dodging the enemies springing from the nearby hatches).
Roll on the other hand came up entirely empty, completely letting the side down, possibly because I'm playing single player mode and he's not even in my game. Just out of curiosity I checked out the two player mode for a second and both players have to share the same screen at once. Seems like it could work though.
Still, it's not as hard as it might look, I'm getting the hang of these diagonal controls now. Crap, I just realised... I was so focused on making it up these steps that I didn't even notice I passed the weight machine along the way.
Okay, I've got to drop down to the water, quickly scoot across to get onto that strip of land and then lick the... toilet seat. Eww. Then I can step back into the water and grab that tuning fork icon, which is actually a tongue length power-up I believe. The trick will be to get that near to the edge without being washed away down the waterfall by the current.
Well at least now I know where the waterfall goes. It goes nowhere.
Anyway, that's my last hit-point and my final life. Game Over.
But yeah, weirdly it seems like using up a continue is a lot like using an extra life, restarting me in the same place with barely any interruption, with the main obvious difference being that it makes my lives counter go up. I don't want to appear ungrateful, but couldn't they have just given me a shitload of lives?
I suppose it could have more consequences in two player mode, if player two is constantly screwing up and munching through all the continues as they go, leaving none for poor player one when they eventually slip up. Or vice versa if I'm player one.
Actually that's kinda disturbing really, now that I think about it. The game should be ashamed of making me do that just then. And again to this other dot.
SEVERAL RETRIES LATER.
Oh right I totally forgot to mention that although the game started out as a NES exclusive, it also made its way to the Sega Mega Drive two years later. Though only in Europe.
Man, I am never going to get the hang of judging these isometric jumps, on any system.
SEVERAL LEVELS LATER.
Actually I have no idea where the last ball dispenser was now, it could be miles back. All these levels are starting to blur together in my mind now. Aw fuck it, I'm just turning the game off.
Snake Rattle N Roll seems like a decent game with a lot of charm to it I reckon, but it ain't really for me. I found the isometric platforming combined with instant failure obstacles and diagonally rotated controls led to much tragic loss of precious lives down bottomless pits. A few times I managed to fall off a perfectly safe looking stretch of floor because I strayed a little close to the back edge and whoops, no level boundary wall to avert my long lethal trip down through the endless void beyond. I'm also not a huge fan of having to watch my weight. 'You must have this much health left to exit the level' seems like a very strange system, designed to encourage a lot of unwanted backtracking.
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