The Adventures of Mighty Max (Genesis)

The Adventures of Mighty Max (Genesis) - Full Cover

Prediction

I remember loving the Mighty Max series growing up. Sure it was just another one of the many glorified marketing campaigns for the newest line of toys, but so were a lot of good things from the late 80’s – early 90’s. I even remember owning a bunch of the toys and they were my favorite toys ever at the time, even if they were basically Polly Pocket for boys. That is until my older brother sold them on me at a garage sale. It was at that moment that I simply dropped all interest in the series, because some wounds just never heal.

Mighty Max (redesigned logo) Mighty Max - Temple of Venom (Open)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, now that I’m older, I’m sad to say that I have almost no memory of the series beyond the fact that I once loved it. I do have a vague memory of Might Max having a magic hat or something that let him travel through time I think. I’m not sure how that is going to translate over to a video game, so I’m not really sure what to expect going into this one. No doubt there are going to be lots of different stages that are seemingly unrelated thanks to the time travel aspect, but I can’t really guess much more beyond that.

Gameplay

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The game starts with no introduction or explanation in any way of what you’re doing. Just a still logo splash screen and then right into the character selection screen. You get to play as the title character Mighty Max, some black haired girl who I have no memory of, or that red headed kid that not only do I have no memory of, but I can’t even identify if they are a boy or girl. Given these amazing selections, I think I’ll stick with Max.

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Continuing the theme of no explanations, you’re shown the front of max’s house where apparently the different rooms relate to different stages of the game. It seems to make no difference, but I’m going to start on the first floor which seems to relate to the “Volcanic Level”. You’re given a quick look at some of the enemies you’ll fight, and I can’t help notice one of them is a penguin. Why a penguin?

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He jumped up to collect the rings just barely visible at the top of the screen

As the level starts, you’re still given no indication of what you’re actually supposed to be doing, which left me aimlessly wandering around the stage. However, not knowing what I was doing wasn’t even the first thing that annoyed me about this game. That would have to go to the jumping mechanics. For some reason, max is capable of jumping what must be the equivalent of 50 feet up into the air. I know the jumping in games is usually exaggerated for playability, but this is ridiculous and actually somewhat disorienting.

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Then comes the next annoyance that is Max’s completely useless weapon. It seems to be some kind of ping pong ball shooter. And like a real ping pong ball shooter, it’s not lethal, just slightly annoying. So it doesn’t kill any of the enemies, it just stuns them for a moment. Before long they’ll get right back up and continue tormenting you.

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(Left) Can’t jump through overhanging ledge (Right) Can jump through long platform just above it

The bad game design continues with the platforms themselves. Like many games, a lot of the platforms are semi-solid. What I mean by this is that you can jump up straight through the platforms, and then land standing on the top of them. Not all of the platforms are like this however. That’s fine; many games have only select platforms being semi-solid. However, this game gives no indication of which is which. One platform you can jump through, and the next nearly identical platform you can’t. It made it really hard to navigate without knowing if I can or can’t actually jump up to the platform above me at any given time.

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Now that we’ve spent enough time wandering around and finding how the programmers failed on nearly every level of game design, I think I’ve finally figured out what the actual game is supposed to be. You see that tiny little arrow in the top right corner next to the score? That’s actually an indicator to our goal. Scattered around the world are a bunch of little garbage cans we need to find and collect.

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After we find one of the cans, the arrow will now start pointing to the portal somewhere else in the level. Just bring the garbage to the portal and throw it in. Then you’ll have to go find the 4 other identical garbage cans and do the same thing with them. Once you collect all 5 of them, you can jump into the portal too and finally end the level.

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Oh, but wait, there’s more. Once you pass through the portal, you aren’t taken back to your house. No, you continue onto the next part of this same area. The layout is different, but otherwise it is the same exact thing. You randomly collect garbage and throw it in the portal.

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No I’d rather just stop playing now

And then you do that again, and again with the next parts. Once was more than enough for this nonsense, but having to do it multiple times is beyond annoying. I never did finish the volcanic stage, but I just know the other stages will have the same stupid gameplay, just with a different background and different enemies. None of which make any difference in the long run.

Verdict

Price – $4.50

Even for this low price I don’t think it’s worth it. Maybe if someone was PAYING you to play it, you might enjoy it.

Play Again? – NOOOO!!!

I could barely make it through the 30 minute review. I wanted to quit playing the whole time.

Total Deaths – 18 Deaths

I have no idea how anyone is expected to play this without dying 100 times. At least there isn’t really any penalty for dying, and you get lots of continues.

Fun Rating – 1 / 10

I’ve played some bad games before, and I usually still enjoy playing them on some level. It’s kind of the same feeling you get watching B-Horror Movies. This game however couldn’t even pull off any “So bad it’s good” charm. Nearly every aspect of the experience was honestly horrible. The game mechanics were the worst I’ve ever seen. There are no in game instructions on what you’re supposed to do. Even knowing what to do, the game simply isn’t fun. Your weapon is useless against the enemies. I honestly can’t think of a single thing to praise about this game. Don’t waste your money on this piece of trash, it’s not worth it.

The Adventures of Mighty Max (Genesis) - 18

The most welcoming screen of the whole game!

 

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