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Sega Genesis: Moonwalker review


Mr. Big, for some reason, has decided to kidnap the largest group of identical children this world has ever seen! As they are something of a rarity, Michael Jackson gets a bit upset and heads out to rescue each of the kids, who have been taken to some of the oddest hiding places you can think of(who hides kids behind tombstones anyway!?).


What's it all about?
It's a sidescrolling...sorta, adventure, kinda shooter thing. As Mike, you run around using a combination of dance moves, magic sprinkles and, when it comes down to it, fists to fend off the various assortment of goons. Each level has you finding a set number of kids, then fighting a gang of enemies to exit the level. Mike also has the power to use actual dance routines to wear the enemy out: By activating it you break out one of the various, signature dances that the enemies helplessly have to join in with...until they drop!

Graphics - Excellent. Each level does an amazing job of recreating the theme and, in some cases, actual scenes of the video they are based on. Mike has a lot of animation in his sprite, so most of his moves are really fluid...the enemies are less animated, but still come off alright. All in all, the game looks great.

Sound - Awesome. To accompany you through it, each level gets an excellently redone version of a various MJ song; Beat it, Smooth Criminal, Bad, etc, they're all there. The sound effects, with the various voice samples and all of Mike's dance screams, are great as well.

Control - Smooth. Mike gets around very easily and responds immediately to whatever it is you need him to do. The only real sore spot comes at the point when you need to grab onto tree limbs, and such, to swing around the levels. That can be a real chore, at times, to get started.

AI - The regular, level-specific enemies pretty much leave you alone until you get close enough...the soldiers, on the other hand, chase you down...and with guns. All in all it's pretty balanced and there's nothing too cheap or overbearing.

Replay value - High. The game is so very good that you'll find yourself coming back time and again to break out those dance moves on the goons, dogs, ghouls and even that parrot in the graveyard!

Tips for a better gaming experiences:
The soldiers will *not* dance....don't waste your time, and magic, trying. Instead spin into them much as you can before activating the dance, then let loose to make Mike toss his hat. This will generally get you through most battles with multiple soldiers.

Rating: 95(out of 100) - Very close to perfection. This is an excellent and completely original take on the common side scrolling-adventure genre.

To this day, that leaning thing they do still impresses me.
Dancin' with the ghoulies...
Between stages you're usually treated to some hip, little sequence like this. Yes, it's a monkey on your back, and you must obey!
For more info: 
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Size: 4 Megs
No. of players: 1