Review by TRJ22487
Reviewed: 02/24/03 | Updated: 02/24/03
This game doesn't deserve the bashing it gets. Most people don't even know what this game is really based on!
I've read quite a few reviews on this game from different sites, and while they express their own personal opinions, they are completely misinformed about what this game is based on. They all seem to think that this game is based on the government issued Crash Dummies used to test cars in real life, but that couldn't be further from the truth! The Incredible Crash Dummies for the NES is based on one of my favorite childhood toys, The Incredible Crash Dummies action figures made by Tyco from 1991 to 1994 (and sold until 1995). I've always been a huge fan of them since they were released when I was four, and even today I have all my action figures, playsets, vehicles, puzzles, the board game, the pinball machine, the silverware, the comic books, the movie, etc etc etc. Plus from December 2000 to October 2002 I ran the only Crash Dummies website. So I think you get my point, I know what I'm talking about. Sorry for running on like that, but anyway, on to the review.
LGN released The Incredible Crash Dummies in 1993 as one of the final US NES releases. In the game, you control Slick (white) and Spin (dark purple) in your quest to save Daryl (red) and Spare Tire (fat, light purple) from the evil Junkman. Now it's not explained in the videogame, but Junkman is the crash dummies villain, who was an experiment gone horribly wrong after Dr. Zub tried to make the perfect dummy head. After the janitor Horace unwittingly attached the evil head to the world's most powerful torso, the head built itself a body out of spare junk parts, and Junkman was born. He created a tower of junk in the junkyard and formed his own army called Junkbots. Unlike most evil villains, Junkman was brought into the Crash Dummies story a few years after they debuted. Before Junkman came into the scene, the Crash Dummies were solely about wearing safety belts and showing what happens when you don't. Once Junkman arrived the safety belts gimmick took a backseat to fighting evil, and ultimately it lead to the end of The Incredible Crash Dummies toy line, sadly.
In The Incredible Crash Dummies you alternate between Slick and Spin as you go through five worlds. Doesn't sound like a lot of worlds? It get's worse, each world only has one or two stages, adding up to a total of less than ten stages. This is a very short game, and it's not overly difficult either, which seems to be the case for many late release NES games. You are equipped with two weapons, an air gun which stuns enemies at close range and an oil gun which shoots and kills enemies at a far range. The air gun has unlimited ammo, while the oil gun can only hold 99 bullets. Also along the way you can find the arm power-up, which is the coolest move in the game. It allows you to attach your legs to your arms and spin around killing anything in your path. But along with a cool powerup, there comes some harmful and really stupid powerups. The first one looks like an arrow, and it causes you to become extremely fast, and at the same time out of control. If you run into a wall your head pops of and your controls are reversed. Granted this adds challenge to the game, but its main effect is annoyance. Another stupid powerup is the balloon. It causes you to float in the air for an extended period when you jump. The problem is when you land it causes you to bounce up and down, so you can't jump again until you completely stop bouncing.
You might be asking yourself, what do you mean bouncing? How do you bounce on your legs? I forgot to mention, for whatever reason the programmers decided to replace Slick's feet with a unicycle wheel. However if it weren't for this hindrance this game would be even more of a cakewalk.
Graphics : 10 out of 10. This is where the game clearly shines. I'm going to make a bold statement and say these are the best graphics in ANY NES game not including the Aladdin Deck Enhancer games. While I'm not to ecstatic with the coloring job in the cutscenes (the hand drawn ones), the graphics in the actual game are unbelieveable. Everything is so bright and vibrant, and easy to distinguish, and better yet, there is no slowdown and virtually no flicker at all! I only noticed flicker on the edge of the screen once or twice in all of the time I've played it (I'm using the actual cart, not an emulator)
Sound : 7 out of 10. Nothing spectacular here. Standard side scroller music and sound effects. I thought the sounds of the popping beach ball in the circus level and the air gun were pretty good though.
Play Control : 8 out of 10. If you've played this game before, I know what you're thinking, but let me explain. First of all, I think we could all agree that Spin's controls are tight and flawless. It's Slick's controls with the unicycle wheel that cause the problems. But like any game, you just have to learn what you can get away with. Slick can jump much further than Spin, but his jumping is out of control. I find this isn't a problem if you look the other way in mid-air at the spot you want to land. That way you will only bounce up, not to the side. Also, Slick has trouble getting up ramps, you have to hop up them, that's kind of annoying.
Presentation : 8 out of 10. I feel that if fits the whole Crash Dummies theme well. Your life meter is made up of six Crash Dummy heads, when you run out, you die. Also, collecting 50 road cones gets you an extra life. Plus you use the Crash Car to get from one world to the next.
As a Crash Dummies fan, it's obviously much easier for me to notice mistakes, and I noticed a few.
- First of all, in the instruction booklet, all of the Crash Dummies are blue, even though there was no blue crash dummies. (not counting Larry, who was replaced two years before this game was made by Spin after a real life lawsuit)
- Also, a huge mistake, the Crash Dummies aren't wearing their pro-tek suits, but instead their original suits. In the toy line, movie, and comic books the Crash Dummies get their pro-tek suits before they ever meet Junkman. This was most likely done because the pro-tek suits were to colorful to be done on the NES, so the original one color suits were used instead.
- Just like every other Crash Dummies game except the GameBoy version, Chip and Dent are on the cover even though they never appear in the game. The Dummies based on action figures that are in the game are Slick, Spin, Daryl, Spare Tire, Bumper (the dog), and Junkman. The only vehicle is the red Crash Car.
- In one cutscene, either Slick is called Spin or Spin is called Slick, I can't remember which.
- Also, none of the actual Junkbots (Piston Head, Jackhammer, and Sideswipe) are used in the game, but instead Junkbots that look more like Crash Dummies with claws. In the actual gameplay parts they do look kind of evil though.
So should you buy this? I got it for a great deal, $2.00 complete on eBay. If you're one of the few fans left, go for it, and even if you aren't, I think it's still a very enjoyable experience. Just don't expect to be too challenged if you consider yourself to be good at videogames.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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