Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Doomsdaycember Retroulette: Mad Max

There was a time, not long ago, when movie games were as common as a Rattata.

This symbol will always remind you of what you are you shitty Rattata..

As with today, they mostly sucked. But unlike today, they made a game for goddamn everything. In most cases it can melt your brain just trying to imagine who would ever want that game. No one ever received a copy of Beethoven's 2nd for the SNES outside of April Fools Day. If you got a copy of Home Alone 2 for the Genesis, it was only so your parents could laugh at your sobs until they told you your real present was still under the tree.

Mad Max doesn't have that problem.

A post-apocalyptic wasteland. Guns. Cars. Explosions. Making a game out of that has to be the easiest job ever, right? 93% of games are exactly that anyway.

If nothing else, Mad Max for the NES is a powerful reminder that no matter how sound a concept, being based on a movie means a game is by law required to gargle balls.

The story of Mad Max begins with Regular Max, just a normal cop doing his job until one day - some gang kills his family. If Braveheart taught us one thing, it's that the only thing Mel Gibson hates more than Jews is wife killin'. From then on, he makes killing outlaw bastards his raison d'ĂȘtre.

Anyway, this game is actually based on Mad Max 2.

Take your Nintendo's word for it, this thing is supposed to be Max.

So, the game begins and it reveals itself as a top down car driving game. Immediately I have a huge problem with this game. Instead of just driving in whatever direction you press, like a good game would, Max's Pursuit Special turns like a crippled tank. This makes driving in this game a horribly
stuttery, jerky affair. And you drive a lot in this game. You only gain any amount of speed driving down a straightaway, but the second you have to adjust direction in any way, your car has to awkwardly pivot like an animatronic Chuck E. Cheese.

Post apocalyptic Australia looks a lot like regular Australia.

So I spend a bunch of time driving around because that's all I can do. I slip on oil slicks, get dynamite thrown at me from crudely built gang towers, and get rammed by gang cars. This is a problem, but seeing as how this is the NES there's really only two ways it can be solved. If you hit A and you aren't winning yet, hit B. In this case B throws dynamite, which I then use liberally and wildly. As it turns out though, dynamite in this game is a finite resource. And that is a theme you see a lot in this game (and I guess rightfully so, considering the setting). I drive around for a while finding absolutely nothing of interest until my car sputters and dies.

Yeah, so this is a thing that can happen.

I retry and do the same thing all over. Driving around and overkilling bandits with dynamite, until the same thing happens again, and again and again. At this point I'm left wondering what the hell it is I'm actually supposed to do. The game doesn't open up with "Kill 20 Gang Members!" or "Find Some Thing!". Gamers today complain a lot about modern games giving you a little too much help, and it's a valid complaint, I don't need a game holding my hand like we're crossing a street. But I need something. Even Super Mario Bros. wordlessly guides you to go right by simply not letting you go left.

After many, many tries I find out that a house that I had passed a dozen times before could actually be entered (read: driven into).

This is a shop. You can buy food, fuel, ammo etc. The only thing of interest to me is a mysterious "Arena Pass".

"7 food please, and before you ask, McDonald's doesn't count."

So as that's the only thing that sounds sort of like progress, I make finding FOOD-WATER my objective. Once again that brings me to driving aimlessly around the wasteland until I run out of gas over and over again, except now I'm ramming into everything hoping I can get all up in it. This goes on for awhile, because this game sucks ass at telling you what you should be doing at any moment, until I find this accidentally:

"Aha, a Picasso style perspectiveless nightmare! That's the ticket!"

In here, Max ditches the shitty car and takes the fight on foot.

This time it's personal. Again.

Max controls about as well as his car here, which is to say he moves like his pants are just filled with, like, all of the shit. The goal here is to run around this maze looking for supplies. There's ammo in here, fuel, dynamite, and yes, FOOD-WATER. Of course, you have to deal with an army of Kim Jong-il clones the entire time.

"Am I I interrupting something here?"

After collecting everything I can find, I decide to continue my adventures by delving deeper into this enemy outpost via a decidedly staircase-looking staircase.



As with almost all movie games, they simply slap some Nintendo logos over the poster. On a completely unrelated note, I think the one-sleeve look needs to become the standard.


  1. Gorilla Wearing Knitted Sweater With SnowmenDecember 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    "it's that the only thing Mel Gibson hates more than Jews is wife killin'. "


  2. Gorilla Wearing Knitted Sweater With SnowmenDecember 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    "They should make a new Mad Max game though."

    Good call, something action packed. I remember liking the movie.

  3. Funny, as always, beautiful boy xx