It’s the late 80’s. You’re dateless, too poor to afford to go to the arcade, the girlfriend just left you to seek out her first and only love...Scott Baio, and there’s only one thing left to do. Put on a custom mix tape and jam out the NES. Or if you were like me, you were 5. But anyway, nothing says awesome like the original Nintendo. Super Mario Bros, Megaman, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda...all of these will not be discussed anywhere in this article.
What I would like to discuss are the video game adaptations of popular Horror Movies. In my research I was astounded to find out just how many films were made into video games. And after several months of painstaking internet research and pawn shop scrounging I can finally sit down and enjoy them. (ok you got me, I downloaded them)
So will you please sit down with me and kick back to a simpler time. Before people cared about ratings, before all it took was a minor scratch to ruin a game, before complex story lines and uncontainable 3D environments. Let’s blow into the game cartridge and keep hitting reset until the game will even start. Let’s see just what popular Horror Movies of the 80’s looked like when they were converted by Nintendo into a video game.
How bad could it be?
The Movie: Jaws came out in 1975, which gave people an entire 12 years to think of something amazing to do with it in terms of video games. Also, all of the sequels had come out by the time this game came out. You can argue that “The Revenge” came out that same year but by 1987 everyone had a pretty good idea who and what Jaws was. In the movie, a killer shark eats people enjoying summer vacation at the beach and it’s up to a cop and a couple guys on a boat to take it down. They eventually do but more sharks show up to wreak havoc 3 more times after that.
The Game: Alright this should be pretty cool right, kill some sharks, save some ladies, be a hero. I think not. I don’t know what the story line is here. You start off in a boat. Awesome...skip all the build up crap, let’s get down and dirty with this thing and slaughter us some sharks. No....instead you cruise around until you “hit something.” Most of the time IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN! What could possibly be RIGHT THERE in the middle of the ocean?
But from there you go for a swim. Once in the water you go on a murderous death spree the likes of which Aquaman has never seen. There are 2 enemies here...Jellyfish and Stingrays. You shoot them with your spear gun, and then they crap out stars and conch shells. The stars just give you points but the conch shells are used to access one area. (But beware, going more than a half an inch in the boat means certain death being there’s several things to run into...in the middle of the ocean.) But once you do get enough shells and unlock the secret area all you get is a receiver to track Jaws, which I couldn’t figure out how to use but thankfully it didn’t matter because Jaws is constantly on the screen swimming around waiting to eat your boat. But eventually you run into him and the battle ensues...
Wow. That’s a pretty impressive shark isn’t it? I don’t know why it takes so much fire power to take him out when I pretty much could have just punched him in the face when he swam by me. I don’t understand why they give you this lame little spear gun, there has to be better weapons TO KILL JAWS WITH. I mean, that guy swimming around in the water knew he was up against a monster shark right? A little underwater pea shooter is his weapon of choice? Unbelievable. But anyway, the above battle lasted 30 seconds because I ran into that passing sting ray right there underneath me and apparently that’s all it takes to kill you. So I learned a valuable lesson here...don’t touch anything. The next time I’ll be better equipped and better prepared right?
Wrong. I cruised around, this time to shallower waters, hoping to suffocate the beast.
But all it did was give me less room to move. This battle lasted significantly longer but I only dwindled him down a few bars. Eventually one of Jaws’ smaller shark pals shows up to crash the party but you waste him and then are taken completely out of battle into a bonus scene...where you drop cannon balls from a plane onto swarms of dancing jellyfish.
It was at this point that I said “Hell with this!” and hit the power button.
Reflection: I can’t believe I wasted precious hard drive space on this. I can only imagine living in 1987 and thinking to myself...Holy Shark Repellent Batman! A Jaws video game! This is gonna be awesome...and then waste 50 of your hard earned dollars on this piece of crap. And there’s hardly anything in common with the movies! There’s a boat and a shark...but that’s it. Shark Week has more in common with Jaws than this game. A not only is this game incredibly boring and monotonous but there just seems to be no point. I know you set out to kill Jaws but that task just seems too frustrating to handle and I’d rather shoot myself in the foot and move to Iowa. Watching corn grow would be more exciting than playing this game.
Thank Jaws: The Video Game, you ruined the Jaws franchise more than Jaws: The Revenge did. Shame on you.
I give this 0 out of 5 bits.
I give this 0 out of 5 bits.
- Mr. Gable