Sunday, July 5, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Motocross Maniacs

Today belongs to none other that Motocross Maniacs! A long-forgotten action racing spectacular by everyody's favorite developer of Conta, Castlevania, Metal Gear and DDR, that'd be Konami. Released at the dawn of the Gameboy lineup, the dark ages if you will, this title blasted in out of nowhere and was a hell of a ride.

Very obviously influenced by Nintendo's time-tested Excitebike, this game stripped the depth perception out of that game and added in a bunch of other features. Most notably you could pick up nitro packs to blast your bike forward with a huge burst of speed, also you had the series' trademark loop-de-loop ramps that magically hung in the air..

I remember there was some kind of "secret" jet power-up you could utilize to sort of "fly around" awkwardly, in conjunction with your nitro packs - you'll forgive me if I don't quite remember the mechanic - it was strange, but cool (I haven't been able to repeat it in my old age! Where's me cane, sonny!) Also it was a blast to link-up and play with your buddy, in one of the first notable 2-player GM Link games.

Looking at the screens here, it looks like a bad puppet show - well okay it's a fairly primitive title, not much too see then as it's not now either, but it was a fun ride and one that could still be enjoyed today. They made a Gameboy Color follow-up which I looked at for a moment, likewise a Gameboy Advance version - both looked cool and noticeably upgraded, but something about the purity of the first one was missing (I think it was more interesting when it came out since there was little else on the playfield to compare it to, anyway!) A good game and one which I will play again.

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