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Be prepared, folks We've got yet another rotten, filthy egg amongst us! Of course,

2020-01-15

The odds are we aren't gonna enjoy it one goddamn smidgen whatsoever. The INFAMOUS Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Bandai, Toho and Advance Communications Company circa 1988, or preferably 89 inspired by the late Robert Louis Stevensons tale of the same name. To the folks at Cinemassacre JAMES ROLFE & MIKE MATEI this is for you both. Who doesn't remember that familiar theme, right Obviously, it's taken straight out of Rygar, but more on that later. Before we start, however... I'd like to take this opportunity and dedicate this to not only James and Mike from Cinemassacre themselves, but also Rich Hawke and Lisa Vidal (Starlab Studios); Autumn Lee Bales aka "Oldschoolgamermama" from Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Carly Lieberman; the Boston Open Screen Committee Van Voorhis, Healy, Atwood, etc.; Bill Campbell (Insane Apricot); Jules Carrozza (Gen-Y Films); Brookline Interactive Group & Somerville Media Center; DIWHY The Show; Weird Local Film Festival; Matt "CygnusDestroyer20XX" Ezero; Jeremy Parish (Retronauts); Kim Tran, RI; The Nerdfit Network; Triheart; Replay'd; Kinsey "Kinszilla" Burke; TamashiiHiroka; Chris "TheMtVernonKid" Bennett; Dave White & Joe Redifer (Game Sack); Larry Bundy Jr.; 8-Bit Eric (San Antonio, TX); Ed "Retrogamer3" Finley; Aaron "Dya" Hickman (San Antonio, TX also); Nobita (Find Your Love in Japan); and finally, Gabriel J. DeBettencourt aka RileySkye100. With these out of our skulls...what do you know "A Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll", indeed. Based very loosely on AND inspired by the late Great, Robert Louis Stevenson's gothic novella of the same name, it revolves around the studious, mild mannered titular scientist hell-bent on attending the big wedding between him and the lovely miss Millicent Carewe or just Millicent, for short. However, lots of threatening, fucked up elements stand in Henry's* way to everlasting love (*Dr. Jekyll's first name) that'll make his overall goal a living nightmare, unlike anything one's ever imagined... thereby forcing him to remain a lone wolf / bachelor for the remainder of his very existence, MUCH LIKE YOURS FUCKING TRULY. Of course, the demonic Edward Hyde Jekyll's alternate ego appears in the World of Demons upon the doctor's ensuing rage after being distracted by the MULTIPLICITY of said threatening elements! And who could forget that demo cutscene when he's concocting the potion which unknowingly transforms him into his aforementioned evil psyche, right... just like the novel and miscellaneous media this game takes after, with the exception of MAYBE the first film adaptation by Paramount released nearly a century ago, I might add! Gameplay wise ISN'T IT OBVIOUS! It's pretty much a strenuous, jarring, left-to-right wanderlust in the English countryside during which you, as Jekyll, obviously are traversing from one territory to the next to eventually reach the church while contending with and/or avoiding the local populace. Remember those threats I mentioned earlier ...Made up of gentlemen in vests & suits which either bump into you for no apparent reason ditto for the random dames, or leave behind bombs, hence the latter's alias the "Bomb Maniacs"; Billy Pones the kid armed with a slingshot, a.k.a. whom I like to call, "the bastard child of Dennis the Menace and Oliver Twist" not to mention has a BANEFUL infatuation on our main protagonist's bride-to-be! CHRIST, DENNY from 'The Room' much! Rachel, the fear-mongering widow Esmeralda from Edward Scissorhands, meet your new BFFF! Elena McCowen, an overweight operatic tone-deaf singer with an IGNOMINIOUSLY "EAR-RAPEY" note range, whom you have to pay eight coins to pass through... You see this, uh, cow right here Yeah, you have to pay eight COINS to get past her. Yeah, there you go! Jan the gravedigger, that inadvertently chucks dirt at you; Arnold Ebetts, the retarded, short-sighted hunter that not only fires at ducks constantly but sends them PLUMMETING from above, and even animals ranging from bees, spiders, dogs & cats named Murphy & Luna, respectively defecating crows, and the like. Oh, and at least Rosette Ranright isn't a threat unlike everyone else despite ONLY appearing in the Japanese version by Toho, which, of course, I'll get into later except maybe in passing no matter which version you experiment with... but I digress; nor is the "pissing fountain". Control-wise, your D-pad allows Jekyll (OR Hyde) to migrate around of his own free will; Up to go into buildings for the sake of taking cover depending on where its appropriate; Down to crouch; while B and A, depending on whose identity youre assuming allows Jekyll to thrust his cane, which of course does 'SHIT-ALL' except kill off insects; or have Hyde punch and/or summon his aptly-advertised Psycho Wave in conjunction with Up on the D-pad & Jump, individually. Above the layout are 2 meters, one for both Jekyll & Hydes vitality; the other for their stress / atonement with the latter being affected in tandem with the former depending on how much damage Jekyll endures in the real world, or how many adversaries Hyde does away with in the alternate World of Demons with just his Psycho Wave alone. Should you happen to endure any constant run-ins with random inhabitants or be exposed to either Billys slingshot attacks, or the Bomb Maniacs INSANELY AGONIZING blast radius as Jekyll the latter 2 of which I suggest simply ducking under & jumping far the Christ away from as humanly possible prior to detonation, no less... the stress meter will bottom out during every damage interval, thereby forcing the transformation to kick in and "believe you me"...THIS WILL OCCUR AS OFTEN AS ONE COULD PERCEIVE, SO ID MORE THAN FAMILIARIZE MYSELF WITH THAT SHIT IF I WERE YOU. Upon assuming the control of Mr. Hyde, its an entirely all-new ball of wax; youll end up confronting an even menacing assortment of foes as you strive to revert back to your initial human form, including but not limited to the following Corum, flying long-jawed skulls that hurl themselves toward you; random demons with axes; Nunu, demons appearing both as infants and full-grown specimens; brain-shaped hoppers referred to as Shepp; Walrich, flame-engulfed monsters; Onoria, demon witches that transform into giant red snakes when provoked; Carotta, half-siren mermaids armed with a harp disguised as a bow and arrow; Eproschka, winged demons that attack using bubbles blown out of trumpets, and occasionally, floating satellite-esque stones that split into smaller fragments referred to as Palma akin to those GODDAMN ASTERONS from SONIC 2!! Honestly, who the hell could forget those aggravating-ass douches, right! And eventually that is, if you survive as Hyde Letule, a disappearing & reappearing ghastly demon face that summons fire upon coming into a full but brief view. Take note of the following: while coins can be obtained upon vanquishing all the heartless, conniving cock-knockers of the underworld... you have to refill the stress meter in a given timeframe, because if you reach a certain point from which you transformed OR progress further than Jekyll, lightning will INSTANTANEOUSLY strike upon Hyde hence the disapproval of the Powers That Be regarding your ill-fated efforts, thereby ENDING THE GAME IN A HEARTBEAT ditto if you get snuffed as Hyde! While the majority of Jekylls quest is nothing more or less than AN ABHORRENT, INESCAPABLE NIGHTMARE FROM WHICH THERES NO CHANCE OF BREAKING AWAY due as a whole to his EXTREMELY LACKADAISICAL PACE AND HIS OBVIOUS LACK OF OFFENSIVE PROFICIENCY, THANKS TO THAT WIMPY-ASS CANE OF HIS Hydes alternate excursion when transformed is the exact motherfucking opposite due largely to the Psycho Waves random, boomerang-like trajectory and its likelihood of eradicating as many adversaries as possible within his path to not only collect a shitload of coins for that ear-rapey operatic meatball Elena McCowen and shift back to the real world, but to execute said objectives in a timely fashion, since Hyde isnt supposed to progress any further than Jekyll, as I've established NOT too long ago or vice-versa if one might prefer... thereby alluding to the belief of restricting ones inner evil self gaining the upper hand over good, hence the titular, recurring persona deviations. Even indicating that, the controls are still ALL OVER THE PLACE, depending on whom youre playing as decrepit and crippled like Tiny-FUCKING-Tim for Jekyll, and at the very least modest and cathartic for Hyde if mostly the former, due to reaching the halfway point at which the same old townsfolk constantly & arbitrarily whisk in and out of the scene like CANNIBALS, enacting the invariable, repetitive-ass routines weve been experiencing time and time again, not to mention the barrels that roll down every stretch of concrete as youre nearing your end-all be-all destination... I mean, SHIT...Donkey Kong much! ...and as tolerable as the gameplay schematics turn out to be at first glance shocking as it is to express, in clear-as-day reality and over time, ITLL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS WORSE THAN THE INFAMOUS AGONY ON PS4, A TYPICAL SHITTY DAY JOB, EVERY GODDAMN FAMILY PEP-TALK IN HISTORY, AND EVERY SAT & HIGH SCHOOL / COLLEGE EQUIVALENCY EXAM TESTING SESSION COMBINED; ditto for...WHO COULD'VE GUESSED the challenge!! And since we're on THAT topic, expect a piss-ton of them no matter which alternate psyche ego you arrogate. In Jekylls world, as Ive already incorporated most of the local populace will definitely give you an irreversible-as-shit case of the RED ASS, regardless of how far you travel. Case in point and forgive my "broken record" tactics... but lets not forget those UNRELENTING BOMB MANIACS!! Even if you manage to leap away from their explosive devices, the radius can be about as random as the Publishers Clearing House drawings in other words, youll still end up taking damage, thereby resulting in not only JEKYLL GETTING EXTREMELY PISSED THE FUCK OFF, but also the habitual transformation procedures, in which said reaction results. And don't even get me started with those meddlesome spiders, either whose movement patterns are also erratic, likewise with the other endangered species that frequently impede your path... in conjunction with Billy Pones and his slingshot projectiles, Elena and her protruding notes both aurally AND visually, the ducks raining down from Arnolds somewhat indirect gunshots, AMONGST MOST OF THE OTHER INTRACTABLE OBSTACLES AND OPPOSING SUBJECTS THATLL ENSURE THE CHANCES OF ACHIEVING TRUE LOVE ARE FOR JACK AND SHIT...oh, and Jack just left the frickin' booby hatch! In the original Japanese version, Jikiru(JEKYLL)-hakase no Houma ga Toki by Toho, there were 2 stages that were removed for Bandai's American counterpart both the City and the Alley, featuring newer and more excruciating hazards, most notably the 2 ladies hurling random items at you from 2 opposing windows complete with an accompanying theme in stark juxtaposition with all the same bullfuck weve seen thus far, including those GODDAMN ROLLING BARRELS and did I mention Rosette Ranrights the only character available in that particular regional version who heals you and provides more cash upon visiting her, and that Millicent waits for you at the church near the end, regardless of what the CHRIST youve been through! Before I forget, theres 2 outcomes depending on which alter ego you finished the quest with which, of course, I wont spoil for everyones sake...except for 2 imperative strategies that result in these outcomes. A) Transform into Hyde upon reaching the final area before the church and eventually confront & annihilate Letule, or B) just flat-out survive as Jekyll...and I SWEAR TO EVERY HOLY DEITY IN HISTORY, MOST OF THE ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL MANEUVERS ON WHICH IVE ARTICULATED SO FAR ARE EXTREMELY ADVISED... EXTREMELY MOTHERFUCKING ADVISED! And YES, they apply even if youre playing as Hyde. In true Rygar fashion, theres infinite continues upon death meaning youll always start within the exact area in which you didnt last long enough, or more to the point... joined the choir invisible; blinked for an exceptionally long period of time; earned yourself a one-way ticket to the Happy Hunting ground; or better yet, cashed in your chips, thereby having the game provide a place to park its bike if you get buried ass up. (PATCH ADAMS, anyone!) The only downside is that ALL THE COINS YOUVE COLLECTED AS HYDE, INTENDED FOR PAYMENT TO EAR-RAPEY ELENA ARE TAKEN AWAY UPON CONTINUING I mean, SERIOUSLY! Either way, lets hope every crucial tip sinks in and is worth deliberately taking into account for a mind-numbingly redundant OR extraordinary experience both of which are in the eyes AND mind of the beholder. Graphically, for such an egregious and OFTEN-BERATED 30-year-old cult classic, the overall visual look and presentation is all pluses and minuses in that most of the ancient Victorian-era scenes are adequately rendered, representing the setting of the novel, both during the daytime and evening as Jekyll & Hyde individually; on the latter, every building and/or structure appears desecrated to SHIT which almost tend to repeat themselves, likewise with the participating subjects not just Jekyll and Hyde themselves, but every other supporting and/or opposing character they come in contact with most notably the majority of the animals and their gawky-ass animations no pun intended! Also, who could possibly forget the urinating statue fountain near the end of one of the areas (if in the middle), amongst various other foreground elements! ITS NO WONDER BANDAI, TOHO & ADVANCE COMMUNICATIONS MANAGED TO GET AWAY WITH THAT SHIT, AND UNDER NINTENDOS STRICT FAMILY-FRIENDLY GUIDELINES, I MIGHT ADD. I mean, it's like with the "FUCK ME" password in Konami's Metal Gear! Anyways, all harping aside... As far as music & sound, composed with indistinguishable bravado by Michiharu Hasuya ( ) starting with the title theme taken straight out of Tecmos Rygar, as I just discussed not too long ago... which, of course, he also orchestrated refer back to my 'Clash at Demonhead' review, #24 from Season 3 for more details... the majority of the correlating tracks leaves much more than necessary to be desired, as regretful as it is to point out. Don't get me wrong here there's at least a theme or 2 I somewhat get a kick out of... most notably Jekylls & Hydes respective stage themes, and the transformation stings when the personas are shifted back and forth... but damn it, lets face facts THEYRE ALL ABRASIVE AS FUCK, ditto for the sound effects!!! For instance the explosions given off by the left-behind bombs, Elenas EXCESSIVELY AGGRAVATING SINGING, Murphy & Lunas yelps, you name it. Honestly, It'd be way more invigorating and intriguing TO BALANCE FLESH-EATING PIRANHAS NEAR MY ASSHAIRS AND/OR GENITAL REGION WHILE WALKING BLINDFOLDED AND BAREFOOT THROUGH A SEA OF QUICKSAND, MIXED WITH FAT BASTARD & GOLDMEMBERS OWN URINE & STOOL SAMPLES, AND ACETONE, BENZENE, NITROGLYCERINE, TURPENTINE & POLYURETHANE FOR HOURS THAN TO ENDURE ALL THIS MOTHERFUCKING ANARCHY!!!!!!! Regarding Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's replayability... even at this juncture, theres very little to comment on regarding this dreadful abomination of mankind. Believe it or not, Ive experienced MUCH WORSE on any console in recent decades... however, what I've just deliberated on takes the "Key Lime/Red Velvet Hybrid Cheesecake" if there ever existed one. That aside, in spite of some of the pros I may have indicated not too long ago, ITS CONS ALL BUT OUTWEIGH THE SHIT OUT OF EM. Therefore, unless you've got the patience of a saint or a Buddhist monk, equaling maybe that of Yours Truly (nothing personal...) or if you just LOVE mindlessly wasting precious hour after hour, DO YOURSELF AND THE WORLD A HUMBLE SOLID AND STEER CLEAR OF THIS HEINOUS FUCKING DISGRACE TO NINTENDO'S PROLIFIC 3RD GENERATION CONSOLE AT ALL COSTS!! Therefore, what's my "end-all, be-all" final verdict It's easy to see why many passionately and endlessly shun this title, even today AVGN, 8-Bit Eric & DXFan619, Im looking at YOU 3... or somehow enjoy and nurture it notwithstanding its faults CygnusDestroyer20XX, Im also looking at YOU!! Either way, for the sake of preventing myself from echoing whats already been deliberated, AVOID THIS GAME LIKE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE... or just give it a spin, your choice. But heed my fair warning for the sake of yourself, and your own sanity ONLY DO SO IN MODERATION. Until then my beloved viewers, this is the one and only Hardcore Retro God DISDAINFULLY signing off. Now, please excuse me while I go slit my wrists... You