Friday, 2 December 2016

Minami no Shima ni Buta Ga Ita (Saturn)

What we have here might be the worst game ever featured on this blog. It's definitely the most shameful licensed commercial release, with production values that would look bad if they were in some Chinese Pirate Mega Drive game, let alone a game licensed, officially released and sold for money on the Saturn in 1996. Even having an animated FMV intro doesn't make the game look any better, since even that manages to be grotesque and cheap-looking.

You take control of a whip-wielding pig, on a journey to retrieve a load of lost piglets (as far as I can tell, at least). This journey takes you across various different landscapes, which are fairly typical platform game locales: snowy place, clockwork place, jungle place, beach place, and so on. The stages themselves can be tackled in any order, and also have two types of sections. When you first enter an area, you'll play through a psuedo-platformy stage (though there's no actual platforming to be done), where you walk from left to right, using your whip to defeat enemies and free piglets from bubbles. Once you get to the end of one of these areas, you'll then enter a puzzle stage.

The puzzles are all varied, to the point at which I've seen quite a few of them, and they were all unique with none of them being just a variation on one of the others. The main problem is that not only do you have to solve the puzzles, but you also have to figure out what slving the puzzles requires. Like I said they're all unique, but on top of that, none of them come with instructions in any language. You're just dumped in there and expected to work out what you're meant to do, and how to do it in three attempts. If you solve the puzzle, you'll go on to another action stage/puzzle stage cycle. If you use up your three chances, you'll get a game over, and if you voluntarily quit, you'll go back to the area select screen.

I can't really tell you any more about it. The action stages are terrible and pointless, with tiny sprites jerking around in front of backgrounds that aren't even in the same scale. The puzzle stages are boring and if you solve them, there's no satisfaction, while if you fail, you don't feel any incentive to go back and try again. I played this game for about an hour, and the only positive thing I can say about the experience is that I can at least tell you not to bother.

I hate to say it, but Minami no Shima ni Buta Ga Ita is a game that deserves to languish in obscurity, forgotten forever. After you finish reading this review, try to forget you ever even heard this game's title.

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