The Nintendo Entertainment System was known for a number of things in it’s time. It was known for bringing home consoles and the video game industry back from the brink of the well documented 1983 video game crash and restoring pride to the industry. It was known as the starting point for many of video game’s best known characters and franchises such as Mario, Zelda and Metroid to name but a few. For all of this, it was known as well for being a console that had pretty awful games that were licensed off the back of popular films at the time – Jaws, Back to the Future, to name but a few. It seemed even the mighty NES didn’t learn the lessons from such travesties of film games such as E.T on the Atari 2600, but how does Wayne’s World, one of Mike Myers’ most famous creations – released near the end of the console’s life back in 1993 fair up with its competitors, does it party hard or suck as hard?
It’s fair to say that fans of the film, the many of them that there were, would no doubt have been excited about a video game based on the film. It’s highly unlikely you would have played this if you wasn’t. When turning on the game it’s hard not to sing to yourself the intro from the movie, “Wayne’s World! Party Time! Excellent!” anticipating some cheesy yet cheerful 8 bit rendition of this, but what is served is a marker of what to expect in this game – nothing but disappointment. Past the credits the game “starts” by bringing up a still image of a badly-pixellated Wayne and a half-decent looking Garth holding drumsticks – apparently with no bodies attached to them describing how they’d like to do their show as a career – yeah right!
After all that, then the game starts. The game is a side-scrolling game, with the most literal meanings from the film interspersed in the levels. The first level starts with you as Garth, who because of his love for music and playing the drums, starts off in a music store. For some reason you have some cosmic ray gun used to destroy – wait for it – cymbals and drums and saxophones all waiting to drain you of your health bar thats in the top left of the screen. Although your health bar is plentiful, coming into contact with enemies makes you lose a chunk of your health a la Megaman, however rather than be immune to being hurt for a brief period of time, like a sadist you come back for more, with the controls slow and clunky and difficult to move away without losing half your life – and that’s just the first level!
Completing this, your treated to another “cut-scene” of sorts, involving the top 10 things Beav says, as though that’s all anyone cares about. After pressing the A-button faster than doing the 100 meter sprint on Track & Field (or pressing Start for quickness) you then control Wayne who possesses no weapons, just a kick like Mortal Kombat that’s about as effective as central heating in an igloo. Again, going through levels of musical instruments, with one of Wayne’s catchphrases plastered through the level, “Way” and “No Way”. Speaking of which, when you turn on the game, your treated to a digitized voice of Wayne saying No Way – and you better get used to it. The enemies you encounter, plus the more than useless weapons you have – especially the lack of weapon in Wayne’s case – your going to hear that voice a lot, for its heard everytime you die.
At random intervals when you’ve completed a level your treated to a bonus stage, though it’s not clear at the start that this is what it is. There’s shelves upon shelves of what looks like fried eggs but could be mistaken for donuts that replenish your health, which does come as a useful bonus, and you have a certain amount of time to collect as many eggs erm I mean donuts as possible. It only seeks to stave off the inevitable, which is an untimely death by contacting enemies and falling down chasms that your supposed to jump. It’s like a snake eating itself, no beginning and no endings, just the same gaining health to then lose it. Great huh? NOT!
The controls of the game are simple enough, d-pad is to move, the A button is to jump and B button to fire your weapon/imitate Skorpion or Reptile from Mortal Kombat with a high kick. Completing the level’s are much easier with Garth giving that he has a gun whilst with Wayne you have to be specific with your kicks by timing them correctly otherwise you lose chunks of your health. The enemies seem to fly and attack too fast, and whack you perpetually to death without any time to turn around, run away and attack them. It is a nice touch if you don’t touch the controller for a few seconds, your treated to the dynamic duo dancing for you on the screen – much better that than some VirtuaGirl dancing on your desktop. But it’s still not enough to save this. The sound effects well its the typical 8-bit fare with the gun sounds and jumps in the right places, and it’s a nice touch to have some form of digitized voices so sound effects wise it’s not too bad however the music is very repetitive with the same 3 notes playing over and over again on a monotonous loop. The music does change, but now would be a good time to get reacquanited your Pearl Jam collection, or whatever melodies the youth of today listen to.
This game was released in 1993, and had the opportunity to go against what Nintendo games based on popular films was – terrible loathesome games that are not a patch on the motion picture. To be fair, the game is not terrible – its just very bad. From the small things such as not being allowed to say The Shitty Beatles and changing it to the Lousy Beatles (what support band would not want to be called that?) because of the Big N and it’s rules and regulations, right to the major flaws of the game, the lack of invincibility when being hit and terrible level design. There’s no variation, just going from left-to-right, fighting bosses of LP records and lazy character design. If ever you were looking for a literal representation of a film in a video game, your right on the money with this one. Copies are scant out in the wild, so unless you want to get drunk and party hard with these two dudes, I’d swerve this game and stick to watching the films, you won’t be disappointed and have more SCHAWING than a children’s playground – not that you want to be hanging round those places…
Rating – 2 out of 5