Awesome Possum

Awesome Possum


Today I get to review one of my favorite games of all time. It’s a Megadrive/Genesis game that involves running very fast and saving the world. Oh I can’t wait, there’s going to be lots of dashing and spinning and a blue hedgehog and an evildoer who builds robots, well I think you all know who I mean so let’s dive right into Sonic the He… why is he a possum?

What is this? This isn’t Sonic… Oh god why is he assaulting my ears so? Well if I have to do this I may as well get it over with, let’s get started on *shudders*’Awesome Possum’.

I suppose I’d better start from the beginning start from the beginning. In 1991 every other company and their mums were trying to ride off Sonic’s success by making various piles of Sonic clones with cocky animals who fought for a good cause. Then Tengen tried it, Tengen, the company that made the much better Tetris, s*** this out! The trailer advertised the game with “including builtin synchronized dialogue, ‘Awesome Possum’ is the first Genesis game where the hero talks to you along the way, and he has a lot to say”. Yeah, you can really hear the high quality in that voice that the Genesis mashes up and spits at you,. It sounds like a rock being scraped down a blackboard whilst having two bad yodellers yell into your ear.

As the game boots up your poor ears are assaulted by a stray choir screaming the title, “Awesome Possum, Kicks Dr Machino’s Butt” at you followed by what can only be described as a hammered possum appearing inside a recycling symbol with the name shamelessly displayed in a font bearing an uncanny resemblance to that of the Indiana Jones series. That choir wasn’t just improvising either, the actual name written on the case is ‘Awesome Possum Kicks Dr Machino’s Butt’. You can tell he’s cocky because he says butt.


Anyway, regrettably back to business. Underneath this it reads ‘START begins game, A goes to options.’ I’m sorry but I don’t oven… Why would you need to tell me what the Start Button does? I remember when I used to sit in front of Sonic (Or any other console game to date, for that matter) freaking out because I was told to ‘Press Start’ but not what it would do.The button does what it says on the tin, surely? Perhaps it not obvious enough, perhaps the button should have a sub-heading reading ‘Start-Starts things’. Maybe I’m being a bit picky but just, why…?
Once the ear bombardment has ceased and you start to play this abomination you’ll find that throughout the entirety of the game the little *** just won’t shut up, and 95% of his garbledscreechy words involve him telling the player how ‘awesome’ he is. “I’m AWESOME”, “you can’t beat me because I’m AWESOME”, “na nanna na na, I beat the level because I’m AWESOME”. Shut up! Just shut up, shut up, shut up! He’s lowering my IQ just by talking. *sigh* Back to the game.
Instead of rings like in Sonic games pick-ups are recyclable things like bottles and cans. Oh, did I not mention it’s an environmental game? Well, isn’t that a NICE surprise, I suppose that’s supposed to make up for the simple level design that consists of little more than continuously moving right till you can rest your possumy feet at the finish flag.        Now the thing about awesome possum’s difficulty curve is… it’s completely non-existent. The game is either ridiculously hard because of the way the character moves four frames every tap of an arrow straight into a pit of brambles or incredibly easy and just lets you skip the entirety of the level. I’m not kidding, there are various animals which help you and more than half of them just let you fly along the top of the screen and straight to the finish. In the underwater levels you don’t even need the animal, you can just swim along the top of the screen. Even the bosses can simply be leapt over and forgotten about, presumably meaning they’ll continue their dastardly evil, ravaging the land and forcing rabbits to take up heroine or whatever else it is video game bosses do when you’re not around.

Between each level is a quiz challenge where the animals for some reason or another put Awesome Possum on trial to earn extra points. The questions are all to do with the environment and range from being ‘What buzzes?’ To, ’What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?’ When you get them right or wrong the animals react accordingly, looking either happy or angry… except for the leopard who retains that same expression of insane… lust?

The final level is just as amazing as the rest of the game. It starts on an enormous rubbish pile with music that is most likely two cats being repeatedly swung into a broken set of bagpipes full of glass. The level involves beating every last boss a second time which would usually annoy me but again you can just leap over them and run to the next one. The final ‘boss’ fight is laughable, a small Robotnik rip-off runs around in a mechanical suit without even bothering to attack you. After a few hits the boss is defeated, then comes the thing that almost makes the whole game worth it. Mr Possum puts Dr Machino down on his belly, stares longingly into his eyes then daintily KICKS HIM INTO THE CLOSEST PILE OF GARBAGE! Now that’s what I want to do to this game, the irony here of course being that it wouldn’t even bio-degrade.

Then the final slide shows that after saving the world from pollution Possum’s face was engraved into Mt Rushmore alongside people obviously not important enough to have a bigger head than him. “I’ve defeated Dr Machino, now it’s your turn to help, BY CLEARING UP THE ENVIRONMENT!” he declaresExcuse me!? So he didn’t even save the world from pollution, he just stopped ONE guy and he gets his head put on Mt Rushmore and expects us to clear up the mess!?

*** with a **** and *** donkey **** *** *** *** then you *** pink *** *** ET 2600 *** and some apples!

Awesome Possum is a ghastly piece of flying ****!

The difficulty curve varies from stupidly easy to nail bitingly hard, the sprites are dull and grainy, the level design is horrible and the music and sounds feels like ear rape. I appreciate they had something different with the live action voice acting but it was completely ruined after hearing your Megadrive cough up the word “awesome” for the thousandth time.

You know what? Don’t play this, play Sonic! No, play E.T., it’s so much better, you know why? It’s not this! Now begone, I need to get back to banging this Atari against my head to lose all memory of ever having played this horrible game.

-Will

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