The Retro Goggles, They Do Nothing: Taz-Mania (Genesis)
I really hate to write this. I fucking LOVE retro Looney Tunes retro games, and I don’t think I have played a bad one outside of the Sega Genesis version of Taz-Mania. Buster Busts Loose, awesome, Tiny Toons Adventures, fantastic, Buster’s Hidden Treasure, I’m down. Hell, the SNES version of Taz-Mania(completely different than the Genesis version) was decent. However, it was not recently that I discovered there was such a thing as a bad Looney Tunes game. One of my roommates, who was a Sega kid growing up, still had some Genesis games at his house, and since I am the only one with retro systems at our college residence, he allowed me to borrow a few. I picked Taz-Mania at his insistence, as he kept telling me how it was a challenging but rewarding game. He lied to me on one of those counts.
Taz-Mania is challening, but challenging isn’t the right word for it. Frustrating, however, is. Taz’s main attack is, obviously, his infamous spin. So it would be fair to assume that spinning would be the smart thing to do throughout the majority of the game? Wrong. Spinning thrusts you rapidly in whichever direction you’re going, so there is literally no reaction time. Which would be fine if spinning didn’t knock items and power-ups off the screen, which presents an interesting dilemma throughout the game. Low on health? If you don’t spin forwards you will probably walk into a bad guy and die. Unfortunately, if you spin forwards you will knock that health replinishing item into oblivion.
There’s not the greatest level design either. Most of the platforming is a life and death situation, which would be fine if it wasn’t for two more problems. The first being the fact that Taz jumps fucking weird, and you will very often overshoot or undershoot your target. The other problem is poor collision detecting. There’s nothing more frustrating than visually just narrowly landing on a platform, but the game decides you missed it and sends you plummeting to your death.
Unlike most of the other games I’ve done in this series, this game does have a few redeeming qualities. The graphics and animation are quite nice for a Genesis game, and it is still a Looney Tunes game, and I love Looney Tunes. Too bad the shoddy gameplay mechanics don’t make me love Taz-Mania enough to play it anymore than I would possibly have to.