This week I'm going to look at your friend and mine, the lovable boxing glove!
As you probably know, this versatile piece of sporting equipment is well-suited to many different tasks. For example, it is prominently featured in these Super Nintendo games:
It allows you to choose between "1 PLAYER", "2 PLAYER" or "PASSWORD" in your favorite George Foreman
uses boxing gloves to help him hang on to his club!
But today we're going to look at a much more important and fundamental application of boxing gloves: one that their storied utility has almost clouded to the point of obscuring, but one of the primary things that they were originally designed for:
Making otherwise disturbing weapons suitable for young (or young-at-heart) video games protagonists!
It's all well and good for adults (or even teenaged orphans, also known as "RPG Protagonists") to wander into harm's way, bullets and swords flying...but won't anyone think of the children?
For example, one of today's games is based on the movie Home Alone 2, a heartwarming story of a pre-teen left to fend for himself in a welcoming and friendly New York City hotel, going up against only pleasant and child-friendly obstacles,
like independently-mobile vacuum cleaners (which envelope his entire upper body if he strays into their path)
...and cheerful ex-cons! (One of whom is played by an actor famous for scenes involving brutal bursts of homicidal rage!)
I mean, just imagine how jarring these games would be if they encouraged the player to utilize actual dangerous weaponry! No, any child facing off against such opposition is much better served by a suction-cup launching toy gun, or at worse, a rifle that's been humorously modified to launch boxing gloves!
Well anyway, you get the idea. Here we go!
I guess I already spent some of my best nickels about this game in the introduction, but I'll try to
get some more mileage find something else to say about it.
It's a poster-(abandoned)-child for indecisive game design, because you have:
- too many types of offense: while you have to collect limited-use weapons, you also have a weird "slide attack" that hurts some enemies but not others.
- and two different defenses: you get several lives and 5 "cookie" hit-points per life, but a good portion of the enemies bypass your cookies entirely and take away a life when they hit you.
It also falls into the same trap of many other
movie games: it is almost unplayable (between its difficulty and forcing you to start the entire game again when you run out of lives), but it seems to spend a lot of effort replicating plot-points from the movie.
But for today's article, the most important thing is the more powerful weapons available to the game's vagabond-protagonist:
The Boxing-Glove Rifle™,
...and the friggin' Shoulder-Fired Boxing-Glove Missile Launcher!
Neither of these are particularly representative of anything that exists in reality, but I think the missile launcher really deserves special mention. And what does our adorable young moppet do with this perfectly normal, family-friendly piece of military-grade boxing hardware?
Did I hear you say, "blow an elderly bellhop to kingdom come?"
Before there was "South Park" or Youtube videos of apoplectic 20-somethings cussing about Nintendo games, there was only one source for juvenile vulgarity topped with a thick layer of unmerited smugness: Beavis and Butt-Head!
...and while I've already commented on their Super Nintendo game
, it's worth mentioning that their violent behavior has been relatively muted. Throughout most of the game their offense is limited to squirt guns, pop guns, pogo sticks -- stuff that Dennis the Menace
would turn down -- plus a baseball bat.
A baseball bat, you say? Why, that sounds like an honest-to-goodness offensive weapon!
...better put a boxing glove on the end of it. Yes, that's much better.
Otherwise you might give the impression that, say...
running around a mall and beating security guards is a dangerous or anti-social activity!
My question is...this game already comes with the cartoon's disclaimer,
why further muffle the impact by, uh...putting something on the bat to muffle it's impact?
And speaking of "DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME," that brings us to...
We've done the good, we've done the bad, we're left with the ugly. And how ugly is it, you ask?
Imagine a cross between the NES's Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Total Recall
Here we see Brad Pitt's character's buttocks parachuting into a cross between Toon Town and Dark City
It's a game that unabashedly features...
and THAT advice.
Where you pick up vague objects, (though you can only carry ONE OBJECT AT A TIME)
and battle enraged faux-Fozzy-Bears for basketball-like nickles!
So why bring up the game at all?
Well, one of the objects you pick up gives you permanent boxing-glove-on-a-spring powers:
Punch! Bionic-Arm Climb! It's all in the
mind boxing-glove on a spring!
And all of these
horrid disparate pieces are baked together with game mechanics that makes the NES's Who Framed Roger Rabbit? seem like a straightforwards and streamlined adventure.
It's ironic: I've never seen the movie Cool World, but always had the impression that it was a shabby cash-in on the buzz about Roger Rabbit; the Go-Bots to Mr. Rabbit's Transformers, as it were.
Now I play the video game based on the movie, and all I can see are parallels to the OTHER movie's video game:
- You play as a human who can take a vague amount of battering, but dies after one solid hit.
- You wander around a crowded, nonsensical city picking up random objects (though at least Roger Rabbit lets you carry more than one object at a time).
- Wacky characters from the movie follow you in a van and try to catch you,
- At which time you're caught and have to pay/play a mini-game to escape
Both games aren't really worth your time, but Cool World came out four years later, and is less appealing to play. In fact, is there anything it has to show for itself?
That's it, game...you're under arrest!
...but at least your primary weapon -- a boxing glove, this time for CARTOONISH purposes rather than making your attack child-friendly! -- helped me get this Cool World rant off my chest!
— carlmarksguy, 2014-01-17