Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Searsly Spuhghetti

By Eddie Spuhghetti

"Are you sure you know which one you want?" was the final question asked by my mother when it came to my choosing a game to rent at the local video store.  We'd stand there, looking at all the colourful boxes with "Super Nintendo" labeled on them, trying to figure out which was the "right" one.  Some had clear boxes behind them, others didn't: usually the good ones didn't.  Although once in a while you could come across a hidden gem or just plain old good timing but for the most part, it was either take a chance with confidence or suffer the wrath of Mom's all-knowing sense of your indecisiveness.  When that's the case, I'd just go ask my neighbour to borrow a game that I'd often grab off him called Lethal Weapon.

Like many Action films at the time, Lethal Weapon 3 had a video-game tie-in and although most promotional work did include the numerical significance, none of the final products kept it.  The NES and GameBoy saw identical versions of a side-scrolling beat-em up, while the Amiga, Atari ST, C64 and DOS-based home-computers got a more traditional platformer.  One console port was made for the SNES (an unreleased Sega Master System port was in-development but never completed) and has since become a diamond-in-the-rough simply in terms of the music: it's unbelievably good for such a medicore game.  Composed by Dean Evans and Barry Leitch, the game's score was for the most part ported from the home computer version with a few unique tracks replacing others.  The title theme heard in the video below remains the same in each port but with noticeable differences due to system hardware.

Although no actual compositions from the films were used in the game (you don't hear the familiar Riggs jingle), it's impressive just how well Leitch and Evans nailed the tone of the series.  It's heroic, it's thrilling, and it works at getting you into the mood of being either cop racing against the clock to prevent an explosion, narcotics smuggling, Joe Pesci being killed or another explosion.  What I'm getting at is that the game can be repetitive in terms of gameplay; there's no awesome driving levels here, just jump and shoot your way to the end.  Besides level design, it's the music that does the best job of keeping things fresh to an extent as it differs per mission.  Or if it really gets too repetitive for you, just set your tv to mute and toss on Protector 101's L.A. Cop Duo EP!

Searsly Spuhghetti - Lethal Weapon (SNES & Amiga) from EddieSpuhghetti on Vimeo.

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