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The Adventures of Willy Beamish – Sega CD

The Adventures of Willy Beamish – Sega CD

Willy and his frog Horny on the cover of the game. Yes, his frog's name is, actually Horny.

Willy and his frog Horny on the cover of the game. Yes, his frog’s name is, actually Horny.

Platform: Sega CD

Developer: Dynamix

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Release Date: 1993

Genre: Adventure, Point and Click

Nerd Rating:  7.5/10

Reviewed By: AbyssalOblivion

 

To start off my hopefully long tenure on Nerd Bacon, I decided to review something strange in my library. For the infamous Sega CD, we have a point and click adventure title known only as The Adventures of Willy Beamish. An interesting title, it was developed by Dynamix and published by our good old friends at Sierra in 1991 for MS-DOS. It was later ported over to the infamous Sega CD add-on for the Genesis, which I happen to own. For those of you who don’t know, the Sega CD was a disaster, both financially and critically for its lack of games with any credibility and ultimate confusion  by consumers at its very existence. Both the CD and 32x add-ons were forgotten, and basically worked and looked like life support for the outdated Genesis console. I mentioned games without credibility, but this game among others, I happen to actually quite like.

You play as a young boy named, well, Willy Beamish. And essentially, the main point of the game is that Willy really wants to go to the creatively named “Nintari National Championships.” (In case you couldn’t catch on to the wordplay, it’s a video game competition.) Only problem is that it would cost him about 2,500 dollars to gain entrance, so he decides to enter a…frog jumping contest with a grand prize of 25,000 dollars so he can get into the famed Nintari championships. A frog jumping contest? Well, better go get an expensive frog costume and win me some 25 grand!

Willy is not fond of detention.

Willy is not fond of detention.

As you can see, the plot is a bit…odd. But that’s one thing that gives the game its charm. Everything you could expect from a Sierra game is right here though, from Kings Questesque death animations, to specific patterns you must follow to get anywhere, The Adventures of Willy Beamish may take you some time to complete, but it will be worth it. The charm of all point and click adventure games can be found here, and I believe this title does a good job of sucking you into the atmosphere with its humor and memorable characters. While it’s true that Willy is a bit of a 90’s “brat” archetype, he remains quite memorable to me for one reason or another, and I actually happen to quite like him. From making sarcastic remarks at his parents and every day life situatons, he sincerely reminds me a bit of Bart Simpson, a feature that is common in young characters, but I happen to quite like in this game. One thing that’s humorous other than Willy himself is some of the many ways you can fail at the game. Seriously, I encourage every single one of you to go look up some of the death animations for yourselves and try not to laugh at the over the top, demented nature of them. As I said earlier, they really remind me of some of the ones from Kings Quest, but I would have to say that these are definitely more over the top and hilarious, which is really fitting when you think about the overall story as it develops. I don’t really want to spoil TOO much more, so, instead, I shall move on to other parts of the game.

If you're not careful, you can die and be processed into Splenda. Not joking.

If you’re not careful, you can die and be processed into Splenda. Not joking.

The music isn’t anything special, basically what you would really expect from the game at first glance. As for the environment, I actually quite like it. It reminds me of the city of Chicago and has a decently memorable number of locations and characters to be found in it. No complaints here really.

The gameplay is the expected point and click style, where you must try everything with everything. This is where a few of the “flaws” are with this game, in that sometimes, items you use in certain situations make absolutely no sense to use, creating a sort of “fake difficulty” in the trial and error you will have to go through to simply pass some obstacles, many of which are time based. Often times, the difficultly also seems to be a problem. The game (if you have the box) clearly looks like a kid’s game, and even has the art style of a kid’s game  (bright and cartoony).  And even with some of the humor and sexual innuendos found in the game, it even deceptively feels like a kid’s game at first. That’s where things stop though. The game requires a lot out of you, and while I don’t believe the game is as difficult as, say, Darkseed, I do think it will take anyone with no experience in the genre, or someone younger, quite a long time to complete, and honestly, sometimes it can be frustrating and really feel unrewarding. The game is a huge guessing game. One wrong move, and the game will punish you for it, making it excruciatingly frustrating to really play for long, extended periods. I felt bored with how much trial and error there was, and yet I don’t mind it when found in similar titles, and this is because of this game’s fake difficulty. Games such as Kings Quest are rewardingly difficult, and while this game feels rewarding some of the time, it really just feels falsely difficult and frustrating rather than rewardingly difficult.

Strange things happen when Willy and his friends read his sister's diary.

Strange things happen when Willy and his friends read his sister’s diary.

Despite the fact that it can feel like it has this fake difficulty I keep mentioning, due to ridiculous trial and error, it remains pretty easy for anyone who has played the genre before. I don’t really have a very safe estimate for how much time it took me to beat, but it definitely didn’t take me long, and I didn’t really feel like anything other than frustration and parts of the plot really brought it down. It remained a pretty fun and enjoyable ride throughout, even having pretty solid controls on the Sega CD. I had fun with it, and I can recommend it to anyone who has played the genre or Sierra games before. However, I can’t really say it would really appeal to anyone whom the game is seemingly marketed towards. If you can find it out there and own the Sega CD, or even MS-DOS, I would say give it a chance. Its dark and enjoyable humor could very well win you over.

I give it a solid recommendation and score the game a 7.5 out of 10. The main issue is the frustrating nature of the game, as well as the plot at times, and the fact that sometimes it doesn’t feel special compared to other point and click titles.

Written by JMSutherland

J.M. is a traditionalistic writer with a love of video games and storytelling. Born and bred in the heart of Southern Arizona, J.M. grew up on stories around campfires and old cowboy tales. He was also brought up on PlayStation and Nintendo and has high regard for video games as not only gameplay driven experiences, but as the most effective storytelling medium to boot. A study in all things gaming, J.M. considers himself a “video game historian,” knowing everything there is to know about the industry and the history of said industry as well.

When he’s not writing reviews and gaming, J.M. enjoys comics, classic movies, pro wrestling, and generally being a cynical, critical mind. He is also a published poet and lover of fiction writing, so you may find him crafting novels, short stories, and poetry as well.

If any readers have any questions for J.M. please direct them at:

Sutherlandjm516@gmail.com

 
 

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One Comment

  1. haha the black guy has the racing stripes in his hair! What a classic style! So old school.

    Great game to review!

     

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