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Biker Mice from Mars – SNES

Biker Mice from Mars – SNES

biker micePlatform: Super Nintendo Entertainment SystemSnes9x Emulator

Developer: Konami

Publisher (NA): Konami

Release Date (NA): December 1994

Genre: Combat Racing

Nerd Rating: 3 out of 10

Reviewed by Dovahkyle

You act like a diva mouse when your hungry

You act like a diva mouse when your hungry

I couldn’t resist playing this simply for the name. Not that it takes much convincing for a Road Rash fan to play a motorcycle combat/racing game. I vaguely remember the animated series that it’s based on, but not enough to be impressed or disappointed by the game. Rick Ungar, who is formerly the president of Marvel Productions, co-executive producer of the original X-Men animated series on Fox, and the creator of the NBC show Access Hollywood was the genius behind the successful animated series, Biker Mice from Mars. The original series starred voice actors such as Rob Paulson (TMNT ’87 and 2012) and Brad Garrett (best known as Robert Barone on the hit TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond). Totally unrelated, the European release of the game supposedly contained a large amount of advertising for Snickers Candy.

Gameplay

Let’s Rock! and Ride!

The start screen gives three racing mode options: Main Race, Battle Race, and Practice. Next is the character selection screen where the player can choose from 6 different racers. Three of the racers are our heroes Throttle, Vinnie, and Modo. While most of them ride two or three wheeled motorcycles, a couple of them ride strange mechanical contraptions. Karbunkle rides what looks like a large robot bug and Limburger‘s ride looks like a hover car. While I don’t understand how racing Plutarkians (the aliens that targeted earth after chasing our heroes here) can save the planet from the same fate as Mars, that doesn’t stop it from being the goal of the game.

That red target means he's about to get screwed

That red target means he’s about to get screwed

Aside from the ridiculousness that is Biker Mice from Mars, the game is difficult and frustrating. It took me a while to even realize that there are weapons on each of the bikes that can be utilized to slow down the opponents. The isometric view, like Rock n’ Roll Racing, really makes it tricky to avoid road hazards like potholes and barricades, and if you’re like me, breaking your controller in half seems like a good alternative to actually racing. On the rare occasion that I won a race, I was awarded a cash prize, and then was given a choice between three items: bonus cash, invincibility, NOS, or some kind of earthquake thingy that I never chose. The cash can be used to upgrade the bikes between rounds, although I can’t say I noticed much of a difference. Losing and starting over became an expected part of the game after only a short while, and punching my laptop screen crossed my mind more than once.

Controls

“I’m the slickest guy on three wheels. I’m gonna grease you!” -Greasepit

If childhood memory serves me right, it was easier to steer a round saucer down an icy hill when I was eleven years old than it is for me to control a biker on this game. My game-pad is pristine, in the sense that it works perfectly every time, and my Snes9x emulator is flawless, so the blame can only go one way. It’s not that the biker doesn’t respond to the controls, it’s just that the biker responds too late. The average person has a reaction time of approximately 215 milliseconds (about 1/4 of a second), and the control response on Biker Mice from Mars is about the twice that, so adding that together means the intentional biker movement is always going to be about almost a second late. As small and fast as these little race tracks are, that near second will mean disaster for the player, many, many times.

Graphics/Sound

“I’m the leader of the biker mice, and my specialty is the Tornado Shot” -Throttle

Beach-utiful

Beach-utiful

The environments are bright and crisp, leaving nothing to the imagination, except maybe, “where the heck am I?” The race track locations range from city streets to tropical beaches. The scenery is enjoyable, and the player may have more fun simply not racing and just cruisin’ around sight seeing. In fact, the player may have more fun having bloody diarrhea, but who am I to say? The music is a load of rockin’, totes ma goats, cray cray, predictable MIDI tunes, replicating the theme music for animated series no doubt. If failing doesn’t annoy you, the music may.

Replayability/Overall

Even winners need something to satisfy their hunger

My generation had a thing for huge, hardcore, talking animals. I am not ashamed of this, in fact I’m quite proud. I’m not sure what happened to this craze, but I would love to see it return with the impressive computer animation we have these days. Biker Mice from Mars was one of those great ideas that just didn’t translate very well into a video game. It’s not that it couldn’t have been great, it’s just that it wasn’t. Putting some real effort into developing a good combat/racing game featuring giant mice from mars could’ve been pretty cool. Fortunately, this skid-mark of a game, and others like it, are one of the reasons I love retro (NerdBerry hates that term) gaming. The euphoria of weeding through the pile of diseased ridden filth, sorry excuse of games to find that ultimate gem that has been completely overlooked. I love it.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: April's Foolish Games - Nerd Bacon Reviews

  2. I still have one of the Street Sharks action figures. They’re probably the only cool ‘tude characters besides TMNT. I would spend my life savings to fund a godly beat ’em up based on Street Sharks.

     
  3. nerdberry
    nerdberry says:

    Dude i loved Street Sharks!

    And i dont remember hating the term retro. I think i hate how people hate retro bc its too “old” haha i love retro everything and my friends dog me for it all the time!

     

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