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The Incredible Crash Dummies – Sega Genesis

The Incredible Crash Dummies – Sega Genesis

incredible-crash-dummies-the-usa-europePlatform: Sega Genesis

Developer: Gray Matter

Publisher: LJNFlying Edge

Release Date (NA): October, 1993

Genre: Action

Nerd Rating: 4.5 out of 10

Ahhh, The Incredible Crash Dummies. These were my absolute favorite toys as a kid, and to this day remain in my mind as the most superb line of action figures ever produced.

Crash_Dummies_Group-550x

Like many licensed properties, The Dummies had a series of video games adapted to chronicle their forgotten adventures. And of course, like many games based on previously established properties, this one was handled by LJN. Now before I go on any further and slowly nudge this game review into the uncharted territory of a toy review, let’s jump in headfirst.

images

Yes, another LJN game

The Incredible Crash Dummies opens with a standard introduction to the characters and plot. These cut scenes are cheesy but fun, presented through a neat comic book motif. While the opening outlines the simple plot, the rest of the cut scenes are non sequitur gags aimed at educating kids on safety. The ending, however, brings us back to the forgettable story arc. Of course, you have the excessive dummy puns, which became a staple for The Incredible Crash Dummies. Excessive to the point of being humorous, I will admit.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.13.38 AM

You’re telling me, Slick

To be honest, though this is a childhood classic of mine and a game I enjoy to this day, it’s a fairly standard platformer. You’ve got your basic projectile weapon, which in this case is a wrench. Seems oddly apropos, no? This method of attack is limited, of course, and by default you are perfectly capable of going the way of Mario by stomping on your enemies. Not quite as relevant, but what can you do?

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 8.41.20 PM

Your weapon’s trajectory is different depending on the stage. Here you throw two wrenches directly ahead of you

Another move you sport is a little rolling maneuver. It’s good.

Of course, you have the obligatory crash testing sequence in the form of a bonus stage after each main boss. It’s straightforward, but does break up the monotony a bit.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 6.42.57 PM

I don’t know where they get these jumping cars, but this would definitely come in handy during rush hour traffic. A speed limit of 155 would also help

Boss battles are simple: you shoot as many wrenches as you can and then jump atop the junk vessel until it explodes. While this does seem elementary, some finesse is involved in avoiding projectiles while you’re bouncing off the enemy junker. It may be simple, but it’s not easy. I’ve definitely seen worse and I’m sure you have as well. The third time around you face an airplane instead of a ground vehicle – a decent change of pace. The final battle against Junkman is back to formula and is no harder than the first boss. It’s a let down. A huge let down.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.12.35 AM

Just fire your wrenches away and jump until the enemy vehicle is no more. There is no difficulty curve here. All the boss battles are more or less the same

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.01.55 PM

Slick loses a leg after hitting a patch of spikes

Every time you’re hit you lose a limb. Get hit five times and “You’re rash!” or “You’re crash!” or “You’re ass!” I really can’t tell what the horribly synthesized voice is saying when you die, but the bottom line is…well, you die.

Losing limbs is a little too easy. Jumping on an enemy will usually result in damage unless it is done in just the right spot. This game is generous with screwdrivers, however, so you’re not up against any unreasonable hardships.

No, I’m not talking about the drink.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 6.32.20 PMScrewdrivers are how you regain a lost appendage. This brings me to another point, which is a serious mark against this port.

The Incredible Crash Dummies for SNES/Genesis is very short and pretty easy. I mean, sure, it took me until just now to beat it for the first time ever, but I’m not a very skilled gamer. This playthrough made me realize the relative ease of completing The Incredible Crash Dummies, and the fact that it’s so short is kind of a problem. But you know, it’s one of those titles you’ll want to take for a quick whirl every now and then when you’ve got about a half hour or so to kill. And for what it is, it’s a fun little game to play. Now let’s move on to some of the finer points of this overall presentation.

The graphics for The Incredible Crash Dummies are of a fairly high caliber. Those comic interjections as mentioned above are solid, and the characters are all finely detailed. The animation is smooth as butter, which is always a plus. The only minus I’d give here is in the backgrounds. Some of them are fairly crumby-looking and do not measure up to the dummies themselves.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.59.44 AM

Gah! Platforming can be a real pain in the asphalt

So, the controls.

Well, this is a little tricky, because at first you think it handles well. But as you play, something doesn’t feel quite right. And I think I figured out the problem. The controls themselves feel pretty tight, but the dummy you control is slippery. Makes sense, right? Your dummy has a tendency to slide off of narrow platforms, making precision platforming somewhat frustrating. And to top it off, after you jump you drop like a lead weight.

This is a tough call. I don’t know if I can really say the controls are bad because it doesn’t handle terribly, and the physics are pretty solid. There’s a slight build up when you run, and when you roll, the speed will vary depending on how fast you were going before you pressed down on the D-pad. Not to mention the way you move changes whenever you lose a limb. Well, okay, it doesn’t make a huge difference, but it’s fun to watch!

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 6.26.56 PM

Slick huffing it on one leg. Or maybe doing some power aerobics, I’m not really sure

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 6.34.10 PM

Ummmm…huh?

I feel like I ought to mention some of the odd enemies in The Incredible Crash Dummies, such as a popcorn machine, tanks with dummy heads sticking out, and oil slicks with floating hands. Also, the first boss commands some eggbeater machine that hurls breakfast foods at you.

What?

Sound effects can be annoying if you pay attention to them, but I don’t find this to detract from the experience. In fact, some of them, if I may say, are kinda cute.

In an annoying way, of course.

The music is…okay, but not great. It’s kind of a let down, really. And I usually love LJN music. I guess my enthusiasm extends mostly to the NES LJN library. Speaking of which, The Incredible Crash Dummies for NES sports some great music! But we’ll save that one for another day.

So, yeah, The Incredible Crash Dummies. Love the toys. Really like the games. This one…it’s kind of a so-so game if I’m being completely honest and objective. It’s too easy, not really innovative – has some decent qualities to it, but nothing to garner any special praise.

Bottom line is if you’re a fan of the toys, you should get a kick out of this. If you enjoy games where characters take damage or die in cool ways, then you may also find it fun. If neither aspect matches your interests, then this game probably won’t do much for you. But whatever you do, just remember…

Don’t you be a dummy! Buckle your safety belt!

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.11.53 AM

Written by ZB

ZB

Since the tender age of four, I have been playing video games to occupy my free time. Raised on Nintendo and Sega Genesis, I have an extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for the classics. Also an avid collector, I have accrued such consoles as the Atari Jaguar, Super Famicom, Odyssey 2, Sega Nomad, just to name a few.

Got any questions, comments, concerns, or threats? Feel free to email me at zb@nerdbacon.com. I am happy to hear your feedback!

 
 

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6 Comments

  1. Any time I go to a party, if a buck is going to be there, I know it’s going to be a good time.

     
  2. Sarus Vakarian
    Sarus Vakarian says:

    I vote you play this game next time you stream… BECAUSE PUNS.

     
    • Uhhh, that TOTALLY can happen you know. Only problem is the stream would last about 30 minutes, hahaha! We’ll see, it’s possible. If it does happen, you’re responsible for this one. And I fully expect you to be there and bring it with the puns.

       

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