Gentlemen, I present Michael Jackson's Moonwalker ---("Entry" to Review Wars III)--

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Michael Jackson's Moonwalker

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Developer(s) - Emerald Software / Keypunch Software
Platform(s) - Amiga , Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS
Release date(s) - 1989
Music Produced by - Michael Jackson
Genre(s) - Maze game/Beat 'em up/Platformer/Shooter game
Mode(s) - Single-player
Rating(s) - ESRB: N/A

The 90's were a strange time for everyone. Society was altering, values were changing, and popular culture was hitting an all time high. This strange era saw the rise and fall of a rather peculiar, race confused man named Michael Jackson. In his prime, Mister Jackson released number 1 pop songs on a regular basis, and was credited as being the King of Pop. From his popularity was birthed a movie, and from that video game. Michael Jackson's Moonwalker found itself in quite a lucrative position, right between the idols world wide sensation Thriller and his eventual downfall in allegations and scandals.

Annie can you hear me?

The story catches up on the films side of things. Michael Jackson, playing as himself, is on a mission to save the kids of the world from the evil, corrupt clutches of antagonist Mr. Big. The game makes it clear from the start; the plot is definitely not the main attraction. There are absolutely no plot twists, character development, and there is even a predictable fairy tale ending. The story may be bare-boned and straight to the point, but the appeal is obviously laid elsewhere.

Jackson's entire arsenal revolves around his world renown dance moves. He can spin, flip, and even throw glitter at suited thugs. Every action performed has emphasis thrown into it. Jumping will cause Jackson to do a mid air pose, and he can even toss his hat at foes a la Odd Job from the James Bond series. Using the titular Moonwalk, Jackson's most signature chorographical move, he can balance a group of successful hits and finish off with a prominent crotch grab.

Honestly, Michael Jackson Fu may possibly be the most unique fighting style ever created. He also has a set of special attacks. One in particular hooks all enemies into the middle of the stage and forces them to perform as background dancers until they literally "boogie oggie till they just can't boogie no more". However, Jackson's greatest feat is that once in a blue moon a shooting star will appear, and capturing it will transform Michael into a robot. I wouldn't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure that that's one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world.

If you haven't seen this, you're missing out

The goal in each level is searching and saving these children. As dull as it may seem, the laziness of the producers hurts the final product even more. Enemies are copy pasted in various themed locations, which are often copies of other levels with different color schemes. From a dark nightclub to a dark street corner, you'll fight an endless amount of the same thick headed bad guys. And since there's a lot of back tracking to be done, this becomes an even bigger nuisance.

The appeal of Moonwalker of course lies in the games sound track. Most of it is made up of repeats of Jackson's most famous songs. Namely Thriller, Smooth Criminal, and Bille Jean. No matter what you think of the man, his music is superb, and it's no different in the video game form. The virtual version of Jackson himself is even dressed in full Smooth Criminal regalia as a service to the fans.

The most interesting thing about the game, while not wanting to sound presumptuous, is how much it possibly speaks about Jackson himself. One can't help to wonder if the game is more ambiguous than it lets on. It's widely known that Jackson had Peter-Panesque fantasies, and saving children in the game fits the role snuggly. Who is Mr. Big? Jackson's inner sexual perversions? The media's future portrayal of his character? There's lots of questions left unanswered, and had the video game medium been more widely accepted as more than a toy I believe that the game speaks a lot about Jackson's inner conscious despite its shallow pretense.

Despite the unanswered moral issues, the game reeks of the whole "so bad its good" cliche. Regardless if you're a fan of Jackson's work, the game is insanely unique. The third rate production value and laziness can be considered the fault of "the movie tie-in" syndrome, but the game still has a lot of charm. "Slightly crazy" would be an understatement. Like the man himself, the game is one of a kind, and there will never be a parallel experience within our life time.

Rest in Peace
Michael Jackson
1958 - 2009

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Boy does that bring me back...

This was my "entry" to Review Wars III, that obviously didn't actually count because I was running the thing. It scored a 92, or the equivalent of 4th place. If you don't know what Review Wars is, please feel free to Check it out as well as look at some of this competitions fabulous reviews. Congrats again to Miracle of Sound and hisICO review and Heart of Darkness and and his Rythm Heaven review.

For your viewing pleasure

Also please note that this will be the only "Gentlemen" that is without a score, seeing as it is mostly unedited from what I turned in to the competition. (Things like the Developer/release date as well as the end boxes were excluded due to it being recognizable to my style)

Personally, I thought the style of arcade game was superior to the platforming style of the consoles.

Pimppeter2:

For your viewing pleasure

The video doesn't work for me.

Your avatar is Joe Johnson? Ouch, after what the Magic did to him.
You think he'll stay?

Brotherofwill:

The video doesn't work for me.

Your avatar is Joe Johnson? Ouch, after what the Magic did to him.
You think he'll stay?

Video should work now.

Yup, my avatar is my god Joe Johnson. I sure hope he stays, my boys (the Atlanta Hawks) just wouldn't be the same. I don't think he or Woodson (coach) should leave. Considering as they're still a young team and Woodson is one hell of a coach.

However, if he does leave he will most likely go to Chicago, which is where I am. So there's always that possibility.

Good times? Bad times?

I can't recall. But they were indeed times. As I remember the game. Fondly or not, I have no clue.

Pimppeter2:

Brotherofwill:

The video doesn't work for me.

Your avatar is Joe Johnson? Ouch, after what the Magic did to him.
You think he'll stay?

Video should work now.

Yup, my avatar is my god Joe Johnson. I sure hope he stays, my boys (the Atlanta Hawks) just wouldn't be the same. I don't think he or Woodson (coach) should leave. Considering as they're still a young team and Woodson is one hell of a coach.

However, if he does leave he will most likely go to Chicago, which is where I am. So there's always that possibility.

Yeah, the Hawks have a hellovalot potential, along with the Thunder and Blazers. They'll be unstoppable in 2-3 years if nothing major changes them.

So, your favourite player could move to the team in your city so you could watch him, or he stays at your favourite team? Sounds like a Win/Win to me. Rose and Johnson...I could get used to that.

Considering the subject matter, this is quite an excellent review. Honestly, I'd considered my game difficult to write a review for, but you did one on a damned Michael Jackson themed, side-scrolling beat em' up and still managed to score high.

There are a few grammatical errors that could have been caught in the proofreading process, but other than that, good job.

I played the arcade version of this. Not a huge fan.

I saw MJ live in 1989, back when I was little.

It was amazing, the man was a genius. This was a great review and seemed to be somewhat of an affectionate tribute too, which made me smile.

Honestly though, I have no criticism to offer here. I enjoyed the review, it was easy to read and flowed well so there.

Is that game honestly as good as This Site?

Its just a shitloadof Moonwalk vidoe slinked together endlessley.

I seriously cant belive they made a game about icheal jackson, it really sounds so absurd.

Interesting

I always thought this game was famous because it was suprisingly good. I hadn't realised that included "so bad it's good"

Good review, as always, you crazy woman-selling fiend

dragon_of_red:
Is that game honestly as good as This Site?

Its just a shitloadof Moonwalk vidoe slinked together endlessley.

I seriously cant belive they made a game about icheal jackson, it really sounds so absurd.

Holy crap that was awesome.

It only got better after one of the clips was a guy in a pedobear suit named P. Do Bear.

 

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