Puss N' Boots
At a Glance: A Puss 'N Boots video game? That's fantastic! What the hell is Puss 'N Boots? I don't know. But TOIE ANIMATION does and they made this bizarre game featuring a crossdressing cat traveling the globe to save the world from... something. The adventures features many exotic locations and modes of transportation. Needless to say, it has a little something for everyone! Except sane people.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 64k
Game Plot: Since the game doesn't tell anything about the plot, I tried to figure it out myself. Needless to say, this was impossible. Pero, apparently a Puss in some Boots, travels to several different parts of the world to do... um... stuff. There never is any task that is accomplished, and generally the hero runs through each level and then moves on to the next. It doesn't even seem like there is any flow between the different stages, Pero just moves place to place for no reason. I think that Pero is the only one who actually knows what's going on and he doesn't seem to want to give us any hints.
Weapons: Pero's ridiculous trek will face many obstacles. Luckily he has many weapons and gadgets to aid in his quest. Most of the time he runs around on foot and you can choose between three weapons: a gun that shoots little balls, a gun that shoots different little balls, and a handy item I have named the SONIC BOOMERANG. As if that wasn't enough, the crossdressing cat also is a master pilot of many vehicles. The long list includes a jumping car, a steamboat that shoots "rockets" shaped like little balls, a submarine that shoots little balls, an airplane that shoots little balls, and a little-ball-shooting hot air balloon that will cause you to die if you don't keep pressing up while flying it (apparently the invisible ground has a lot of sharp spikes on it or something). Pero's vast arsenal of tricky gadgets and little balls will be sure to carry him to victory!
Enemies: Generally, the enemies Pero will face stick to their own region of the globe. For example, in the first level, you will find deadly wheels, floating red heads, and little men that shoot at you from windows. Other levels have bats that might actually be birds, stupid Englishmen, or robotic fish. Some enemies, however, appear in multiple levels. One that I kept encountering was the Lightning Bolt. The Lightning Bolt randomly falls from the sky. It seems dangerous that Pero would choose to fly a hot air balloon during a thunderstorm, but there is nothing to fear because he can shoot the Lightning Bolts with his little balls and kill them! There also seems to be a pair of evil villains that makes repeat appearances in multiple stages, but I don't know much about them because I always shoot them before they can try to perhaps stop and talk things out with my character. This causes them to disappear but they keep coming right back at me. So I keep shooting them. HA!
Number of Levels: Each level of the game is a different region of the world. The game starts off in "The West" and eventually gives you a tour of great places like "Ocean", "Arabia", "Liberty", "London", "Spacewars", and finally, "New York". They all have their own enemies and usually you'll find a new vehicle to operate in each one. Typically, the levels are very short. In fact, I think it probably took me about 5 minutes to reach the final stage. This is probably for the better, because I didn't find "Liberty" to be the most exciting place I've ever visited. "Ocean" was much better. I think it was somewhere in the pacific. This level was probably the best because it featured not one vehicle, but both a steamboat (in the ocean, mind you!) and a submarine that I had to use to blast through mounds of dirt with my ridiculously slow-firing little balls. Wow! The ocean is so cool!
Number of Bosses: Surprisingly, there are very few bosses in the game. I went through the entire first level without finding one. I just ran off the right side of the screen and ended up in the ocean. Here, however, I was delighted to find a giant robotic frog hiding in a cave. This frog gave me quite a battle. I had to allow him to open his mouth to spew forth mini-frogs, then throw bombs into his throat. After this dramatic fight, I didn't find any bosses for quite a while. However, I eventually ran into a giant blue monster. At first I thought he was the final boss. He had the ability to both vomit leaves and swing a big pole at me. After I demolished his head with my Sonic Boomerang, I was shocked to find this was not actually the final boss. There was still another level! As I continued, I pondered something that has been bothering me: how come so many old Nintendo games feature bosses that barf things out at your character? That isn't very creative, is it? It's like, "Gee, we can use a lot less animation cells if the Mutant Hippo Boss just opens his mouth and killer bees fly out."
Defining Moment: This is a tough one. I was at the final level and found a room containing tiny platforms that would fall if I stood on them too long. It seemed almost impossible to perfect my jumps so I wouldn't fall down the holes in between every single platform. I often would plummet to my death at the very first jump. However, my constant freefalls led me to discover that I could continue the game from the exact location as many times as I wanted. Basically, losing a life and going back to the main screen and selecting "continue" have no differences. Finally I successfully crossed the pit and proceeded to a maze of doors. After running around like a moron for a few minutes, I finally ran into a room with a robotic snake in it. I almost killed it with bombs, but it barely managed to defeat me. I was brought back to the menu screen and accidentally selected "Start" instead of "continue". Oops! Well... I didn't feel like playing anymore. Too bad.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).