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Pooyan (Konami)

Posted by DoctorSpuds, 10 July 2018 · 87 views

This game is bad
Pooyan (Konami)

 This game doesn't sit right with me... I'm not a real big fan of this game in the first place. The first time I played this game was on an NES 250-in-one multicart, and something about it just rubbed me the wrong way. The 2600 version, which is the only version of Pooyan that was released for the home console market outside of Japan by the way, is far inferior to the Famicom port which is far inferior to the arcade, a winning combination if I've ever seen one. Graphics?
 
Ugly... It seems that Konami had a habit for ugly graphics on the 2600, because this game is rather hideous. Everything is merely an indication of what the arcade laid out, a shadow of a shadow, by just glimpsing at it it looks like Pooyan, but if a second grader drew it with crayon. All the colors are washed out and lack the pop that even the Famicom managed to pull off. The wolves are hilarious looking, the pig you control looks like a cow, and the thing raising and lowering you? It scares me... On a deep and profound level that thing just freaks me out. Everything is just a solid color and looks strangely mangled, especially the balloon wolves, where do their mouths go? I know the 2600 requires some abstract thinking when it comes to interpreting the graphics, but no matter what you tell me those are not trees, those are cliffs, and nothing you will say  can convince me otherwise.
 
Sounds? There are very few of them in this game, you shoot, they shoot, they die, you die, opening tune... I won't criticize them too much since they aren't making my ears bleed. I think there need to be more explosions though, but hey that's just me.
 
Gameplay... OH THE GAMEPLAY!!! This is the worst part of this game by far. Unlike in the Famicon and arcade versions, which have smooth vertical movement, in the 2600 version you cannot move fluidly, you're stuck to five predetermined locations up and down the cliff face, you can not move between them, you snap to them automatically when you move the joystick up or down. I can't name a single shoot 'em up top down or sidescrolling where your movement is grid based. This renders the game nearly impossible to play, since when you miss a wolf, and you will do so quite often, you have to waste time waiting for them to reach your next designated shooting area, thankfully they also move on this grid. You might think that the grid system wouldn't be too bad if you moved quickly, well.... You move slower than a snake in a freezer, you are SLOW! This game seems hell bent on not wanting you to play it, this game hates you and it always wins. I hate to say this again but... This is the only console version of Pooyan released outside of Japan, and when I look at this travesty of a port I think I can see why.
 
Don't buy this game, in fact I would recommend against buying any games put out by Konami on the 2600, I may have recommended Strategy X for the challenge, but that's for a niche audience of sado-masochists. This game is not worth your time, it is not worth your money, and it staggers me that this game used to be worth something. I designate this game to the Collector's Zone, and I sincerely hope it never leaves.






By "only version released in the US", are you strictly thinking of video game versions? I see on Mobygames that it was released for Apple II, Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore 64 and TRS-80 CoCo, to name a few home computers definitely available in the US. Otherwise it seems to mostly have been a Japanese affair in terms of Sord M5, Famicom, MSX, Casio PV-1000 and Tomy Tutor.

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By "only version released in the US", are you strictly thinking of video game versions? 

Yes I am strictly remaining in the realm of home videogame consoles, I will not lump home computers in with the rest of this, since they are a whole different beast all together and I am not ready to even consider jumping into retro computing.

I will amend the review to state this. And I see now that I clearly need to rethink my research methods.

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As for potential additional home console versions of Pooyan:

 

The ColecoVision is very similar to the Sord M5 so it probably had been doable too, given that despite the "video game crash", Konami games like Antarctic Adventure, Roc'n'Rope, Super Cobra and Time Pilot eventually were released on the CV.

 

The Atari 5200 is so close to the Atari 8-bit that technically it probably had worked out. The 5200 didn't see as many Konami games as the ColecoVision did, though Gyruss and Super Cobra appeared on that format.

 

The Intellivision probably was the least likely of the major US consoles around 1983 to expect a home version of this game.

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As for potential additional home console versions of Pooyan:

 

The ColecoVision is very similar to the Sord M5 so it probably had been doable too, given that despite the "video game crash", Konami games like Antarctic Adventure, Roc'n'Rope, Super Cobra and Time Pilot eventually were released on the CV.

 

The Atari 5200 is so close to the Atari 8-bit that technically it probably had worked out. The 5200 didn't see as many Konami games as the ColecoVision did, though Gyruss and Super Cobra appeared on that format.

 

The Intellivision probably was the least likely of the major US consoles around 1983 to expect a home version of this game.

Perhaps there are prototypes tucked away in somebody's attic... but it's still interesting to imagine what could have been, versus what we got. Though I doubt porting the game would be too difficult if the systems are as similar as you say, I don't have the technical know how to do so and I doubt that Konami would allow a re-release, so no cartridges for us, even if somebody ported the games.

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Homebrew version for the Atari 5200: http://atariage.com/...stery-5200-game

CollectorVision version for the ColecoVision: http://cvaddict.com/....php?gameid=170

 

So while those versions didn't exist in 1983 and never have been commercially released, the game itself has in modern years been ported. :)

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So while those versions didn't exist in 1983 and never have been commercially released, the game itself has in modern years been ported. :)

You amazing human being...

Just played it... I still don't like this game, though it's nice to see that this game still has a following.

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A life without search engines is not a life worth living. :)

 

I can't recall if I came across Pooyan in my youth, or rediscovered it in the 21st century. In the past 5 years, I've spent a total of 76 minutes on it so not my first choice go-to game neither, though I kind of enjoy it in short sessions. Nearly all of that was the M5 version, which is inferior to the MSX version, which is pretty much similar or a little below the Famicom version.

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A life without search engines is not a life worth living. :)

 

I can't recall if I came across Pooyan in my youth, or rediscovered it in the 21st century. In the past 5 years, I've spent a total of 76 minutes on it so not my first choice go-to game neither, though I kind of enjoy it in short sessions. Nearly all of that was the M5 version, which is inferior to the MSX version, which is pretty much similar or a little below the Famicom version.

But can we both agree that the 2600 version is probably the worst version of the game out there... Or is it possible that there is something worse?

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Probably. The TRS-80 CoCo version doesn't look so hot, so the two could be contenders for the title.

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Probably. The TRS-80 CoCo version doesn't look so hot, so the two could be contenders for the title.

I don't know... Despite it being in CGA it still has more detail than the 2600, and judging by the positioning of the wolves in the screenshot, the movement is smooth instead of segmented, it likely plays better than the Atari.

I just looked at some gameplay footage and it miles better than the 2600 version.

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I bought this new. After the crash, probably in '84. Bargain bin at Kay•Bee toys.

 

I probably played it twice.

 

The box is nice.

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I liked it at the arcade back in the day, also played it at home on my C= 64.  The modern VIC-20 port is pretty good too.

 

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I saw that the Wikipedia entry for Pooyan (any version including the arcade) used to say it was the "worst game in the world" but that wording has since been removed, probably because it could not be sourced or objectively claimed. Perhaps it was too strange for the US gamers, more used to straightforward space shooters and when it comes to obscurity would stop at Pac-Man and possibly Q*Bert.

 

There doesn't seem to have been a sequel, only partly remakes and clones. Now I am thinking about if there is a way to link together Pooyan with Butamaru Pants, both being contemporary Japanese games (though from different companies) featuring pigs as the protagonists.

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Perhaps it was too strange for the US gamers, more used to straightforward space shooters

I think that argument is absolutely hilarious..."Oh no they wont like it because it's too weird"  I feel the same thing goes for Europe, Have you ever read any of Grimm's Fairy Tales? There is actually a tale in there called Donkey Cabbages.. read the Wikipedia synopsis please, and tell me if we aren't sufficiently weird for Japan.

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Pooyan is one of those games that doesn't cross my mind very often. It's interesting in that it was one of the few licensed arcade titles that appeared on the TRS-80 Color, but I think it's just okay as a game. The Atari VCS version is a good effort IMO. :)

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Well, true about the Donkey Cabbages. I wonder if anyone has attempted to base a video game on it. Perhaps as a ColecoVision game, having some licenses to both Donkey Kong and Cabbage Patch Kids?

 

Technically, we don't have to look further than Alice in Wonderland for a fairly trippy story, though that is a story already well known in the Western world and thus would be received differently as a video game than something based on Grimm's fairy tales or Japanese fantasies and comics. As far as I can see, while there were a couple of computer games based on Alice in Wonderland, nothing for consoles until Fushigi no Yume no Alice for the TG-16 in 1990, followed by Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland for the Game Boy Color in 2000, which is very late and by when even the US customers would have gotten used to weird games. I don't think that Alice in Cyberland for the PlayStation in 1996 really counts here.

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