The Game Gear Directory: (Qu-Rid)

The chronicles of Riddick

Quest for the Shaven Yak Starring Ren Hoëk & Stimpy (1994)

If you're as familiar with the sheer craptitude of Ren & Stimpy games as I am, you may understand why I came to this title with plenty of trepidation. I'd played it before and written it off, but something's changed in the meantime. Maybe my standards have plummeted, because I honestly think this is pretty good. It might be the best Ren & Stimpy game (vying with the Mega Drive effort), but I freely admit that isn't really saying much overall. This is a thoroughly competent tie-in platformer that mostly excels in its fidelity to the (still brilliant) TV show; some of the animations are joyously grotesque, and there's clear love poured into this; it wasn't necessary for each character to have multiple sprites for "taking damage", but they did it anyway and I respect that. It's a pretty meat-and-potatoes affair with its by-the-numbers level design somewhat improved by a dose of both brevity and hidden secrets - shooting in certain spots will reveal collectables or platforms to new areas. A straightforward, breezy jump and run that excels due to polish and clear understanding of the source material. ****

R.B.I Baseball '94 (1994)

Another blinkin' baseball game! What's the matter with you people?! All you really need to know is this isn't as good as The Majors: Pro Baseball, being overall less enjoyable and frankly too difficult. It's far from bad, however, with some genuinely impressive visuals (check out that pitcher!) and pleasant music. Systems-wise it's fine, it just isn't The Majors so I can't really grade it without comparing it to that much better Game Gear baseball experience. I found it frustrating how often the opposing players would catch my hits, to the point that it felt robotic and unfair. Interestingly the game also includes a "Watch" mode, allowing you to simply enjoy a game of digital baseball any time you please without having to actually participate in any way. I respect that. ***

R.C. Grand Prix (1992)

Arrrgh. This could have been good, but its bizarrely claustrophobic tracks put paid to the fun almost immediately. I like the touch of everyone standing by the track, which adds a fun degree of verisimillitude to the whole experience, but actually playing this game you'll soon see it's a mutt of a cartridge. It's ugly to look at, with garish colours and unappealingly bland scenery. The engine noise is constant and the handling is very poor indeed. There's no sense of impact when you collide with the other R.C cars, too. Yes, I know, they're toys, but so were Micro Machines and they managed this genre with aplomb. There is literally no reason to buy this. * 

Riddick Bowe Boxing (1994)

Oh my god, this is an atrocity. The initial presentation is pretty good but then you get to the actual boxing and it can only be described as... well, total shit. It's incomprehensible, hideously ugly and frankly insulting that they bothered to ship it. Even worse, they get your hopes up and then dash them horribly with an interesting sort of "create a character"  ode preceding the utterly dreadful pugilsm. This is quite the display of total crap, and does not deseve your effort or attention. *

(Next: Ris-Ro)