Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7


There's no need to save the girl this time. The president is safe. Your family is ok. Hence why Growl is so cool....

Poachers, calling themselves RAPO (Rendow Animal Protection Organization) isn't quite what they make themselves out to be. No, they're making endangered species un-endangered species and non-endangered species endangered. As one of four members of PAWS (Protectors of Animals' World Society), you're taking them out in the most violent ways possible.

Early on, you'll encounter an enemy whipping a lion. You have the freedom to take him out in any way possible. You COULD grab one of the crates and smash it over his head. You COULD use your bare hands. Better yet, how about a grenade, blowing the guy up into about 20 pieces? Thought so. This is a brutal, unflinching beat-em-up, and while toned down from the arcade, it's still a rough one.

Enemies vary from turban wearing whipping boys, fat spiked bikers, to over-dressed females (who must be part of the higher portion of their corporation) who always seem to have grenades hidden in their bras. None of them seem to care that they blow up their own partners when using weapons (which include rocket launchers, boulders, crates, machine guns, handguns, whips, knives, and swords). Everything looks decent, albeit a bit on the small side. Some flicker and minor slowdown makes itself present but considering how many characters appear on screen at once, you have to let these flaws slide.

Not only do these guys have weapons, but numbers too. Since this is, sadly, only a one-player game, your opponents have one simple tactic: crowding. Granted, this does allow for mass executions when a grenade is available, you'll be overwhelmed otherwise. Using your special attack is the only way out, but you'll generally take a beating before that happens.

There are those times though when animals attack. Once rescued, certain critters will attack their captors, smashing them into pieces. You've NEVER seen anything like the enemies being smashed by a stampeding baby elephant, herding deer, or flocking birds. There are some classic moments here, especially with the quality soundtrack blaring in the background.

Though the lack of a two-player mode is surely disappointing, there's enough side-scrolling beat-em-up action to make this one worthwhile. Rescuing animals is certainly a change of pace, especially when they get involved in the action. It is repetitive, but this is just a side-effect of the genre. The few minor gripes aside, this one is a worthy game in anyone's Genesis collection.

Also check out the review of the original arcade version of Growl HERE.


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Last updated: Saturday, September 24, 2005 12:11 AM