Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7.5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Ok, I could've sat down for an hour before playing this game and tried to guess what genre is falls into and I still wouldn't have gotten it right. Whoever had the idea to turn the kids flick "Hook" into a standard beat-em-up is...well...genius. While by no means offering anything new to a then stale format, it's still an outstanding offering from Irem and one overlooked by seemingly everybody.

Though I've never seen the feature film, I can say that I still don't know anything about it. There is very little story to be had anywhere in the game. No poorly digitized screenshots with standard text, no video clips, and no Robin Williams. Surprising considering nearly ever movie based game of the era included tons of that junk so this is certainly a pleasent surprise.

For a game that would undoubtedly attract kids, this is a very violent game...and I like it. Not only can you beat guys when their down on the ground, but your able to grab a spear and stick right into another guys face. No, no blood, but it's still a sight that might cause a young un' to run to momma.

The style of the game is the same as other Irem offerings, notably Undercover Cops and In the Hunt. There's tons of color, insane amounts of color, and overdone shading. The characters are, sadly, quite small, but there's a whole lot going on at any one given time. The bosses remain the largest characters in the game and Hook himself can look downright menacing. I can't comment whether or not the movie's soundtrack is used (though the ending theme sounds vaguely familiar) but what's here is enough to get you psyched up for the upcoming battle. Shame there's not more of it though...

For an arcade game, the entire experience is rather short and easy. The only difficult segment is the final battle which can get frustrating really quick. Each of the 4 selectable boys is a decent enough character to deal out damage sufficently so 4-player melee's are a welcome sight. There are really no major problems in this one, it's just that any generic character could've been plopped in to the lead role and the game would lose nothing. I never could figure out why a company would spend the money on a liscense and not use it, but in this case it's probably for the better.

Note that the SNES, Genesis, and Sega CD renditions are NOT ports of this game. They are standard platformers (though excellent in their own right) with some great tunes. If you consider yourself a beat-em-up fan, this is one to track down/download at your next earliest convienence. Don't let the name fool you!


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:25 PM