Neo Mr. Do!


Review by Tony Bueno



Graphics: ?

Sound: ?

Gameplay: ?

Overall: 7

I didn't know what to expect after searching fruitlessly for over two years in my seemingly endless quest to play and report on every game in this series. I had read magazine captions where it was mentioned and received information from Eric Boghos and John Mooney about the game, but never saw it in the arcade, and had almost no information as to game play mechanics. A few months ago, I finally spotted the game in a San Antonio arcade, completing a pursuit of knowledge that began over 5 years ago. Unfortunately, when you wait this long for a game, if it doesn't blow you away, you're bound to be a little disappointed. That's not to say it's a bad game, just not all I expected it to be.

The intro begins with a colorful, cheery animation with Mr. Do! in a graphically impressive roller coaster with monsters riding behind. After several long, sometimes difficult to read instruction screens, gameplay begins.

The rules are basically the same as the original, but with myriad additional elements. For instance, broken apples may reveal special items including "bowling ball" powerballs, missiles, stop watches, and shoes for speed. Most curious of all is the inclusion of the "female" circle with cross at the bottom symbol, which allows Mr. Do! to change into a larger, more powerful female clown, who may get hit twice before dying!

To complete a level, one must either collect all the cherries (or hearts, carrots, etc., depending on the level), kill all the badguys (or smiley faces, porcupines, trees, cards, or penguins), or kill all letters of EXTRA after touching the empty enemies' nest. It should also be mentioned that there is never a center treat, but instead just the word EXTRA appears it its place. Unlike the original, destroying all of the alphamonsters does NOT give the player an extra life. Rather, this results in completion of the level and allows you a chance at a bonus level where apples must be dropped onto other apples to create a path to the exit awaiting at the bottom of the screen. If this is reached, bonus points are awarded and there is no penalty for running out of time in a bonus level.

To gain an extra life, 100 coins must be collected by striking stationary objects (i.e. snowmen, bowling pins, presents) repeatedly with your powerball or current weapon.

Graphically, Neo Mr. Do! is above average in the intermissions but non-extraordinary during actual play. Regretfully, music and sound effects are repetitive and irritating after only a short while. What sort of makes up for these audiovisual shortcomings, however, would have to be the bizarre, insane scenarios, enemies, backgrounds, and the funny, original intermissions.

As it stands, Neo Mr. Do! is a good game that could have been much better. Why not contain play mechanics from all four games in alternating levels? I was expecting that when I saw the roller coaster at the beginning. It would have been tryly incredible to see what updated gameplay elements could have been added to the other games, although from SNK's standpoint, I can see it might have gotten a little complicated. Still, this would have made the game exponentially more fun. Another big minus is the fact that there are only about 30 levels total, defeating the purpose of never-ending classic arcade coin-ops where there was no highest level or score possible.

Neo Mr. Do! is worth playing at your local arcade, if you can find it. But despite all the glitter, eccentricities, idiosyncracies, and what have you, the original is still the better game.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:29 PM