Son Son


Review by Tony Bueno



Graphics: 4

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 2

Vapid is the adjective which immediately springs to mind when I think of Capcom's retro arcade title Sonson. This is unfortunate, but considering that this company would later produce some of the most engaging arcade and home software of all time, one can only shake one's head and recall the old adage, "they can't all be winners."

From the opening intro, we are introduced to Sonson and her (yes, she's female, as I'll explain later) partner as a giant knightly villain resembling Disney's Pete swoops down on a cloud platform to kidnap some other anthropomorphic animal companions of theirs. Sonson the monkey and her pig (?) companion embark on their journey to presumably rescue their... um... I dunno...pals, I guess.

Six horizontal platforms of edible treats like strawberries, beets, flowers, carrots, etc. make up the guts of this side-scrolling platform shooter. There are numbers at the top of the screen which begin at 19 and get progressively lower as the platforms change in appearance. Your adversaries are stone golems, fish, birds, and the giant brutes introduced during the prologue. For defense, your semi-auto rifle can dispense most bad guys with one shot, but the mini bosses take more. Along the way, the platforms vary in appearance, and the enemies get faster, uglier and tougher. This was not, however, enough motivation for this author to continue playing to see if there is an "end" or whether the game "flips" and goes back to level 1 (or 19, in this case). The enemies mostly follow predictable patterns and Sonson makes you mad when you die from your own ineptitude by walking into the myriad adversaries.

Graphics are weak and simplistic. Most of the food is recognizable, but then fruits and flowers are typically not the most difficult items to represent graphically. Sonson and company look like something out of a very early 80's video game. Released in 1984, the game is substandard in both audiovisuals and play mechanics.

Fans of trivia will also want to note the inclusion of Sonson in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Here is where her gender is revealed and she has been given a long staff to pummel opponents. Interesting to play for visuals and a few laughs, but not really a serious contender. I suppose that goes for the entire game as well. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3 both proved that sometimes less is indeed more. Now the brilliant and underrated Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, on the other hand... But that's a rant for another time!


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 03:32 PM