Posts Tagged ‘jontron’

System: Super Nintendo (also on: PC & Game Boy)

Release Date: April 11th, 1996

Rarity: 30%

Price/Location: $4.40/Vidiots

I first heard about this game a few months ago watching a JonTron video on YouTube. He was counting down his top 20 Super Nintendo games and Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow clocked in at #19. In watching this video and some of JonTron’s other videos, I came to the conclusion that we have quite a similar taste in games. So I took his word for it when saying Maui Mallard was a good game.

I’ve seen enough JonTron to know that he’s probably saying something along the lines of “Mario Party had some classic minigames in it that WERESOFUCKINGAWESOMEOHMAHGERDBLARGHRABLEGRABLJRENFJRNVRJH!”

So imagine my surprise when I stumble into Vidiots one day and find this game priced at under $5! Now I had to take a chance on this game! Not only because JonTron liked it, not only for the blog, not only because I feel incredibly awkward whenever walking out of Vidiots empty-handed, but because all of those things and I wanted to know once and for all: IS THAT F***ING DONALD DUCK OR WHAT!?

Ohh… I guess it is… … … F***.

OK, so in doing some research on this game, I discovered the European versions of the game come out and say Maui Mallard IS Donald Duck! Donald Duck IS Maui Mallard! Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is EINHORN! OH MY GOD!

This movie IS bad! Bad IS this movie!

And now, with the Ace Ventura reference, we bring it full circle and mention that Donald Duck Maui Mallard is also a detective of some sort. He’s on some island and a golden idol statue has gone missing! Uh-oh, better call Donald Duck, Weekend Detective! We start the game in a mansion of some kind and I am immediately lost. What is the context of me being in this mansion? Was this missing idol here at one point? Why are weird zombie butlers throwing spiders at me? What are all these collectables doing scattered about? What are these spinning things throwing me up in the air like an amusement park ride? What the hell is going on?

Pictured: The Level 1 map of the Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow Strategy Guide.

All weirdness of the level aside, the controls are pretty slick. Maui Mallard can be controlled pretty easily. The platforming sections aren’t too frustrating and your weapon (some kind of gun that shoots like… bugs… or something, I dunno it’s a Disney game) fires at an acceptable rate. My only gripe is that of your 2 enemy types in this level, zombie butler and spiders, the spiders appear more frequently and require you to duck to shoot them. Yes, it’s a very minor gripe, but I was mildly perturbed by it. All things considered, Level 1 is pretty easy. Not so easy that I could breeze through it though. There were spots that took a few tries to get through. The level itself goes on for a little too long, but I never felt bored by the environment. It’s incredibly atmospheric. I could picture the mansion in my head in vivid detail as if I was actually traversing through it.

This guy can see how atmospheric the Earth is from his space mansion.

Level 2 brings us to an exterior location on the island. Again, the style here is amazing. The moodiness of the sky and weather coupled with the moss-covered rocks actually made me feel a little chilly. It was 90 degrees outside when I played this game! This was starting to become less of a game and more of an experience. I didn’t mind the lack of challenge up to this point. If the game could maintain what Level 1 brought to the table, then there is no doubt in my mind that this could go down as some kind of classic in my book.

If I actually DID have a book of classic games, this is the cover and the first four chapters.

Unfortunately, Level 2 completely snapped me out of the trance this game had over me. A shaman gives you some ninja powers. Awesome! This is what I had been waiting for! I am now COLD SHADOW! Donald Duck IS Maui Mallard IS Cold Shadow IS… now getting his ass kicked by the very first enemy he sees.

Let me get this straight. Donald Duck pretending to be Magnum P.I. with a bug-shooting gun that can kill other bugs in one hit is a tougher character than Donald Duck pretending to be Magnum P.I. who is GRANTED MAGICAL NINJA F***ING POWERS BY A WITCHDOCTOR?! Imagine, you’re watching Magnum P.I. and were familiar with it. Imagine there was an episode where Tom Selleck just got done taking down the bad guys and a guy thanked him by turning him into a ninja. You’d be like “FERK YEAH! TOM SELLERK AS A NINJER! SO FERKIN ERSOME!” But you’d be WRONG because when Tom Selleck goes out to take down some bad guys, he gets taken out by the first bystander he sees.

Foreground: Maui Mallard.
Midground: Everyone in Level 2.

I really didn’t want to give up on this game. It was SO GOOD up until this point. After a whole bunch of practice, I was actually able to formulate a strategy to getting through the enemies here. It wasn’t perfect but I was well on my way to continuing through the game. There are some neat abilities you gain by becoming a ninja, like using your staff to climb walls. I still had trouble combating enemies at this point, but now I felt like it wasn’t the game’s fault. It just felt like I was doing something wrong.

Verdict: HIGH FIVE

I really struggled when playing the game, but it was a good kind of struggle. Level 2 was a challenge, but never to the point where I was frustrated. Like I said, I never felt like anything was the game’s fault, just my sucky skills. When a game is challenging like this and doesn’t prompt me to throw my controller against the wall in a fit of rage, but rather, actually make me want to practice and get better, it’s definitely a keeper. This, combined with the beautiful environments and engaging atmosphere make this game a winner. JonTron was right to include this in his favorite SNES games.

That. THAT is the face of a man you can trust.

So the verbal blowjob of JonTron Episode 7 of Five Dollar Gamer is complete! If you want to leave comments, praise, criticisms, or suggestions you can leave them here, or on The Official Five Dollar Gamer Facebook Page!

Thanks for reading!