The Good, the Yo-Yo and the Ugly
by Tibe (2012)
Data East, beloved Neo Geo editor signs here with Spinmaster its very first title on the SNK console. These are also, let's remind it to the younger readers and those who didn't follow, the creators of Windjammers, the Magical Drop games also released on other media, but also Street Hoop and Karnov's Revenge. This company was formerly known by hardcore players with great arcade titles like Joe and Mac, BurgerTime, or the controversial Fighter's History. Spinmaster is a classical arcade/platform game, not really looking like any Mario Bros or Sonic The Hedgehog installment, no! Beautiful, opulent, featuring intense action... It takes full view for about twenty minutes and then, it's over! Where Nintendo or Sega softs on home systems offer a long-term challenge, Data East gives a resolutely "arcade" treatment - and for good reason - to its game, respecting the standards platform games on this support.
You might have understood it by reading these first lines, life is clearly not the big feature in Spinmaster, but this is conceptual to arcade games in general. By cons, it explodes with a catchy and comprehensive gameplay, with fun and surprises all through the levels, even more when playing two simultaneously! Miracle Adventure (Spinmaster's japanese name) features a complete and well-crafted gameplay, varied, with incredible weapons and funny attacks. You can kill enemies by jumping on their heads, by sliding (A + B + down) or by throwing projectiles. It's possible to shoot in eight directions and only this fact is already pretty cool. You can charge a high-powered attack by depressin the A button, and a Super-Special-Attack-Of-Death-That-Kills by pressing C. These are limited in number, beware! Yoyo is the basic weapon, but on your way you will find boxing gloves, ice picks, missiles, fireballs, ninja stars, and some other good stuff...
Phases of classic platform levels are interspersed with more fighting-oriented ones or faster passages such as a descent into the pyramids in a carriage, or a ride on the Yang-Tze-Kiang in a canoe, without forgetting the unutterable travel by elevator in a model dating from three-hundred fifty before Jesus Christ. As I said, there are also famous scenes of intense fights with screens overcrowded with enemies, but also the incredible bosses, all cuter than each other, with a few that are humongous (and not Hugh Mungus). It's fun, taking, surprising, but heck, how the game is easy. At most, it's a good challenge for teenagers who were able to clear Assassin's Creed, but then to give some trouble to a hardcore retro-gamer, there's margin. Data East should have spiced up a little the difficulty, as the game is not too long (only five stages). The 1CC is still an honest challenge though, so everyone will be happy. In addition, most players would come back willingly to Spinmaster, as the game is taking, its levels varied and the fun felt smashing the Boss is intact even after a lot of games!
The global realization of our Miracle Adventure is quite honorable, with its 90 megs high. Its very "cartoonish" graphics are nicely bold, colorful and varied, even if the drawins are not hyper-thin, but it's the same itself that wants that. Opponents are also numerous and varied, using this same style. In fact, we travel around the world in environments all more cute and successful than each other: China, Egypt, Greece, South America... Animation and music won't surprise either one way or the other: it's good, no more, no less, nobody will get up in the night to see or hear it, but it's good enough not to arouse the wrath of demanding testers. For their first game on the Neo Geo , the Data East guys did quite good, probably with the experience acquired with Joe & Mac a few years before. The game shows good quality and the game packs a fun factor that rises its replay value higher than expected. With its pygmy life and difficulty for newborns, we have to believe that he's really cool our Spinmaster, to have us returning to it so often and willingly!
|A resolutely simple and cartoon style reminding invariably Joe & Mac and the great days of Data East.|
|Quite fast for action and scrollings, while about smoothness it's just making Par. Slowdowns are very very rare.|
|Like for the graphics, it's simple but catchy, with funny little melodies and some cool effects.|
|Game is short and easy: it can be cleared within twenty-five minutes in normal difficulty level. Fortunately, the game is addictive and the cooperative play provides some more fun.|
|Numerous weapons, special attacks, fun game phases, nice bosses... Clearly Spinmaster's best card!|
|A very nice platform game from Data East, very well crafted, but a little too short and easy.|
VALUE FOR MONEY (2012)
A little less than one hundred euros for the japanese version, the cheapest of the two AES. Some may say it's expensive for such a short game, which is not false. Nevertheless, arcade platform fans will be in heaven with Spinmaster.