Wednesday 3 April 2013

Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy Review (NES)

Once upon a time the evil Zaks kidnapped Dizzy’s girlfriend Daisy, and took her to his castle in the clouds. Dizzy must find the castle and rescue the girl, solving puzzles along the way and engaging in some all round platform action. Dizzy is an egg who had a great deal of success on the 8-bit computers before facing his biggest adventure in this game on consoles. They simply do not make games like Dizzy anymore, the action is basic, but brilliant, and to finish an entire adventure is a challenge.

The idea of the game is to pick up items and take them to a place where they can be used, thus allowing you to continue on. This may sound easy but Dizzy can only carry three items at once - meaning if you miss judge what you need to take, then progression will be extremely difficult.

Graphically, Dizzy is presented in a cartoon style, big and colourful with simple, charmingly drawn characters set against decent enough backgrounds. Everything is very clear on screen with slowdown and flickering rarely occurring, which is remarkable in certain instances, as the screen can become packed. The landscapes in the game vary from woods and towns to underground caves and sunken pirate ships - each represented in its own way and looking different from the last.

Gameplay, is both very simple and very difficult. Initially the game seems daunting, as puzzles can be obscure and it's easy to get lost if you're not careful. However, after a couple of tries you soon realise the necessary approach needed to solve puzzles and progress. Dizzy can be a difficult to control, but (like the puzzles), once you work out how far he can jump and what distance he can fall from, everything comes together. Producing a well executed title than offers large doses of quirky platform fun.
As well as the basic platforming action there are several mini-games present such as going down a river in a barrel throwing apples at enemies. However, the most enjoyable section is where Dizzy is shooting people with a crossbow taken from a first person perspective and reminiscent of the arcade Shinobi bonus level.

Overall, Dizzy is a magical title, and while you cannot argue that it feels a little dated, it is a fine example of how great games used to be. Functional graphics, challenging puzzles and enjoyable mini-games mean that this a great slice of retro action. If only Codemasters would give Dizzy one last adventure, as he truly was a great character and deserves a new opportunity.


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