Friday, 18 April 2014

Retro Review of the Week: Psycho Fox

Psycho Fox

Platform: Sega Master System
Release: 1989 (EU, NA)
Developer: Vic Tokai
Publisher: Sega
Composers: Fumioto Tamayama, Hiroto Kanno
Type: Side scrolling platformer

Psycho Fox is an excellent little side scrolling platformer in the vein of Super Mario Bros. You star as the fox priest Psycho Fox, who has been chosen to stop the evil Madfox Daimyojin from taking over the world. As with many of these games, the plot is of no matter though. You’ll find yourself running, jumping, and punching your way through level after level of platforming goodness, hunting down the evil bosses that guard the way to Madfox. The game is comprised of seven zones each with three rounds, and at the end of each zone you must face a boss.

Psycho Fox may sound like any other platformer from that time. The thing that sets it apart from the others though, is the ability to change character within the game. You do not only play as Psycho Fox. If you pick up a Psycho Stick, you can use that to transform into a hippo, monkey, or tiger as well. The key to mastering Psycho Fox is understanding when to use the different forms. The hippo is strong and can break certain brick walls. It only jumps very low though, so you’ll want to switch away from it as soon as the walls have been broken. The monkey is the high jumper and can be used to reach high up places. The tiger moves faster than any of the others and is useful in areas where speed if of the essence.

Throughout the levels you will find a number of eggs containing various items such as the Psycho Sticks used for transforming, straw effigies that suck up all enemies on screen, super potions that render you invulnerable for a period of time (like the star in Super Mario Bros), and bags of money that can be used after each level in a small gambling section (a game called Amida) in order to win items or extra lives. Beware when opening the eggs! They may contain foes, so do not stand too close when you open them, and be ready with an extra punch just in case.

I found Psycho Fox to be a very entertaining title all around. The music is catchy and enjoyable, the little sound effects are very nice from the jumping sound to the lovely little skipping sound it makes when you run on water (yes, you can run on water if you run fast enough). The gameplay is solid as well, as soon as you get used to the rather slow acceleration that is, but when you get past that you’ll have no problem controlling the characters. I particularly enjoyed the fact that you had different characters with different abilities to control. I only wish that feature had been used a bit more in the game.

Verdict: 4 of 5 stars


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