Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spin Master: They Spinnin'

Here is another Neo Geo game that is unusual in a couple of ways. It wasn't developed by SNK and it isn't a fighting game. Spin Master is an action platformer made by the always quirky Data East. The name makes since considering the default weapon is a yo-yo, but I don't have an explanation for the Japanese title, Miracle Adventure. I apologize for the screenshots in this article. For some reason I took them with the HUD layer disabled, and I'm just too lazy to retake them. It shouldn't really change your view of the game because it is unremarkable like everything else.

There are two things that are majorly weird about Spin Master. One is the obnoxious sounding voice samples that have the strange, by 1994 standards, feature of being clear enough to understand. Two is the obviously Western cartoon-inspired art and character designs. You just don't see that anymore, not even from Americans. I don't blame Japanese game makers for this, because it seems to me that this was just a change in tastes worldwide as so much 2D animation has been replaced by CG. This game may not be a mascot platformer, but it plays like one, and I can't say I lament the death of the genre.

In this game you have three buttons: jump, the requisite “oh shit” button, and your basic attack. You can attack in various directions and from crouching, and you can charge them to make things look flashier and do more damage. There are treasure chests spread about the levels that contain various different weapons. Picking one up will replace your normal attack with a slightly different normal attack. For example, boxing gloves will make enemies ricochet off of the edge of the screen and smash into enemies. Your choice of weapon doesn't make as much of a difference as your ability to mash the attack button.

Another odd thing about Spin Master is the plot, which appears to be that mecha Dr. Wily has kidnapped Alice, of Wonderland fame, and it is your job to rescue her. Anyway, the graphics are nicely detailed and the game is decent enough to play. Compared to other Neo Geo action platform games, there are better choices. Top Hunter just has more charm, and if you want something more intense there is always Metal Slug.


  1. In the first screenshot, is he throwing a fireball AND a yo-yo?!

  2. I must have picked up a powerup while attacking.