Friday, October 28, 2011

Ariel: The LIttle Mermaid

I imagine there are at least a few people out there that are fond of The Little Mermaid for the NES. It is a Capcom game for NES, after all. But that is not what this post is about, it is about 1992's Ariel: The Little Mermaid for the Genesis, which was most definitely not made by Capcom. Actually, it was made by a company known as Bluesky Software, whom aren't responsible for many games, but did make Jurassic Park:Rampage Edition. While I kind of like Rampage Edition because it was pretty much an insane expansion pack to the first Genesis Jurassic Park, they apparently aren't that great at making their own good game from the ground up.

In spite of being named Ariel, the game actually allows the player to play as either her or Triton, which seems a bit odd. I guess the goal of the game is to swim around to all of these little things that were apparently once mermaids/mermen and sing at them to return them to their original form. I put it as “I guess” because I collected them all in the first stage and while I got a special animation I still could not progress the game and I just decided I'd rather not play it any more.

Pressing start will show them all marked on a map, the game displays the remaining amount on screen, and a FAQ I checked stated that collecting them all would trigger a boss fight, but for me nothing happened. At this point the grating music had long overstayed its welcome, so I just turned the damn thing off. I saw all I need to see. Movement was a awkward, so this is the game for anybody who wants to see Ariel clumsily bang her head against rocks, coral, and sharks.

Ariel has two attacks. The normal attack has her simply throwing music notes a short distance, while the special attack seems to be the exact same thing but has a limited number of uses. The other button is the best because it will “call fishfriend,” which should be cool due to the funny name, but is actually pretty boring and just brings a fish to do something boring like push a rock. It's not nearly as comical as the ability to have a shark or dolphin randomly tackle an enemy like in that awful Aquaman game.

There is really no reason to play Ariel: The Little Mermaid. It's not fun to play, and the Genesis got the much superior aquatic game, Ecco the Dolphin, in the same year. As a weird aside, when looking up this game I went to the Wikipedia page for the film, and I found something odd. Not only does the article mention the whole penis-shaped castle thing in the “Controversy” section, but it has a picture of the damned thing. I can just imagine some little girl searching for The Little Mermaid, finding that page as one of the top results, scrolling to the bottom, and then some poor parent will have to explain what's up with the sparkly, golden dong. Also in the controversy section is a link to the site's entry on erections, which has pictures of real, live dicks, so that's cool and not in any way irresponsible.

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