Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker – Sega (1991)

With Michael Jackson being in the news so much lately I thought to myself, “Why not take a look at a classic game starring the King of Pop?” If this review goes well I might even review Kobe Bryant’s Basketball next!

The premise of the game is now disturbing because of Michael Jackson’s legal problems.  Mr. Big (that is original) is out to take over the world so he kidnaps all the children. Your goal is to rescue each level’s hidden children before time runs out.  Sound simple?  Nope, you’ll have to face a variety of enemies as you progress through the levels.  The enemies and locals are varied, from mobsters in Club 30, zombies and ghouls in the woods, spiders in the Caverns, to armed troops in the Enemy Hideout (again original).

You might be thinking right now, “How does a game with Michael Jackson play?”  Strangely.   He has the standard jump and punch along with a boomerang type attack with his hat.  Here is where it gets weird.  Say you are being attacked by a screenful of enemies and can’t fight them all off.  What do you do?  Well if you are Michael Jackson you do a dance attack.  When activated every enemy on the screen will start dancing in sync with Michael and then collapse from exhaustion.  Bizarre.  Using this attack will drain Michael’s magic meter and you replenish it by rescuing children.  Again you feel kind of icky playing this game with Michael’s current troubles.

The music in the game, as you might expect, consists of midi versions of some of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits.  The game starts out with Smooth Criminal and as you progress you will also hear Beat It, Billie Jean, Another Part of Me and Bad.  The sound effects are standard game fare from that generation with the “Whoos” thrown in for good measure.

Graphically the game is pretty decent. There are a lot of details in the levels and Michael Jackson’s  moonwalking and boomerang attack animations are well done.  Nothing extraordinary but nothing so bad it is distracting for the player.

The game is a decent platformer with some cool attacks and could give you several hours of fun.  If you love Michael Jackson then you will love this game.  If you hate him you might still be amused with the attack styles and level designs.

Reviewed by Jason

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