Every Atari 7800 Game Reviewed
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5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom

Funkmaster V Reviews

7800 Rank: 4th Best Official Release

Genre: RPG (Top Down Horror/ Comedy)

Awards: None
Caving with Frog Men with Hot Legs Pros: Varied Gameplay/ Excellent Boss Battles
Cons: The Story May Be Too Silly for Some
You Gotz Dead-ed

Overview: This was the last game released for the 7800.... and what a way to go! The design team, high on DMT and barbiturates, thought it would be best if Grandpa Munster (but only referred to as Grandpa so Atari wouldn't have to pay for the Munster name) makes an appearance in Midnight Mutants as your own personal telepathic Grandpa. The kid in this game is not a monster, but just a regular white dork... (we will save the DNA test results for after we save Grandpa).
As you and Grandpa look for the perfect pumpkin for your Halloween jack-o-lantern, you run across an evil optometrist (aren't they all?). Aptly named Dr. Evil, he has just recently risen from the dead and is out to seek revenge for being burned at the stake. He takes his rage out on Grandpa (he was an Adams Family fan) and has imprisoned him in a plasma pumpkin (the best kind of pumpkin for holding hostages, btw). Since Grandpa is stuck in his makeshift cell, it's all up to you to brave the night, find items and weapons, beef up, fight hordes of minions, and take on Dr. Evil to free Grandpa Munster!

Graphics: Graphics are mostly solid in this wacky game. Midnight Mutants is pretty darn big for a 7800 game, and most backgrounds are done well~ but near the end of the game they start cutting corners. Characters are big and detailed, and there is over 15 different kinds of bad guys you will face. Most are mutant zombies with different heads: normal heads, no heads, diamond heads, wolf heads, ugly heads, heads that look like Muscle Man's from the Regular Show, heads on two foot necks. Believe me, you will get your fill of cranium variances. The best graphics are actually seen when you destroy a mutant zombie. It looks like they swallowed a hand grenade. Believe me, this is satisfactory! The three boss fights are visually striking... and weird. Though you just kind of float in space, the huge mutated boss heads are detailed and look cool. (See, more cranium variances) Even the menu screen is well done and is even easy to navigate. Grandpa's fat head is in the game often, and though he is enclosed in a pumpkin, he doesn't seem to be very uncomfortable. The Grandpa head is detailed and big enough for old women to photograph and to put on their walls to lust after.

Sound: Well this is your typical 7800 game sound wise, but there are several tunes that are catchy and non-annoying. I've got one ping-ponging through my head right now. I think it is real interesting that the dark cavern music is the same as Fatal Run's background audio. And consequently, the worst audio loop in the game. Sound effects are standard 7800 fare, complete with some events taking place with no audio. But, the sound effects they have included are pretty solid.

Gameplay: The gameplay is simple and easy to grasp. This game is all about finding necessary items, power ups, hearts and mowing down everything evil with your blasters when you finally get one. It is especially fun when you get the highest rated weapon, the Master Blaster, because mowing down hordes of zombies makes you feel like Rick Grimes Rambo. One programming flaw is that sometimes the background doesn't line up perfectly with walking angles. On a few boards, the boy looks like he's drunk or his right leg is shorter than the other and he veers off. I also don't like how he can't move diagonally. If you can get over these small movement complaints, you will find you have a great, funny adventure on your hands. The menu is easily brought up with a click of the right button. There you can sift through the easy to understand inventory, or listen to the old codger ramble. Sometimes Grandpa has sage advice, but at other times he sings songs or asks if you've been a good boy. Well, Grandpa is getting up there, children. Jimmy is easy to control, although firing at something above or below you will take some practice and forgiveness.

Originality: Talk about original...or should I say quirky? Though the game reminds me of an old Zelda game of search, level up and destroy, it's only because of basic 80's adventure game tropes. This resemblance ends there. The game has a plot unlike any I have never seen before or since this game was released- it's like the worst B-movie ever. This game is really ridiculous. Especially the one sentence quips that appear at the top of the screen when you enter a new board. Quips like, "Damon kept a collection human eyeballs," "The air smells of doom," "Damon Mohler was a feared Optometrist," "Simon's Experiments involved body fluids from his rams," or the ever insightful "Walking dead don't need shoes."

Value: This game could have been almost impossible to beat. But between the hints and the detailed map in the instruction manual, and Grandpa constantly giving you clues, this game is an easier Atari 7800 game to defeat than most. The hardest challenge comes from the final two bosses, especially Dr. Evil. This will have you coming back a few times until you beat the bastard. Another part of the game that will have you pulling your hair out are the seemingly endless woods, caverns, and the pumpkin patches. The trick here is not getting frustrated and trying to race past everyone. All this will do is get yourself beat up. You have to be patient my Jimmy.

Overall: As far as a true adventure game goes, this was the only one released on the 7800, and it was a darn good one. The story might be very silly, but it is actually very deep and I like how there's new information about the plantation you are on, your character's status, or the lore of enemies populating every screen. I forget the differences are between Simon, Damon and Dr. Evil, but who cares, they are all nuts. If you like RPGs, adventure games, or big Grandpa Munster heads, Midnight Mutants is one of those "Prosystem Posse" titles that every 7800 collection must have.

Other Reviews:
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: 4.5 out of 5.0 (Excellent)
Digital Press: 9 out of 10
Video Game Critic: B
Atari Gaming Headquarters: 8 out of 10
The Atari Times: 8 out of 10
Hubert James Keener's Review Aggregate Machine: A-

Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman, owner of The Atari 7800 Page for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.

John K Harvey & Funkmaster V's Complete Walkthru

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