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5.0 Perfect
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Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Best Overall Game
Best Homebrew

Genre: Hybrid (Platformer/ Puzzle)

Awards: None
The One Thing I Know About Furries- They Hate Sand In Their Suits Pros: Amazing Cut Scenes/ Fun Boss Battles/ Ingenious Puzzles/ Incredible Graphics/ Amazing Sound/ Original Two Player Co-Op Mode
Cons: No Passcode/ Two Player Co-Op Mode Needed For "Good Ending"
The Fantastic Mr. and Mrs. Fox vs. an HG Wells Nightmare From Hell


Overview: I've owned Rikki & Vikki for two years now and never cracked it open to play it. I don't know if I was afraid to play it, if I was saving it, if I was intimidated by it,
but whatever the case... now that I have played it... all I can say is that I'm a little bit in awe of it.

Being a reviewer of over 100 Atari 7800 games there is nothing to really compare Rikki & Vikki to. It looks like one of the best looking NES titles ever, or even a low rung Genesis game. There are cut scenes, boss battles, unique gameplay and dozens and dozens of levels. There are really two games in one here... you can play the one player campaign or the husband/ wife tandem mode. Depending on what you choose, the levels, cut scenes, boss battles, and even the end of the game changes.

Rikki & Vikki is yet another hybrid homebrew. There's the platform/ puzzle part that makes up the bulk of the game, but there are also twitch boss battles ala Mega Man/ 2D Mario/ Sonic. Defeating a mini boss concludes our time in that particular part of Misery Land and the adventure continues somewhere else. This is a helluva game, so let's dive in.

Graphics: I don't want to oversell the graphics on Rikki & Vikki because we live in 2021. I played Mortal Kombat on the PS5 the other day and it was rendering reflective glimmer on the butt sweat on one of the girl's booties mid-fight. That's kinda sick but impressive. Back in retroland, there is nothing to really compare this to on the 7800. It exudes cuteness and charm, and would fit right in with a Nintendo or Sega franchise. The bad guys are cute, of course the good guys are cute, and even the monster known as Dut who guides you through the game is kind of adorable. You can tell what everything is... many 7800 titles require imagination to get through... but not here. Those are keys, that's a waterfall, that's a scarab, that's a piranha. The cut scenes are almost Saturday morning cartoon quality. There are nice touches abound; water dripping in the caves, shimmering bubbles underwater, hieroglyphics on the Egyptian levels. The mini bosses look amazing and are full of personality. I'm gushing... and I'm going to stop because I hate the word "gush".

Sound: I reviewed Millie and Molly last week and said that one of their audio loops was the best in the library. Well... now that I tore into this, I probably was lying (Although both games' Egyptian themes are brilliant). I don't know what kind of voodoo Penguinet put on the audio chips inside of these orange carts, but this sounds better than most NES games, and it even has better audio than Ballblazer. There's even an online album you can buy of the music... AN ATARI 7800 GAME HAS A SOUNDTRACK THAT REAL HUMANS BUY. Inside are tons of loops, sound effects, and catchy songs that enhance gameplay and never distracts. The tune entitled "Metal Cavern" may be the best 8 bit thing I've ever heard. The one questionable audio lick that sounds a bit odd is when that Dut guy shows up and leaves... the bass-y tones may represent him laughing, or lumbering away... I'm not sure. But that's the only possible audio misstep in an otherwise stellar performance. The composer is brilliant.

Gameplay: In the opening cut scene, we see that the Misery Dragon has foxnapped Rikki & Vikki's children. I shudder to guess what that's about, but the kidnap trope works in video games... so let's stick with that. Rikki or Vikki can save the day alone, setting up the plot for marriage counseling issues later, or the happy couple can jump down the hole together in an attempt to save their babies as a team. The game feels familiar, but never derivative. Like noted before, this is a puzzle game first. The foxes need to collect keys to clear levels. There are at least 10 levels in a world, and after clearing a world and defeating its miniboss, you move on to the next and the pattern continues until its time to fight the Misery Dragon. Square blocks are the main focus of the game. They can be used as temporary platforms, shields, projectiles and to trigger pressure plates. You do eventually run across enemies (adorable ones) that exhibit their own behaviors. This is slightly reminiscent of Impossible Mission. A lot of the gameplay feels like Millie or Molly or Boulderdash, but there is a lot more action here than in those games. Jumping, thinking, chucking, falling, blocking, riding elevators, evading, knocking someone the eff out... there are many things to do, and it all feels responsive, natural, and approachable. The levels can be difficult, but many times the solution is much easier than initially assumed. This is the best puzzle/ platformer on the system... and the 7800 has a few good ones: Tower Toppler, Impossible Mission, Millie and Molly to name a few.

Originality: The game exudes originality, especially compared to its 7800 peers. Many 7800 titles don't even have an interesting boss to hate. Dr. X, Mr. Evil, Evil Master... give me a break... that sounds like crap my kids' slow friends come up with when they are playing GI Joes vs. the Little Pet Shops. Misery Dragon sounds like the coolest pro wrestler name ever, and that's coming from a wrestler named Funkmaster V. The multiple uses of the blocks are unique. The ability to fall through the bottom of the level and re-appear at the top of the screen is weird, but unique. The 7800 having a game guide named Dut who offers an easier way to beat the game, hints, and fills in storyline gaps, is unique. The dialogue is ACTUALLY FUNNY (that's tough to pull off). The boss battles MAY be a little derivative of games like Mega Man and Mario, but who cares? They are the awesome, memorable, "three hits and you are out" fights that most gamers love.

Value: Like mentioned before, this is two games in one: The second player co-op mode really changes everything. Two endings, two paths, two groups of levels... all dependent upon the fact that you may or may not have a friend to play this with. There is no passcode feature on the 7800 version, and considering the game's length, that is a king a-hole move. "Hey buddy, come over and commit two hours of your life to play a new game on a 40 year old system so I can see the good ending... will ya?" See? That could be a problem. The subject of the "good (two player) ending" being so hard to achieve has led to small controversies and online bitching. It's a good thing Dut (who looks like Frisch's Big Boy and the Stay Puft Marshmallow man had a love child with a German beermaid from Oktoberfest) will take your points in an effort to give you infinite lives to beat the game so someone could see how this story ends. And again, I know puzzle games aren't people's favorite genre. But rest assured, potential customer, this is more Mega Man than Klax, more Impossible Mission than Jinks, more Mario than Tetris. It's a hybrid, and the mix is done delightfully well.

Overall: Is Rikki & Vikki my favorite Atari 7800 game? I don't know yet, but probably not. Is Rikki & Vikki the best made Atari 7800 game? Absolutely- no question - hands down. Everything about this title exudes quality, care, ingenuity, thoughtfulness, comprehensive skill and bad-assery. In fact... it's so good, it feels a bit odd that a game with such mainstream-vibes is a part of this quirky and weird library of misfits. It's kinda like a small town 10 who is beautiful, charming, funny and smart... she could have went to London or Paris to rule the world making cool clothes for MTV VJ's but stuck around and married the balding guy that inherited his dad's septic tank company. Just... why? Why is this here? Penguinet, I think, was pretty exasperated at the lack of sales of R&V on the 7800, and I have seen in posts where representatives have said things like "Yeah... enough of that," regarding the Prosystem, so we will probably never see a game from them again on the Prosystem. But that's OK... this was enough. Just like Bob Decrescenzo (Pac Man Plus) and Ken Siders showed us years ago that the 7800 wasn't dead, the folks at Penguinet have shown us with Rikki & Vikki that the new breed of 7800 programmers have just scratched the surface with what can be done with this criminally overlooked system. 5 Stars, fellas. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Other Reviews
Video Game Critic: A-



Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Peguinet for allowing the use of their screenshots for this review.

Penguinet has announced on their website that the have sold over 550 Rikki & Vikki's and they will make no more. That sucks for new believers. However, it is available on Steam for $9.99, and if you catch a sale.. sometimes as low as $1.99. I have heard its not quite the same on Steam... but at least you can catch a taste.