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Game Review – Oscar (SNES)

The game Oscar is a video game released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. Having been ported to literally every other popular video game platform of the time period, the game was well-received, which is surprising; the makers of this game were the same ones who created Superman 64 (and you all know the story with that one).
Oscar itself doesn’t have much plot other than some abstract story about a little animal-man who gets transported into what are basically scenes in a movie or dimensions created from a movie. You start in a movie theater and wind up being “sucked in” to the various goings on, which switch over while you’re in the alternative dimensions simply through you changing levels rather than scenes progressing in the movie itself. What this results in is a pretty unique and fun platformer that seems to take elements from both Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario as well as some kind of time-traveling storybook game.

Oscar has some pretty fun graphics; while they aren’t altogether the best that I’ve seen in terms of artistic value, they are fun and “bubbly”, as my husband puts it. The graphics change with the time period of the level you are in; that is to say, they range from anything in the Mesozoic era to highly technological modernized structures and all of the associated baddies in between! Additionally, a lot of the “gravel” and “underground” tiles seem to have been borrowed from Sonic games, which is pleasant. The audio in the game changes based on the current theme the given level has, too, making it quite fun; most of the audio consists of that repetitive beat I’ve spoken so much about, but it does add a few of those classic corny synthesized rock beats and a nice little stone-aged jam to the mix.

The difficulty level of Oscar is not that bad, honestly; it sort-of detracts from its replay value that it was so easy for me to beat. That said, it is a challenge in parts, and much like Sonic, it has decent replay value despite the fact that it is very easy simply due to its fun nature and nice environments.

Oscar is a good game all-around. Despite being a little late to the platformer game with competitors like Mario and Sonic to live up to, it seems to combine elements of both of these games in a seamless way, in addition to adding its own element of a unique theme for each individual level. While it does lack plot (which is only an excuse to be able to change the level in weird ways) it does make up for it in gameplay. Overall, Oscar is a little goodie that seems to have been overlooked a bit too much; from me, it gets a three-and-a-half out of five.

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