Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Smash T.V. (NES, 1990) and Super Smash T.V. (Super NES, 1992)

 

Man, who doesn't remember these ads? This is something I've meant to check out for a while. Going with the NES and SNES versions since they're the ones I wanted as a kid. It's more arcade blast-a-thons loosely based on The Running Man.


The heroes look like shirtless versions of Bad Box Art Megaman.

Why is it called Smash TV? Is it about what you feel like doing after you spend some time watching BNN? I was promised Bodacious Neocons and all I'm seeing is crapola!

Starting with the NES version, which is very rudimentary. The controls haven't evolved yet, which adds to the already sky-high difficulty.

The game is mostly about blasting hordes of weirdoes (other contestants?) for fun and prizes.

Here's the Game Show Host With The Most (that's his actual name), the nefarious villain of this circus of death.

Somebody should make a mod of the game where Tony Khan is the host.

"Yeah I heard what they're saying about me on the internet! Well they're wrong! Fight me, Randy Orton! I'll kick his ass! Let me at him!"

Between rounds of blasting people you can collect various goods by scavenging them off the floor, though with these graphics I can barely tell anything apart and the loot looks more like graphical glitches. A brand new toaster, huh?

I wish the "Start?" band with the score would get off the screen. In any case, here's the first boss, MUTOID MAN. He rolls around on tank treads and fires gun-arms like a Wolfenstein boss.

After finishing a stage you get to add up all the toasters you procured to determine your money intake, like the end of Wario Land. Why is this guy shirtless? What's that blue thing on his head? Wait, is he in handcuffs?

Continuing on, our hero battles...blue things!

......this was a mistake.

The next boss is Scarface. Actually the coolest thing about this game as a kid was definitely the bosses, and reading about them. They're all bombastic in their own way.

In practice, the game is so hard that the bosses are actually easier than their stages.

Third boss is the Twin Snakes, which look like refugees from a Zelda game. They slither around and present a bigger challenge than the earlier bosses since there are two of 'em to watch out for.

After that, the fourth and final stage puts you head-to-head with the Game Show Host With The Most. He has tank treads like Mutoid Man. When did he get those? Is it a vehicle? Is he the villain or simply the last challenge for contestants?

"Why am I not the final boss? I gave them a lot of money to make me the final boss! Everyone knows that, but they didn't tell anyone! I did a lot for this game and no credit! No, get your hands off me! I have NOT had too many mimosas! It's go time! Let's go right here! Your name is Brock who? Fight me, you coward!"

Win, and you get this ending screen. Yeah ok. Why is the text all scrunched up against the side? Did it not have enough room due to her MASSIVE MAMMARIES?

Let's just move on quickly from that painful NES game. Here's the sequel, which looks weirdly similar to Total Carnage. If you're gonna play either version go with the SNES version, it's better by a mile. Or maybe the arcade version if you can swing it.

1999? Why is it ALWAYS 1999? It's like media and pop culture thought 1999 would be a post-apocalyptic hellscape right up until like 1998.

Actually they did kind of nail this prediction, because the top shows in the cable ratings in 1999 were pretty much all pro wrestling shows.

That sounds great! Sign me up!

So basically this is Running Man without any of the gravitas.

The beginning is pretty much the same as the NES, with your hero getting ejected into a battlefield (almost definitely a reference to Running Man sending people out in spheres).

Once dropped onto the battlefield, you must survive with only your wits and high-powered assault weapons, winning such prizes as a brand new toaster!

WTF is going on in that picture-in-picture? Now he looks like Bob Hope!

"Bob Hope owes his CAREER to me! Everyone says Britt vs Rosa was the match of the year! Well I booked that match? Where's my credit? Basically I AM the match of the year! You cowards! Don't touch me!"

Sometimes it drops you into a room surrounded by foes, so you better have your spinning skills down pat. Spinning Duncan from Highlander Endgame could win this game with EASE.

Our old friend Mutoid Man is now in 16-bits! I love Mutoid Man, look at how awesome this guy is.

A huge improvement that jumps out immediately in the SNES version is how sprite flicker is almost nonexistent. The NES version had major sprite flicker, especially in boss fights.

Our hero wins the stage, and has a whopping $110 worth of toasters to show for it!

More blasting, more hordes of senselessly violent thugs descending on our hero. I don't know why I'm even covering these games because there's nothing to them, this is EVERY ROOM. It's a classic though.

You definitely want to bring a second player as backup if taking a real swing at this game.

Scarface returns and he's still a giant head in a sphere. What drugs were they on when they made this game? Probably the same ones Tony Khan is on: Adderall and blow.

::TK is heard yelling about "hiring agents from Malaysia" from backstage as Cody and Brandi attempt to calm him down::

The Twin Snakes fight is a little different because here they're stationary-placed and only move their heads around. The complete lack of slowdown or flicker is really apparent here. More importantly...how did they get two giant snakes to cooperate in the game show? They must have been offered huge contracts.

The fourth stage is the last one again and I have no idea what's happening because the screen is full of trash.

My God, this game really IS violent! They should have called THIS one "Total Carnage"

I can't imagine playing this in the 90's and having adults see it and freak out when their kid asks what a "decapitate" is.

AH! JESUS!

The Host is a formidable foe. I remember reading about this game in Nintendo Power, and how the Host was the only boss they didn't show you. So it was this big mystery what form he'd take (unless you played the NES game, I suppose).

As he takes damage, his costume breaks down to this weird outfit and he starts firing streams of eyeballs at you. What is even happening

This is a nightmare.

Now that we have 16 Bits, there are enough Bits to render the bottom half of this woman.

The game does what quite a few SNES games did in that timeframe (like Stargate, True Lies, and most famously Super Ghouls and Ghosts). It sends you back through the game to collect particular hidden items in order to see the actual ending. However, we already saw the real final boss, so I don't know what the point is. It gives the game some replay value I suppose.

Now that our hero has enough toasters to buy himself a small amount of groceries (inflation is a bitch), the Game Show Host With The Most has been exposed as lying about Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Tony Khan has been placated with another mimosa, I'd say this was a job well done.

In a weird way, this game sorta reminded me of Hades. Modern blast-a-thon where you go room-to-room and collect powerups. Were games like this the genesis of Hades? Maybe I should look at that one next.



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