Hare Raising Havoc (Disney) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power


Hare Raising Havoc
By Disney
Amiga 500

 
Published in Amiga Power #12

Hare Raising Havoc

Games reviews, just like (phew!) rock 'n roll, are a very subjective thing. It's a fact which often gets forgotten, but the fact that Stuart's opinion of Hare Raising Havoc differs so greatly from mine proves it, I'd say. So just why do I disagree with Stuart's opinions, to the point where we both feel the need to review the game? Well, let's start right at the beginning.

Hare Raising Havoc is a one meg only game, which adds insult to injury by requiring a hard drive (almost unbelievably, it cannot be played from floppies at all!), and even has a code wheel. All of this is enough to prejudice anyone against it almost immediately.

Hare Restoring

Installing the bloody thing takes forever, and the instructions don't really give much of an idea what is going on. But, having established the fact that it requires a hardware setup which most people simply don't have, it's only fair to judge it purely on its own merits. Penalising something for the hardware it requires isn't really fair.

Okay, so to the game itself. It's an 'interactive cartoon' for want of a better cliche. But that doesn't mean we're in laser disc conversion territory (no crappy Space Ace routines here - despite what Stuart might tell you). The player actually gets to control the Roger Rabbit sprite, moving him around one location at a time, manipulating objects, in an attempt to escape.

Now the movement isn't exactly speedy, and is restricted to left, right, up and down. There's no moving into and out of the screen, for instance, and object manipulation is similarly simplistic.

Pressing the fire button near an object or piece of scenery will cause an effect (turn the cooker on/off, pick up the magnet, etc). It's basically a case of trial and error to find all the necessary objects, then move and use everything in order to escape to the next screen. The ultimate objective, by the way, is to recover Baby Herman before mother gets back.

Nothing spectacular so far. But when I called the game a cartoon not one paragraph ago, I wasn't kidding. The speech and sound fx are pure Roger. Every cartoon sound effect you've ever heard accompanies every cartoon prank and mishap you've ever seen. Sound hasn't been used as well since the wonderful Mega Lo Mania (why haven't you bought a copy yet?). And then there's the animation. Genuine cartoon graphics are the order of the day here. And it all combines so beautifully. Take, for instance, when Roger rummages around in the fridge. "Dum de dum," he says, before turning around with ice on his nose and ears. "Brrrrr," he shrieks, before vigorously shaking the ice away. It's heart-warming stuff (if you'll forgive the pun).

Gripes? Sure, there are quite a lot of them. The gameplay is seriously limited. Complete a screen and you'll never really want to do it again (and there are only seven - yes, seven! - of the bleedin' things).

Overdrawn On The Hard Drive

And then there's the disk accessing. There's a good minute's wait between each screen, but the worst comes during play. The graphics actually freeze for up to a second in places, while the hard drive chugs away (unless you've got the luxury of a whole two megs of memory), loading up the next sample or bit of animation. And when it's simple so Roger can say, "My, this is fun," it begins to grate quite seriously. Nobody is every going to play through the whole thing more than once, and for any computer game this expensive that's a serious flaw. The gameplay is utterly basic, too, and not as interactive as it might first seem. The puzzles really are totally linear.

But there's something about this game which makes it wholly endearing anyway. When you think about it, the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a vapid exercise in nice visuals with a few good one liners - and everybody loved that. The game is actually frighteningly close in concept. And besides - I've always wanted to dabble in watercolours.

The Bottom Line

Uppers: Sure, it's a short, once only trip. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun. Roger is the best 'cartoon' game yet, and for that alone it's to be commended. It's much more interactive than Stuart would have you believe, too.

Downers: Its flaws will frustrate and disappoint. The game is painfully linear, and the hard disk accessing is a complete bummer. And forget the whole thing unless you've got 6Mb of hard drive space and at least 1.5Mb of RAM. Elitist or what?

A step (with the inevitable slip on a banana skin) in the right direction, but not admittedly that much of a game in its own right. The fun lies in the experience of the whole thing, though. And for that, I think it's worth...

Mark Ramshaw

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