HOOK / Irem / Arcade

Hook is a real yawner. I don't mean the movie (although that was pretty boring too), but the arcade beat-em-up released nearly a year after the movie hit theaters, too late to really capitalize on what little interest the onscreen prancings of Robin Williams might have generated.

The game is cut from the mold of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a thousand other arcade brawlers of the early 90s, but has neither the vibrant graphics nor innovative gameplay of any of the better ones. Each player gets to pick one of five characters - Pan, Rufio, and three other random kids from the movie who have been somehow tricked out to be badass warriors (I personally prefer Thudbutt just to hear the game announce his name in digitized style.)

Even though the enemy pirates come at you in creative ways sometimes, and you face a butcher boss who gets pecked to death by his own chickens upon defeat, most of the game is a tedious extended slog through repeating hordes of enemies. Your roster of moves consists of simply banging on the attack button, jump attacks, and the obligatory "mash punch and jump together at the cost of some life" special attack (Rufio's crazed whooping while he shoots random sailboats at the enemies is probably the high point of the game.)

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* Gameplay Video

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