YO! JOE! / Hudson / Amiga


Yo! Joe! lets us explore what would happen if the Belmonts were unavailable, and instead we had to send an Elvis impersonator to defeat Dracula. Well, actually that's just the first level. In between each level you ride a bird-dinosaur thing in a quasi-shooter to the next themed level, which has us trotting the world between places like a South American temple, Japan, Egypt and etc.

This one was published by Hudson, but it was actually made by Italian developer Scipio (who made ABSOLUTELY SURE you were aware of that fact by plastering their name on literally everything available), so it's got that somewhat stiff and janky style endemic to 90s computer platformers out of Europe. Yo! Joe! is a bit more enjoyable and polished than most, though. The one really big improvement is that you don't have to hold the button down and push in directions clumsily for various actions as you do with so many Amiga games; simply press it to attack, press up to jump, and crouch down while pressing the button to toggle your weapons as you collect them.

Levels are technically linear, as there's one correct path to the mini-boss and then onward to the boss, but there's tons of little optional side branches to explore to find treasures, new weapons and shower stalls that for some reason restore your health. The weapons are worthy of mention too, as you collect a good variety to switch between as you go, the best being a giant chainsaw that spins you around crazily and requires finding gas canisters to operate. Yo Joe's basic punch and kick are about as feeble as you'd expect from an Elvis impersonator, but you'll need to keep them equipped sometimes as he must be bare-handed to grab and dangle from ledges in Prince of Persia style.

The game is kind of a weird and random hodgepodge, but it comes off decently thanks to reasonable level design, nice graphics with cute little background details, and a fairly groovy .MOD soundtrack. It's more playable than most Amiga platformers, particularly if you're already adjusted to their special sort of stiff punishingness.


Videos :

* Gameplay Video