Video Game Thoughts: Speedy Gonzales

Speedy Gonzales was a 1993 platformer game by Citizen Software. This game was very similar to a Sonic the Hedgehog game, but in the Looney Tunes universe. The star was now Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in all Mexico. Instead of collecting rings, Speedy collected pieces of cheese. That’s what mice eat after all. Like a Sonic game, the player just had to get to the end of the level to continue. Collecting the cheese gave bonus points, but the player could skip them. In addition, there were booster pads that would make Speedy lightning fast just like in a Sonic game. He was so fast he could go around loop-the-loops entirely on foot.

Unlike Sonic, however, Speedy Gonzales could not usually defeat enemies. For the most part, he just had to avoid them. He also wouldn’t lose cheese if he was hit as Sonic lost his rings. Speedy just died immediately. Luckily, there were “continue” points in each level to keep the player from having to redo too much. That required having extra lives though. After running out of extra lives, I don’t remember there being any way to continue. It took me several tries to finally beat the whole game because of this.

I can’t remember what the plot was for this game, but there was probably some Looney Tunes character that was his arch-nemesis. I don’t remember the cartoons much now. I remember that some of the music was catchy. It wasn’t the best video game music but good enough that I sometimes stopped just to hear the full music loop on a level. As far as graphics, I really liked the parallax effects on some of the level backgrounds. It made the levels and worlds look much bigger than they were.

Speedy Gonzales was pretty fun but par for the course. It didn’t really do anything new. That was okay though because players don’t usually expect something new from a licensed game like this. Players look for an experience similar to other games, but with their favorite characters or settings. Sometimes the character or setting is enough for a game to rise above the competition. Game Boy games were pretty cheap, so I was satisfied with what I got.

The only bad thing I can say about the game was that there was nothing else to do after beating it. These days I prefer games that have a good core rule set but with open-ended gameplay. Games with these qualities are never exhausted unlike games with finite gameplay scenarios. An example of this for the platformer game genre would be a game that could create randomized levels. There are actually platformer games that can do this these days, but that sort of thing probably wasn’t possible on the old Game Boy hardware.

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