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Thoughts on Games : California Raisins - Ripe fruit or spoilt graps ?

Posted 10-06-2009 at 03:17 PM by San Juan Wolf
There were many potentialy awesome unreleased games in the past . One that I would love most to see was a Crash Bandicoot spin off game which was planned to star Cortex controling a bunch of clones and batttling an array of N.Doctors, such as "N.Tangeled" or "N.Tombed" . However that was before Crash was turned into Pokémon, so all hopes for that died away inside me long ago .

However , some unreleased games do find their way into the public's hands . Sometimes by rare reproduction carts being sold, sometimes by prototypes of games found in abandoned warehouses . And sometimes as a free download on the internet .

California Raisins: The Grape Escape is one such a game . Now granted graphics for american made NES games were almost always inferior to thing produced in Japan, the cartoony look nonetheless fits the mode of the game quite well .

As for the story, the California Grapes have been kindaped . A simple enough excuse for a side scrolling game with rooms and platforms which logicaly no one would realy have around in real life . Health Inspectors would particulary feel very unhappy about those deep drops towards conveyor belts leading off into pools of molten goo, or that certain areas of the workplace can only be reached by jumping and clinging onto toxic goo spilling pipes . Certainly a Pre McCarthy level of workplace security dominates this whole game .

The basic items in the game are the sun health item , the invincibility shield , the 1 up and the notes - which serve little to no purpose but adding points, not showing up on the screen mind you

The game consists of four main stages , playable on two diferent dificulty settings , Normal and then Difficult , playing through which will give you the extra advantage off..... absolutely nothing .

Oooh, I can't see the Health Inspection being to happy about this .

You can select which one of the levels you want to do when . FACTORY is certainly one of the easier ones . With a heavy amount of reachable health items and enemies that simply walk towards you like the idiots they are, seeing you have a clearly visible gun (on shooting goo, but a gun nonetheless) . The only trouble you could experience in this level are the bastard children of Marvin the Martian , ricocheting from the walls at forty decree angles .

The other levels are the JUICERY, the GRAPEVINE and the MAIZE MAZE (which is by far the stupidest pun in the game, thank goodness) . The MAIZE MAZE is the most anoying because the enemies there can shoot back at you . DAMN equal chances !

The four end bosses are : a spiting banana, a spiting corn vine, a grape in a boot and a pot . What was I expecting in a game based on singing fruit ?

The last level . Yeah that's....that's realy special

After completing the four main levels , you get to play the obligatory last level . It aparently takes place in heaven (Sky High records realy take their name seriously) , but compared with the other levels, it is much much shorter, being basicly just a small trekk for a few inches to the left, up a few inches on a cloud and then the few inches you walked back to the right .

There are also no indignous enemies that are exclusive to this level (outside the boss) and not even all the enemies from the previous games show up .The boss is some sort of Toga'd Grape God . You will never guess his hit spot- the obligatory leaf platform which apears earlier throughout the game and which you can stand on, not being part of the enemies body at all . OF COURSE .

All in all it is not a bad game, but is prety short and can be frustrating at times . There are certainly worse ones out there, though (Garfield )
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