Written: 11.7.06 Acquired: 9.2.06 Status: Cart only Price: $9
Publisher: Masaya (NCS)
A puzzler with a unique twist. Rather than being another Puyo Puyo / Tetris rip-off, you control a raccoon who must match 3 (or more) like-jars by way of arrangement. Keep in mind it's not like Tetris Attack. Here you're restricted by obvious obstacles whereas in TA you're free to move the cursor where you wish. It'll take a few minutes to get the hang of, but then the good times roll
4 hits are always sweet
The little squirrels pushing the jars down add a nice touch. As you can see, Rascal just connected 3 green jars. Pulling off chains is more difficult here than in other puzzle games, so it's double gratifying when you get one down
Rascal is an endearing little guy. When carrying a jar, he marches along erect holding the jar high above his head with his diminutive arms. And when he's not carrying one and moving, true to raccoon form, Rascal scampers low to the ground
When Rascal has a jar he has the option of dropping it beneath him, or throwing it one column over. He can also jump and swipe jars high above his head; as well as push jars provided they're out in the open
Here he leaps to grab a jar off a stack, then he simply places it underneath him to create a match:
If a jar is dropped on his noggin, it results in this amusing animation
The 1 player mode is fine and dandy but like any puzzle game worth its weight (sans Tetris of course), the all-important two-player mode(s). Raccoon Rascal has three unique 2 player modes
The 1st is a side scrolling platform-y race-to-the-exit-as-fast-as-you-can split-screen affair, where jars are placed strategically to impede players' progress. This mode is a thrilling race-against-your-opponent-while-you-rack-out-your-brains kind of rush
The 2nd is the full-screen cooperative mode. If you're not in a competitive mood this mode serves its purpose well
The 3rd final option is the classic head-to-head split screen mode. Player 2 controls a boy named Sterling who bears more than a passing resemblance to Oliver Twist
We all know the story don't we. Boy meets raccoon. Raccoon bites boy. Boy challenges raccoon to life-or-death puzzle duel
Movie Trailer voice guy It was a time of pain and destruction It drove boy and raccoon to the brink of madness NOW, their final battle commences
This is the story of the hard-working raccoon vs the lazy nappin' boy. Let's see how this new classic tale for future generations unfolds...
Now Jimmy see here, the raccoon busts his little behind while the boy naps
Now observe what happens and why hard work pays off
.... OK, so video games should not be used to teach life lessons...
Even Sterling has no clue how he won!
SUPER PLAY, who were extremely tough graders, rated this one pretty highly, given their strict standards:
Saying "The cute shell hides a rock hard interior. The learning curve is not set perfectly, but when the going gets tough, it's tough with a capital T. I've probably played this as much as any other game this month and I am still only half-way through the levels. Extensive play reveals Puyo Puyo-like tactics which allows for many chain reactions; and the two-player modes are the icing on an already appetizing cake"
Super Play put it well. This is a puzzler that gets better as you delve into its various tactics and techniques. Somewhat meh at first but quickly becomes highly charming and effective