Written: 9.27.11 Acquired: 2.14.06 Status: Cart only Price: $5.75
Pub: Bullet Proof Software
Dev: Naxat | Red Company
The SNES enjoyed many quality years during its run. I like to think 1994 was the prime peak year in terms of quality AND quantity. That summer season was one of my favorites. Everyone was looking forward to SUPER Street Fighter II while I was eagerly anticipating World Heroes 2. One of the games I was always curious about that summer was this one. Lost in the shuffle at the time, today it enjoys the recognition it deserves. But just in case you missed it... Congrats Spike, yer RVGFANATIC Super Nintendo review #50!
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE??
Confession time. While I loved monsters growing up, honestly, I was never a big fan of Dracula. I dunno, he was always kinda, well, 'meh' to me. However, one morning in the early '90s I was flipping through the tube when I ran across a brand new cartoon: Little Dracula. Instantly I was pulled in. There was something about a kid Dracula that appealed to me. Not too long after my dad bought me this toy and I was hooked on all things Little Dracula. Fast forward two years to the summer of '94, I recall when I first saw Spike McFang, I couldn't help but think of my dear old friend, Little Drac. I never got around to playing Spike McFang until my SNES comeback. Was it worth the wait? You bet your glowing eyes it was!
The Twisted Tales of Little Dracula?!
THE STORY GOES...
Their names were...
And together, they ruled over the land peacefully
"I alone could rule over ALL of Vladamasco!" *maniacal laugh*
"All the riches of this world -- they BELONG TO ME!!!"
"I gotta go find some help. Who can help me save Vladamasco?"
Will Von Hesler's REIGN OF TERROR cease? It's up to you!
Talk about a joint effort!
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll play it all over again...
STARRING AND CO-STARRING...
Attractive lookin' bunch, eh?
GOTTA COLLECT THEM ALL!
Spike has two basic forms of attack. You can toss his hat at the bad guys, for one
Attacking with your top hat. Already the game's a winner
And here's the second way. Spin around, Spike! Your cape is a deadly weapon but beware, spin around TOO much and you'll spin yourself out, leaving Spike vulnerable for a bit. Gotta exercise some self-control now...
A: Fighter Island
C: Castle Dracuman
E: Kalala Desert
F: Village of Vampires
G: Ice Palace
H: Jungle of Mazes
I: Castle Von Hesler
LET THE TWISTED TALES BEGIN!
LET'S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD!
"And you been playing too many SNES games as well, Spike!"
"I know that scent anywhere. Don't tell her I like her, Professor..."
"DAMN, she told you"
"Hey Doc think we can crank that ride over there up to 88 MPH?"
Can Spike and friends save Vladamasco? Let the journey begin!
Spike is lacking a bit in the 'Respect Your Elders' department...
It's a long and tough journey ahead, young man. Before you jump in the deep end, first you must prove your worth and get your feet wet. You must pass a series of very difficult challenges. Tests more troublesome than any other in gaming history. Are you, young junior vampire magician hero wannabe, up for it?
Did you click on it yet? I'll wait. OK, good. Now we're ready to rock and roll. Let's check out Spike's first bit of training. Remember, as simple as these tasks may seem, it's vital to your growth and success
[Thought you said it was difficult? More than any other in video gaming history? -Ed.]
Ahem. Shush, you
Let's get our feet wet... keep the music rockin'!
Aaa-ohh HEY you! Who said that, baby how you been? You say you don't knoooow, you won't know until you begin Can't you see me standing here, I've got my back against the record machine I ain't the worst that you've seen. Oh can't you see what I mean?
Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump. JUMP!
[Alright alright -- back to our regularly scheduled programming -Ed.]
[Damn young kids these days, no respect. Why, in MY day... -Ed.]
It's oddly fun, and oddly addicting. In an odd sort of way, y'see
"You ain't the boss of me! But yes, I will proceed ahead..."
Whoa! CREEPY scene, init? Get the heck outta dodge!
The Twisted Tales of Gullible Spike McFang!
One of the oldest tricks in the book...
*sniff sniff* They grow up so fast. You blink and...
Here we see for the first time how effective chucking Spike's hat can be. Expect to do this about a thousand more times! POP goes the... sheep?!
Yeah don't hold back, Spike. Tell it like it is. TELL IT LIKE IT IS
[Why do I get the feeling something bad's about to happen? -Ed.]
"Oh, you want me to pose on this bridge for the RVG review? No problem, bud! Especially since I am the 50th SNES review here!"
*SNAP* "Uh, what was that?"
[Good thing we had him sign the waiver release form first... -Ed.]
They kinda look like the Goldfish snack. On steroids. Yummy
Eventually, Spike and Clarence duke it out. It's the timeless tale of student vs. teacher, pupil vs. master, mentee vs. mentor
[More like young little punk vs. crazy old man -Ed.]
If you manage to defeat ole Clarence boy, you'd have earned his full respect and fulfill one rite of passage. Plenty more up ahead!
Your chance to show Clarence a thing or 2, McFang!
Let's paint the town red. Destination BATLAND!
Ever heard of the term 'energy thief' ? These are those folks that talk to you and do nothing but sap your energy. They steal your strength by how incredibly self-centered they are, and they just love to talk your ear off. The good news is, Professor Steam is quite the opposite! Talking to him restores your health. What a charmer, eh? Meanwhile, Mr. Stonehead will save your game. What a terrific group of friends you have there, Spike. Lovely Recharge your batteries and save your game. SUH-WEET
Talk to the townsfolk. They have some interesting info...
"Hey you're new around these parts aren't you"
"That easy to tell eh"
"I'll tell you what's easy to tell -- I dumped my boyfriend a month ago and the poor sap's been takin' the whole thing rather hard. Hmm, suppose I can't blame him... but anyway, he's gone MAD. He's trying to con everybody who's new to town! Keep an eye out... he's round here somewhere!"
"Ah good to know, will do"
"What a shame. Hey know where I can find a good cheeseburger?"
They don't call it BATLAND for nothing
That Bat Signal look familiar to anyone else?
Just sayin'... just sayin'
"EAT HAT, BAT!"
Spike tries to recall what that one lady told him earlier...
CAUGHT IN THE ACT!
Yeah you better run for the HILLS!
Be wise to invest in some of the magic cards, fo sho
For 20 gold he'll crank out a random card for ya. GLLUUURRKK! Highly useful in most cases, I recommend playing his slot game!
You can carry different cards (which can be switched by the L/R trigger buttons). Simply press A in battle and the card selected will do its magic. They range in purpose and some are more useful than others. Save them for the boss battles
Like other action RPGs (although I'd classify Spike McFang more as an arcade action adventure), Spike can level up accordingly at different intervals, increasing his health points. It's extremely basic. No need to worry about any ring menus here. Just press start, start hackin' and let the good times roll. Not much thought required; it's laid out for you...
Colonel Hydra has invaded the castle of Dracuman and has placed Felina in charge. "You are now in charge of the castle, Felina. Do not shame your mother!" "Yes mother, I shall annihilate that little dracula boy if he dares step foot up in here! I run the show here!"
Back to the MEAT of the game we go, then!
Where else, I ask you, can you attack and mangle little garlic with feet and eyes? Somewhat amazingly, and certainly I am for one quite thankful, Spike McFang kept its Japanese weirdness intact when it was ported over to the States. Hallelujah and AMEN!
Killing bad guys sometimes lead to pocket change...
... or the BIG ONE!
"How am I gonna fit this in my pocket?!"
Few know this but... over the years many fans have clamor over the Secret of Mana. They talk about a sacred tree and such. Well, Twisted Tales of Spike McFang has its own special tree. Don't just take my word for it...
I'll let you in on a special exclusive... the secret of this tree is...
... SPIKE McFANG?! Ah that bloody little rascal thing... thinks he's so clever eh? SILLY VAMPIRE -- TREES ARE FOR KIDS! [Ohhh... I C WUT U DID DERE... -Ed.]
Don't gotta tell me TWICE!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the... moat. Sure why not -- sharks show up as well. Thankfully, Spike's abilities prove far too much for this moat-dwelling vampire-eater
By the way, gotta love the "chibi-ness" of this game. Spike over there looks like a little toy figure I played with in the Lego Duplo legacy way back in the day. It's all very endearing and captures your fancy in a way that you wish more games would. At least it's that way for me ^_^
They could have easily called this one... "The Charming Capers of Spike McFang"
IN YOUR FACE, SHARK NIGHT 3D!!
Yikes, Spike! That can't be too good now... you might want to beat it!
[What's Up, Doc Brown? -Ed.]
Sid is Spike's trusty old helpful moat-dwelling er, brontosaurus type thingy... friend... err, yeah. Look, let's just say he's super helpful!
"Lookin' for shark food you say, Sid? Oh. Um, yeah, about that..."
And you thought all those jumping tests by Clarence way back when was just for his cruel amusement. Not so!
Ah can't ya see me standin' here I got my back against the record machine... I ain't the worst that you've seen Ah can't ya see what I mean
[Not THIS again -Ed.]
Ah might as well jump. Go ahead an' jump. JUMP!
Funny scene, this. Spike gets a little too cocky for his own good. And this Stone Head... well... he doesn't take kindly to young uns disrespecting the older generations... watch
"LET THIS BE A LESSON TO YOU WHIPPERSNAPPERS!"
Spike still has much to learn yet. I've seen my fair share of butt whuppings [Now don't lie, you've had YOUR fair share -Ed.] but this one takes the cake. Talk about an ass kicking!
Next time you feel like opening your mouth, kids, THINK TWICE, BE NICE
On the bright side, for your troubles you do get to save your game
Zombies litter the castle palace. They breathe more fire than old Dhalsim and they're uglier than Blanka. Sucks to be them!
[Sucks to be you Spike! Not doing so hot there... HAR HAR -Ed.]
Don't judge based on the outside, it's the inside that counts...
Scenes and bits like this are oddly addicting and compelling
Here we come to another entertaining bit. Spike attempts to spring off this with the greatest of ease. Unfortunately for him, he's rather a bit of a klutz, you see. Poor guy, he goes flailing and sailing over into the dirty water of the moat below
Good news: you killed all the sharks
Bad news: Spike can't swim
[Shoulda trained for that... -Ed.]
Spike's dead meat if ya can't think of something FAST
Spike wants to save the land, but who's gonna SAVE SPIKE?
Hmmm, that looks like my old pal Spike there. Fell in, did he? Can't swim, can he? Killed all my shark food, too. Blast my loyalty-serving behind to the Heavens
HANG IN THERE SPIKE -- I'M COMING FOR YOU!
Bless that Sid, whatever he is. Bless his good heart.Without him poor little ole Spike McFang would be sleeping with the fishies tonight -_-
Although a short journey, you do hit up many different spots
Who needs Jeff Daniels when you got Spike McFang?
Damn. I knew it. The Mother Spider had to be hiding out somewhere. Bloody heck
Kill it in order to retrieve the key. Watch out for its babies
Love the feeling of attacking enemies diagonally. Sweet stuff it is, my dear friends
Classic boss flash patterns abound!
The key drops after killing her; go grab it to continue your quest
"ARGH! So frustrating, just let me through WILL YA?!?!" *felines snicker deviously*
Spooky... Spike's lost his face there! [Sad face -Ed.]
Let's see what Mr. Spike McFang's made of!
[Wow, that was fast. Spike, you disappoint me -Ed.]
[Ah, now I got cha. Nevermind. Well played, good sir -Ed.]
The battle is on!
Who will walk away victorious?
And who will be lucky to just walk away, period?
Only you can decide that...
Hope you have some cards saved up. Felina's a nimble little one, that lass. But Spike's got his ever trusty top hat. Look at him, with his little red cape and six dollar haircut -- don't judge a book by its cover!
Gotta love that kid's enthusiasm and spunk!
Later in your adventure you're joined by Rudy, who is a handy companion helper controlled by the computer. Check out this cool code to allow Player 2 to control Rudy: at the title screen press Down, B, Left, B, Up, Y, Right, Y
Although NPC interaction is light, what's there is nicely handled
The townsfolk add some solid atmosphere to the game. I just wish there was even more NPC interaction
Twisted Tales of Spike McFang is ideal to play in the winter time
You pick up all sorts of wacky and helpful clues along the way
Hmmm, I wonder who that stranger might be now...
Spike showing some spine there. I LIKE IT!
And now he's giving fashion advice! What a versatile lad...
Nice save there, Rudy. Quick on his feet, that one
Quick on his tongue too...
This gift flower's very cool. Hit it and gifts of all sorts sprout out. However, hit it too many times and...
"Hey Spike, if we leave and come back, so too will the flower..."
This is no adventure for wimps, I can assure you. Even though Rudy lobbies for it, there's NO turning back now...
"Get back here, Rudy! GET BACK HERE!"
Hmmmm, where have I seen THIS fool before?
Ah yes! The PlayStation / Saturn 3D platform adventure!
I liked Croc. Er, not the guy in McFang, but Croc the game. It was a fun 3D game. I was a little shocked at the time there weren't more mascot 3D games. Croc ain't the best game around.... but I sure found it fun in doses back in the day
WAT DA HAIL?!
Welcome to the chilly Ice Palace. Here you run into some rather memorable scenes...
Does this shot strangely remind anyone else of WHIZZ?
Hm, do I sense 'something' going on 'tween Spike and Camelia?
Speaking of something fishy going on, check this out. This 'innocent' bypasser asks your party a question or two
And just as you're about to leave you turn back and...
Didn't catch her name, but you sure CAUGHT HER IN THE ACT!
Spike gazes longingly at the Kingdom ahead of him
That Camelia, such a picky eater
Trust me, you are going to want to save your game there...
One wrong turn and it's BACK you go. The Jungle of Tough Love
"Heat of the jungle's driving me MAD. Makin' me wanna confess!"
Well, I guess one must find out one way or another to move on...
"Spike, you know, we could always head back"
"We could, but no, NO. This is something I must complete. If I have to do this by myself, so be it. But I HAVE TO FINISH WHAT I STARTED"
"I thought you'd say that. I always admired that about you, Spike. Wish I had it"
The final battle is just moments away -- GOOD LUCK!
Pack the right cards and Von Hesler's not too bad. Go Spike!
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
As you can see here, the critics rather loved Spike McFang and his crazy adventures. Super Play awarded the game an 82% score, and it was also ranked #96 on their Top 100 SNES Games List that they ran in issue #42, February 1996. EGM gave it ratings of 9, 8, 8, 8 and 8. Sadly, it fell under the radar by and large when it was released back in the summer of '94. However, today, glance at any "Sleeper" or "Hidden Gems" Super Nintendo recommendation topics and I can almost assure you that somewhere, The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang is listed. In terms of games people suggest when asked "Name the good ones not named Metroid, Zelda, Mario or Street Fighter" -- Spike McFang almost always pops up. And for good reason, too! Well done Naxat / Red Company / BPS. Well done indeed
"Spike McFang's a must play for all SNES gamers" -RVGFANATIC
Just a shame we never saw a souped up sequel...
Summer 1994. It was a great time... a time of innocence... a time of childhood, a time of many wonderful games. It took me nearly 15 years later but I finally played and completed The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang. Other than the fact that it's criminally short, I was not disappointed much. It's got plenty going for it: a very likeable main guy, some memorable key friends, nice graphics and satisfying gameplay, even if it is rather linear and straight forward. It's also got some fun boss battles, a quirky enemy roster and general wackiness that does not appear in very many Super NES games. There's just *something* about Spike McFang that makes you stop and go, "Now this one... marches to the beat of its own darn drummer." And you can't help but love that about it
It's not quite a RELIGIOUS experience... but it sure is ROCK solid
I'll be quick to say it: Spike McFang is an underrated little gem all SNES gamers must play. It's a charming adventure that, while yes extremely short, delivers the goods. The biggest downside is the game takes roughly three hours to beat. Yes, you read right. 3 measly hours. Part of me would love to have seen what a 15-20 hour game featuring Spike McFang might look like, but the nice thing too about the shortness of the game is you could finish it in one (semi) lengthy lazy Sunday afternoon. It is an adventure I do find myself coming back to once in a blue moon. Still, part of me wonders what if they added in multiple routes, side-quests, more wild locales and more storyline twists, all packed in a 15 to 20 hour world. Instead of being one of the better 'hidden gems' on the system, it could have been one of the better games for SNES, period. Alas, this is what we have. The best way to describe The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang: short and sweet. It's not going to change or rock your world the way say, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or a Terranigma, did, but you likely won't regret you gave this the time of day either. So if you haven't played it yet, what are you waiting for? Vladamasco NEEDS SAVING! Sport your snazzy blue top hat and your red twirly cape -- it's time to kick some VON HESLER ASS!
Graphics: 8 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 8 Longevity: 6.5
Double Silver Award
Even so, as is, it's wacky, whimsical and full of WIN ^_^
Join us for the swell sequel: The Sappy Stories of Spike McFang!
Madcap adventures await -- don't delay -- save Vladamasco today!