Frankenstein: The Monster Returns

Votes: 6
Reviews: 1

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Reviewer: TonberryKing Date: Feb 24, 2003
Before Bandai was churning out DragonballZ toys, they were making games.

A unique licensed game, 'Frankenstein' taps into the yet unearthed well of games for horror fans and novelists alike. What could go wrong? Just stick to the script and it should be okay, right?

Well, that would be right if two things happened:

1.) if Bandai knew how to make games worth playing, and
2.) if Bandai knew how to make a licensed game based on Frankenstein without completely bastardizing the entire concept with their new, "fun" ideas.

Graphics: 9
I'll say one thing about Bandai: they know how to make a flashy game. Right from the beginning, you're treated to NES cutscene goodness. Frankenstein looks pretty cool, and all the characters you meet during the game look pretty cool too.

Well, their talking heads do during the cutscenes, at least. All the actual in-game graphics are okay, but nothing too special.

Sound: 8
I'll say another good thing about Bandai: they can make some good music when they want to. The regular in-game music is very appropriate for the atmosphere, and it hardly ever gets annoying.

The boss-battle music could use some tweaking though... after listening to it a couple minutes I was afraid I had accidentally started playing Tiny Toons.

Gameplay: 3
Here's where Bandai shows its true colors.

Complaint Number One: the Story. - Somehow, Bandai manages to COMPLETELY screw up EVERYTHING about the Frankenstein legacy as we know it. Read the novel? Toss it out the window. Seen any of the movies? Won't help you here.
The story, as I can see, goes something like this: Frankenstein has risen from the grave, and kidnapped your daughter/girlfriend/wife, Emily. As a character which you have to name (I picked CABUU), you have to battle your way to Frankenstein and save her.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, and i'll probably sound like a nerd for this, but Frankenstein was in fact the name of the DOCTOR, which created the monster in question. It doesn't have a name and is referred to as 'Frankenstein's monster.'
Apparently, however, Bandai either read the first few chapters of the book or watched 15 minutes of the movie before just going and making the game.
It gets worse from there. Apparently, before rising from the dead for a SECOND time, Frankenstein's MONSTER learned how to control all the other mythological creatures from wherever with some sort of weird voodoo. It doesn't say how, so i'm just left to assume that Frankenstein's MONSTER made some sort of hypno-ray while he was rotting in the earth's crust.

Complaint Number Two: the Gameplay - It's the standard crap you'd expect from a licensed game; hit enemies with swords/clubs/magic beams and heal yourself with potions you pick up along the way. It gets boring fast, and the game's incredibly shoddy collision detection doesn't help. Often I'd find myself why my attack didn't hit when the sword I was weilding clearly passed over the offending sprite.

Overall: 4
It does have some good points, but since I usually play my games, as opposed to simply watching or listening to them, and also because I have some respect for proper movie/book-to-game conversions, I can't reccomend it for anything other than just something to poke fun at.

"T'was crappy collision detection that killed the beast."