In this episode of Retro Wednesdays we take a look at the quirky NES game, Puss n’ Boots.
As a child of the 80s, there is one thing I’m very familiar with, franchises. TMNT, Thundercats, Transformers, everything was a franchise. You get a cartoon that is a hit then it’s the toys, video games, lunch boxes and everything else under the sun. Companies figured out if they can make something stick with kids they’ll ask for it non stop. Some of them were huge money makers, and some were flops.
I think its safe to say Puss n’ Boots was a flop.
That’s my best guess as to why this game exists. You take a cute character, make a video game that’s a hit and boom, you can print money. Unfortunately for Puss n’ Boots they stumbled out of the gate with the game.
It’s not that I think this Puss n’ Boots is bad but it’s certainly not good. You have a platform-adventure where you travel the globe moving left to right. Some levels you’re in water, some you fly, and for that I will give them credit for the level variety. I’ll also give them credit for the boss variety because they’re all wildly different. Where the game fails starts in the visual department. At first glance Puss n’ Boots looks OK for a 1985 NES title, but this game is from 1990! The same year the Super Famicom was released. Graphically this game is a a real drag considering the release date.
In the game you play as Pero (the cat) and you have three weapons to choose from a gun, a bomb and a boomerang. The boomerang seems to work really well on bosses and the gun for just about everything else. We never found a good use for the bomb. Gameplay in Puss n’ Boots is good conceptually but the execution just flat out sucks. Enemies you attack have zero satisfaction, when you jump the entire game speeds up and as Brett pointed out the whole game feels like your character is not moving but he is moving the entire background. That is the largest flaw in Puss n’ Boots; the mechanics and execution, and for a game that came out so late in the NES lifecycle there really is no excuse.
The music is forgettable and in the end when we finally reached the point where the game was getting difficult we called it quits. Puss n’ Boots looked like it was an attempt at starting a franchise of sorts, but it fell far far short.