#36 – Amagon

                                         

                                                                            Little Ronnie Howard’s all grown up.

 

                  

                                                    Shoot those birds, Amagon. That’ll teach ’em to fly on your island!

 

PLAYERS: 1

PUBLISHER: Sammy Studios

DEVELOPER: Aicom

GENRE: Platformer

RELEASE DATE: April 1989

 

Let’s begin with semantics: what is an “Amagon” exactly? If your guess is a bunch of letters strung together, you’re close! According to the official Amagon press release by American Sammy, it’s a Marine who can morph into an Incredible Hulk-esque character. Good ol’ “American” Sammy was aiming squarely for the mid-80’s male audience with this game; people who loved their Stallone, Van Damme, and Scharwzenegger movies. But does it work, or does Amagon need to get his oily pectoral muscles out of our Nintendo?

 

Amagon is stranded on an island, and the only way he can get off of it, is, naturally, to destroy every single living thing on it. Elements of Altered Beast, Adventure Island, and Contra will smack you in the face. The Adventure Island-esque enemies are cutesy and non-descript, and though they do attack you, is it necessary to use a gun? Even Sir Higgins used a hammer or boomerang. It doesn’t particularly bother me in an ethical sense, but their presence feels strange and out of place. The actual gameplay is similar to Contra, in that you’re all guns blazing through the game, until you decide to shapeshift after getting the “strongman” power-up. One you have become AMAGON, LORD OF THIRD-WORLD ISLAND, you run amok with your fists, smashing everything in your path; no bird or tree varmint is safe. Amagon handles the transformation segments a lot better than Altered Beast did, in part because Amagon can actually move fast unlike the Beast. If you’re Lord Amagon, you usually have about four to five hit points, but beware if you’re cadet Amagon. The latter is the weakest Marine you’ve ever seen: one piddly hit knocks him down. Again, this worked in Contra when you’re dealing with bullets, but when a bee launches his stinger bomb at you? Yeah, let me see your credentials, Amagon. For the record, I am trying to write the word “Amagon” as much as possible because there’s a chance I’ll never be able to use it outside of this review. Amagon!

 

                                                                

                                                                                                          What is this?

 

Does Amagon ever reach the end of the island? Probably, but it’s hard to care with the lack of personality embedded into the thick hollow shell that is the main character. No one should play this game unless they’re Amagon-curious, and that should be a very small percentage of the population.

 

D+

 

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  • Mike

    Had This one as a kid, and it was the first one I rebought as an adult when I was re-purchasing my nintendo / games. Tough game, but apparently getting more points more quickly gives better bonuses / more hulk options. Lord help you if you made it to the boss without the power.

    • DylanCornelius

      Need to replay this one. It's been a couple years.

  • Alanna

    When I was 9 or 10, my aunt brought my two same age cousins and myself to rent a video game to keepus entertained for the afternoon. The rental store had an enormous selection with 300 nes games to choose from. All of those amazing games and my two dippy male cousins decided to rent this… my vote went unnoticed and it was likely for Contra, I loved me some Contra. It was a disappointing afternoon indeed as this game is pooptacular. We ended up playing outside and hitting each other with sticks.. still less painful than Armagon.

    • DylanCornelius

      I love your stories. Thanks for commenting!

  • Sentri the Seeker

    Amagon probably shouldn't be the first game on your blog where I post a comment, but I'm doing so because I recall this as the first game I received as a Christmas gift along with the console so that I would have something else to play besides SMB/Duck Hunt. I had already played awesome games that my cousins had like Gauntlet & Metroid so there was no point in me getting the same games, right? “Lack of personality” pretty much summed up my experience playing this game, which drove me to utter boredom quickly. I tried replaying several times, but could never muster enough tenacity to finish it. Though I'd prefer to forget this game completely, the goofy music is still stuck in my head after 25 years. Eck!

  • shadowdancer21b

    I like Amagon. The music in later levels is really really good. The enemies get really weird and crazy too.