#287 – Hook

At least the movie’s good.
A couple of fools playing dress-up on a cruise ship for the damned…
Return this off-model coloring book to the 99 cent store, post haste!

PLAYERS: 1-2 alternating

PUBLISHER: Sony Imagesoft

DEVELOPER: Painting By Numbers

GENRE: Platformer

RELEASE DATE: April 1992

Three awful movie-licensed titles in a row? If I believed in karma, I might wonder who I’ve wronged for the universe to cast these three unspeakable evils upon me. Hook is up there with Home Alone 1 + 2 in the “abomination” genre of NES games. There is nothing redeeming about it. From the drab, pastel graphics, to the awful muzak, the clunky controls, and the busted-platformer gameplay, Hook is the epitome of a worthless game.

Now I’ve never seen the film “Hook,” and there’s a reason for that: I don’t like Peter Pan. I don’t like the concept of a man-child flying around in tights and playing make-believe with actual children at all hours of the night, and neither should anyone else. Even as a kid, this odd story failed to resonate with me, and indeed, made me uneasy. (EDIT: I have since seen “Hook” and it is awesome. Shame on me). Thankfully, Hook alters the traditional story. In the game, you play as Peter Pan, but you’re supposed to rescue your children from Captain Hook. Much nicer. For pretty much every level, though, you’ll be “rescuing” peaches and acorns and coins, just so the level will end. That’s right: in order to progress to the next level, you have to collect worthless everyday objects. The game never says why, but I’m assuming so you can bribe Captain Hook into letting your children go. “But look, Smee, I have at least a dozen peaches here! Trade for Wendy?” There’s a surprising amount of levels in which to collect said grocery items in exchange for your children, so if you actually want to beat the game, you’re in it for the long haul. At least Home Alone 2 was honest: four levels, you’re done, THQ’s got your money, you’ve got a fistful of tears. Hook leaves one feeling empty and alone.

One last reason to not play Hook: you have a dagger, but it does no damage to enemies. The game wouldn’t pose a challenge at all if you could use your weapon, but because you’re forced to jump over and around enemies, you’ll be dying quite a bit. Truthfully, I’ve always wondered if Peter Pan could die. Hook answers that question with a resounding, “Yes, thank God.”


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3 replies on “#287 – Hook”

“But look, Smee, I have at least a dozen peaches here! Trade for Wendy?”

Nobody named Wendy is worth a dozen peaches. Not by a longshot.

The dagger can damage enemies, but it’s unreliable. Sometimes it connects and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve managed to beat this game, and both the flying levels and the one-on-one swordfighting levels are actually pretty fun, but the sidescrolling levels are underwhelming to say the least.

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