This month, I’ve actually run out of negative adjectives and adjective phrases. Seriously. I’ve got nothing. Being that my review for this month is of Cool World, I’m in a bit of a bind. So, for this review, I’ve decided to replace everything negative that I have to say with positivity. So just remember that when I say something like, “The game was quite enjoyable”, what I really mean is, “It was the video game equivalent of forced sodomy with a syphilitic Christmas tree.”
In 1992, Cool World was unleashed upon an unsuspecting American public, who had no idea that viewing said movie would result in their very souls being burned through their eye sockets. It was actually one of the better films from that year. It took a whole other year for Ocean to condense such magic into an NES cartridge.
Cool World is another game in a long line of licensed video games that goes against the model of excessive playability and overdone coherence. Gamers of today have been spoiled by video games that are way too easy. It takes too little effort to figure out what’s going on, and there’s never any confusion as to what your goal is in the game. Cool World offers a gaming experience where trying to figure out what’s going on is most of the fun. The game doesn’t hold your hand with simplistic differentiation between enemies and items that you can pick up.
The play control is also out-of-the-ordinary, in that two entirely different features are controlled by the press of the same button. Whether your character attacks or ducks is left up to random chance. This creates a situation where the player doesn’t even know what their character is going to do next. The greater element of surprise is not something that is easily found in contemporary video games that hyper-emphasize controller response to a degree to induces boredom in its lack of spontaneity.
The level design is a breath of fresh air, and a change of pace from the stale convention of beatable levels. Cool World allows players to choose between four different levels that all lack an ending. There is not a single level in the game that is burdened with tasks other than erasing enemies or sucking them into your pen. Since there is no ending, you don’t spend your time anxiously wondering if the level is over or not. Until you actively shut off your Nintendo, the level is never over. Ultimately, this leaves the player with total control of when his or her game will end.
Most modern videogames make use of the same tired old trend of incorporated music. This is yet another area where Cool World goes against the flow of the mainstream. By definition, music is sound that has been organized into cohesive rhythms. The problem with this is that the sounds adopt a discernible pattern, and cease to be surprising. Once you recognize the pattern, you can figure out what’s coming next. Cool World takes not a step, but a giant leap past the boring, rhythmic tunes of yesteryear. The game’s music is full of midi-generated tones that lack all signs of organization, making for a post-modernist feel to the soundtrack.
My time is very valuable to me, and often I find that I dislike a game for keeping me occupied for long stretches of time. Thankfully, I only had to dedicate several minutes of my life to get enough sense of Cool World to write review of it. In fact, it was such an orgasmically enlightening gaming experience that I no longer have even the remotest inkling of desire to expend any more of my precious time with the game.