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Is it time for a good Muppets video game?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Scooterforever, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    There's been a good amount of Muppet/ Henson based video games, most of which I've played, and non of which were particularly good. Nintendo's Muppet Adventures and Muppets: On With The Show for GBA had players going through a series of mostly boring and repetitive mini-games. GBA's Muppet Pinball Mayhem was just another pinball game, nothing special. PS1's Muppet Race Mania, which I own, isn't the worst of games; the boss fights are quite fun, and the levels are based off the Muppet movies/show, but the fact that it's a 100% Mario Kart knockoff and the clunky controls/ voice work hurts the game. NES's Japan-only Labyrinth game, which I used to have on my computer, is WAY too difficult from the start to be fun; the fairies were a minor annoyance in the film, in the game they apparently have an insane vendetta against Sara and pop out of nowhere. If you collect 3 hearts, you get to choose Hoggle, Ludo or Didymus to come in and help, which is cool, but you'll likely get a game over before this happens. Never played Muppets Party Cruise, but it's a pretty blatant Mario Party knockoff (Mario's gonna start eatin' frog's legs if the Muppets don't stop ripping him off) So anyway, with that brief review of horrible Muppets VG's, isn't it time we got a good one?

    I had an idea, it's sort of in keeping with the set-up of the recent Ghostbuster's (Xbox version was fantastic) and DC Universe online video games. Basically, Scooter has been promoted to associate producer/ co-manager, or something like that, because he's definitely beyond being a gofer at this point, and The Muppets proves this. Anyway, the player has the role of The Muppet Show's new gofer, first week on the job. Players can build and customize their own Muppet. Their character's job would be to accomplish various missions in order to make sure the show runs smoothly, and would work closely with Beauregard, who acts as an occasional backstage helper, as he did on the show. Players would get their missions from Scooter and/or Kermit. The missions would of course revolve around other familiar Muppets and vary in design and difficulty. For example, one type of mission would require players to go around the Muppet Theater collecting missing stuff the Muppet performers need for the show, i.e. talking vegetables for the Swedish Chef, boomerang fish for Lew Zealand, various gag objects (rubber chickens, whoopee cushions) for Fozzy, missing pages of the spell book that turned Miss Piggy into stone (from the classic Tony Randall episode). Another type of mission would have players working with Honeydew and Beaker to stop rampaging Muppet Labs inventions. I don't know how the guest star aspect would fact in, maybe a guest star could just be hinted at. The player would be able to freely roam the studio and choose which missions they want to do when.

    That's just an idea I had. Anyone else have ideas for a new Muppets/ Henson related VG? What would you like to see in a new Muppets VG?
     
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The problem is, the best Muppet games are borrowed from others, and the worst ones are supposed originals. Chaos at the Carnival is garbage, so is the GBC game.

    I have no doubt a good Muppet game could be accomplished, but the question is how? Do we have the Muppets run around the theater to find various items to get the show done on time? Do we need to accomplish that through more minigame challenges? Do we have a RPG type game behind that?
     
  3. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    Another option, of course, is a game wherein you can play your favorite Muppets. The best bet would be a game limited to playing a handful of Muppets, what most people consider the "core" 7 Muppets (Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Piggy, Animal, Rowlf, Scooter) and I think it'd be better to have a central theme than to have a game like Muppet Racemania or Muppet Party Cruise. Having a central villain/ villains always helps keep a game grounded. Maybe Muppets vs. Moopets in a Mortal Kombatesque fighting game;) (kidding). Maybe the Muppets vs. Moopets in a series of whacky made-up sports hosted by Louis Kazagger. I really have no idea, but it's fun to throw things out there. As evidenced by my recent drug-like addiction to Batman: Arkham City (Xbox360) and The Punisher (PS2), I love playing the characters I love.
     
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I don't mind the Muppets ripping off Mario Kart or Mario Party. I remember when I first played Mario Kart 64 and the first Mario Party I kept thinking there needed to be Muppet versions of those games (and I thought the same when Pokemon Pinball came out, though I've never played Muppet Pinball Mayhem). Other properties have had their own versions of the Mario Kart and Party concepts, though I don't care for Mario Party as much as I did when it first came out (I also like Muppet Party Cruise a lot less than I did when it came out, despite the use of so many characters including the return of Digit, which was one of my main reasons for liking it so much... And the possibilities of using so many characters was one reason I wanted a Muppet party game). While I like Muppet Party Cruise better than Mario Party, I was a little bit let down (there aren't any appearances by any Muppets who don't host mini-games, the playable characters get to introduce games, Andy and Randy are among the few who actually participate in the games they host, you don't automatically play mini-games as soon as each player has had a turn).

    I really like go-kart games, especially ones with known characters (I've also played Mickey's Speedway USA and Looney Tunes Racing, though the later was mildly disapointing... And I've played many of the Mario Kart games). I play Muppet Race Mania a lot more than any of the other Muppet games. Muppets: ON with the Show and Spy Muppets are also decent games, though not the greatest. The Muppets game for Game Boy Color is awful, though... It could have been a good game, but they had to make each level so hard. I'd say that's the Muppet equivilient of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for NES.
     
  5. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    Just flipped through footage of Muppet Monster Adventure for PS1 on Youtube. I'd seen it before, but I forgot all about it. The Muppet gang go to a haunted castle Honeydew inherited, only to be turned into familiar monsters (Honeydew as the Phantom of the Opera, Piggy as the Bride of Frankenstein, Fozzy as a Werebear). It's up to Robyn to turn his friends back to normal with Honeydew's inventions. It actually looks like an interesting game, but I think it's pretty rare too.
     
    newsmanfan likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The TMNT first game was garbage, but at least it had REALLY good music. The GBC Muppet game just... it was clunky all over and it didn't need to be hard because of poor concepts and bad play control.
     
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    And I bet there are millions more who know about the TMNT game than the Muppets game. Even without all the reviews from the likes of such online video critics as The Angry Video Game Nerd, I'm sure Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was more successful (The Angry Video Game Nerd pointed out in his "Nintendo Power" review that TMNT was in the #1 spot of the top 20 best-selling NES games for many issues, and I saw a listing of best-selling video games on wikipedia, can't remember whether it was based on copies sold or copies made, but believe it or not that first TMNT game for NES was the only TMNT game for NES that I saw on the list). I feel like the AVGN should review Jim Henson's Muppets for Game Boy Color, but he has rarely reviewed anything for Game Boy/Game Boy Color/etc., and I was looking at a listing of Game Boy Color games that James Rolfe has (at the Cinemassacre site), and it appears he doesn't own a copy of the Muppets game (his GBC collection seems to be limited).

    I liked the Game Boy Color game a lot more when it first came out (you can say the same about Muppets Party Cruise, Muppets from Space, Elmo in Grouchland -- both the movie and Game Boy Color game, Muppet Treasure Island, Bear in the Big Blue House, and a number of other Henson productions not on my list of favorites). I think it was because at the time Muppet video games were rare. I knew of Muppet Adventures but never played it, and I didn't have a PlayStation so couldn't play Muppet Race Mania or Muppet Monster Adventure (I later got a PS2 and have MRM but have never played MMA, or even seen a copy in person). Also, the game featured Rowlf, Sam the Eagle, and The Swedish Chef, so it was cool to see those characters. I ignored the difficulty for years. Also, while I like Animal better when he's part of The Electric Mayhem than alone, I enjoyed being able to play as Animal as well as Kermit here, with the rest of the band absent (aside from them being in images of saved game slots). But now, the only thing about it that I really like is the opening sequence (even though I often skip it when I play). I recall when it came out, I wondered if maybe it was an existing game (or existing unreleased game) from the early 1980s, judging by the graphics and the fact that it didn't have any post-TMS characters (Rizzo's not even in the game, aside from a vocal cameo I read about at Muppet Wiki).

    Jim Henson's Muppets and Muppets Party Cruise are the only games where my enjoyment has lowered a little. All the other games I've played (MCM, On with the Show, and Spy Muppets) my opinion is the same as when I played them (with the racing game being the only really impressive of the three, while the others I always saw as "good but not great").

    Aside from perhaps Muppet Monster Adventure, players are pretty much allowed to pick the order of the levels/worlds that they play (unless it's a certain mode, like On with the Show's "Story Mode" or Muppet Race Mania's adventure/tournament/battle modes). When it comes to video games, I feel the Muppets work best when placed in a competition. I'd like to see some Muppet sports games, even though I dislike/don't have much interest in the various Mario sports games (not counting the Mario Kart games, all of which I've played are great). As the writer of Muppet Robin Hood said when interviewed for Tough Pigs, the Muppets are seen as a family, so it's tricky putting in established characters as villians, though there are characters who'd work as villians. Or they could introduce some new bad guy Muppets in the video games, but would that limit the involvement of established characters? I feel the best bet for a non-competitive Muppet game would be something like Spy Muppets, with the characters playing roles (preferrably without the "educational game" elements of SM).

    I shall close this post with an interesting story: The Muppets game was the second Game Boy Color game I got, the first being the Elmo in Grouchland game. I didn't actually have a game boy color (my brother did, and I expected to use his) but asked for the game for Christmas, and not only got the EIG game but my own Game Boy Color. But then Muppets was my second game, which I got three months later. Interesting I went so long with only one Game Boy game of my own (and another month or two with only two games).
     
  8. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    I've never played the Muppets GMC game or knew it existed until reading about it here. There seems to be no gameplay footage on the web, but from what I saw on Muppets Wiki it's a standard GBC side scrolling adventure game. It seems odd the playable characters are Kermit and Animal, I mean of course they'd have Kermit as a playable character but I'd expect Fozzy or Gonzo to be chosen over Animal.

    Anyway, I still think it'd be cool to have a game where the Muppets take on the Moopets, again it could be a pseudo-sports game where the Muppets and Moopets compete in an array of bizarre sports.
     
  9. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Most Muppet video games have been dreadful. I did like Muppet Pinball Mayhem(GBA 2002), Muppets Inside CD Rom(PC, 1996) and a few of the levels on Muppet Mania Racing(PS1 1999) But other than that, to me they've been dreadful

    Im shocked there hasnt been ANY Muppet game for the ds...I mean they put the most obscure/aint noone is going to buy it licencing titles on the ds
     
  10. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    An awesome interactive Muppet-theater themed game for the wii or X-box would be the coolest. It's on my "Christmas/prayer/complain about to people who don't really care list. ;):D
     
    minor muppetz likes this.
  11. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    I would love a game where we can play as the Muppets and, I dunno, save the theatre? I love more interactive games where you can play in the world of the characters.
     
  12. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    that would be cool to have walter with them
     
    We Got Us likes this.
  13. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    Yes, I think it would be cool to be able to fully explore the Muppet theater.
     
    newsmanfan and We Got Us like this.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I keep forgetting about Muppets Inside being a video game, mainly because it was a CD-ROM. I rarely consider computer games "video games" if they weren't also released on a console.
     
  15. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Personally, I'd like to see an RPG-type game (or action-adventure). Sketches themselves would be mini-games unlocked by finding the various parts needed for the sketch. And while it'd be unlikely for crossovers, I'd like to see some Easter Eggs for hardcore fans, such as holes in the wall that no one seems to know how they got there or Jareth's amulet in a dressing room or something. :)
     
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I saw a Pillow Pets game. No fooling... Pillow pets. No wonder that guy got angry and left Capcom. These bad American start ups make the WORST video games with the dumbest licenses.

    The problem with licensed character video games of any kind is that they're either a clone of something else, or extremely original to the point where everything's too experimental.

    Muppets will never be able to get out of the minigame ghetto... They've been there since Atari 2600 Pigs in Space... and that's basically a Muppety Hack of a bunch of other 2600 games.

    Now, the one really good game no one ever played (and I did) was Sesame Street Counting Cafe. it's very repetitive, though... 6 levels of 5 meals a day... but you get some nice Easter Eggs... Mumford, Farley, and Sam the Robot are in it.
     
  17. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    I had a similar idea, where you're the Muppets' new gofer (Scooter's been promoted) and you have to go around doing different missions (i.e. going on scavenger hunts to find props for performers, helping Bunsen & Beaker stop rampaging Muppet Labs inventions) to make the show run smoothly. Some of the missions could be taken straight from episodes of the original show, i.e. rounding up a bunch of rampaging rabbits who drank Bunsen's Jekyll & Hyde potion (Alan Arkin), or finding the spell book pages needed to turn Piggy back from stone (Tony Randall). These wouldn't be mini-games per say, as you'd have to explore the theater to accomplish most missions, whereas mini-games in past Muppet VGs were often limited to one area. There could even be a mission where Bunsen sends you back in time to the days of Muppet Babies, or a mission where you find yourself wandering into Fraggle Rock through a hole in the studio wall.
     
    Vincent L likes this.
  18. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    I've always been kind of into the idea of either a Sims-like game, where you run the Muppet Theater, or a point-and-click type game (think Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Sam and Max, et cetera). I dunno. This is why I'm not a game designer :o
     
  19. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    Hmm... Sims was a good game, it's hard to imagine how exactly the format would be adapted to the Muppets, but I sort of get the idea. Maybe, like in the Sims franchise (I'm talking Sim City, Roller Coster, etc., not just "The Sims") you could build and customize to your liking. You could customize your own Muppet show, i.e. selecting skits (choosing songs, performers, themes, etc. for a skit), creating set designs, even building your own Muppets (to be used along with the regular cast, of course), and you have to make sure it all runs according to plan. I'd imagine you'd take on the role of Kermit in such a game, which I think would be more fun than being a fly-on-the-wall like in the Sim-related games.
     
    muppetlover123 and Speed Tracer like this.
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I was thinking of an idea today, though it could be a little weird.... Basically, the Muppets go on a trip by airplane, but Gonzo goes onto the wrong plane, not realising it's the wrong airplane until after it's taken off, so Gonzo must jump from plane-to-plane to catch up with the right plane, occasionally boarding big airships (like the ones in Super Mario Bros. 3 and The New Super Mario Bros. Wii). Other possibilities would be that Kermit couldn't afford to bring everyone on the plane they were traveling on, so Gonzo volunteered to ride a much cheaper plane, intending on jumping from plane-to-plane in the sky as his newest act. Or perhaps it could be Sweetums going from plane-to-plane.

    Or maybe an idea where the Muppets must do some kind of task, and players can pick from perhaps ten different characters (right now I'm thinking Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Walter, Animal, Rowlf, Scooter, Pepe, and Rizzo), with various other characters providing weapons for temporary use (Bunsen and Beaker provide gagdets from Muppet Labs, Beauregard provides tools, Lew Zealand provides boomerang fish, Crazy Harry provides exploding devices, The Swedish Chef cooks up some food to use as weapons, Sweetums provides large clubs, etc.) and perhaps certain characters could help at certain times.

    Or maybe a game made up of five or more stand-alone worlds of four levels each, each featuring different playable characters and unrelated tasks. I think somebody mentioned something like this here already. Some worlds could resemble episodes of The Muppet Show, others could be more original.
     

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