Released on the Sega Mega Drive in 1991 and developed by SEGA AM8 (Sonic Team), Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker is an extremely addictive platformer game.
Before I get into the review I think it is important to point out something. At the age of 5, I loved watching Michael Jackson on MTV and poorly attempting his epic dance moves. It usually resulted in me faceplanting, whilst trying to spin like the King of Pop. The film on which this game was based, was one large music video. It had some terrible acting between songs and of course the charismatic and evil Mr. Big; aka Joe “get this through your head…” Pesci.
Micheal Jackson’s Moonwalker – Shamone!
Moonwalker starts out like the Smooth Criminal music video. The stage is dark as MJ enters. He flicks a coin into a nearby jukebox, it lights up and the music kicks in. For me, the music is the best 8-Bit synthesised replicas on the Mega Drive.
There are 5 stages in total with 3 rounds in each. Each level has its own background music, all of which are classic Micheal Jackson hits. The levels and bad guys are also generally themed around the related music video. As you would expect with the opening sequence, the first level features Smooth Criminal as the background music. The second stage is set on the streets. You fight gang members and the likes of. The music for this level is, of course, Beat It!
The one main exception to this rule is the woods stage which has zombies. You would expect Thriller to be the music for this, but instead, I was greeted with Another Part of Me. With that said, there are versions out there with Thriller but my copy was one of the later ones.
Moonwalker Boss Fights – Ow!
Each round, I’m glad to say has a boss fight. Time and time again you’ll get immense enjoyment from holding down ‘A’ until MJ dances his opponents into an early grave. Just remember that this special move eats up a huge chunk of your health, so use it wisely.
I nearly spat my drink across the room when playing through Moonwalker again. In the final level of stage 2, you can get dogs to dance similar to the guys in the beat it music video. It’s an oddly glorious sight, which immediately wins Moonwalker bonus points. How many other games give you that opportunity?!?!? Also, by catching a falling star it’s possible to turn Micheal Jackson into a deadly mecha robot! Look it up, it’s the coolest thing you’ll see all day.
Why Moonwalker Rocks -Woo hoo!
The music is great, but what really made this game so good to me as a kid was the attention to detail on the characters and the related special moves. Even the way the woman holds you back on the first level replicates the Smooth Criminal video. You could also moonwalk without looking like a tit and between each level, Michael does an OWWWW. Of course, the facial animation is crease worthy now but back then it was pretty advanced stuff.
The Verdict on Micheal Jacksons Moonwalker – He He!
This is easily in my top 10 Mega Drive games. I give it a big 9 out of 10 Shamones and a monkey called Bubbles. The only way this game could have got a 10 in my eyes would have been to have a level where you get to drive a motorcycle as an MJ plasticine bunny. If you haven’t seen the Moonwalker film, that wasn’t another one of my random rants. That actually happened and was the highlight of the film for 5-year-old me.