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Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 57%
Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama
Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama
  • Review Score:

  • C+
I think it's safe to say that Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama is not the kind of game Electronic Arts would put in their 2012 product catalog. The EA of today is far too safe and calculating; the days of experimenting are over, replaced by an assembly line of me-too shooters, annual sports titles and whatever racing game Criterion has come up with for this season. The EA of today doesn't have room for a "comedy" action/platformer with a strange time travel conceit.

Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama is a silly game, but you probably already knew that from the title. You play Normy, a wannabe cool dude who gets to the swinging beach party just as aliens decide to steal all of the beach babes (and their beach ball). Bad news, Norm! To make matters worse, the beach has been turned into a toxic waste dump. Thankfully, as luck would have it, Normy finds a magical bottle of sun tan/time travel lotion. Now it's up to Normy to go back in time, collect all of the beach babes and save his beloved beach.

Never mind the outlandish set-up, Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama is a fairly traditional action/platformer. You run around through a bunch of different times - 65,000,047 BC, England 1447, the Jungle 1932, Transylvania 1973, Planet X-Y+Z 2447 - fighting era-appropriate bad guys and silly bosses. Along the way you find rocks to throw, chickens to choke and pies to throw. It's a "wacky" roller coaster ride of painfully bad ideas mixed with juvenile humor.

Despite its groan-worthy stabs at humor, Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama does have a certain charm. Each level has its own set of bad guys to take on, including a number of fun references to iconic movies. The level designs are also good, introducing new obstacles and challenges along the way. From time to time the player will have to complete tasks, like reuniting a dinosaur with their lost baby or fighting the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the Tarzan-inspired jungle stage, players are asked to swing from vines and battle monkeys. It's all very charming.

Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama (Genesis)

Unfortunately, too often the game's poor controls get in the way. Normy has a bad tendency of walking too slow and running too fast. There are times when he's practically out of control, which always results in him taking damage or falling down a bottomless pit. The weapons are also ineffective. You spent a lot of time with short-range attacks, which leads to too many cheap hits. Worse yet, you start each level of the game without a weapon, leaving Normy defenseless.

The graphics are good and Normy has a specific art style. It looks a lot like The Wizard of Id come to life, and not just because the game starts in prehistoric days. You can tell Electronic Arts put some money behind the game's presentation. Too bad none of that money trickled down to the people working on the game mechanics.

Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama (Genesis)

Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama is a silly game with a lot of problems. The gameplay doesn't always work and the jokes make me roll my eyes, but I had a reasonably good time trying to win back the beach babes. Even if this isn't a must-play, I would like to see Electronic Arts get back to the days when they were willing to take chances on games like Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama.
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