Defunct Games
  1. 1989
  2. 1990
  3. 1991
  4. 1992
  5. 1993
Hudson Hawk
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Hudson Hawk Hudson Hawk Hudson Hawk
  • Review Score:

  • F
If I had a time machine, I wouldn't bother going back to see the dinosaurs roam or the Romans play. I'm not interested in stopping Hitler or meeting Jesus, I'll leave the heavy lifting for the next guy. With my time machine I would travel back to 1992 and sit in on the Hudson Hawk pitch
meeting. Forget seeing Joe DiMaggio hit the ball or Mozart perform, I want to meet the guy who was able to convince Sony and Ocean that this video game was a good idea.

Sadly, I don't have a time machine, so I'm forced to take wild guesses that are probably way off base. But if I had to guess, I suspect the game was sold solely on the weight of big movie star Bruce Willis. This is an actor that was coming off of two popular Die Hard movies and everybody involved expected Hudson Hawk to be the next big thing. No matter how the game was pitched, it's clear that everybody involved was bamboozled. Not only is Hudson Hawk a stain on Bruce Willis' career, but this 8-bit NES game remains one of the worst movie adaptations of all time.

Hudson Hawk (NES)

Much like the movie it's based on, the titular character (played in the movie by Mr. Willis) spends most of the game trying to break in and steal some of Leonardo da Vinci's greatest works. There are two different buildings to sneak into, each guarded by the police, security cameras, spike traps and more. It's up to Hudson Hawk (and only Hudson Hawk, sorry Danny Aiello fans) to climb, jump, sprint, duck and weave his way to the prize.

On paper that sounds like a great premise for a game, but Hudson Hawk undermines its potential every step of the way. The game's painful difficulty isn't helped by the annoying trial and error gameplay. There is one correct path through each building, but finding the right way means banging your head against the wall until you get it right. The sluggish controls, frustrating enemies and unfair leaps of faith only accentuate what is bad about this late generation NES release.

Hudson Hawk (NES)

Beyond the heist storyline, this game has very little to do with the movie. The tone of the film is decidedly goofy, perhaps even intestinally bad. There's singing, dancing and buffoonish slapstick. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone suggested that Hudson Hawk makes you "want to throw things, yell at the actors, beg them to stop." But as horrendous as the movie is, at least it's interesting. Nothing about Hudson Hawk pulls you in and makes you care about Hudson or his crimes. I feel like this game stole three hours I'll never get back.
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