Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Zool Reviewed by Chad Reinhardt on . Rating: 57%
  • Review Score:

  • C+
"Get Ready" boasts the first screen of Zool. "Ready for what?" I pondered in anticipation. Had I un-earthed a rare gem forgotten by time? Were the 8-bit gods of yesteryears smiling down on me as I fired up my Master System? Unfortunately they were not. Zool pushes the graphics on the Good 'ol Master System quite a bit, but that does not make it a classic. Instead, this one is a blatant Sonic clone with very little going for it.

Zool is, I think, a gremlin of some sort. I only have the Gremlin Software logo he poses by in the opening to go on. He does look like he got his super hero outfit at the same outlet mall that Aero the Acrobat frequented in his days while walking the mascot beat. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it takes a certain kind of hero to buy his garb at wholesale prices. In keeping with the Aero analogy, he also possesses about the same handful of moves as Aero, minus the flying and occasional ass-kicking.

Zool has quite a strange look going for it as well. Why a gremlin would start out in a lollipop candy cane world is obviously far beyond me. I would have expected a darker look, but apparently I don'ts knows my gremlins like I thought I did.

This is also a game in the Hook/ Demon Sword bane, as Zool can jump across the screen like no other. Of course, you always land on your enemies this way, and jumping on them will not kill them as it should. In addition to soaring across the level in a somewhat spectacular manner, Zool tries to capitalize on that sense of speed exhibited by the infinitely more popular Sonic series. You remember Sonic, don't you?

Zool also scales walls in a Ninja Gaiden approach; that is, he climbs the wall and has to jump up to get off the wall he is on. I've never liked that about the Ninja Gaiden games, and I also don't like it here.

So, to recap; we have a hero dressed like Aero soaring across the screen like Sonic jumping off of walls like Mr. Gaiden. Without a tinge of originality, I cannot give this game much of a score. If it were fun to play, it probably would have done better. It's not that these borrowed elements are done poorly; they're just elements we've seen in better games. Sorry Zool, you are not the Gate Keeper or the Key master!
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