What a sensation that Roger Rabbit film was. Not since, ooh, Bedknobs and Broomsticks had a film so cleverly mixed live action with cartoons. Thoroughly enchanting. And what a whopping pile of crap the original Roger Rabbit was. Absolutely abysmal. Still, times change, and now Roger's back thanks to Infogrames' lucrative Disney licence. Has he got any better? Let's find out...
But first, The Plot. Roger has been left in charge of that cute and cuddly Baby Herman while the obligatory cartoon Mommy (well, her legs at least) goes shopping, or something like that. And, oh calamity. Baby Herman spies a giant bottle of milk on top of a local dairy and shuffles off to get it, just like babies do all the time.
Unfortunately he leaves Roger locked in the house. All you, as Roger, have to do is to figure out how to get out of each room and eventually out of the house and after the wayward tyke.
If you don't get the little bugger back to the house before Mommy returns, then Roger gets sent to the science lab to have shampoo rubbed in his eyes in the name of progress. Needless to say, Roger is a little bit way of this outcome. So rescuing the tot is top priority.
Well, first impressions. Mind-blowing actually. Once you've spent half your lifetime installing the whole thing to hard disk, that is. But, that wee chore out of the way, the graphics, animation and speech are above and beyond anything I've ever seen on the Amiga.
You know all those fancy adventures on the PC? Well, that's exactly what Hare Raising Havoc is like. Without the adventure bit, if you see what I mean. Basically, you've got seven levels. Each one is a couple of screens long with various objects and items lurking in the fancy scenery. All you have to do is to figure out how to get Roger out of this scene and into the next.
And usually, it involves the most obscure and outrageous route possible. After all, why bother just climbing out of the window when you can bounce yourself off an ironing board, via the sofa and through the little window over the door?
So, don't think logically about things - remember it's Toontown and anything is possible! So we're all agreed that it looks great, and you'll have to take my word for it that it sounds brilliant as well.
But how does it play? I don't think we need be reminded of just how crap games with amazing graphics tend to be, do we? Dragon's Lair? Space Ace? Nice to look at but about as playable as a stringless guitar.
Thankfully, Roger doesn't suffer quite as badly as those aforementioned cock-ups, but even so it's not quite everything it could've been.
The trouble is that with so many sounds and animations clogging up the memory, there's very little room for a proper game. It's great fun for the first few hours, but once you've got each scene sussed it becomes a bit of a chore having to go through the same routine every time you play, just to get to a new level.
The good point of the game, besides the spanky presentation, is that it's ideal for kids. It's the same price as most other games, rather than masquerading under an inflated price tag to justify the graphics, and youngsters will be spellbound by it.
It's also fairly easy to get in to, so they should be able to proceed without too much help. Of course, it does need a hard drive to run which will put it out of reach for a lot of people, but if you do have a hard drive with a spare 2Mb on it then this could keep the sprogs happy for a good long while.
For the rest of us though, it's a nice attempt. It looks and sounds brilliant, it even plays quite well, but at the end of the day there's very little substance to the game. It does promise bigger and better things from the Disney licence though. One to show off with, but not much else I'm afraid.