Bungee Ferret Tossing
October 9, 2012 1 Comment
Ignore the above name. Thanks to “retro” Atari 2600 style graphics, you can’t really see that you’re tossing adorable animals that explode on contact at your enemies. It actually looks more like Spider-Man throwing dried out dog turds at Lego figures. But, since that comes dangerously close to infringing on the plans for Traveller’s Tales next licensed schlock, Bungee Ferret Tossing it is!
One of my pet peeves is retro-looking games that only do it part-way. Bungee Ferret Tossing looks like an early 80s console game, but it doesn’t sound like one. At all. There’s full voice narration, a generic soundtrack that should have been chiptuned, and the most annoying sound effects in recorded history. I can’t stress enough how bad they are. Imagine a marching band made of bag-pipers and Fran Drecher operating a jackhammer. Actually, don’t. I don’t want that on my conscience. Just, trust me on this. It’s bad.
So the “throwing explosive ferrets at enemies” gimmick is ruined because it doesn’t look like you’re doing that. That means the game has to stand on its own. Does it? Maybe a little bit. B.F.T. plays out like a wave shooter. You sway back and forth from a helicopter (hence the bungee part) lobbing grenades at enemies. If the enemies shoot you, or if a bird flies into your chopper, you lose health. Your health auto-refills, while the chopper has limited damage. Also, enemy fire causes you to swing more erratically, making it more difficult to aim your shots. Allegedly, at least. I could never quite get the hang of aiming while Spider-Man was swinging at a normal rate. The throwing physics don’t seem to line up with the laws of physics. At best, I could land a “ferret” somewhere in the general vicinity of an enemy and hope the generous blast radius would kill them. Generally it would, but then the game would pull a dick move by having me throw out timed grenades that seemed to only work if they stuck to a baddie. The really fun grenades, like ones that spread out or heat-seek enemies, don’t come until later on, and they’re so rare they might as well not be there. Once again, I found myself wishing that someone would follow Bird Assassin‘s lead and give you all the fun stuff early on, let you abuse the shit out of it, and have a good time for your dollar.
Don’t let this discourage you from getting Bungee Ferret Tossing. I actually did have fun with it. It’s a perfectly good waste of a half-hour. I just wish it did more. There’s a Survival mode that’s dull as dishwater, and a time-attack mode that basically makes a mess of the whole game. The enemies shoot at you non-stop, and even with “blinking” you have no chance of survival once you’re tagged. On top of that, the controls for that particular mode feel like they were dipped in road tar and then mummified. Why are the controls so stiff in it? I don’t know. Neurosyphilis perhaps, although that’s probably giving the developer way too much extracurricular credit. I keed.
So here’s the deal: Bungee Ferret Tossing is stupid stupid stupid. Some of the modes don’t work. It’s a bit too repetitive and doesn’t offer enough variety of enemies or weapons. BUT, it’s a little fun. That’s what counts in my book. Strip away the bullshit premise, hit mute on the TV, and remove the gore and it would be exactly like an old school Atari 2600 game. One of oddball titles that doesn’t suck to play nearly forty years later. Of course, like the best games from that era, playing it today is only good for about twenty minutes to an hour, and you’ll forget completely about it as soon you turn it off. Hey, that’s good enough for me. It’s like watching a Dukes of Hazzard rerun.