In the late eighties and throughout the nineties, some people believed that videogames were creating a generation of murderous, rage-filled children who were being taught to kill with ruthless efficiency by these digital simulations of military combat. Anyone who thought that is an idiot, of course - if people had learnt combat techniques from arcade shooters, their rampages would have been very short indeed. These are not tactics that translate well to real-world situations, especially since you can't just nip to the bathroom and pick up a first-aid kit after you've been hit in the chest by a high-velocity sniper round. Case in point: SNK's 1989 mow-em-down-em-up Mechanized Attack.

Mechanized Attack is a lightgun game in the grand old style - anything that moves is evil, probably a Communist, definitely out to destroy America and is in urgent need of a hot lead bath so thorough that the post-battle clean-up will be accomplished using paper towels. Really, this screen from the attract mode sums up everything you need to know about the game:

Trigger = bullets. I think I can remember that. What, that's not good enough for you? You need a little more motivation? Well, here's the story.

Does... does that guy have a framed picture of himself on the wall behind him? Maybe it's his identical twin brother peering in through a window.
So, your mission is to "save captured spies". Don't suppose you'd like to furnish me with any information regarding the target? No reconnaissance footage, intel on enemy munitions, a photograph of these spies we're supposed to be looking out for because it sure would be embarrassing if you accidentally shot them in the confusion? No? Oh well, it's probably for the best that we don't get much information because our playable heroes don't look like they've got the mental capacity to remember any of it anyway.

Hey, Duke Nukem had to get started somewhere. Both these guys have truly atrocious trigger discipline: it's a wonder they haven't already accidentally shot each other, although I don't think it'd matter to the guy on the left because he's honed his natural smugness to such an overwhelming degree that it envelops him in an a protective barrier that cannot be breached by conventional weapons.
On with the mission, then. Our heroes decide to approach the island by sea...


Aww, isn't that nice? The azure sky, the tranquil waves, it's just beautiful. There are no enemy forces in sight, so hopefully we can sneak onto the island and...

OH JESUS SHIT A BRICK. Fire! Fire! There's a rocket-propelled carrot headed right for me and that prick behind the boat's gun turret is laughing. That's what you get for trying to wade across the goddamn ocean! Really though, what the hell kind of scale is this game working to? This water is clearly deep enough for a battleship to sail on, so does that mean we're in a boat too? Are we swimming? This is what I mean about videogames not providing a good education in military strategy. Battleships and attack helicopters are fairly large. Our heroes must have seen them but they decided that splashing around in the middle of the sea, completely exposed to any passing boat, frogman or helicopter, was the right course of action. I mean, you'd have thought that their superior officers could have least told them about the ruddy great battleship patrolling the waters, but no - the first I knew about it was when a salvo of missiles wedged themselves firmly up my backside.

Those scuba divers aren't even part of the enemy forces - they're just pissed off that our hero's military action is disrupting the fragile undersea ecosystem.
The battleship is the boss, although it's not really much different from the rest of the stage - missiles pour of out the ship faster than bullshit out of Joey Barton's Twitter account, and you've got to shoot them out of the air while also trying to hit the ship's turrets. You can also press a button on the side of the gun to throw a grenade, and luckily throwing a hand-held fragmentation grenade at a battleship is much more effective in Mechanized Attack than it would be in real life (that is to say, it's not completely useless). With enough bullets - the magical, mystical armour-piercing bullets your Uzi fires - pumped into the battleship, it explodes and you can head onto the island and into stage two.

You know... them. The forest people. Also a convoy of tanks.

I told a lie a second ago: you can't move on to the next stage until you've destroyed the tanks. I don't know if it was an attempt by SNK to fake players out by having a boss battle followed immediately by another boss battle, but it happens a few times. Luckily these tanks are even easier to beat than the battleship (that's the benefit of not fighting them whilst treading water, I guess) and once they're done with you can finally move on to stage two...

...which is presented in fabulous glaucoma-vision! I think this is supposed to simulate night-time combat: you know, the kind of night-time that hasn't really got its act together and keeps forgetting to darken small areas of the screen. Also there are Terminators now. If you were wondering why this game was called Mechanized Attack, it's because you're being attacked by a force of mechanized T-800 endoskeleton rip-offs.

Ah, that’s better, I can see what the hell’s going on. So yeah, Terminators. It was the late eighties, so if you need a remorseless killing machine to feature in your videogame then what better than the ultimate remorseless killing machine? They make up a large percentage of the enemies from here on out, some appearing in their skeletal forms and some who have been given a fresh coat of flesh, which you can shoot off them in a nice display of visible damage. There are still regular human soldiers about but let’s be honest – they’re just there to make up the numbers, and I imagine they feel pretty pissed off about being forced into battle when they have access to an army of super-strong deathbots at their disposal. I know I’d be pissed off, but then again I wouldn’t join an evil paramilitary organisation unless the pay was really, really good.
Speaking of visible damage, you can shoot a lot of the background components to smithereens. I suggest you do this whenever you get the chance, because the leaders of this army took lessons on item storage from Castlevania and hid health packs and ammo in various walls, security cameras and unmarked cardboard boxes throughout their military base. The health packs are useful, as are the extra grenades, but despite having my finger clamped to the trigger for the entire game so firmly that my index finger now has a permanent crook I never once ran out of bullets. That’s probably because I died roughly once every thirteen seconds and continuing restocks your ammo, though.

The boss is a large man in body armour who moonwalks across the screen throwing grenades at you. This being a lightgun game, you have to deal with these grenades by shooting them so that they explode harmlessly about four feet away from your head. Wait, what?

Oh, they did give me a picture of the captured spies after all. I’m sure that Mister Spy here can make his way off the island full of killer cyborgs on his own, it’s not like he got captured earlier or anything.

What the hell have I been doing for the last two stages?

Now we’re out in the open, trudging across the enemy airfield. Notice how those Terminators in the background have formed a highly advanced cybernetic conga line. The enemies in Mechanized Attack do this with some frequency, presumably so you can experience the thrill of sweeping a line of Uzi fire across them, which is very nice of them and all but is hardly going to help their plans for world conquest.

This time the boss is slightly more effective than one man and his bullet-proof vest: a trio of newly-hatched baby jump-jets launch out of their nest in the ground and introduce themselves via the magic of air-to-ground missiles. Again, to survive you’ve got to shoot their missiles out of the air. If these bad guys had invested less money in replicating Cyberdyne’s most famous product and a little more in bulletproofing their missiles and grenades they could have conquered the whole southern hemisphere by now.
Not that there’s any defence against our hero’s Uzi, a weapon so powerful it can shoot through battleship armour and human flesh with equal ease. Uzis really were the hot weapon of the late eighties and nineties, weren’t they? Again, I blame the Terminator. The use of Uzis also makes it easy to see that while MA is very similar to SNK’s own zombie-based shooter Beast Busters, (with identical graphics in some places,) its main ancestor is Taito’s 1987 Rambo-em-up Operation Wolf. They’re both lightgun games using fixed-to-the-cabinet Uzis with buttons on the side for chucking grenades where the player battles through a military base packed with soldiers who have yet to learn that jumping out in front of someone firing a submachine gun is not going to do their chances of advancing through the ranks any favours.

Stage four takes us through the underground base / model railway portion of the game. One poor, deluded Terminator has reached the end of his rope and decided that if bullets, grenades missiles can’t put a stop to our rampage then maybe throwing a knife at my head will. It’s the final act of a desperate robot, and I feel like I’m doing him a favour by gunning him down and putting him to rest. Any other (non-cutlery) tricks up these guys’ sleeves?

Well, they’ve got a battle train, which is like a normal locomotive but with rocket launchers glued to the sides. For some reason it lurches backward and forward at you like a cat pawing at a dangling string – look, those tracks clearly go all the way to where I’m standing so why not just run me down? My Uzi might have the raw, rending power of Mjolnir itself but even that couldn’t stop a train from running me over if it got a shift on. It doesn’t do that, though. It just wobbles back and forth and lets you shoot it. They could have at least put a Thomas the Tank Engine style face on it: then they could have died knowing that the encounter would have left me confused and possibly vulnerable to more rockets.

And because one train wasn’t enough, the boss is also a train. Like all the best toys, though, this one comes with a hidden character. It’s a man with a heavily-armed jetpack strapped to his back! He’s the real target, because he’s the leader of this villainous crew. I’m assuming he’s the leader, anyway: there’s only one guy with a jetpack in this game and if the leader doesn’t get to use it then what’s the point of being in charge? I guess we’ll find out if he’s the head honcho once I’ve killed him.

I feel a little guilty about it, but I can’t help but read that text in the voice of a stereotypical angry old Chinese man. Although judging by the beams of light illuminating our heroes as they kneel penitently before some unseen speaker, God himself is relaying their orders or has at least delegated the task to one of the more senior angels.
Now that I know God is on our side, I’m filled with a renewed sense of confidence. We can do this! Let’s track down the true leader, because with our Lord looking out for us there’s no way we can fail!

Except if you run out of continues / coins to feed the machine with, because the final stage is non-stop barrage of flying lead and surprise Terminator attacks.

There’s just so much going on, so many sources of impending death, that you simply cannot destroy them all fast enough. I’m convinced that no matter how good you are, there are points in the latter stages of Mechanized Attack that you cannot get past without dying. Of course I’m probably wrong and I’m just not very good at videogames, but what I’m saying is a single-credit completion of this game is unlikely.
I don’t think it’s the bullets that get you in the end, though: judging by the graphic that appears when you die, the stress becomes too much for our hero and he suffers a massive coronary.

“HHNNG!” Don’t worry, another coin in the slot and he’s back on his feet. Which is good, because we’ve reached the final boss!

Ahh, a supercomputer with missile-firing tentacles controlled by a brain in a jar. Yeah, I can live with that. I’m going to assume that’s Hitler’s brain in there: the game never states this outright, but really, who’s brain is it going to be otherwise? Napoleon's? No, because then the computer would have a silly hat on. The boss battle plays out the same as all the others – you’ve just got to pour bullets into it while shooting down its projectiles. Once it explodes, you’ve finished the game and this vaguely-defined menace is no more!

Yeah, they didn’t really have a lot of follow-through on this plan. Well, time to relax with a prolonged period of physical therapy designed to un-bend my trigger finger and counselling to help me with the horrifying flashbacks of the things I’ve done that come to me in my sleep.

But wait, there’s more! Yep, you get Ghosts’n Goblins-ed and have to replay the entire game to see the “true end”. The game is the same except for a slightly higher enemy density, and in the interests of compulsive completionism I battled through the whole thing once more.

Yeah, I probably could have skipped that.
This is not a difficult game to sum up. If you like shooting things and don’t have a long attention span, then you’ll probably enjoy Mechanized Attack. It’s not a lengthy game and it’s hardly bursting with originality, but for half an hour you’ll be pleasantly diverted. I’d like to tell you about the music but I don’t think I heard any of it over the constant rattle of my gun, although I can say that the death-scream of the final boss is pretty neat. The graphics are nice in that big, cartoony SNK manner, and visible damage is always a fun thing to have in a shooter.

In conclusion: if you really want to shoot a bunch of robots with an Uzi, Mechanized Attack will hopefully provide enough catharsis to prevent you from going on a rampage in on car assembly line.

In keeping with the Terminator theme, the Japanese arcade flyer rather cheekily implies that you will be playing as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

No clue who the other guy is supposed to be, but he looks a little like Nathan Fillion to me. Or maybe one of the Estevezes. Estevi?

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As a kid, when it came to cartoons I was unmoved by the charms of the House of Mouse and fixed my allegiance firmly to Warner Bros. and the Looney Tunes. I loved Daffy Duck, especially some of the very early shorts where he's less "daffy" and more "completely psychotic", and I loved Bugs Bunny. You know who I never gave a toss about? Porky Pig. Ah, Porky - the eternal sidekick, the stuttering foil, a second-tier character if ever there was one. It wasn't always that way, though. Porky was once the studio's biggest cartoon "star", until he was supplanted by the much funnier Daffy and Bugs and reduced to smashing his head through bass drums and being Duck Dodgers' put-upon space cadet. Someone still loved him, though, and in 1995 a company called Phoenix Interactive Entertainment released Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday for the SNES and once more Porky was thrust into the limelight. Or alternatively, Warner Bros decreed that Porky should star in game because no-one was buying his merchandise. Let's not get bogged down in the petty details, though - whatever the reasons for its existence, this is definitely a SNES game about Porky Pig.

Filmed in Warner's famous Murk-O-Vision, this title screen does not bode well. It manages to be busy and bland at the same time, but at least that's recognisably Porky Pig. But why is Porky embarking on a grand adventure?

"As Porky Pig is looking through holiday brochures to plan his upcoming vacation, he drifts off to sleep and finds himself in a haunted haunted holiday nightmare."
Yes, it does say "haunted" twice. Porky's nightmares are so terrifying that they're double haunted. Maybe there'll be ghosts who are, in turn, haunted by the tortured souls of those they have wronged.
So, Porky sets out on a dream-quest, travelling through six nightmares until he reaches the end of the game and wakes up with a lingering sense of dread.

Straight away there's an unexpectedly pleasant touch. As illustrated by the picture above, every time you start a new game a different season is selected and the background changes accordingly. There's even a Christmas version, which was a little weird to see during what is the warmest March I can remember. Isn't that nice? Hopefully, Phoenix will be able to maintain this level of innovation as the game progresses. No, I'm kidding, of course they won't. It's still a nice touch, though.

There's Porky, valiantly making his way through the Haunted Forest whilst avoiding the spinning ball-and-chain traps and the bats that flit around the level. Yes, it's a platformer. What did you expect, a first-person shooter? You should know better by now. It's a pretty limited platformer, too: Porky can move left and right, there's one button for jump and that's about it. It's not even as unique as McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure - at least Ronald had his magic hankies to spice things up. It's unsurprising, given Porky's less-than-athletic build, but it's still disappointing. Porky just waddles slowly along, jumping over the occasional hole. You jump on things to kill them, of course, the pressure generated when Porky's weight is focused into his trotters being more than enough to dispatch most enemies. Enemies like those bats, as well as leprechauns holding serving trays laden with living shoes, shoes with a burning desire to kick Porky right in his fat arse.

Yeah, I have no idea either. But hey, it's a dream; it doesn't have to make sense. Maybe Porky has a Garth Algar-style phobia of the creatures of Irish folklore.
So, you move through the stages, hopping over pits and bopping enemies in a style that's been done much better in countless other games. Porky's just not that much fun to control - he's slow, he's a big target, his collision detection (especially when you're jumping onto the edge of a platform) seems unpredictable and every single time you make a big jump Porky makes a very irritating noise. It sounds like he's shouting "Yiff!" whenever he lands. I didn't need to be pondering what Porky gets up to in his spare time, thanks.

At least the graphics aren't bad. I particularly like the background of spooky trees pictured above. Even the music for the first stage is pretty good - it's certainly quite creepy, and has a teeny-tiny (and I mean really small, let's not get carried away here) feel of A Link to the Past to it.

There's not much else to say about the first stage. Porky controls like you'd expect a farmyard animal to, the gameplay is generic to the point of deja vu and there's a giant ghost in a top hat.

His name is Spooky Sid, and his name is a lie because he is most definitely not spooky. Sinister, yes - he's sporting the kind of grin you usually only see just before you black out and wake up later chained to the wall of a torture dungeon - but not spooky. All you have to do to beat him is wait until he takes his hat off and then jump on his head. Ah, if only all life's problems were solved so easily. Five pig/ghost head interactions later and Spooky Sid is dragged back to the stygian depths from which he escaped in the first place, and Porky can move onto stage two.

It's the Wild West, and even with the roving gangs of razor-sharp tumbleweeds it's hardly nightmarish, is it? You'd think an anthropomorphic pig-man would have more interesting nightmares, like being chased by a giant bacon slicer or repeatedly being turned away from Jewish meals.

I'll admit that these guys are pretty creepy, though. Hollow-eyed moose heads that skitter around on tiny legs already look enough like something out of The Thing to be unsettling, but it only gets worse when you see the bullets they fire. At first I though they were little pandas, with the black bits on top being the ears and the ones in the middle as eyes, but once I looked closer I realised those were eyes. This is a living bullet, and he's disturbingly happy about penetrating Porky's flesh and blasting out the other side though a gaping, ragged exit wound. I'm choosing to believe that these bullets are parasites that infect moose corpse and then bring their severed heads back to life. They stalk the land, looking for fresh victims, and then fire out of their rotting host and into their next victim. Maybe the Wild West is pretty terrifying after all.

The boss is everyone's favourite red-headed cowboy with anger management problems, Yosemite Sam. There's also a strangely convoluted mechanic involved, because Yosemite Sam's enormous balloony hat protects him from a head-on assault. To defeat him, you've got to use the conveniently positioned see-saw to flip a saucepan lid into the air when he fires at you. The lid must be from Le Creuset or something, because it easily deflects his bullets and once Sam's out of ammo, the fight is over. Sadly the deflected bullets don't put into motion a vast, complicated machine of interlocking parts that takes ages to accomplish a simple task while Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" plays in the background, but there you go.

Impotence: it's nothing to be ashamed of, Sam.

Stage three is Atlantis, which starts off looking rather like a raft ride down the Amazon. I guess that means those neon green bird-fish are supposed to be piranhas, but Porky doesn't give two fucks about the rare fish beneath his trotters. He's spied a cupcake hiding in a palm tree, and he will stop at nothing to get it. These nightmares can't be all that bad if they contain cupcakes, possibly the least threatening thing in recorded human history. The last stage had puppies, too! Porky 's subconscious is a strange place indeed.
I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that cupcakes act as Haunted Holiday's version of Super Mario's coins - collect one hundred and you'll receive an extra life, plus you get some health back if you reach fifty. Also you'll get diabetes, but that's Porky's problem.
Remember when I praised the music in the first stage? Yeah, that didn't last. The Atlantis theme is really bad.

It's more a problem of instrumentation than composition, but when the instruments sound like electric bagpipes being forced into the back end of a cat it becomes something of a moot point. The whole soundtrack to this game is wildly inconsistent, reaching occasional high-points before being bludgeoned back down to "hateful" territory by the piercing electronic drone of the samples used.
Porky decides the only way to escape this maddening barrage of sound is to jump into the sea. I can't say I blame him.

The Lost City of Atlantis, home to an ancient race who worshipped Sylvester the cat as a God. I can definitely see Tweety Pie in the Satan role, the irritating yellow git.
These undersea stages take a more maze-like approach, with various different passageways to explore and the floaty "underwater" jumping physics to contend with. There are a couple of nice moments, like creating ridable bubbles by jumping on some strange aquatic elephant creatures, but mostly it's a bland trek through some grey ruins. By far the highlights of the stage are these little guys:

Now that's one pissed-off fish - he's really taken umbrage at being forced to appear in this sub-par licensed platformer. I'd tell him to call his agent, but as a figment of cartoon pig's dreaming mind, and as a fish, he is unlikely to have that kind of representation.

Heading back to the surface, Porky's quest is interrupted by this stage's boss - Willie "Great" White, a fearsome shark who... what? What do you mean "he looks nothing like a shark"? Sure, sharks don't normally wear bow ties... okay, you're right. Willie here bears only the slightest resemblance to a shark. In fact, more than anything else he looks like Mr. Sparkle.

There's you answer, fishbulb. Unlike Yosemite Sam, you can beat Willie by jumping on his head. The natural order is restored! Just make sure you don't fall into the water because, unlike jumping towards a shark's mouth, it's very dangerous. I'm sure you'll figure it out.
What's next for our brave hero? What twisted dreamscape will provide the backdrop to Porky's latest adventure? What heart-stopping landscape, teeming with twisted creatures born in a swirling maelstrom of chaos, will stand in oh it's a mine level.


It's exactly like every other mine level in every other 16-bit platform game, except you don't get to ride in a mine cart. I guess that was considered too exciting for inclusion. I know I've been complaining about the stages so far not being very "dreamlike", but at least that can be explained by Porky reading his holiday brochures before he falls asleep. Not the mines, though - surely Porky wasn't planning a relaxing four-day mini-break far beneath the Earth's surface, toiling away at a coal face?
If you like wandering aimlessly through a labyrinth of grey tunnels, taking part in the occasional Indiana Jones-style rolling boulder chase scene, then this stage is really going to blow your mind. For everyone else - the normal, sensible ones - it'll just be boring.

The boss is hardly a wild rollercoaster of thrills, either. Tweety Pie has been transformed, via a magic potion, into a beastly Mr. Hyde version of his usual "adorable" self. You'd better hurry up and jump on his head, Porky: who knows what he'll do to Sylvester if he catches him in this state, but I've read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and if that's anything to go by I don't want to find out.
Big as he may be, this boss is so laughably easy that I started to wonder if his inclusion wasn't a trick, or some avant-garde joke that I'm not quite sophisticated enough to get. The thing is, Tweety can't hurt you. Neither can the water. It took me quite a while to realise that you aren't completely safe from harm, because every now and then a tiny drop of water will splash out of the pool, and that droplet can hurt you. This "boss battle" would have been more difficult if Tweety hadn't transformed, because he'd have been a smaller target and therefore harder to jump on to. You've really shot yourself in the foot there, Tweety.
Anyway, let's get out of this tedious mine and take a trip to the spectacular Alps!

I don't remember that demonic icicle ever appearing in a Looney Tunes cartoon, but my knowledge of the subject is hardly encyclopaedic. Maybe there's a short where Bugs Bunny outsmarts a Lovecraftian race of interdimensional cone-people - like I said, I don't know it all.
So, we've got a snow stage. After the stunning ingenuity of the mine stage, an ice level was always on the cards. There are icicles and snowmen, and plenty of snow-capped peaks. Thankfully, Porky doesn't slide around on the ice; his trotters obviously provide excellent grip, especially when combined with all that cupcake weight. It's a very basic stage, you've just got... hang on, what's that?

Porky encounters a tear in the fabric of space-time, and to his credit he takes this violation of the universe's physical laws rather well. With no hesitation, (mostly because by now I'd reached a point where I really wanted the game to be over,) Porky leaps into the unknown!

Don't worry, it's still only a platform game - it's just the backgrounds that have changed, with Porky now exploring a Dali-esque surrealist pocket dimension.

At least, it would be Dali-esque if ol' Salvador had worked exclusively in the two media of carrots and giant dice. That's ninety percent of this stage right there: Porky riding a carrot around various structures made of dice. It's definitely more dream-like than the rest of the stages; it's just that it seems more like the dream of a vegetarian Warhammer fan than a cartoon pig.

Still, a room full of floating eyeballs is always a design choice that I can fully support. In videogames, I mean. Not in your own house or anything. That'd just be weird.

Something that's not really that weird at all is the boss, Monster Max the Yeti. Rather than having a boss battle in the slightly-more-interesting-than-usual dreamscape, we're back to the boring old Alps for yet another battle where all you have to do is hop on the boss' head five times. Maybe the developers couldn't come up with a monster made entirely out of carrots and dice; maybe Warner Brothers had just finished studying the data from their latest focus groups and by God those kids are goin' crazy for yetis, so make sure you stick a yeti in there somewhere - even better if he has "attitude". This particular yeti has no attitude, be it extreme or otherwise, and as such he is easy prey for Porky's head-stomping shenanigans. Next stage, please!

At last, a stage that has some connection to the "haunted nightmare" theme of this game! It's also the final stage, but I'll take what I can get. As you can see, this last stage takes place in a spooky castle. I love that neon sign, it's a good touch.

I'm sure you can imagine what a stage set in a haunted Looney Tunes castle looks like. There are fire-breathing helmets, killer rats, more swinging ball-and-chain traps and pits filled with spiked cannonballs that Porky must swing across. A truly terrifying set of deadly traps, but on the bright side this castle is fitted with plush wall-to-wall carpets.

And it even has its own swimming pool! Whoever owns this place is sitting on a goldmine - if they just stripped out all the death-traps and relocated the rats and boxing kangaroos to a small petting zoo in the main gardens, this castle could make one hell of a hotel. Travel links might be something of problem as the castle is located in the subconscious of a cartoon pig, but I'm sure the owner could sort something out. But just who is the king of this (potentially profitable) castle?

It's Daffy Duck and his adorably gormless robot friend! Daffy is a vampire now, and he's got a robot bodyguard? No, it doesn't make much sense. The robot is your true target: only by jumping on its head five times can you complete the game. However, its vulnerable brain-circuitry is protected by a force-field, which can only be disrupted by jumping on Daffy's head. Highly advanced robot-duck brain interfacing technology or lazily-designed final battle? I couldn't possibly say, but I will point out that Daffy is only very slightly more difficult to defeat that Tweety. All you need to do is jump on Daffy's head and stay there.

Porky bounces up and down forever, keeping Daffy dizzied the whole time, and eventually the robot wanders past so you can hit him. You might even be able to bounce off Daffy's head, onto the robot and then back onto Daffy without touching the floor, although I was so busy marvelling at the utter pointlessness of this fight that I didn't really try it out.
Hit the robot enough times and Daffy gives up, his brain fried by all the feedback from his now destroyed robot. Congratulations, you have made it through Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday.

Porky wakes up, clears his head of the nightmares that have plagued him for, oh, the past thirty minutes, and then settles back down into a more peaceful sleep. But he's not alone...

Later that night, Porky is sacrificed by a cabal of Mickey Mouse-worshipping cultists and turned into some of the most delicious bacon you can imagine. Roll credits!

I feel a little guilty for complaining about this game now, because the credits reveal that it was made in my home county of Yorkshire. I should have been supporting local business! Although in my defence it would've been a lot easier to praise Phoenix Interactive Entertainment if they hadn't made a game whose blandness is so thorough and overwhelming that I had to keep pinching myself while playing it to make sure I hadn't fallen into a coma.
All this game does is exist, and it doesn't have any reason to do so. It adds absolutely nothing to the genre, takes all its ideas from better games and stars Porky bloody Pig of all characters. Not that it matters: you could replace Porky's sprite with any Warner character and you wouldn't know the difference, because Porky is so dull and featureless he adds absolutely nothing to the game. Even on a technical level, PPHH achieves mediocrity - the controls and physics aren't bad enough to be, y'know, bad... but they're not good enough to be much fun, either. The few interesting touches dotted through the game don't make up for the fact that this is a boring, pointless game that you should avoid, at least until you've played every other platformer in the world.

Maybe I'm being too hard on Porky. Maybe somebody out there loves him. Maybe he has millions of screaming fans who camp outside stores in order to be the first to purchase his latest bit of merchandise. He must have some fans, because a games developer would never waste their money making a game about an unpopular cartoon character, right?


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