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SNES A Day 101: Hook

hook_us_box_art

Approximate Release Date: October 13, 1992
Genre: Action/platformer
Developer: Ukiyotei
Publisher: Sony Imagesoft

Hook is a terrible movie, but as a game it manages to achieve respectability.

Even as a five- or six-year-old, I remember hating the film. I don’t recall what exactly I found so unwatchable about it, but I agree with that assessment after watching the trailer and a few scenes on YouTube in preparation for today’s post. The movie has become a cult classic in many respects, but holy cow do I not understand the appeal of it. I felt the same way about playing Hook at first.

Hook is a good-looking game, with colorful backgrounds and large, detailed enemies. It doesn’t look like a licensed game from this era, which is a major compliment. There’s also a great soundtrack here, with catchy songs that are probably taken from the film but rendered well for the Super Nintendo. Yet I was pulling out my hair because the glacial speed of Peter’s movement was driving me crazy. It was blowing my mind that the developers would make the game so slow and boring, because there didn’t seem to be a run button. I can fly but I can’t run? C’mon, Hook!

Watch me discover the ability to run while recording the video for this post! It’s around the 07:30 mark.

Of course a platforming game has the ability to run, and I should have known there was some way to do it just by how slow the character was. In my defense, Hook tricked me. You run in the game by holding down the attack button, which is as basic as anything can be in a platforming game. It just takes four or five steps to actually start moving faster, and even more to start running at full speed. It shouldn’t take that long to start running.

But that made the game much more enjoyable. Once you get some momentum, there’s a nice flow to Hook. Jumping between branches in the second stage at full speed while dodging arrows and spiders is a lot of fun, and if the levels keep up with this kind of speed-focused design I might end up playing more. The controls are a little slippery, which caused me to fall to my death a few times. Extra lives seem plentiful, though.

Hook is better than I expected it to be, but it’s not an amazing game. There’s not a lot here to make it stand out versus some of the better licensed platformers that will be coming out in 1993. It’s better than the movie!

Tomorrow: I suspect the S.T.G. part of Strike Gunner S.T.G. stands for “strike gunner.”

4 thoughts on “SNES A Day 101: Hook”

  1. Hook was a pretty good movie. I watched it a few months ago with my kids, it holds up as well as I remember (just as goofy). While there’s some oddities to it that stuck out then and still do today, the idea of Peter Pan growing up and returning to Neverland is brilliant.

    1. I know Hook is beloved, and is even a weird cult classic for people who grew up around the time of its release. But people talk about it like it was The Princess Bride or something!

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