Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy – Review
Ok, before I review this Atari Jaguar game, there’s something I need to rant about. This game was highlighted a few months ago in an article on Heavy Comedy’s site http://www.heavy.com Now, I like this game quite a bit, and have always felt sorry for Trevor that he never got the attention he expected, so I was psyched to hear this obscure title mentioned. The article was on “The 20 Worst Video Game box art of all time” but that didn’t bother me; I’ll admit it, this game’s box is pretty cheesy. What bothered me is what was said:
A Trevor McFur sex fanfic?! Oh c’mon, really?! What a cheap shot! And besides… I frickin looked ALL OVER, FA, SoFurry, fchan, even friggin 4chan and no, no Rule 34 goodness for Trevor Mcfur and his lynx mate, Cutter. I mean, rule 34 exists for the Cheetahmen, and NOT for Trevor McFur?! So this Jaguar icon isn’t even as popular as the Action 52 cheetah trio… Ouch!
You failed me heavy.com!!! But the article is pretty good, I recommend it, er after you read my review of course ^^;
But seriously, let’s get on with the review…
The story, as it is in the manual: “Attention all Circle Reserve units. The Crescent Galaxy has fallen. It has been conquered by an entitiy known only as Odd-it, whose only passion is to make every living thing odd, like it. All of the planets in the galaxy are under his rule and are guarded by his blockade. Our main armada has nearly perished while battling Odd-It, and now you’re our only hope…”
So begins your day as Trevor McFur, a corporal in the Crescent Galaxy’s chapter of the Interplanetary Defense Squad, known as the Circle Reserves. You and your female partner Cutter set your coordinates for home to engage at warp nine. Every planet in the Crescent Galaxy has been attacked by Odd-It’s minions. You and Cutter split up, with Cutter taking the shuttle craft and sneaking through each moon’s blockade to get help below while you battle the deadly armadas in the sky above. Odd-It’s main base is on the planet of Cosmolite. It can only be penetrated by first destroying the four moons that surround Cosmolite.
The story thus far sounds familiar… then you see this after the title screen:
Here the player can choose which planet they can start from, and get a look at the different enemies they’ll encounter on each planet… similar to the planet select menu in StarFox!
Can it be, Trevor McFur was meant to go up against Fox McCloud? Both involve furries in space, traveling from planet to planet, to restore order to the galaxy…
Well, despite the back of the box’s promise of “A 64-bit gaming experience like no other” Trevor’s adventure falls flat compared to StarFox, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game at all. It’s not the killer title the Jag needed, but it looked better than most of the 2d side-scrolling shooters available on the SNES and Genesis. Also it was the best launch title for the Jag (the only other title being Cybermorph)
The game is fairly simple. You pick a planet, and shoot stuff in space. You fight a boss, then shoot more stuff on the surface of the planet, complete a bonus level and repeat until the last showdown against Odd-It.
What helps seperate this title from the ocean of other side-scrolling shooters is the “oddball” style baddies you’ll be blasting. Robotic cherub archers, eyeballs, dragons, fire-breathing humming birds, etc, all of which spawned in the chaotic carnage of the enigmatic Odd-It.
Fortunately to help Trevor along, there are nine different special weapons that can be collected during the game, along with powerups to the ship’s main cannon. The secret to beating this game is to frequently use the different special weapons. As the game is pretty generous in how often it spawns a new powerup from a defeated enemy, it is uncommon for the player to ever be completely dry of special weapons for long.
After each completed mission, the characters will stop to talk to eachother. This adds a nice bit of flavor to the game, although it would have been better if the interaction was done during game-play alla StarFox – the game it’s trying to knock off.
Btw, Trevor is a Jaguar, and his mate is a Lynx. Get it? Heh, clever. I wish Atari was still what it was, and making systems named after cats… I want my Atari Lion dammit!
Anyway, the bosses are rendered in 3d, and look pretty good for the time, but they all mostly behave the same way. They stay on one side of the screen, move around some while firing at Trevor. Some bosses will move around more, and others will spew projectiles a lot faster, but there’s little differentiation among them – including the final boss, Odd-It.
Upon beating Odd-It you are congratulated with this final screen:
A household name?? I can’t find a single naughty fanfic on either of them! Seriously, it’s obvious Atari had bigger plans for Trevor and Cutter, but things didn’t pan out well with the Jaguar console. It is nice to sometimes think about what might have been…
Again, I actually like this game for what it is, a simple mindless shooter with space furries. However, there’s not much here for me to call it a top-tier title for the Jaguar. One of my biggest complaints with this game is the lack of music. The Jaguar, despite using cartridges, was capable of producing cd-quality music as shown by titles like Tempest 2000. There is no reason for why there’s only two songs in the whole game: the opening theme, the planet select theme, and at the final screen the opening theme plays again on a shorter loop.
I can cut this game SOME slack though. This may already be common knowledge for most gamers, but Atari began work on the 64 bit Jaguar alongside a 32 bit console called the Panther. As it turned out, production was progressing so fast on the Jaguar that Atari scrubbed the 32bit Panther and repackaged some of its proposed titles for the 64 bit console. It didn’t matter that Trevor McFur and Cybermorph were originally planned for a 32 bit system, since they were both graphically superior to the majority of titles on Genesis and SNES, Atari thought. They reasoned that after gamers made the switch to Jag, then they could get to work on increasing the quality of their games by creating them to fully maximize the potential of the hardware.
Unfortunately, gamers stayed loyal to their 16-bit consoles. While games like Cybermorph, Trevor McFur, and Zool 2 looked impressive for the time (and they did, don’t let haters tell you differently) the difference wasn’t enough for people to switch, especially with how much ass Genesis and SNES kicked in the early 90s.
So Atari was in panic-mode from day one. By the time their killer app, Alien vs Predator came out, it was too little to late as Atari marketing kept blundering with bad decision after bad decision, culminating in their last-ditch “Hail Mary” play: Atari Jaguar CD… but that’s a story for another time.
Now I enjoy the Jaguar, but I always lamented the fact that it doesn’t have any RPGs. Trevor McFur would have benefited from some RPG aspects, if players were able to “level up” their special weapons as they go from planet to planet. Also it would have been cool to control Trevor, Cutter, and a few other furry pilots, and increase their abilities as the game progresses. It is a shame that the game makes the effort to explain the Crescent Galaxy, and describe each planet in detail, and yet it amounts to little more than window-dressing as it’s never relevant to the game play.
To sum up, Trevor Mcfur in the Crescent Galaxy. Great graphics, very good sound effects, hardly any music, passable gameplay, little replay value. If you see it for cheap, pick it up, but don’t lose any sleep over not having this in your collection.
Now excuse me, I got a fanfic to write….
– Furry Senpai Mikekun