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Platform: GameBoy Advance
Genre: Platformer/Racing
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
ETA: April 2005
Related Links:

Review: Donkey Kong Country 2 (GBA)

Review: CT Special Forces (GBA)





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Popeye: Rush for Spinach


popeye race for spinach gba preview   popeye rush for spinach gba preview


popeye rush for spinach gba preview   popeye rush for spinach gba preview


I sure hope there's never a generation that goes by without knowing who Popeye is.  Possibly King Syndicate's most recognizable characters, Popeye has an endearing quality to him that makes him likeable, but he never hesitates in going tit for tat in meting out physical violence.  If you're asking who Popeye is, I can only shake my head and wonder what kind of upbringing you received.  Go watch the 1980 Robert Altman version of Popeye for an education.  It may receive mixed reviews but it stars an almost unrecognizable Robin Williams in one of his first feature film roles and it fills in a lot of Popeye's backstory.  For the full story you'll have to unearth the original strips.


Anyway, on with the actual preview.


The last Popeye game I played was on the Colecovision and Namco's offering looks to be light years beyond it.  When I first heard Rush for Spinach was going to be a racing game I immediately thought "Mario Kart knock-off."  Being a knock-off isn't always bad, but too many try and fail to emulate Mario Kart's success.  So the fact the action is sidescrolling is a bit of a surprise.


Here's what Namco has to say:


Players navigate through 7 lands including the docks, the desert, the jungle and the moon on their quest to find the Sea Hag witch. Throughout the races, players will be able to use vehicles including chickens, pogo sticks, boats, skateboards, dinosaurs, cars, jet packs and rockets, but must watch the clock as they only have limited time with each vehicle before it disappears. Players can also take advantage of power ups, which can be used to gain advantages such as instant acceleration or used against foes opponents can even be turned into chickens!




The only downside I can see to having a sidescrolling racing game is having to replay the races over many times until the layout is memorized.  However, since Popeye won't likely be racing on an oval, the levels can be longer and cover more ground.


We'll see how Popeye: Race for Spinach turns out when it ships in April.


- Omni

(March 5, 2005)