REVIEW: Bigfoot (NES)
[Editor’s Note: Due to incomplete backups of RFSHQ’s content, this article contains media that is missing from its TwilightFoundry.com republication.]
Monster Truck Sim?
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, monster trucks were literally the most awesome thing on the planet. The only thing more awesome than a monster truck would be a monster truck with dinosaurs on it. Fortunately, we had a fair compromise: a truck named after a mythical woodland beast. There’s nothing more Southern than a monster truck though, just the idea behind it is enough to get Jeff Foxworthy hard; get a truck and put the biggest wheels you can find on it… then run it over some cars, preferably the ones parked in your front yard that don’t have any wheels on them.
The NES was also incredibly popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s so you can see where this is going. Somewhere along the line someone got the wise idea to create a game about monster trucks featuring Bigfoot, the “king of the monster trucks.” This would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for the fact that Bigfoot is one of the worst abominations to be given the title “video game.” Bigfoot takes everything awesome about monster trucks, and strips it away to nothing more than a shitty button-masher with impossible AI.
The first thing you are going to notice is Bigfoot has the worst theme song out of any video game ever made in the last 30 years. Monster trucks need some kind of rock and roll or something… anything is better than the digitized hillbilly shit that plays from start to finish. The tunes and cuts that play before and after the races are just as horrid and are guaranteed to make your ears bleed and likely induce aneurisms.
The object of the game is to literally get from Point A to Point B; you must go cross-country, east coast to west coast, smashing everything in your way and participating in various monster truck inspired events. There are two kinds of races. The first race is a side scrolling event where you crush cars, go through mud, climb hills, or participate in a tractor pull. It’s a nice idea and the graphics look decent until you press the A button expecting your truck to move. The A button is not the gas. Left is the gas. So is right. Yes, you heard me, in order to get your truck to move, you must press left and right constantly. The faster you press them, the more it revs the engine.
Not only is this form of control incredibly stupid it also gets tiring extremely fast. Worst of all these event races are “best 2 out of 3” and the CPU truck is bound to beat you at least once making you do all three races. Screwing around during these races will end up breaking your truck which costs money to fix. If you rev the engine too hard or too fast you’ll blow one bar of life from it, if you bounce off of cars erratically you’ll damage your shocks, if you’re gassing the engine and you try to shift gears, you’ll strip the gearbox, and finally I have yet to figure out why but your tires will randomly go flat. All of this costs money to fix, and since the CPU will most likely kick your ass in the races he will get the prize money and you will not be able to afford repairs and parts. Because of this, the CPU can afford to tear ass through the race and blow as much shit as it wants and fix the truck to perfect status afterwards.
The second kind of race is a bird’s eye view race through the countryside which has become littered with flags, parked cars, broken piers, and trees. Somehow, crashing into the wall at full speed will not damage your truck at all but landing in the trees will cause it to violently shatter into a million pieces and subsequently cost you $500 to continue racing. If you can’t afford the cost, you’re out. This is the only surefire way to beat the CPU. Since it blows its money rather quickly you can smash them into the trees and get them disqualified letting you pick up all the money items and complete the race in first place.
Speaking of items there are a number of them thrown randomly around the race. There’s a suspension item that looks like fish bones which causes your truck to jump. This is ineffective since trying to jump over trees and obstacles will just force you to land in them. There are nitro boosts that really seem to have no effect as the screen will only scroll if you and the CPU are somewhere in the middle of the screen. Alongside these items is a saw blade that will pop out from the front of your truck that you can use to damage your opponent. Normally this is useless because the trucks have a stupidly high amount of health and will run away from the saw blade, usually hiding behind you where it’s impossible to hit them. To protect you from the CPU’s blade there is an invincibility item that doesn’t even have an icon. It’s just a gray box with four dots in it. It hardly lasts long enough to outlast the saw blade and it doesn’t protect you from trees. There are also wrench icons that refill your health, but normally these are placed in between clumps of trees, so trying to get them is stupid and you’ll be killed.
To move around on this race you use the D-Pad. You can move side to side but when it comes to going forward and braking to avoid crap, there is no use. The screen will scroll at intermittent speeds depending on the location of the trucks. If the CPU is at the top of the screen and you are right behind it, the screen scrolls like you’re using nitro boosts. However, if you’re further behind the screen will move slow as hell and may even change speeds, which will cause you to end up in the goddamn trees or to miss a money item. If you get the CPU truck to go bankrupt during this race it will display as “GAME OVER” and you can finish the race solo and take as long as you like. Without a second truck the game screws up the scrolling, so the closer you get to the top, the faster it goes, but at the same time it pushes you back on the screen causing it to slow down at the same time.
Killing off trucks will bring in newcomers with a default cash threshold of $5,000. None of your opponent trucks have licensed names and instead are stupid generic names such as “The Growler”, “The Crusher”, “The Charger”, and “Terminator”. They are all solid color trucks and there’s no noticeable difference between them. By the time you successfully disqualify one truck you will have enough money to complete the rest of the game if you don’t screw up too badly. In fact, once you get enough money you can purposely throw event races and still win. I lost the Oyster Bay Championship to Terminator, but because I had fifty grand in points and over $20,000, the game did not care and still gave the title to me.
The end of the game is aggravating and is not worth the amount of blood, sweat, and tears you will put into this game. The end of the game is just a stereotypical cowboy posing next to the Bigfoot with 10 foot tall tires, all the while the horrible theme song plays again. No credits, no unlockables, no cut scenes, just a crappy still image and an even worse theme song. Fuck you Bigfoot, fuck you.
Overall this game is just an absolute piece of trash. Bigfoot had the potential to kick serious amounts of ass and Acclaim could not have hit any farther from the bullseye without coming closer on the opposite side. It’s a perfect failure, a mish-mash of the absolute worst horrid sounds and redneck porno music, bland visuals and color palettes that rival those of schools in the 1960’s, and game controls that would piss off even the most determined monster truck fan.
The theme song of the game. It sets the tone for the horrible torture you are about to endure if you do not heed its warning.
At least the trucks look like trucks and the graphics for the side to side races are not that bad. During these races when your truck takes damage in-game there will be visible changes to the truck on the screen. Tires will shrink, smoke will come up from the engine, and other effects such as wheelies and bouncing from crushed cars make for a nice show. Unfortunately the bird’s eye view races are extremely unattractive and barely anything looks the way it should.
I can say that Bigfoot single handedly takes the cake for “worse NES soundtrack ever.” The theme song is some disgusting mix of country and what I can only assume is redneck hillbilly music, and the other assortment of jingles and fanfares are not much of an improvement. You will want to kill yourself after hearing this soundtrack.
I honestly don’t know what the fuck they were thinking when they thought pressing left and right would be a good idea for a game. It’s tiring, hard, and frustrating to do on an NES controller, and joystick users may as well just give up. The top-down view races are pretty much auto-scrolling. Turning, accelerating, and braking are all nearly impossible and you may as well just set the controller down and let the CPU finish the race for you.
Mullet Points: 10/10
Nothing says “redneck” more than a monster truck video game, complete with horrid music to match. If you’ve ever played Bigfoot for the NES, you might be a redneck. I think I am going to go hang myself now.