Wild Woody Boxart.jpg

Now right off that bat, you're probably saying stuff like, "Why are you doing this? Taco-Man already reviewed this game!", "Oh my god, are you KIDDING ME?! "This game is terrible and so are you!", or if you're prone to giggling at d**k jokes, "HUR HUR, WILD WOODY...". But just forget all that for one and here me out here, OK? You don't have to agree with me, for god's sake! I'm just giving a review! You may agree with me, you may not. And if you want to do you're own review on this game, go right ahead! Just leave me out of it when you do! I'm not responsible for your opinions on liking or disliking this game!

*Pant* *Pant*

Anyways, what comes to mind when someone says to you, "SEGA CD"? Your immediate reaction is "Sonic CD", right? Well, truthfully, The SEGA CD had some other nifty titles for it as well. While most were enhanced versions of previously-released Genesis titles like "Ecco The Dolphin" and "Earthworm Jim", which often featured new material and enhanced CD-Quality Soundtracks, other games include "Snatcher", "Final Fight CD" and the at-the-time closest port of "Dragon's Lair" we could afford (since nobody wanted to own an Atari Jaguar CD). But at the end of the SEGA CD's lifespan, SEGA themselves released one more title for their infamous add-on, and that game was about an anthromorphic pencil named Woody...WiIiIiIiIiIiIiLd Woody!

The game's plotline begins at the office of a treasure hunter named Dusty, who is soon pulled out for another adventure. Before he leaves, however, he puts down a spiritual totem pole that (wouldn't ya know) is cursed. If there's a full moon on the 3rd Wednesday in July during a snowstorm, the spirits of the totem are freed and wield the power to create parallel universes that could doom the world as we know it. And, through a sea of coincidental events, it IS that 3rd Wednesday, and the totems run loose...All but one. Low Man, the bottom piece of the totem pole, realizes he needs to create a hero to bring back his totem bros. But without much to work with, he settles on making Wild Woody, a wisecracking, smart-alecky, Jim Carrey sound-a-like pencil-neck with a head full of lead. Still, he agrees to help Low Man as even he claims he "was BORN to save the world"!

The game is divided into five levels, each which have two sections and boss battle. In the first section, Wild Woody must make it to the exit while avoiding enemies. To defend himself, he can jump atop his enemies and erase them out of existence OR collect sketchbooks that can aide him. To use the sketchbooks, press the start button and flip through the sketches with the D-Pad. By hitting the Sketch button (which I prefer to make the C Button, but it can be any button if you play around in the option menu), Wild Woody will draw whatever it is you chose. It could range from a pack of Dynamite to blow up enemies in his way, a Kangaroo to reach hard-to-reach platforms, or a A Sorcerer's Hat to put enemies in a trance, among plenty of others. The sketches change from level to level, though, so don't grow too attached to the Level 1 Sketches when you go to Level 2. Wild Woody's health bar is indicates by percentages (similar to "Earthworm Jim"), and once it hits 0%, he loses a life. By collecting a star, though, he will gain one extra life.

In the first section, you'll also be able to find puzzle pieces. By collecting all eight pieces hidden in the level, you'll be sent to a Sonic CD-esque Bonus Stage where you help Wild Woody navigate through a maze while collecting sketches for the next level and extra lives, indicated THIS TIME not by stars, but pencils. But be careful! There's a time limit, so be sure to be on the lookout for hourglasses, which can additional time.

The second section is pretty much the same idea, only the navigation can seemingly be a bit longer. But once you've made it to the end, you fight the boss. All work the same (with the exception of the Final Boss, which I'll elaborate on later): Work your way up to the boss' weak point on its head and jump on it to erase at it. Once you've done it enough, you'll be rewarded with a piece to the totem pole to bring back to Low Man. After collecting all 5 pieces, you beat the game.

The game is largely criticized by gamers for its incredibly primitive cutscenes between levels, but my response? CUT THEM SOME SLACK. 3D was a new thing back in the 90s. IT WASN'T EASY. And heck, this game was finished and sold New Year's Eve of 1995. One month earlier came the first-ever CGI film, "Toy Story", which probably took a while to make. As for Wild Woody, production for this game was probably rushed due to the SEGA CD's lifespan dying off, so SEGA was probably working these people to the bone to get the game done as quickly as possible, which would SURELY explain their choppiness. This just goes to show that what (speaking of "Toy Story") Pixar says is true: You can't rush art.

One thing I WILL agree on with most gamers is the hit-or-miss controls. You can move and jump around just fine, but erasing enemies can sometimes be an issue. You'll often take a lot of damage just for trying to erase one enemy just because there's a platform overhead. And sometimes, you'll have trouble getting precisly on your enemies' head to erase them and end up jumping into them instead. And I swear that it is IMPOSSIBLE to fight a boss without taking some form of damage.

But enough about the negatives. Let's discuss the positives. The overall concept, for one, is very witty and clever. Whenever Wild Woody uses a sketch, he shrinks, just like a normal pencil would. There is, of course, a way to restore him to normal size with a power-up. The levels are very labyrinth-y and maze-like, which makes you think which route is the best way to go.

Next, the in-game graphics are very cartoon-like and silly, which I love. It makes you feel like you're calling the shots in a Saturday Morning Cartoon. For instance, in the Pirate level, if you make Wild Woody draw a Mermaid near The Shark Enemy, it'll make him give her kissy lips until his wife shows up and punches him in the jaw...no pun intended. In the Mechanical Level, if you make Wild Woody draw a Guitar, he'll start rocking out loud, blarring, electrical strums while all nearby enemies short-circuit and explode after hearing it on a huge megawatt speaker. And even the final boss battle can be humorous, where you have to make an undead, helmeted monkey with a paddle flush all the water out of a toilet using the coil on its helmet to get to the last remaining totem head...Yeah, process all that for a moment.

The music for this game is also very upbeat and rockin'. And it comes to no surprise since the Music Composer for this game was Ron Thal, otherwise known as "Bumblefoot" in the world-renown hard rock band, "Guns 'n Roses". My personal favorite tune is the one used for The Main Menu and Ending Credits.

In conclusion, Wild Woody may have its flaws, but it's still a good game. It has a good concept, bright and humorous cartoon-like visuals, and a slammin' soundtrack. It just goes to show that you can't judge a book by its cover...or rather, a video game by its cutscenes.

Premise: 3/5
Graphics: 2/5 (Cutscenes), 4/5 (In-Game)
Controls: 2/5
Music: 5/5
Replayablity: 1/5 (Casual), 3/5 (Hardcore)