by Funcom, Walt Disney
Pocahontas is a nice and enjoyable video game based on the movie with the same name. I played Pocahontas the first time in 1996, when released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, but I've also enjoyed the PlayStation installment next year. Unfortunately I was not able to play it on my SNES, due to the title being canceled, but what can I do about it? Pocahontas and Meeko were the two main playable characters, with the player being able to switch between them. If you watched the movie, then the story of the game will be almost similar and sometimes repetitive. Otherwise this game is very nice!
Disney's latest 16-Bit introduction gives younger players the opportunity to control the Native American heroine Pocahontas in a forest-based puzzle-type adventure. Following the same story line as in the movie, you must use both Pocahontas and her raccoon friend Meeko, as they jump, climb, swim and crawl their way through the puzzles they encounter on their quest. While not a two-player game, you must get both characters through the game. Each has unique abilities and must rely on the other to successfully maneuver through the puzzles. You can jump quickly between the heroine and the mammal any time in the game by pressing the C button.
The first part of your goal is to find and help the nine forest animals in the game. After each animal is helped, Pocahontas gains its spirit powers. After gaining the powers, she can use this animal's special ability when she is in a situation that a human can't get past. The deer has a faster running and jumping ability, the otter can swim and dive underwater and the bear can cause animals and people to freeze with fright.
The story's action is ideal for younger gamers. There is no battling evil monsters with knives or swords, no blood or killing. It's just a good game with a fair number of puzzles to solve, ultimately ending with you saving the life of John Smith.
This game is no cake walk, though. Some of the puzzles are devilishly contrived and will even have parents scratching their heads in wonder. Pocahontas is one of the best young players' games yet.
While most people won't bother to try this game, those who do will find themselves hooked, at least for the first time they play through it. However, Pocahontas has little replay value. The graphics are typical Disney cell art, which you may or may not like. The use of animal spirits to solve puzzles was a cool concept. I had a problem with the control. The game had a slow reaction to the controller input. While not devastating, it takes longer to get used to. An addicting game.
With Pocahontas being a movie translation that leans more toward the younger gamer, I was expecting to breeze right through this title. Instead, I found the difficulty of the puzzles to be just right. One of the best features is the teamwork that you have to use between the characters in order to solve the puzzles. Without this strategy element, the game would have had little to offer. This one's a worthwhile title, but is lacking when it comes to the sound and the control.
The first thing I noticed in Pocahontas is that the graphics are dean. The second thing is the control: It is a bit too stiff. The control can be corn-pared to that of Prince of Persia. The use of both Meeko and Pocahontas throughout the game is a nice touch. After getting used to the control, I found myself enjoying the game. At points, the game tended to get somewhat difficult, so if you are thinking about getting Pocahontas for your young children, rent it first.
I'm not a freak, but I did think the movie was decent and I enjoyed the game to some extent. This cart isn't great, but it does capture elements of the movie s story and puts a lot of strategy to it. Maybe I'm just a sucker for animals, but I enjoyed the aspect of getting new skills and switching characters. The game's biggest drawbacks are its somewhat simple graphics and slow or awkward controls. It is a decent game but it might be a bit tough for the kids.
You play as Pocahontas, obviously, but you can also play as Meeko (the raccoon) and this adds a lot to the gameplay and is one of the best aspect of it. You can switch characters at any time through a level simply. Meeko is the character that controls the best and that you'll like the most to play as. Meeko isn't one of these slow and blocky animal character from other games, Meeko moves like a real raccoon. He runs fast, jump high and controls perfectly. You'll really feel like a raccoon running around in the forest... Meeko can climb up trees, pick up berries, enter small passageways, moves boulder and more. Pocahontas can do most of the things Meeko can do but she doesn't run and jump as well. In fact, switching characters isn't just an add to the gameplay. No, it's used to solve puzzles. The game is a kind of platfomer but filled with puzzles and you need the 2 characters to solve the puzzles and make your way to the end of a level.
Pocahontas can't reach the ledge above? Switch to Meeko and climb up the tree to get on the ledge. Push the boulder below so Pocahontas can climb. This is an example of how the 2 characters help each other. You always have to find a way to help each other get over some obstacles. Meeko can't swim so sometimes you have to find a way to make Meeko cross to the other side of the river.
Through the levels, Pocahontas has to find and rescue animals and receive their spirits. When she's awarded a spirit, she'll earn the animal's power. With the deer spirit, she can run. With the otter spirit, she can dive and swim. With the squirrel spirit, she can climb up trees. There are 9 animal spirits to get in total (deer, otter, bird, squirrel, fish, wolf, bear, owl and eagle) and 9 different powers to obtain through the levels. There are no real enemies in the game, all the animals are your friends but you can hurt yourself if you fall from tall cliffs and fall into gasps. The only enemies in the game are the English men but they kill you in one hit.
There are 4 levels in total, but the game can be long because all the levels are long and some puzzles can take you quite some time to figure out. The last level has no puzzles, it's pretty linear, you run and jump over pits, using the animals powers you got from the spirits. Sometimes you have to pass tests to earn the spirits, like racing against the wolf or following the owl in the dark. There's a lot of hidden things in the levels, things you're not forced to get to complete the levels, but it's really nice to try and get them all by solving the puzzles. Meeko can find these 60 berries scattered through the levels and there's always a clever way to get them, it was really fun to explore all the levels and find all the secret passageways as Meeko.
Pocahontas' graphics is the word pretty. The graphics were pretty and beautiful at the same time. The whole game may be in the forest of North America, but each level is different in a way or the other despite always in the same forest. You know, leaves floating around in the air, swirling around you as you advance through the forest. Ducks swimming peacefully over the water and suddenly leaving the water and flying away. Rabbits running around on the ground as you pass next to them. Squirrels climbing around on tree branches. Birds chirping and flying around in the sky. Water quietly falling from a waterfall and sliding onto the rocks to the lake. All the animals move exactly like real animals and everything look beautiful - the trees, the grass, the rocks, the water, the sky - really everything. The levels aren't very varied though, it's always in the forest but in some levels it's night, in others it's day, or before the sun rises, when the sky is orange. Some of the backgrounds are a little plain but considering how good the overall levels are, you won't even notice it. You can even see the shadows of the trees reflecting themselves into the lake's water. Very pretty and nice. The underwater was a little plain too, like there could have been a little more like seaweeds and more different fishes (though there's already some fishes and otters). The characters and animals were nice, from Meeko to John Smith and others but somehow, Pocahontas was very well animated.
The sounds add to the feel of being in a real forest. You hear the birds chirping, the splash of the otters jumping in the water, the small animals moving in the bushes and the animals' cries. In fact, there were so many different sounds that I couldn't pay attention to all of them at the same time. The animals' sounds sounded like real animals' calls, you could hear Pocahontas running in the grass and the water falling from the waterfalls. Very nice sound effects. The music was awesome too, for the most part. The first level had music from the movie and it really fitted well the nice and peaceful look of the forest. It was catchy and added to the feel of the game. It sounded exactly like in the movie and that was great, considering there were tons of animals sounds at the same time, all that went in great harmony.