digitised and thrown onto the snes. Everything seems fantastic for a lover of the source material. This section lasts 10 seconds at most - it's the best 10 seconds of the game. As soon as the level starts everything begins to unravel.
It's amazing how forgiving I am to things that look nice. Death Valley Rally does look very pretty indeed, the graphics are certainly the game’s biggest strength. Maybe this is why I've always wanted to play this game, pictures in magazines and the back of the box show something beautiful. Both main characters look exactly as they should, reflective of their TV counterparts and well animated. The worlds they inhabit are full of life and vibrancy,
even including cameos from other Warner Brothers characters and many visual puns. The game's many many problems start to become obvious though when you look at Road Runners sprite as he jumps; his width trebles when compared to his size standing. It becomes really vague which part needs to clear platform edges and platform games require precision and clarity. Road Runner takes the floaty jump seen recently in Little Big Planet and magnifies it. Imagine a low gravity moon
level on any good platform game and you know how the jump in this game feels. Pressing the jump button while moving in a direction and Road Runner launches into an arc that covers the width if the screen. You have to then attempt to line up his huge sprite so it's completely on a platform, a sizeable problem if the platform is smaller than the protagonist.
If fate is on your side, if you memorise the entire level layout and if you have time on your side you can progress through the game. Later levels see Road Runner escape the confines of the desert and explore a mine, a circus and eventually space. This may seem varied but regardless of the background change you're doing the same thing on increasingly complex maps that are increasingly harder to navigate.
At the end of each episode you have to take on Willie Coyote directly, as he attempts to capture his dinner with ludicrous schemes and contraptions. It's actually quite funny seeing the schematic for each and these sections are the best bits of the game not least because they are the closest to the cartoon. They prove that there are rare glimpses of goodness in this mess of a game. Its when the game actually stays closest to the cartoon that it’s at its best; not just the strong visuals but also in the characterisation of the sarcastic Road Runner. He may not be able to jump properly, may be easily killed by spiders but at least he has two buttons solely devoted to taunting the Coyote.
It's amazing how wrong they got this game, and amazing that it got past the play testing stage at all. Clearly the money was spent by Sunsoft on getting the license to the cartoon, with no money spent on developing an appropriate game around the strengths and skills of the main character. Anyone who likes this game either hasn't played it or is so in love with the source material they can ignore the actual game play. I'm massively disappointed, I desperately wanted it to be great but scratch away the beautiful paint job and what's below is awful. A very attractive misinterpretation of the source material, a failure to even understand what was needed in a Road Runner game.