Fix-It Felix Jr

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FEATURE REVIEW



Fix-It Felix Jr.

by Airwalk Studios & Future Driver


for

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive


Review by

TrekMD



In November 2012, Walt Disney Studios took the world by surprise with a hit movie based on retro video games, that movie was Wreck-It Ralph. The titular character of the movie, Ralph, is a bad guy on a fake retro game called Fix-It Felix Jr that Disney created for purposes of the movie only. This game caused such sensation, however, that it saw releases for Android, iOS, and modern handheld systems. It was even adapted as a Flash game to an arcade cabinet for gamers to enjoy! Little did Disney know, however, that the game would soon be recreated by homebrewers for a true retro system, the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive!

Two ports are known to exist for the Genesis/MD, one by a Japanese homebrewer from the site “Future Driver” and one from Airwalk Studios. The former version is available as a free download (http://68000.web.fc2.com/felix/index.html) That can be played using an Everdrive cart and is the more accessible version. The latter version has been released in cart form in both numbered (50 copies) and unnumbered versions (limited run). As you can imagine, these Airwalk Studios versions are harder to come by.

The Future Driver version of the game is not as complete an adaptation of the game. It does not have music and Felix can jump to any of the windows to fix them. This means that he can jump to a level higher than where Ralph is to fix windows, completely avoiding any of the falling bricks. Once all the Windows are fixed, the game features the same ending as we saw in the movie where the citizens in the building carry Ralph to the edge of the roof and drop him down to the ground. While this game does feature nice graphics and it hold the spirit of the game, it isn’t an exact replica of the game featured in the movie.

The Airwalk Studios version, however, could be considered a superior port of the game and far more faithful to the original seen in the film. This version features music, introduction animations, speech, and all the detail from the fake arcade. Yes, you will hear Ralph say “I’m gonna wreck it!” and Felix’s “I can fix it!” The rest of this review will focus on this particular version of the game.

The story of Fix-It Felix Jr is that this guy called Ralph lives under a tree stump. While he is sleeping, the stump gets moved so the city of Niceland can make a new residential building. When Ralph wakes up (I have no idea how he didn’t notice his home was being moved to the dump), he is angry that his stump was moved and he decides to wreck the new building as an act of revenge. Little does Ralph know that the building has hired a guy to fix the building who’s name is Felix Jr. Felix is equipped with a “magical” hammer that will can fix any damage done by Ralph. Felix must avoid falling bricks that Ralph tosses as well as birds. If he gets hit by any, a life is lost. Felix also has to be careful because some windows have planters that don’t let him jump to that window from below and there are windows with shutters also that block the sides. If Felix fixes all the damaged windows on each level, he wins the game and Ralph gets tossed to the ground by the folks who live in the building.

The Airwalk Studios version of the game does a superb job at adapting the game to the Genesis/MegaDrive. As already stated, it has music like what we heard on the movie for the arcade machine. The graphics are perfect and the animations are great. Having played Disney’s version for mobile devices, I’d say this version comes very close to Disney’s creation. When you start the game you see Ralph going into this tree stump and then you see it moved to the garbage dump. The building is made and then Ralph wakes realizing what happened. This is where the fun starts as Ralph declares “I’m gonna to wreck it!” Though the gameplay is straightforward and can be considered simple, the game is addicting and lots of fun to play (particularly on a real retro console!). I should note that this particular version of the game has had updates to it due to some bugs found in the original release. The newer version has additional enhancements (this is the version released in the second unnumbered set of carts) as well, to make the game even better. If you can get a hold of one of these carts, I suggest you grab it! In the meantime, try out the free Future Driver version.

Update: The Airwalk Studios version of the game is now freely available for download to use in emulators or with flashcarts. It can be downloaded here: http://www.tmeeco.eu/SMD/fixitfelixjr_airwalkstudios.zip

Future Driver Version Rating: 6/10

Airwalk Studios Rating: 9/10

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