Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
In Japan, the Inari Daimyojin (a fox deity) is worshipped to promote a good harvest How smelly creatures that hang around people's dustbins can manage this isn't explained, but apparently groups of foxes hold supernatural powers and act as special priests in the ceremony.
Unfortunately, one fox, named Madfox Daimyojin used these special powers in honour of all things evil and twisted. He took over a country and populated with foul creatures that willingly do his bidding. Enter Psycho Fox, a young fox spoiling for a fight. Madfox’s antics are the perfect excuse for him to travel to the occupied country and kick some Madfox ass - as befits someone with a psychotic disposition.
Psycho Fox's mission is simple. Travel through the seven zones (each with three sub-zones) kicking out Madfox’s minions and generally causing a bit of aggro for the twisted fox-like one.
After each round has been beaten. Psycho Fox is transported to a bonus sub-game. Put a stake up and choose a route for the fox to take. He’ll follow it to one of the endings. Most of the endings supply small bonuses, whilst one kills him off. The best bet is to try to reach the palace. Many extra lives and points are awarded here, depending on your bet.
Collect and use a straw effigy, and the screen suddenly shakes as beams of energy flow through the landscape. In other words, this is a smart bomb that annihilates all meanies on-screen!
Collect a special Psycho Stick and the fox-like one can transmute into three other life-forms. Each of these have different capabilities.
The tiger's the tops at high-speed running and long jumping. It's just a shame his other attributes aren't quite as strong.
Change into the monkey if you fancy a spot of high-jumping action. Unfortunately, all of his other capabilities aren't quite as strong as the fox's.
The fox is average at just about everything, including jumping, punching and running.
The hippo is slow and cumbersome which isn't very helpful for jumping or running, but his huge muscles enable him to punch down walls!
Megadrive owners who like the looks of Psycho Fox should seriously consider adding Magical Flying Hat Turbo Adventure to their cart collection. The gameplay is almost exactly the same as Sega Psycho Fox but the graphics and sound are superior and there’s just as much fun to be had exploring the many platform levels. It's a must for platform fanatics.
Collect a potion and select it on the pause screen, and Psycho Fox is invulnerable for about thirty seconds. Use the time wisely!
Hidden in one of the many eggs dotted around the landscape Psycho Fox finds his trusty side-kick, the Bird-Fly (so called because he's a bird who flies). He can thrown in the direction of nasties to send them off to their doom. When the job is done, he returns to Psycho Fox.
Psycho Fox in his gorilla guise!
Psycho faces up to the first boss!
With the aid of the Bird-Fly, Psycho clears the screen of baddies!
Psycho and Bird-Fly kick butt!
Using Mr Hippo’s fists, walls crumble and secret rooms are revealed!
Although Mickey Mouse is more playable, Psycho Fox offers far more of a challenge as well as a bigger landscape to explore. There are also loads of Mario-style secret warps to find, and this adds to the lastability immensely. I did find the gameplay a tad frustrating at times - the fox takes ages to slow down so you can run straight into an enemy sprite even though your reactions are good enough to spot the danger. For a Sega game, the graphics are pretty good with well-animated sprites and varied backdrops. But it's the gameplay and lastability that count, and with loads of levels and a stiff challenge on offer, you’ll be at Psycho Fox for ages. It’s a classic game that all Sega owners should have in their collection.
Sporting a weird storyline and even weirder graphics, Psycho Fox is one weird game. But it's challenging, playable and very addictive too. The way the screens are laid out is excellent, with loads of areas to explore and discover - I found myself going back to it time and time again to see whether I missed anything. There are also warp areas, as well as other secret features to discover, giving the game plenty of lasting appeal. Psycho Fox is easily one of the best platform games available on the Master System, and is a vital addition to any self-respecting player's collection.