Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
This is the story of Ariel, a little mermaid whose curiosity got the better of her! A long time ago, in an undersea kingdom, there lived a peaceful race called the Merpeople. Their home was the sprawling city of Atlantis and they were ruled by a wise sea god, Triton.
His daughter, Ariel, once met a human prince and fell in love (I hope you’re following this, boys and girls!). From that day forth, she wanted to be human herself.
To do this, she made a pact with a sea witch, Ursula. In return for human mortality, Ariel had to give the old hag her beautiful voice. But Ariel forgot to read the small print on the contract — if the prince doesn’t kiss her within three days, the little mermaid becomes Ursula’s slave for all eternity!
That’s the plot to Disney’s hit film, The Little Mermaid, and the game’s virtually the same. The hideous Ursula has captured the Merpeople and it’s up to Ariel or Triton to set them free. Fail and you’re a slave for life!
Swim through underwater caves, ruined cities and past lava-spitting volcanoes and use the map to help find prisoners. Collect money and use it in shops to buy extra weapons and help from fishy friends.
Can you free your people and rid the world of the menace of Ursula once and for all? Take the plunge and find out!
It’s happened before and it’s happened again! A software company decides to release a game of a hit film and what happens? It’s naff!
This version’s virtually the same as the MD game, but that’s no good thing! Obviously, Sega have aimed The Little Mermaid at the younger gamer but even the worst GG nut will finish this in minutes. The extra difficulty settings provide a bit of a challenge but it’s too boring.
All of the film characters are present, including Triton, Ariel, that lobster, Ursula and er... lots of other fishy folk! In fact, the one interesting thing about The Little Mermaid is that when you’re in a spot of bother, you can call on your mates for help. Each sea creature has a different use, such as pushing rocks or tackling tough guardians.
Graphics are cutesy enough but not that responsive and sound FX are minimal.
What we have here is a popular cartoon licence that could have been immensely fun and playable. It ain’t.
Us Deadheads gave The Little Mermaid a bit of an easy ride when it appeared on the MD. It wasn’t because Mat fancied Ariel and didn’t want to upset her — well, not entirely anyway! It was because it’s clearly aimed at the kids. While us tough ‘n’ rough game-freaks found it a doddle, it’s quite a challenge for younger gamers.
The GG version’s virtually the same as its 16-bit brother, ie, great to look at but very easy to play. This has peeved Mat but to be fair, it deserves the same ratings as its MD counterpart.
The graphics are nice and cute and the sound’s typically magical (or as magical as GG sound can be!). It isn’t great, but gameplay keeps your attention for a fair old time.
The Little Mermaid is for your kid brother or sister — then if you fancy some lighthearted ocean antics, you can nick their GG for half an hour!
A poor quality film licence aimed squarely at the younger market
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