The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang Review
You know, I've ranted and reviewed bad games or some that disappointed me. How about a good game for a change? And probably some of you haven't heard of. There is a game for the SNES called The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang, and it was actually a sequel to a TurboGrafx-16 game called Makai Prince Dorabotchan. Unfortunately, it was only in Japan. Sadness.
But either way, let's get this show on the road and play one of the more obscure games that is, The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang!
Our story begins one night, when something lands on one of the islands of Vlademasco. The islands are ruled by three powerful figures in the monster world and they are treated and act like humans. We have Dracuman, who is Spike's father and the King of Batland, we have Vampra and General von Hesler. However, on one fateful night... everything changed and the Fire Nation-oh, whoops. Wrong story. *ahem*, Everything changed when General von Hesler waged war with the other Kingdoms, sending his top captains and zombies to take over the islands and capturing the rulers.
However, Vampra's daughter, Camellia escapes and seeks Spike, her childhood friend who is also going into training to become a good ruler on Fighter Island. Camellia tells Spike and his tutor, Professor Steam, about what happened and General von Hesler has gone insane. But Spike insists that his training is important and that he'll help once he's strong enough.
However, that doesn't sit well with the vampire girl and runs off, taking matters into her own hands and calls him a weakling and coward. Spike realizes that it's true and that's why he took the invitation of Fighter Island. Here, we meet Spike's master of the island whose name is too long and unpronounceable. So in short, he's named Clarence.
He provides some tests to help Spike be more skilled in the field and finally fight him with his magic staff. After passing the test, Clarence gives Spike a gift, a card box with magical cards. Spike has been doing it before Yu Gi Oh was a thing. Anyways, he arrives back in Batland and notices something is wrong. There's some sort of commotion coming from the castle and he goes to check it out.
It's taken over by zombies and feline warriors. Not only that, Spike's Mother has been imprisoned and the one in charged is some girl named Felina. After fighting her and having her cornered, she pleas that she was just following orders and was sorry. She offers to give Spike a reward which is a gold coin and that she'll leave.
Unfortunately, this was a ruse as a cage falls, trapping our gullible vampire. However, no matter what Spike does, his attacks and the magic cards are useless. That is until a mysterious zombie boy appears and breaks the cage in two, freeing Spike.
They defeat Felina and the boy reveals himself to be the son of von Hesler named Rudy.
But he's on Spike's side as he believes his father is innocent and has been brainwashed by some creature. So they team up and head on over to the Kingdom of Vampra, but due to some rockslides in the mountains they're travelling in, it destroys their mode of transportation which was a van and crushes it.
As Spike and Rudy travel further, they are ambushed by some rat people who think the two are working for von Hesler, Spike says he isn't and is heading over to Vampra to help Camellia. Upon the mention of the girl, they realized they're not enemies. But there is some bad news, Camellia had fallen ill and was taken in by the rat people to care for. The only way to cure her sickness is by getting some sacred water at the desert.
But of course, it's guarded by von Hesler's generals. But they go there anyways and defeat the monsters and the water is flowing once more. They gather the water and Camellia is cured and she notices that Spike has grown stronger and meets Rudy, who wishes that his real identity be kept secret until the whole thing is over.
They all team up and head over to Vampra which had been covered in snow by a monster named The Freezer, an ice golem who has the power to freeze anything. They journey to the Ice Palace and get ambushed by The Freezer. However, Spike and Camellia's attacks don't do anything.
Seeing the battle as pointless, the Freezer let's them go with a warning. But thankfully, he does have a weakness. Chicken Noodle Soup, yes, really. Using his weakness, the Freezer is now vulnerable, and as he is defeated, his influence over the area is gone and the Palace starts to melt.
He orders a giant bird to rescue the two as it melts, sacrificing himself. They remark he was a lot different from General von Hesler's other commanders and that he had honor in the end. In order to get to von Hesler's castle, they have to go by airship. Tragedy strikes and the airship catches fire and they crash into the Jungle of Mazes. Thankfully, the party seems to be okay, except Camellia who sprained her ankle from the fall.
The face off against more of von Hesler's men and meet the General himself. They tried to talk some reason into him and why he decided to rebel, but it fell on deaf ears. But as the battle goes on, we see a spirit did indeed possess him, what Rudy said was true. The Spirit's name is Ozawa, and his goal is simple.
He wants to take over the islands and then the whole world so he could reign supreme and maybe in the future, acquire his body. They fight Ozawa this time and win, but the demonic spirit had a backup plan. General von Hesler was a failure as a host, he'll just possess Camellia and make them fight her.
They rush back and hear a scream, and they think the girl had been possessed. But in a twist, she actually manage to kill him. Once it's all over, their parents have been rescued and express how proud they are of the their children. And now that General von Hesler is free, he explains what happened.
He was asleep one night when Ozawa made his presence. He entered the zombie ruler's dreams and then started manipulating him until he took over. And the rest was history. And that ends The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang. I liked it!
It's a top down perspective just like Zelda. It's an action RPG this time around. You use the Y button to use Spike's cape to attack and spin around, but don't press it too much or he'll get dizzy. If you hold Y, you can use his magic hat to hit enemies from a distance. You can but different hats that make him stronger and do different effects.
You also buy some magical cards from a store, some do attacks and some aid Spike in some way. But they're always random on what you get. If you get enough experience, Professor Steam will call you and tell you that Spike has levelled up. And trust me, this game can get hard at times, mainly because of the enemies and bosses.
In order to recover health there are two ways.
One, is to find some tomatoes that the enemies drop and they come in two sizes. Small and large. Or use the magic cards with a tomato or tomato juice can on them to recover. Or the second option is go back to Professor Steam in town and heal. It's up to you really, but you have to go through the dungeons again.
The sounds are good and not annoying. Well, maybe the text box sound can be at times.
The music is the shining star in this game. It's all kinds of funky and upbeat. Me likey.
There is definitely some fun to be had here and it's an interesting experience. You will not be diappointed.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND SCORE
The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang is an often forgotten and underrated gem in the SNES library which is a shame. The characters are good, the music's awesome, the gameplay is simple and exciting and the story is rather charming and interesting.
My final score is...
Yeah, there are some problems here and there, but for the most part, the game is playable and you won't get stuck so often. I really wish there was another game like this or a spiritual successor. But, oh well. Huh. This was rather refreshing! I wonder what other game I have in line.
*Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy*