Showing posts with label Rockey Rodent for SNES print ad (1993). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockey Rodent for SNES print ad (1993). Show all posts

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rockey Rodent for SNES (1993)

Rocky Rodent for SNES advertisement
Original ad published in EGM's 1994 Video Game Buyer's Guide (late 1993).
Press to view or download image in higher resolution. 

Historical Background and Graphical Analysis

One of the uglier mascots for the Super Nintendo, Irem’s Rockey Rodent (1993) was another of the hundreds of video games of the 90’s that tried to establish protagonist with a ‘tude.

Irem is a Japanese developer famous for Kung-Fu Master (1984) and the R-Type series. Super R-Type was released for the SNES just two years before Rockey Rodent and became one of the console’s first hits. Their complete video game catalogue is abundant and diverse.

It was a prototypical side-scrolling space shooter that harkened to its 8-bit pedigree to entice early SNES buyers. By all accounts,  Super R-Type was a very impressive game. I played it extensively because it was hard as nails, fast and featured great gameplay. The only downfall—like most early games on Nintendo’s 16-bit console—being the terrible slowdown at critical moments.

Rocky Rodent game screen

So it was just natural for Irem to try to capitalise this success with their own mascot. Everyone was doing the same thing at the time, just check out the long list of platforming ads featured in this blog! Rocky is one ugly beast. His special feature is a modifiable haircut. That’s it. His motives are egotistical and the story of the game is completely forgettable (trying to get your money back). 

The artwork is very unappealing. The protagonist is prominently featured. Problem is, he is ugly as sin. There are some actual game screens in upper part of the ad, but you could see Irem did not invest much creativity here. 

Check out the game’s box-art. It features the exact same pose as the ad, just with a different background. This wouldn’t be a problem if the rodent was attractive or aesthetic in some way, but it fails in that crucial aspect. 

Rocky Rodent print ad copy

Go hairwire with your SNES

He’s quicker than a greased hairball. Tighter than a hairpin turn. He’s got hair with an attitude. And the fastest can of hairspray in the west. He’s trouble in the fast lane. Tricks in a can. Cars, trucks and uncool dudes pull over. He’s good road—from Irem. Move hair fast to your nearest video store for Rocky Rodent!