It’s time to take a look at a game from the Sega Mega-CD. So, what am I going to look at? Let’s look at the ROM list (Do you know how much certain Sega CD games are?)…AH HA! OK then…this sure is a Japanese game.
Panic! (Known in Japan as SWITCH (スイッチ Suitchi), developed by Sega and Office I and published by Sega in Japan and Data East in the US. It was released in 1993 in Japan and in 1994 in the US. I’m playing the Japanese version, I don’t want to miss out on anything apart from the lack of English but it doesn’t really matter since you can still play the game without it though there may be jokes that are spoken in Japanese so keep that in mind if you’re playing Switch.
A virus has infected every single device in the world and it’s causing havoc as a result. So who has the job of fixing it with an antidote? A boy and his dog…OK mate!
So what we have is…not exactly a game. I mean it has puzzle elements but it’s rather an interactive experience. Oh, and the boy is named Slap and his dog is named Stick…GET IT?
So, here’s how it works; you will be in an area, you have a remote on screen and there will be scenarios where you can either see some strange things, get teleported to another area, see a character or a booby trap, where you can destroy a popular monuments from different countries…and considering that 9/11 happened many years later, these moments would have been thought out very differently. Though ironically, the World Trade Center isn’t in this game, and thank goodness for that, otherwise this game would have left a very sour taste years later.
Since this game is very, very Japan, we have some strange moments like a printer throwing up, Frankenstein shrinking, an umbrella turning into a bat, the Mona Lisa turning into Medusa, snow turning into poo, running away from a vacuum cleaner in a Pac-Man-style area, there’s so much more to discover and then some. So in terms of its humour, it’s quirky…juvenile and utterly crazy, but quirky. But I know this is something that won’t be for everyone. Though why wasn’t this released in Europe? Especially in the UK since we have Monty Python, a show that had some strange animations and it reminds me of that, this is something that some Americans would find confusing.
As I said before, Panic has a win/lose scenario, pick the right buttons overtime and you’ll get to the final area…just press the right button and you win. But there are areas in which you can lose; a game over of such, though there is a save/load feature so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but the game is not about finishing it it’s about the journey and the journey is memorable.
Though there can be some issues and it’s to do with…YOU! As in the player, so you go in this blind, as you should, and you’ve gone through most of what’s here, and if you lose, you may have to do this all over again, so if you don’t like the humour, the replay value can be low, or if you did find it funny and gets dry for you, there’s nothing else for you to come back to. As for me, some of the jokes can be either funny or me going ‘huh?’, I mean, this is Japanese humour and humour from different countries are going to be completely different so I can’t blame Sega for having doubts of releasing this game in the west. So if you want to play this, get an FAQ to see the juicy stuff.
The graphics and level design is…never have I had a game like this where there is a variety of art designs, from children’s style crayon drawings to highly detailed pieces of art, making it difficult to think of what I think of the designs, but oh well, there will be something we will like. The same goes for music, there are some weird pieces but I love the track where you manage to fix everything and the credits too.
Overall, Panic is an experience that may vary. Trust me, it’s not for everyone, it’s weird, wacky and if you’re not too careful, it may desensitise you. But if you’ve lived your life on the internet like me, then it already may be too late. For a Sega CD game, it’s one of the best…which says something about the add-on, but as a game, it’s less of a game. It’s one of those experiences that would work as an online game from Newgrounds or something for your mobile phone, use the young people to make the memes and you have something well worth the experience, but as a console game…no. But I do recommend it to see what you think of it.
Oh, by the way, this game was re-released on the PlayStation 2 in Japan only, they somehow replaced the destruction of monuments with them…exploding poo. BECAUSE JAPAN! Though I wonder if they changed it because of a ‘certain’ event?
You can get it on the Sega CD and PlayStation 2.