Casper (video game)

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Casper
Casper Coverart.png
North American box art for the SNES version.
Developer(s) Funcom
Logicware (3DO)
Bonsai Entertainment (GB)
Imagineering (SNES)
G3 Interactive (GBC)
Planet Interactive (GBA) Morning Star Multimedia (PC)
Publisher(s) Interplay Entertainment
Natsume (GB & SNES)
Microïds (GBA) WizardWorks Software (PC)
Platform(s) PlayStation, Sega Saturn, 3DO, Game Boy, SNES, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Windows 95, Windows 98
Release date(s) 1996, 1997, 2002
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Casper is the shared name of several action-adventure games based on the 1995 film of the same name. Two different games were released in 1996 and 1997 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, by different publishers, in different regions. A third game was released for the 3DO (the final release for that system), Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color, published by Interplay Entertainment. There was also a Game Boy game.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System game[edit]

Casper is a game developed by Absolute Entertainment and published by Natsume for the Super NES.[1] The player controls Casper who is followed by Kat Harvey, and he has to protect her from any danger. Being a ghost, Casper can pass through walls and other obstacles, but he can't go away from Kat too much, or else Carrigan's ghost will abduct her. The game follows loosely the plot of the movie. This game uses a revised Absolute A Boy and His Blob engine. Picking up special objects allows Casper to morph into these objects to clear rooms of enemies, and to protect Kat from certain hazards. Mirrors placed throughout the game allows Casper and Kat travel to other parts of mansion, and outside electrical lines allow Casper to pick up the last of the toys, when he picks up the electric bolt morph.

Super Famicom game[edit]

Developed by Natsume, this was released only in Japan by the anime company KSS. In this version, the game uses an isometric view and the player controls Kat Harvey herself as she protects Casper from a duo that consists of a male government agent and a female government agent. During the course of the game, Kat collects items, therefore making this game an adventure game as opposed to an action game.

Baseballs are used to stun the secret agents. Getting hit by a secret agent results in a game over. There is even a box to the bottom right that keeps track of time (in seconds and minutes); the game starts with ten seconds elapsed. Saving the game is performed by finding mechanical contraptions and activating them. While saving the game, the game counts all the coins and gems; it uses that count to tabulate a percentage to decide how much of the game has been officially completed.

Sega Saturn, 3DO, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color game[edit]

The version published by Interplay plays as a top-view action-adventure game with pre-rendered graphics. The game consists of three acts, first finding tokens of friendship for Kat and Dr. Harvey, then finding the pieces for the Lazarus machine (which Casper's uncles had disassembled under the impression he would use it on himself), and finally finding the Cellular Integrator (which Carrigan's ghost steals, leading Casper to her lair) while exploring the mansion and dealing with the Ghostly Trio. Unlike other versions, other than the Ghostly Trio and Carrigan (who serves as this version's final boss), there are no enemies. The game instead focuses on solving puzzles.

Certain areas of the game appear to be unlockable, and one certain puzzle (located within a library of sorts) has the player basically flip switches until the solution presents itself, allowing entry into a room where the player can obtain puzzle pieces that fit somewhere in the game. Using a cheat however, which enables the player character to float to any height, the player is able to explore a huge, hidden area of the mansion, where every morph, and every item needed to complete the game are to be found.

Game Boy game[edit]

This game was developed by Bonzai Entertainment and released by Natsume.

Each of the levels consist of four main mini games, which the player can do in any order, and two final mini games that only appear at the end of the game. However, three of the main mini games are the same every level, with their only difference being a slightly increased difficulty level. The main goal of these games are to make it to the end with as much ooze as possible (ooze being much like points).

Windows 95/98 game[edit]

Casper: The Interactive Adventure is a Point and click adventure CD-ROM game made by WizardWorks Software and Morning Star Multimedia in 1997 and takes place after the '95 film. After the Harvey's go on vacation, Casper's friends throw him a party to cheer him up but Carrigan turns them into ghosts and hides them somewhere in the manor as revenge for being tricked into crossing over. You must use various items to travel around Whipstaff to find traces of Casper's friends and take pictures of them for hints plus the end of the game, and collect items. There was supposed to be a sequel as stated in the ending and the manual where you would help Casper bring his friends back to life but Morning Star went bankrupt before it was made.

Game Boy Advance game[edit]

Made by Microïds and Planet Interactive in 2002, The Ghostly Trio have turned all the adults in town (presumably Friendship, Maine) into zombies and Dr. James Harvey is called in to stop them, only to become a zombie himself. It's up to Casper to help safely guide him through each level using various transformations and objects. The Ghostly Trio show up in each level occasionally to scare Dr. Harvey and throw him off course and Casper must deflect their attacks.

Development[edit]

Silicon Graphics workstations using Alias software were used to generate the character graphics and backgrounds in the Saturn/PlayStation/3DO game.[2]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
EGM 6.75/10 (3DO)[3]
Next Generation 3/5 stars (3DO)[4]
Sega Saturn Magazine 70% (SAT)[5]

Reviewing the 3DO version, Electronic Gaming Monthly's team of four reviewers criticized that load times are frequent, it is easy to get lost, and that the puzzles are often obscure or even don't make sense. They nonetheless had a generally positive response to the game, with Sushi-X deeming it a strong last hurrah for the 3DO. They cited the stunning graphics and wide variety of gameplay elements.[3] A critic for Next Generation agreed that the graphics are exceptional, noting in particular the ghosts which have true transparency (an effect generally thought to be impossible for the 3DO). While also agreeing that some of the puzzles don't make sense, he felt the game was generally easy enough for its young target audience, and concluded it to be a solid though not amazing game.[4]

Sega Saturn Magazine gave the Saturn version a 70%, calling it "a decent enough effort with what is a particularly sugary film, spoilt by some frustrating flaws in the gameplay and action that is too repetitive."[5] Their next issue printed a retraction, admitting that Interplay had not sent them a review copy of Casper, and that the review was actually based on an unfinished version of the game.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Casper for SNES". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Interplay to "Spook" Platform Gamers". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (71): 30. June 1995. 
  3. ^ a b "Review Crew: Casper". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (85): 26. August 1996. 
  4. ^ a b "Casper". Next Generation (Imagine Media) (21): 152. September 1996. 
  5. ^ a b Allsetter, Rob (February 1996). "Review: Casper". Sega Saturn Magazine (Emap International Limited) (4): 80–81. 
  6. ^ "Whoops...". Sega Saturn Magazine (Emap International Limited) (5): 10. March 1996.