Captain Planet and the Planeteers (NES)
Captain Planet and the Planeteers is a 2D action platformer/shoot-em-up video game based on the environmentalist animated series of the same name. It was released on multiple platforms, such as NES, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
This page will only cover the NES version which is the most poorly received version of all four.
The NES version of the game consists of 5 stages, each stage is divided into two portions. The first portion is a shoot-em-up stage where the player controls one of the team's vehicles, such as the Eco-Jet, to combat enemies, avoid obstacles and navigate to an enemy fortress. The player is capable of using all five of the Planeteers' powers: The earth, the fire, the wind, the water, and the heart.
The second portion has the player controlling Captain Planet, the objective is to navigate Captain Planet through the interior of the fortress and defeat an eco-villain from the TV series. The player again has access to all five Planeteer powers.
Why It Sucks
- The graphics are below average, even for NES standards.
- The functions for the Select and Start buttons are reversed: Select is used to pause the game while Start is used to select weapons.
- The game is very dependent on trial-and-error gameplay. Especially in the later stages, for example, in the submarine level, there are fans that create turbulence in the water, some suck you towards them while some others push you away, but they are all visually identical.
- Some of the powers are useless during certain stages. For example, in the first stage's flying portion, the water power cannot damage any enemy ships. But the game never tells you any of that.
- Fake Difficulty: there are many traps throughout the levels that are hard to avoid. This combined with the fact that you are One Hit-Point Wonder in this game means that you will meet lots of cheap deaths.
- In the first stage, for instance, you'll fly over an oil platform with five towers that shoot out oil which, somehow, destroy your Eco-Jet in one hit. Flying over the towers without getting hit can be very challenging as the towers shoot out oil very high rate.
- The snow-covered stage is even more frustrating, as, at the end of certain tunnels, snow will fall down and land on your plane, causing it to crash. There's one particular tunnel that's very hard to pass because it requires the player to do a U-turn at the precise moment, too quick and the player will be crushed by snow, too late and the player will crash into the cave wall.
- While you can utilize various powers while controlling Captain Planet, the powers are useless most of the time due to the absence of enemies in his level.
- Poor grasp of source material, for example, certain enemies can only be eliminated with the power of the heart (by making them love you), while in the original series, the power of the heart is used to communicate with animals.
- The game's rules are rather inconsistent, for example, in level 2, touching the trees will result in instant death while in level 1 the player can pass through trees.
- Speaking of level 2, its flying stage can be quite frustrating. To destroy the toxin-carrying trucks you have to use the power of the earth to drop rocks in their path. However, the trucks travel very quickly and will only slow down when you are flying close to the ground (Which doesn't make sense since if you are closer to them shouldn't they drive faster instead?), but flying low makes it difficult to avoid the trees, and rising in altitude to avoid them means slowing down and risk losing the trucks.
- The final boss, Duke Nukem (not to be confused with the Apogee video game character, as his name was actually taken from the Captain Planet and the Planeteers series), can only be defeated by deflecting his attacks back at him.
- To add insult to injury, besides containing different texts, the ending screen is identical to the Game Over screen.