Rex Ronan: Experimental Surgeon

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Rex Ronan: Experimental Surgeon
Rex Ronan.jpeg
This game just wants to make a Tyrannosaurus Rex smoke.
Protagonist(s): Dr. Rex Ronan
Genre(s): Educational
Run and gun
Platform(s): Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Release: May 1994
Developer(s): Sculptured Software
Publisher(s): Raya Systems
Country: United States

Rex Ronan: Experimental Surgeon is an educational run and gun game developed by Sculptured Software and published by Raya Systems (who also published Captain Novolin, Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus and Packy & Marlon) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in May 1994 only in North America. The game is intended to teach players about the hazards of smoking.

Plot and Gameplay

Jake Westboro is a man with it all: a beautiful wife and child, a large house in the suburbs, and the massively-paying position of a major CEO for the Blackburn Tobacco Company. As a result of smoking since he was 15, however, Jake is now dying from the effects of the cigarettes that he once sold. An experimental surgeon, Rex Ronan, volunteers to shrink himself and a craft down to near-microscopic size, so he can travel inside of Jake's body and fight his various diseases; removing tar, nicotine, precancerous cells, and other deadly health hazards. However, the tobacco company are concerned that if Jake survives, he will speak to the world about the hazards of tobacco and accordingly ruin their business; so they secretly place microbots inside him en-masse in an attempt to stop Ronan from treating him. If Ronan dies from the evil killbots sent by the company, then so does the patient, Jake.

Why It Sucks

  1. Rex Ronan is a knock off of Ant-Man and he's a surgeon who is tasked with saving a smoker, who's dying from lung cancer.
  2. The first level is hideous to look at, it’s just a bunch of rotten teeth that look like Sonic’s teeth from the original version of the first Sonic movie.
  3. Clunky controls. Rex’s firing controls are unresponsive and it can be hard to maneuver around the Blackburn Tobacco Company's robots.
  4. Nonsensical plot: If Rex is trying to surgically remove the cancerous cells from Jake's body, the Blackburn Tobacco Company is trying to keep itself from going bankrupt by sending its own bots inside Jake in an attempt to stop Rex from saving Jake so he can expose the fact that smoking is actually bad for you, which could cause Blackburn to go out of business.
  5. There are quizzes in the game, but these are pointless as they don't help you in any way.
  6. The game can be finished in 20 minutes or even less due to the low amount of levels and content in general, yes, an extremely short duration for a Super Nintendo Entertainment System game that costs the full price, it is quite pathetic.
  7. Dreadful hit detection.
  8. Very obnoxious music and sound design.
  9. Like Captain Novolin, it is translated to Spanish, but the game was not marketed in Hispanic countries (the United States only), so this feature is completely useless.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The game is translated to Spanish and you can choose the language before playing, in an age where that was very rare in games localized to America.
  2. The graphics are decent.
  3. The idea of teaching kids how to avoid smoking funnily was good, though it probably worked better as a comic book series or a cheesy saturday morning cartoon than a video game.
  4. The quizzes are presented as simple multiple-choice affairs – usually with at least one “joke” answer for flavor – and reward you with points if you manage to get them correct. Seeing as you’re rewarded with an extra life every 100,000 points, answering the trivia questions correctly is one of the fastest ways to get 1-ups.

Reception

Unsurprisingly, the game wasn't received well by journalists and gamers, due to its stupid premise, unresponsive controls, ear-rapping music and the obvious anti-smoking propaganda.

Comments

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