Full title: Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy
If you were lucky enough to purchase an Atari Jaguar on launch day (either 1993 or 1994 depending on where you lived), you would have been left with quite a quandary – what games should I buy to show-off this beast’s true power? Cybermorph – the official pack-in game for the Atari Jaguar would be safely yours – already resting snugly against your newly acquired console. What other titles might take your fancy to display the console’s 64-bits of unrivalled power? The simple answer is that your choices would have been very limited. In fact, there was only one additional game available when Atari launched their last ever console – Trevor Mcfur in the Crescent Galaxy!
I really believe that you should never judge a game by its cover or title, but if you did, you would have been forgiven for expecting the worst from this side-scrolling space shooter. The game cover art somehow succeeds in looking both incomplete and over the top with its bizarre choice of fonts and incredible image of our feline anthropomorphic heroes, Trevor and his co-pilot Cutter in an intimate embrace. Let’s not even get started on the title!
The game itself is actually quite enjoyable and I found myself coming back to it quite often, albeit with a few glaring issues. Playing as Corporal Trevor McFur, a talking Cheetah with attitude (Cheeto’s anyone?) you need to save the Crescent Galaxy, which has recently fallen under the cruel command of the evil Odd-It. The bizarre enemy has one simple mission; make everything in the galaxy as odd as him/it!
At the start of the game you can choose to play one of four possible missions. These missions are each represented by a moon dotted around the planet Cosmolite. Each moon has two clear stages; a space stage and a moon stage. After completing each moon you are then able to undertake your final voyage to Cosmolite and take on the evil Odd-It.
You are able to tackle any of the four moons in your chosen order which reminded me of Mega Man, which is certainly not a bad thing. Like any decent side-scrolling shooter you control a space ship, with the screen continuously moving from left to right with a barrage of enemies heading your way which you can either shoot or dodge. Trevor’s ship doesn’t look the best and is painted a weird orange colour, but is does control well, making you feel in full control of your feline’s destiny. The spaceship is not initially equipped with the best gun, but this is soon upgraded after a few power-ups. Trevor also has access to a large quantity of missiles; however, I would seldom use these as I found the downward trajectory of the missiles close to pointless.
Another area where Trevor McFur succeeds is with its large and original array of special attacks. With your inlay snugly fitted in your larger than life control pad, you are able to select numerous attacks to help destroy the bad guys on screen. Some of the simpler special attacks include a laser gun and a force field around your ship. However, a number of these attacks really stand out. I particularly enjoyed using the magnet power, which would attract and repel onrushing enemies. I also liked the back-up ship option, where a friendly comrade (I assume this is Cutter) would join you in battle. These special moves should be used sparingly and saved for each of the moon’s two bosses.
I feel the enemies are an overall weak spot for the game. Many of the enemies feel out of place, with a number of 3D shapes hurtling towards you leaving you scratching your head in bewilderment. However, the most bizarre adversary within the game has to the giant silver cherubs firing arrows from their crossbows. The boss fights are quite enjoyable to be fair, but nothing too original, however this is your perfect opportunity to go full Rambo and unleash your entire arsenal.
The backgrounds are quite poor and add little atmosphere to the game. However, there is one very eye-catching level where the backdrop seems to be made of pale blue crinkled paper with painted on white clouds, bright signs and vandalism throughout.
The game concludes with a final showdown with Odd-It, a weird multi human faced creature that rotates around the screen shooting out eyeballs. Defeating this final boss will take quick reflexes and good use of your special attacks.
The game has NO in game music! This may be forgiven slightly if the sound effects were any good – sadly, they are not! The lack of music really highlights the basic laser and explosion noises. This is an area where Trevor McFur really lets down the gamer. Add in the fact you cannot save your initials when you get into the top scoring charts and the game’s highlights can quickly be forgotten.
I feel the game is quite difficult and will, at some points leave you close to throwing your controller across the room, especially after an over-sized eyeball comes crashing into you. Overall though, I feel the learning curve is quite fair and after you complete each level you do feel quite proud of yourself.
The game feels incomplete and the rumours that the title was rushed to meet the Jaguar’s launch day certainly add up. However, I did have quite a bit fun traversing my feline friend through space and feel the game deserves some credit for a number of interesting ideas. It is probably worth checking out if you are a big fan of the old style side scrolling shoot-em ups, but you will always have that feline it could have been so much more!