07
May
09

Greendog : The Beached Surfer Dude

The Sega Genesis had some really bizarre games. I had a pretty good genesis collection, with many of the obvious and popular choices, but also with some ones that people don’t really talk about these days. We’re going to talk about one today.

GREENDOG: THE BEACHED SURFER DUDE.

I think as a kid, I really couldn’t appreciate the awesomeness of this title. not to worry though, I do now… it’s fucking fantastic. The plot is pretty great too. In the opening cutscene you see Greendog get cartoonishly washed up on a beach with a strange amulet on his neck. He quickly discovers that this amulet bears a strange Aztec curse that causes everything around him to go BERZERK. He needs to find several pieces of some treasurey thingy in order to lift the curse and be able to surf again!

Now… that’s actually somewhat original. Sure, the finding X pieces of an old relic is pretty typical, but an amulet that causes everything to go crazy? It’s a hilarious animation too… people’s eyes bug out and they become a crazy version of themselves.

So how’s it play? It’s a side scroller, you go along throwing a frisbee at all the enemies, picking up powerups along the way and so on. It has many of the side scroller tropes that drive people crazy today, such as jumping puzzles and mandatory high speed “vehicle” style skateboarding and roller blading levels. It also has sonic style underwater levels where you need to continually restock Greendog’s air supply.

It falls somewhere between total shit and total classic, but it’s an example of one of those bizarre games that I have a special attachment to because I grew up with it. I particularly like the art style. Greendog has almost no facial features, and he hides behind his hat most of the time. As much as some of the levels are irritating, some are really innovative. You collect junk food for points (the unhealthier shit being worth more points by the way), but in one level, there’s a little dog going along with you. The dog will eat all your junk food unless you get an enemy to drop a bone, which distracts the li’l fella for long enough for you to snag some food. The dog shows up again in an underwater level with a little snorkel on.

The game is full of cute little touches like that. Another good one is the red piranhas that fill every square inch of water in the game. If Greendog even dips part of himself underwater he’ll come out with the surface of his skin COVERED in hungry fish.

I don’t think I ever finished the thing, though I’ve gotten very close many times. Perhaps it would be a little more forgiving to play with saved states on an emulator, but I’ve never been that crazy about using those. It isn’t knuckle bustingly hard, but the game is long enough to just kind of exhaust you… it would be perfect for two sittings, not one. 

I know you emulator people are always looking for obscure little games that you overlooked at the time. Maybe give this one a shot?

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