Release Date: 1985
First Played: 1989
Status: DEFEATED, July 7, 2014
Wrecking Crew! We all know what that is right?
Nope, not this…(I like Juggernaut Jr.!)
Sadly, not this. But my God, what a game this would make!!! Let alone that this was actually a movie!
Hollywood Director – Ok, how about this idea: A tired Dean Martin finds a machine gun and blows stuff up with a well dressed go-go girl?
Hollywood Executive – Here’s $84,000,000.00. Get this done, NOW!!!!
That’s the one! It’s no Machine Gun Dean Martin, but what can we do? Though this is the European box art apparently…
The look of horror on Mario’s face after he accidentally smashed a brick wall full of bombs, knowing that certain death is seconds away; is priceless! “Hello! It’s-a me Ma…(BLAM!!) AAAAARRRGGHH MY LEGS! MY LEGS!!!!!!!!!” And yes, you read that correctly, that’s Mario! And what child of the 80’s wouldn’t jump at the chance to play a Mario game?
When First We Met…
I was 6, and that Christmas my brother and I received a 110 game cartridge, bootleg obviously, (No Nintendo seal of quality here!) but chalk full of fun, popular and bizarre games (Which will be the topic of some future entries!!!) I stumbled upon this title in the menu and selected it. “WRECKING CREW” in huge block letters appeared on the screen. Hmm! This looks promising! I press start for the first stage and what do I read? “Mario Start!” Wait, Mario?? Super Mario?!?!? And I get to WRECK things??? My mind went wild with possibilities! Understand that I had just saved the Princess for the very first time in the original Super Mario Bros., so another Mario adventure so soon after was amazing news!
And he…..he’s got a hammer??? Like in Donkey Kong!?!? Ha HA!! Look how it rests, this weapon of destruction, almost casually on his shoulder! That confident bastard! What’s that monster up there? No matter, I’ll just walk right up to him and….huh!?!?! I’M DEAD?????
You see, as I soon discovered, Wrecking Crew wasn’t your typical Mario Game. In fact, it’s more a puzzle game than a straight out platformer. The main idea of Wrecking Crew is to guide Mario around each stage and get him to destroy all breakable things on the screen, which come in the form of lockers, brick walls and ladders (the orange ladders you see above can’t be broken though). Oh, and he can’t jump. Yup, Mario, formerly known as JUMPMAN, can not jump at all. But he can fall! That’s like…reverse jumping, so that counts right? RIGHT?? So imagine my 6 year old frustration at this! Also, that wicked awesome hammer you have can only be used on the things you’re wrecking, not the dozens of monsters that chase you through each level.
Oh, and there’s this guy…
His name is Foreman Spike! He appears sporadically throughout the game in different levels. He runs around in the back ground of the stage trying to knock you off platforms or destroying ladders that you need to access various parts of the stage. Basically, his job is to be a dick, and boy does he earn his keep! So, with the monsters (Red slower wrench monsters, Purple fast wrench monsters, really fast egg plant robots), Foreman Spike dicking around, random fire balls ala Mario Bros. that fly across the screen every 30 seconds or so, and the basic “I need to use my brain to figure out the correct path to take” levels, 6 year old Adamus got mighty fed up mighty quick! However, the big positive about the game in the level select option, so you can pass by harder levels or just play any level you want. But with a good 20 out of the possible 100 levels (not including “Find the Coin” bonus level.) that I was unable to pass, I gave up, and moved on to other pastures……
Meanwhile in the PRESENT…
I put this first on my hit list as this was the earliest game that I could remember that I couldn’t beat. Maybe it’s my age, or my new willingness to sit and think out a problem, but, I actually really enjoyed playing it the second time around! I am a huge fan of puzzle games, and trying to figure out which path to take and what to destroy when appealed to me a lot more now than it did in my youth. Also, I have the benefit of the internet, which helped me to discover that, though very difficult to achieve, the “UNBEATABLE” enemies could be destroyed! With this…
A Golden Hammer (I was only able to get it once)! It appears in special bombs in random stages, but only if you have hit a certain amount of objects. Otherwise, you get a statue of a pig, a cat or Santa that gives you points, because, what else would pop out of a bomb other than death? Right?? Fun Fact: The Golden Hammer is also the same one that appears in the Smash Bros series! So that’s where it came from!!!
I beat the game in around 6 – 8 hours in total, which to me was a surprising amount of time. I only used a walkthough once on one level, where I discovered I had to use a bit of a ladder glitch to manoeuvre my way around a purple wrench and an egg plant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-dnvuvFcqI). One thing I really enjoyed was the music! It has almost a Jazzy kind of feel to it. As for story, there is none; no Bowser, no Princess, just you wrecking stuff for the hell of it. The ending is…well, there is no ending; no “Thank you so much for-a playing my game!!” just back to level 1. But, I can’t say that bothered me all that much. It still held that Mario Magic that made me want to go back for more and try to figure out each level one by one.
Overall, I would recommend this game, but only if you like more puzzle based games. And if you can get over the fact that Mario can’t jump! I found the level select option made for an easy pick-up-and-play feel. My past frustrations did not hold up over time, and I finally emerged victorious!
So, have you played this game? Were you able to beat it? Has this blog made you want to try it out (and maybe even its Sequel released only in Japan???) Shout out in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for my next entry where I challenge #24 on my list. A game to vile, so cursedly horrible, I almost didn’t include it!!