McDonald's is the place to go for friendly efficient service from people who hate their lives, crotch scaldings, and crappy theme toys. However, not content with clogging our arteries and melting our genitals, McDonald's also produced a handful of really terrible platformer style video games.
Right off the bat, I can't help but wonder how a video game would sell food. When playing a platformer, you need to be able to jump at a split second or compensate for the game's inability to let you jump at a split second. You can't hold firmly onto a sweat-soaked Genesis controller while clumsily forcing oil-soaked potato shards into your mouth. At first thought, making it a role-playing game with lots of cinematics would give the player plenty of time to snack between turns. That is, until your realize most people playing an RPG would probably just plant themselves in front of the TV for however many hours it would take to finish the game. And 40 hours in Final McDonald's Lard Fantasy Legend of the Clown is 40 hours they're not spending getting varicose veins from standing in line in their store. The next most logical idea is for a portable game, to give you something to do as the feeling fades from your knees as a senior citizen squints in a vain effort to discern the 20 cent difference between small and medium. This concept was also a failure, as the test players tended to want to play games that weren't indirectly financing the thing they're being made to stand in line for.
The McDonaldland series of games (all TWO of them) followed the adventures of Mick and Mack, who were a black kid and an Aryan kid. I'm not sure which is which, but they have to know they're both shills. Also pictured, Aerosmith's Mick Jagger, a robot, and Mack the Knife from Super Mario World. Mick and Mack are essentially Ronald McDonald's elite SS corps, who ruthlessly and efficiently crush all the woodland creatures and such that stand in the way of McDonalds.
In M.C. Kids, the pansyful Nintendo version, they accomplish this by throwing boxes at gophers and hanging on the ceiling. Apparently, Ronald was showing off his magic bag in the Meadow, when all of a sudden... Gophers happened! And not just any gophers, they're the bipedal inbred evolutionary second-cousins of the gopher, the Goforit. Proactively named enemies are a staple of a modern video game. Look at Sodom in Final Fight. That's the kind of forward thinking you rarely see outside of L.A. It reassures us mayor Mike Haggar doesn't just hate gays. He hates all races equally, and pummels them with the Crowbar of Righteousness.
M.C. Kids has you hop around collecting Golden Arches while cutesy woodland creatures gnaw your behind. It also features the fabulously infuriating arrow blocks that send you flying baseball-cap over heels back to the starting line. Where all the enemies have respawned. Cripes. I forget what the object of the game was, I think it had you collect letters or stars or something so you could leave the stage.
As was usually the case in the Genesis incarnations of games that appeared on NES as well, Mick and Mack: Global Gladiators was more interesting to look at, had really loose play control, and let you shoot things. And while you're still collecting McDonald's merchandise, you have to fight slime monsters. I don't know how the hell they came up with the idea that level after level of bubbling snot would work up an appetite, unless they took some six-year old's joke about 'hamboogers' seriously. Which gets really scary when realize how very real a possibility that is.
Every level was the same, except they'd color the slime different and change the level number. There was a timer, which implied a time limit, but I left the game running a good twenty minutes and found Mack (or Mick) still sitting there chewing his gum. What really grabbed me was how insanely easy it was compared to the NES adaption, which, as I mentioned before, was found of spiking you into a lake of piranha. Basically, if you can run in a straight line and jump small gaps, you can beat this. Just destroy all of the cappuccino machines in the stage, in which case Ronald will appear, happily bent over at the end of the level waiting to dance around with a checkered flag while corporate logos rain from heaven.
Ronald must be like the ultimate deviant. In case nobody has noticed, he always dresses like that. I understand that he wore a bright yellow tuxedo to the funeral of a guy who got whacked. Plus, he always hangs around with kids. Maybe it's just my own general intolerance towards little kids creating a sort of forced-perspective weirdness vortex.
I'd like to drag this review out some more. I really would, but actually, my genesis emulators never want to take screencaps (or work most of the time) and I erased the MC Kids ROM a few months ago. All I can say is you can't trust McCafe's.