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Porky's - The Atari Times


Oh no, not one of *those* kinds of games!
by Darryl Brundage

April 18, 2006
First off, I know what you're thinking, and you're WRONG!

I am NOT a pervert for reviewing this game. Besides, Beat 'em and Eat 'em was already reviewed on this site anyway, and CAN actually be considered x-rated, as you could actually buy Porky's over the counter when it was first released, since it was legal, whereas Custer's Revenge (another x-rated 2600 game) wasn't legal in several states.

Yes, Porky's was an r-rated movie about several guys in a small town trying to score, yes, there was nudity, yes, there were jokes about sex, yes, a certain famous shower scene had guys looking at naked babes (which, yeah, we got a nice, nude eyeful :) ), yes, one guy got grabbed by...uh, well, let's just say not by his *shoulder*, at least...and yes, it had a decent emphasis on safe sex (i. e. using condoms). So it did have some worth there (not to mention it was pretty funny).

And as far as the game itself goes, no, there's no nudity, and yes, there's barely a reference about sex on the box, during the game or in the instruction manual, although you would have had to see the movie in order to catch the subtle sexual references in the latter.

Actually, just the REASON as to why this game was ever released in the first place is a bit of a mystery (to me, anyway, since I don't know the story behind why it was created): basing a game on an r-rated movie pretty much catered only to an older game-buying crowd (or as in "older" I mean people who are ages 17 and above who can get into r-rated movies in the first place). And the game didn't really have much to do about Porky's or sex anyway, so it seemed almost like it was immediately doomed to fail...or perhaps 20th Century Fox (the game company who created this game, I mean, not the movie company) figured that would entice the general public into snapping it up in big numbers, since it was supposedly taboo.

Another thing that is very strange is that one of the reasons this game could have gone down in video game history (BESIDES being based on an r-rated movie, I mean) is due to being one of the few 2600 games for having a brief cinematic part in it, where, at the end, if you win the game, you see Pee Wee (the hero, more or less, of the game) press down on a plunger and blow up the evil Porky's night club (which, in between the sex and all in the movie, there's also a couple of side plots in regards to the man who owns Porky's, where a lot of the action happens, plus there's also a crooked small town sheriff [Porky's brother, actually, which explains why he's that way] and all in the subplot as well). And no, I wouldn't have given away the ending here, but for some stupid reason this is shown during the game's DEMO when you first turn it on! I don't know why this is, but this is a strange game anyway, but they could've just left it out so the player could be rewarded with it a t the end when he wins the game, but nooooo. (And for those people who rag about how bad the 2600 game E.T. is, and one of the [many!] reasons they say it sucks is because the instructions explain exactly how and what to do to win the game...well, I think this is even worse, what with immediately showing you the ending!)

Anyway, onto the gameplay! You start off at the county line, across the street from Porky's, amidst several lanes of very quick-moving, swarming traffic; geez, wasn't Porky's (the movie) set in a small TOWN? This has more traffic than I've seen here in Houston at times! (And for those who *still* stereotype Houston as to being a small hick town, we've got the fourth worst traffic congestion problem [at the time of this writing, in 2004] in the entire COUNTRY! So there!) This screen plays like the first part of Frogger, where you must try to make it across, but you can't quuuuite make it, as I'm pretty sure it's impossible to do at the beginning of a game, as you're going to get nailed by something before you make it through all the freeway lanes, since I tried over and over and over again to make it for a good 20 minutes or so when I tried this on the emulator (hey, this game CAME with a package deal of a lot of ROMs, so don't blame me for trying this out!), but I never could make it all the way across.

Not only is the traffic incredibly busy and fast for a small town, it's also weird: I can understand a motor boat, and the local police being there, but one lane has several girls from Porky's...and why are they moving so FAST? (Oh, wait, it's Obvious Joke Time there, so never mind!) Plus there's also Porky's Bouncers in a lane, along with a "Pig Mobil"? And attacking pigs? Was this stuff IN the movie?! (Come to think of it, I've never seen the whole movie, so maybe pigs had a mention in there, especially since the movie and club was called Porky's.) If not, I've no idea what this is doing here; however you look at it, though, just don't get hit by anything, lest you fall down to...

...the swamp. One thing about this game is that, even though it's not that great -- and as I mentioned Frogger earlier, you're better off playing that instead -- is that it's original, since, like E.T., where no one remembers E.T. falling into a bunch of pits in the movie, but there's tons of pits in the game, I also don't remember anything about a swamp in the Porky's movie either (but like I said earlier, I've yet to see the whole thing), much less having to use bricks to enable you to get out of there. Yes: there's gold bars down in the swamp, which, once you pick them up, ladders will magically appear so you can climb your way out. I have no idea why these magically appear -- maybe this has something to do with convincing the managers and all at 20th Century Fox games that this would help make the game sell, or something -- but just GETTING to them is very maddening, as the control is really bad on this screen in particular, whereas control is a lot better on some of the other game screens.

See, what you have to do is pole vault (this gets weirder and weirder...this IS the Porky's game, right? Where's the peepholes to watch girls in the shower? Does the character Moose from the movie ever appear here? What's a pole vault doing in a swamp?) your way across to the bricks, but you have to press the button on your controller right before you get to -- but not while touching -- the pole, and most of the time the button isn't going to respond, and you'll wind up in the drink. You won't die, but you'll have points subtracted from your score, and you have to try and try and try again, which is infuriating. (No wonder Pee Wee was so small in the movie, stress must've stunted his growth from all this nonsense.)

Once you (somehow, miraculously) make it out of the swamp, though, you (also somehow) wind up in a shower room, which is one of the very few parts of this game that has anything in common with the movie, as you can see a pixelated shadow of what's obviously a shapely babe taking a shower (but that's all you see, dang it). This is THE weirdest shower room I've ever seen in my life, since there's ladders all over the place. You must climb the ladders (no, climbing one won't get you a better view into the shower; again, dang!), which, again, the control is a bit off, as it seems like you can only climb on the left side of a ladder (it's not mentioned in the instructions, but it seems to be the only way to me), where you must reach a tool and knock it down (since you can't pick up the tool) to the hole that you climbed up from the previous screen.

However, once Pixelated Shower Babe starts blinking, that means Ms. Balbricker is about to appear, so you'd better hurry the hell up and get out of this room FAST. Why? She's after you, and SHE moves fast. How could a fat woman move so fast? Maybe due to word getting around of her grabbing a guy by his...well, like I said, I mentioned this earlier...anyway, maybe once word of that got around, maybe running is the only thing she can do quickly, since she's used to the guys running away from her all the time, but she still tries!

If you're able to kick the tool down the hole and make it out before she catches you, you will find yourself back at the county line, which, whenever you kick a tool out of the shower scene, it will freeze one lane of traffic and slow down everything else on the rest of the screen, making the county line a lot easier to navigate through. Again, like the swamp/gold bar scene, this doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's very original, at least. It's too bad the game ends up being such a mixed bag, since 20th Century Fox had some different ideas thrown into this one, most of which had nothing to do with the movie. (Man, all of this makes my head hurt...)

Anyhow, last, you'll find yourself at club Porky's (if you haven't destroyed your computer or smashed the physical cartridge to bits in frustration by then), where Porky himself is after you (by the way, do you think the writers or whoever was responsible for the characters of this movie had a bias against making most of the evil people overweight?), and you must climb up scaffolds to plant and activate dynamite, which is done automatically when you climb up the correct path, as an arrow appears on the screen; if it's green, you're going the right way, if it's red, you must try again with a different path. Make it to the top, and you get a rerun of the cinematic from when you first plugged in the game and turned it on (when you turned on your ATARI, I mean...sheesh! No comments on that one!).

The idea that this could make an entertaining game from an r-rated movie is strange enough -- not to mention that it would sell, but it could've sold due to it's movie tie-in controversy (more or less) -- but it's original most of the time, but it's also mixed: the controls totally bite the dust in half of the screens, the other half they're decent. I can't really judge the sound, since the emulator I played this on currently isn't working (I don't remember any sounds really grabbing me or anything though), and the graphics aren't bad, as you can tell what pretty much everything is on the county line screen (the boat, police car, etc.), but robbing your player of being able to die and having to start over and over and over due to crappy controls (usually), plus you only get the one game, doesn't make any sense.

This is best played on an emulator (somewhat, since it's not too great a game), where you can save a game to make it to the end, then probably never play it again, and it's probably only worthwhile to a hardcore collector only (no, not THAT kind of "hardcore", I'm talking about a hardcore game collector). It's a shame, really, since it's a pretty different game.

Whew. So, you see there, I'm not a pervert after all (hides incriminating photos behind back; starts singing "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay..."), this game isn't naughty in the least . Like I mentioned (/hinted!) several times during this review, just go play the much better Frogger instead...either 2600 version!


(c) 20th Century Fox

Of all the bad movies to make a game out of...
Jump on the... er... box.
I thought you were supposed to jump INTO the boat?
The first video game with pole vaulting?
System: 2600
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 60%
Sound & Music Score: %
Gameplay Score: 80%
Control Score: 55%

Final Score: 58%

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