The Game: You control a daredevil stunt climber on his trip up the side of a skyscraper in a major metropolitan area, using no ropes, no nets, and nothing but his hands and his feet. Obstacles such as falling jam boxes can cause you to plunge to your death several stories below. When you reach the top – if you reach the top, that is – a helicopter lifts you away to your next challenge. (Nihon Bussan Co., Ltd. [Nichibutsu], 1988)
Memories: This is a bizarre, and largely graphical-only, updating of Nichibutsu’s addictive classic, Crazy Climber. The game play remains much the same as the original, but the graphics are a major evolution of what was there before. Animated flags flap in the wind, highlights and shading give Crazy Climber himself a 3-D look, and detailed billboards and neon signs glow. In the background, an odd assortment of landmarks, bits and pieces of famous buildings from Big Ben to the U.S. Capitol building, scroll past. Rather than flowerpots, the residents of the building you’re scaling pummel you with ghetto blasters.
So far as I know, Nichibutsu only unleashed Crazy Climber 2 in Japan, and I only even learned of the game’s existence through MAME. Would Crazy Climber 2 have made it in the U.S.? Perhaps not as a coin-op, but I could see releasing the game in this form on the Playstation or some similar platform. Perhaps the only stumbling block would be some of the risquÃ¨ billboards which Crazy Climber passes en route to the top of the building, including one for a skin lotion “for beauty of bust and body” (!?).
Of course, and I always ask this: is it fun? Well, how can it not be? It’s the same game! Crazy Climber is a ton of fun, and so is its slightly more eye-catching sequel.