The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

Ronald McDonald’s Treasure Island Adventure

I love McDonalds, I love everything about it, the burgers, the fries, the staff who spit in my food because they never give me the correct order, saying I’m too old for my order, and the free toy in my order. Especially the toy, I like that part. The thing is, McDonalds food doesn’t like me, neither does Melissa of the Wakefield branch of Asda, but that’s another story. McDonalds has this big global empire, a bit like the one in Star Wars, as shown by this picture;

Being an all evil totalitarian regime…I mean business, they have this whole big marketing campaign to get kids into their restaurants and eat their food. They do this through appealing to kids using toys and cartoon characters…because a big scary clown and a burger with a top hat is way cooler than Mickey Mouse, Scrooge McDuck and McLovin’ the crime dog and who the **** cares about Nerf guns when you can get a plastic toy of a character from the latest Dreamworks movie?

Anyway, in the early 90’s, as big global galactic empires like McDonalds noticed the popularity of video games and more to the point, they spotted that kids were sitting inside and getting fat instead of going out and eating at their restaurants and getting fat, so they decided to make video games and oh boy, did that work out for them.

Ronald McDonalds Treasure Land Adventure IN SPACE!!!, which is impossible to say after you’ve had a few beers at your non-existent party and attempted to take a whizz on the neighbours cat. Of course, the people who play this game shouldn’t be drinking, so it really shouldn’t matter… so the game was released on the Sega Mega Drive in 1992 and is to put simply, a complete mess. Developed by Treasure, the company that would later go on to actually make good games like Mischief Makers, Sin And Punishment and Ikaruga, the game is…yep, you guessed it, a side scrolling platformer…

The game starts with Ronald McDonald wandering round a forest and finding a treasure map. Immediately I’m confused. Why is a clown in a forest? At what point did he go, “I fancy a jaunt in the woods, I’ll just set off WITH MY CLOWN MAKE-UP ON” WHY DOES ANYONE THINK A CLOWN IN A FOREST IS A GOOD IDEA???

Also, he immediately assumes the piece of paper is a treasure map. It’s just a map, it could be anything, it could have been tourists snapped up by the blair witch. THIS MAKES NO SENSE! So Ronald suddenly gets a 6th sense that 3 others have the other ¾ of the map and are hunting for the treasure themselves, so he decides to go after it…I haven’t even begun the game and I’m tired of it already, I don’t care if Ronald McDonald wants to get treasure, he doesn’t even need it, he’s probably super rich from his line of Death Star restaurants, it’s just him mocking you that you’ll never have that wealth.

I suppose now’s a good time to actually start playing the game…and that said, when I booted up the first level, I thought I was playing a hacked copy of Sonic The Hedgehog. Here’s a video to illustrate my point.

As with every other side scrolling platformer, the aim is to get to the ending of the level without dying, and this is the first problem. Ronald Mc Donald can’t jump. Sure he looks like he’s jumping, but the physics feel off and you never feel like you’re jumping far enough and he walks really strangely…and because of that the music just doesn’t sync up. You’re probably all thinking, oh wow, big deal, but it’s important. Think about how perfect the music worked with Super Mario Bros and how every note synced with its sound effects, it’s the same with Sonic, but it just doesn’t work here, the music is both incredibly annoying and completely wrong for the game. I could shove Napalm Death or even worse some Hansen over the top and it would fit better than this. NO, I WILL NOT DO AN EXAMPLE. Now the game has you collecting rings and jewels that both extend your life bar or give you points. Wait. A platformer. Collecting rings and jewels. I’ve seen this before in a platforming game. Why’d this game rip off Cheetahmen?

“Hang on” I hear you cry “Are they enemies?” Why yes there are. And I wish to god there wasn’t. Unlike Earthworm Jim 3D, the enemies in this game are actually fairly well designed, of course they make no ****ing sense and I have no idea what they’re supposed to be. Except the gnome. I like gnomes. Oh and they all take away 2 pieces of health. Put into perspective, you only start with 3 bits of health and if you have no idea how to get more, you’re basically screwed right at the start, it makes no sense, WHY 2 bits of health, surely IN A KIDS GAME, they’d make it at least a bit easier to not die and then there’s the game over screen, which just feels like forever before you can continue, in the time it took for the words to appear and Ronald McDonald to get up and go to the continue door, I could watch Avatar, take it back to the DVD store and complain that it sucks and I want my money back, sue them unsuccessfully and come back to the game to find it’s still got 10 seconds before the game takes you back to the title screen…and I live a hundred miles from a DVD store.

Treasure? On The Moon? Are you ****ing high?

Of course, it’d be be stupid to have enemies and not be able to kill them and it’s all fine because Ronald McDonald defeats them using magic…yeah. I have no idea either how that works. He’s supposed to be a happy clown, using his magic for good, I at least expected him to turn them into burgers…oh wait, that’d give kids the impression that they’re eating gnomes, when they gulp down their Big Macs…and extra fries…with a McFlurry and an apple pie…and a Milkshake…I have to go.


That was sustaining, what was I doing again? OH GOD, NOT THIS SHITTY GAME.  So anyway, Ronald McDonald uses magic to defeat people for god knows why and you can upgrade it by collecting certain items which are scattered throughout the levels. The game also gives you a grapple technique in the form of tied handkerchiefs that at least proves that Ronald McDonald actually did some clowning before attending business school and graduating and forming an evil empire out of a shattered republic which he himself destroyed by using both sides as pawns in a story arc that took 3 shitty movies. But the problem with this technique is grappling onto a ledge above is a huge gamble, do it blindly and there’s a good chance an enemy is above you. That’s 2 pieces of health gone.

So that’s McDonalds Treasure Island…or Island Adventure…or whatever. It’s  a bad platformer with a horrible soundtrack and terrible jump physics, it doesn’t make much sense and it throws logic out the window with a catapult. The levels are so bright and colourful that I want to puke rainbows. Or more grey rainbows. IT MAKES ME WANT TO HURL! I guess as a game for kids, it’s not too bad, but kids would buy anything if the advertising is flashy enough regardless of it’s crappiness. I mean, there can’t be any other reason why people still buy Meccano, right?


One response to “Ronald McDonald’s Treasure Island Adventure

  1. mukmewx 06/09/2012 at 17:31

    Dude, you have no idea what your talking about. This is one of my all time favorite games. It is in no way a sonic rip off. I will say that it dosent make any since, but who the hell cares? It’s fun ,crazy, silly and sometimes just plain weird. It’s only fault is it’s too short and easy. And btw the soundtrack is awesome.

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