VeeMee have been proving themselves lately to be the Admiral of the Arcade in PlayStation Home as of late. Their previous two releases, Savage Cosmos and Electro Kid have been met with mixed reviews but overall, they have been successful at recreating their own versions of old school arcade experiences. Savage Cosmos paid homage to games like Robotron 2084, Smash TV and Alien Syndrome. Electro Kid was a throwback to NES and Sega Master System style platformers that find their roots in games like Mega Man and Alex Kidd. Chunky pixels, 52 color pallet and classic digital controls give us a small nostalgia factor while using this classic formula to let us experience old style gaming in a new virtual environment. Recently, VeeMee just recently released Superhero Madhouse, a VeeMee PlayStation Home tribute to Kung Fu on the NES.
Superhero Madhouse takes place at an insane asylum where you play as a patient who thinks hes a superhero. When someone in the asylum mysteriously steals his most precious possession, The Diamond of Princesses, our lone hero dons his pot hat, drapes his cape over his inmate like clothing and marches out into battle wearing his one striped sock. Just like in Kung Fu, our hero must ascend the 5 floors of the asylum to find the masked man that stole his treasure. As he makes his ascension, he must fight off other loony patients, midgets with with wrestling masks, rabid dogs, syringe wielding doctors and gun toting security guards. To fight off the forces evil, our deranged psychopath must kick, punch and jump kick a path directly to the bosses that occupy each level. In true old school fashion, bosses are taken out by figuring out their patterns and hitting them at their weakest moments. Funny storyline aside, this is basically Kung Fu with psych patients replacing the martial artists.
As you play through each level and attain certain goals, achievements are unlocked. Doing certain things in the game will get you two animated shirts and one animated hat for your avatar. These items are all right but personally, I wasn’t digging the color scheme of the styles of the clothing. It would have been great if our avatar actually got a full body suit that made us look like the wacky, wannabe hero from the game. However, I did like the animated pixel hat since the color scheme didn’t work against itself. On the actual arcade cabinet itself, it is shaped just liked the previous VeeMee cabs and I like the pixel art that went into the marquee, side panels and control panel. Also, I’ve always liked the smaller, more compact look and feel of the VeeMee cabs. It may not seem like a big deal at first but when you have ten playable arcade cabs and you are trying to properly fit all of them in with the non-playable cabs in a smaller personal space, size actually makes a huge difference.
Overall, what I liked most about Superhero Madhouse was its over the top storyline. As short and simple as the story is, its the type of story you would never expect from this type of a beat em up. The game play felt like classic Kung Fu and that is definitely a good thing when you just want to game in short bursts. Its a great cab for having parties at your personal space. If your an arcade enthusiast that enjoys classic NES style game play, then you should pick this cabinet up. Others may want to try it out first before they buy it. I really like the fact the VeeMee is covering many different old school genres and I hope they continue to make more of these cabs.
(Side Note: To the folks at VeeMee, if you are reading this, I would like to make a few suggestions for some new projects: Please make a Gauntlet clone that is actually one to four players so everyone in the personal space can play in co-op. Virtual items like weapons and armor would make for some awesome Home Rewards. Also, please have an achievement that says “Needs Food Badly!”. Keep up the old school goodness. The cabs are getting better with every release :-))