Collectors Corner

Posted on Dec 6th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under Famicom, Nintendo, Platformer, Pizza Pop


If I were asked to describe Jaleco, I would define it as a company the on the edge of greatness. Their catalog is filled with titles that, while above average, didn't quite reach the same heights as their contemporaries. Released for the Famicom in 1992, Pizza Pop! places the player in the role of a pizza delivery boy who is trying to earn enough money to buy his girlfriend Betty a ring. As he pushes onward to his delivery, he has to deal with his rival, Nick and his army of minions.




Nick will even channel his inner Donkey Kong to stop you!

At its core, Pizza Pop! is a platformer with seven levels that must be completed in order. There are a couple of vehicle segments (motorbike and jetski) in which our hero must dodge incoming projectiles, as well as avoid Nick's attempts to run him over. The game also has two bonus levels where you must catch as many flying pizzas as possible on a platter. There is no penalty for not finishing the bonuses stages as they only add to the player's score.


The vibrant color palette and expressive sprites help the game look like a cartoon.

To help him navigate the various obstacles in his path, our pizza carrying hero can run, jump, duck, and swing his pizza pan like a baseball bat. Jumping on enemies usually stuns them, while hitting them with the pizza pan defeats them. This being said, it is often easier to jump over enemies than attack them directly, since the pizza pan has a short reach and you often end up running into them taking a hit instead. Care should also be taken when using the pizza pan while jumping as it will stop your momentum for a second. The vehicle segments use the dpad for control, the up and down arrows move you between the lanes and the left and right arrows are for slowing down and speeding up respectively; the "A" button is used for jumping over obstacles. Each level starts our hero with three hearts and after three hits, he loses a life however, more hearts can be collected.


The bosses are large and well animated

The graphics are reminiscent of a Saturday morning cartoon with bright colors and expressive sprites. Our pizza carrying hero will flail his arms as he tries to keep his balance on a ledge, and flatten enemies like a pancake when he jumps on them. The bosses are the highlight with large sprites that express pain when hit.


Not even Dracula can stop our hero. Take that Simon Belmont!

The sound is the weakest of the overall package with just enough to get the job done. The games music is comprised of  small selection of upbeat tracks, but there's nothing here that will stick with you after you've finished the game. The sound effects are equally sparse and some sound effects such as hitting an enemy with your pizza pan are missing entirely.


The vehicle segments are fun diversions from the platforming.

Overall, Pizza Pop! is an average game that could have been great. It needs a lot of work in the sound department and at least two more levels to make up for it's short length. Despite its flaws, the game is still fun and I would recommend anyone pick it up if they can find it for under $30. It's just a shame that this one came out a little underbaked. 


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Comments
 
so many great fami exclusives. gonna have to pick this one up as well eventually.
 
I have a copy of this game and it's not too bad for an early platformer.  No North American release, so I think it's a must have if you're at all interested in grabbing games that never made it over here. No time like the present with the Retron5
 
Despite the obvious issues I kind of want to play this one to completion, but this game is not cheap.  Maybe due to the release date, but who knows.  Anyway, I like the non-verbal way the story is conveyed (like an old Chuck Jones cartoon), and I really like the character design.  Like you said, it really has a Saturday morning look to it, and I think that is the best part.  But you are totally right about the music; it is a little lacking.  Bummer on the price, though.  This would make a great $15 game.
 
The graphics look quite good, from the screenshots you took.  Looks like it could be fun.  Definitely one I'll have to keep my eyes out for.  Good write-up!
 
This is one I didn't have, and it is now on my wishlist. Thanks for highlighting another interesting game!
 
Thanks for making this post.  I am currently living in Japan and always looking for great titles to add to the collection.  I do not believe I have ever came across a copy of this however so it might be harder to track down then I would expect.
 
@Fleebitten: There are a lot out there. Stay tuned for one that almost made it west in January's blog.

@singlebanana: I would skip the Retron 5 and buy an AVS.

@bombatomba: It does seem as anything half way decent costs a lot these days. I just checked Ebay and its $45.00! That's crazy! For the record I spent $20 on my copy.

@MetalFRO: It's fun but very short. Emulate it to see how much you like it

@Duke: Glad I could help you find something new to play!

@Tadpole13: You're welcome. Maybe you can find a copy at Book Off or Mandrake.

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