Review: Totally Rad (NES)


Dude, I am so amped to hit those primo heavies at the pipeline! I’m gonna hit that barrel hard, ya know, get right up in that tube action and shoot the curl!

This is the heathen dialect of my most hated of “extreme” sub-cultures, the ungodly surfer. Part frat boy, part slacker, and all annoying, these carrot tops of the high seas will make your ears retract with their butchery of the English language. Thankfully, the 80’s surfer sub-culture has devolved into a hodge podge of posers and yuppies looking to add some extremity into their weekend. However, much to my dismay, this spirit of oceanic buffoonery is still alive and well in the world of Totally Rad for the NES.

I didn't know reptiles liked Hot Topic!

The first thing that jumped out to me when looking at this horrid box art was that this game was developed by Jaleco, the same company that brought us such classics as Tuff E Nuff and Pinball Quest (the first fantasy pinball game!). Obviously, I shouldn’t be expecting much, but let’s go ahead and start this digital torture. The first thing you see when you pop the game in (besides your NES flashing dozens of seizure-inducing colors) is this horrid creature: Zebediah the Magician.

I'll never erase this image from my mind

What follows is a painful conversation/plot setup that goes something like this:

Jake: Hey Zeb, whats with all this jogging?

Zebediah: Excercise will make your magic powerful, the legs are the first thing to go.

Jake: Sounds righteous dude, but i’m pooped

Ugh. I already feel like killing myself. First level, already this looks like your average “walk right and punch shit” NES game, the only real difference being that you shoot fireballs and other magic that also look like fireballs. You can also become a bird type creature, some kind of clawed creature, and Fish Boy. Trust me, it’s even less exciting then it sounds. Unfortunately, your magic will deplete very quickly and it doesn’t help that the purveyors of sadness and misery that made this game decided to litter every level with an ungodly quotient of enemies.


So what about the plot? You’re Jake, you learned magic from a creepy, pedo-looking magician named Zebediah Pong and are subsequently forced to rescue your girlfriend from a “surprise”. Yes, you read that correctly, at the beginning screen of the first level the game tells you that Jake has been attacked by a surprise. I’m hoping the developers just started making the game and filled in the plot holes along the way, that’s what I would do if I were assigned to make this piece of shit game.

There you have it, the most cliche plot in the history of video games,  and this one definitely doesn’t attack me with any “surprise”. The gameplay itself isn’t bad, my only real gripe besides the monotony of it all is that your character controls like the game is set on the moon. The level design is abysmal and I was forced to stop in the 3rd level because there was a box blocking my path and I couldn’t figure out to destroy it/go around it without breaking my no cheating rule. Reaching the 3rd level was a grueling ordeal in itself, as I mentioned before every screen is littered with enemies. Pigs, soldiers, floating balls on string, every 3 seconds something is thrown in your face. This game can be called many things, but easy is not one of them.

Please, don't humor the child

It could be argued that within the context of 1991 NES games, Totally Rad isn’t totally bad, but thankfully we no longer live in that era of shitty mascots and grunge music and can see this game for what it really is: a mediocre Mega Man rip-off with some cool ideas that don’t really measure up in practice. I bought this game at my local game store for a whole $2 and still feel regret, so I would suggest that if you find this title for less than that and want a good laugh, pick it up. Otherwise, just say smell ya later to this turd bomb.

filed by Drew.


9 Responses to “Review: Totally Rad (NES)”

  1. 1 luc

    totally rad is a great game of nes ,my favorite …. forever jake and zebediah

  2. 2 koolkat

    totally rad is awesome

  3. 3 Josh


    Get another job u hater, i remember first getting this game back in the day.. VERY hard yes, but totally RAD!!


  4. 4 Rich

    I loved this game as well, played really nicely

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