One of the first games to be released on Nintendo Switch, Popeye is a side-scrolling beat ’em up that can be played both locally and online. Up for review today we take a look at this popular game and see if it’s worth your time!.
Popeye is a classic game that has been loved for decades. This review will give you the lowdown on this new Switch version of the game.
Despite being a borderline centenary cartoon property, Popeye is really (and factually) one of the most influential gaming characters of all time, which may surprise some of our younger readers. An arcade adaption of Popeye, released in 1983, was one of Nintendo’s early games, as well as Shigeru Miyamoto’s in general. Let’s just say the series was in desperate need of a makeover, a fresh new game to reintroduce its past. It was time for Popeye to reclaim his place as a gaming icon.
I couldn’t imagine anybody more capable of achieving this goal than the creators of Calculator, the most recognizable killer app on the eShop. Thank god for Sabec, since they’ve finally delivered the modernized Popeye that we’ve been waiting for. One that isn’t quite as good as their latest version of a calculator software for the Switch, but it comes close.
Isn’t this the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?
Popeye is a surprising Switch exclusive, a game that sprang out of nowhere and quickly became one of the year’s most recognizable titles. It’s a game that challenges the notion of a killer app, a system exclusive, and the reason to buy a Switch OLED over a PlayStation 5. Who needs a remake of Ratchet & Clank, Returnal, or Demon’s Souls? Is the PlayStation 5 capable of rendering all six polygons that make up Popeye’s character model? I don’t believe so. Can an SSD-based system like that handle the epic fifteen minutes of gameplay that make up Popeye’s whole campaign? Nuh-uh. Is it possible to use a DualSense to punch Bluto in the face? Niet!
Everything you liked about the original arcade game is there in this very inspired recreation, but on a far grander scale. Remember the first level, when you had to gather a few hearts in a little 2D level while evading Bluto’s attacks? This version recreates everything, except instead of a tiny, confined, and difficult 2D environment, you get a full tridimensional beach level to explore. A pointlessly large level consisting of sand and low-poly items that makes the game seem like one of the finest games produced for the Atari Jaguar CD in 1995. Try putting Popeye next to the original Star Fox and counting how many more polygons the former has. Perhaps three? Four? I’m quite sure there aren’t more than six of them.
“Can I purchase a vowel from Pat?”
Bluto does appear, but this time he’s more of a brother than an opponent. Since the original in 1983, a lot of time has passed, and the two gentlemen have finally reconciled their disagreements. He appears in the level, although he is typically unobtrusive. You should be able to stroll straight past him. He’ll glance at you, most likely inquire how you’re doing, and then go about his business. He will sometimes attempt to follow you for a few meters, but he has gained weight since the 1980s and will not pursue you for long. Instead of an adversary attempting to catch his sworn enemy, it seemed more like a short jog with a buddy, a casual game of catch.
The second level was situated on a pirate ship that was so realistic that I could have easily been duped into thinking it was cut material from Sea of Thieves…. had Sea of Thieves been originally designed for the Sega 32X. Rather of gathering tangible representations of Oliver Oil shouting “help,” our lady in distress will spit forth letters to create a statement. Popeye defied my expectations by resembling a borderline Wheel of Fortune crossover, but without the wheel, fortune, or Pat Sajak to cheer me up…
Keep one thing in mind, kids. Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please
The third level has a crossover feel to it as well. It was set in “trying to run Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag on a Windows 95 PC,” as I can only describe it. Similarly, the framerate was similar. Such fond memories of attempting to run demanding games on my old PC in the early 2000s. Popeye didn’t intend it make me nostalgic and remember about the good old days, but that’s exactly what it did. Throughout its two-dozen-minute length, it’s the present that keeps on giving.
It’s not like Popeye didn’t use its license agreement to completely embrace every aspect of its original material. Olive Oil does say anything, like once per level… It’s the same statement every time. After all, who cares? Do you know how many voiced lines of speech Olive had in the original 1983 version? None! Miyamoto, cry your heart out! When you open a can of spinach, you’ll hear the iconic Popeye theme tune for two to three seconds. You don’t need anything else. The budget probably only allowed for three seconds of it. To remind you that Popeye is entertaining for the whole family, the remainder of the game incorporates a charming version of a public domain children’s music.
It’s almost as if I’m in the middle of a game of Black Flag. There is no discernible change.
Popeye is… well, he’s different. It’s a game, after all. When you start it up, it doesn’t crash, and pushing buttons causes things to happen onscreen. That is the highest compliment I can provide on this incredible Switch exclusive. It makes me question how the developers were able to get the franchise’s license rights in the first place. We constantly talking about how Sony governs over its digital collection with an iron hand, restricting certain superfluous stuff in their shop, but there are moments when I think Nintendo should start taking some of those severe steps as well. Or the absence thereof…
I wouldn’t have known this was a scrapped Popeye game that was initially intended for the Atari Jaguar CD if someone hadn’t informed me.
The gameplay loop is as dull, stupid, meaningless, and unoriginal as it gets, but I’ll be honest: the controls work. Popeye, for example, may walk and punch Bluto after picking up a can of spinach.
A single ten-second loop of a public domain children’s song serves as the music. With that stated, the game gets a bonus point for having Olive Oil say a single line of dialogue and playing the Popeye theme tune for three seconds after you eat some spinach.
So, I’m assuming the game doesn’t crash and that touching buttons results in onscreen actions?
Final Score: 1.5
Popeye is now available on Nintendo Switch.
On Switch, the game was reviewed.
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Popeye is a platformer game that was released on the Nintendo Switch. It has been reviewed to be an average game, but it does have some good things about it. The game’s story isn’t anything special, but the gameplay is fun and interesting. Reference: nintendo next console.
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