Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

frankie
Fro Mo, or as you may know him, Frankenstein's Monster, has a fiery stick, a burlap moomoo and a hell of a bone to pick.

Why they attached Mary Shelley’s name to this game is a complete mystery to me. Yes, she wrote the original Frankenstein; but, does this game follow the story as laid out in the book?

I’m no Masters in English Lit (that’s Travis) (proof: I don’t think they call themselves “Masters in English Lit”) (proof the second/third: look at all of these parenthetical bits in the middle of this awful sentence) but so far as I understand (from Wikipedia) (oh Jesus there I go again), this is a story that is rooted in a deep fear of the horrors that might befall humanity due to technological progress. I guess we’re talking about the Industrial Revolution here, which, so far as I understand, was a pretty big deal to a lot of people. Between it and modernism it seems a lot of fairly well-meaning people were pretty freaked out about progress. And this was a novel that addressed that and at the same time told a story of horror that people would eventually consider one of the greatest. At least, Universal Pictures did. Then they made that film with Boris Karloff and created Frankie as we know him today.

Let this be known: this may be the worst Frankenstein-related game I have played on the SNES to date. I say “may be” because I’ve forgotten if Adventures of Dr. Franken is actually worse than this. You know, it probably isn’t.

It’s also difficult to tell which of these two titles is more of an affront to the original story. In both, the story of the scientist playing God takes a backseat to the antics of a monster running around a two-dimensional land where there is apparently a lot of stuff made out of wood. One infantilizes the monster and makes him “hip,” which is appalling enough, but the other puts you in charge of him, hitting and burning villagers. I did not figure out why I was doing this and became immediately disgusted.

I think it’s clear that not every game is made with the purest of intentions: this much I have learned from starting this website some two years ago. The almighty dollar has convinced many people who had no business making games to make games. There are also games made by those who make them simply because they like games and want to make more (which is, probably, even more irritating to me; do people ever write books because they like books so much that they want to make their own? No, and that is why books aren’t maligned as “worthless junk” like games are: because they are made by people who have something to say instead of people just trying to add to the cultural trashpile out of media fanaticism),

Usually, these awful games just bead and roll off of my shitproof pelt, but sometimes they get into my head and make me mad. This has no right to exist. It’s the kind of miserable garbage that ensures that video games are seen as– nay, are, nothing more than worthless escapism, murder simulators, and medulla oblangata masturbation aids.

As an aside: the point of this site is not to review every single game that we have dropped on our laps. It is a platform to write, and sometimes make jokes, and sometimes tell stories, and sometimes make points, and sometimes experiment and practice different ways of writing. If you are thinking about complaining about the lack of reviews on this site, you are in the wrong place. I have tried to get several different writers with several different styles on this site and had them focus on small nuggets of video gaming history, but I have no intention to force “reviews.” This is short prose. If you can’t deal with that, then just use the author filter I conveniently put in the top-right corner of the page. Hopefully someone here is writing something you like.

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