During the 16-bit days, it seemed that alongside the Sega vs Nintendo console awards, there was another video game war brewing as well. Ocean was competed directly with Sony Imagesoft and Acclaim to see who could make the worst movie tie-in video game. Or so it would seem that way, as all three companies dumped crap after crap after crap on our consoles with each popular or semi-popular sci-fi and action flick that hit theaters. Every once in a while, there was a gem, like Sony Imagesoft’s Hook, or at least something resembling a gem, like Acclaim’s Stargate. Sadly, most of the product that the three companies collectively produced was only a few steps above of Atari’s “classic” E.T. game. One of the missteps was Ocean’s Lethal Weapon. In this SNES game, you take the role of super-deformed cartoon hunchbacks vaguely resembling Danny Glover and Mel Gibson (before he became an anti-Semite douchebag) as you ice skate through nondescript locations and battling generic looking enemies, all the while overcoming your inability to fire while crouching. Released around the time of the Lethal Weapon 3 movie, video games based on Lethal Weapon also hit the NES, Game Boy, Amiga, and other systems, but this Maximum Letdown focuses on the SNES game. Although I’m sure the other systems have an equally crappy (or worse) Lethal Weapon video game.

Based on the action movie franchise of the same name (though not based on any particular movie), you control either family man Roger Murtaugh or tragic widower loose cannon Martin Riggs throughout 4 missions, with a 5th being unlocked after you complete the first four. The levels are basically platforming action at its worst: long confusing mazes interlaced with frustrating pitfalls and cheap enemy hits. Now even though Murtaugh is a middle aged black guy and Riggs is a 30-something dynamo of sorts, the two play exactly the same except for a few small differences. Both characters walk as it the ground was made of ice, and when you hit the jump button, it’s like they’re doing an Olympic high jump every time. Remember those platforms I mentioned? The controls pretty much make them a life-or-death affair every time you make a jump. Thank god when you fall in a pit, you only loose health instead of a life. Oh yeah, and you can’t shoot while crouched or on a ladder. This makes every enemy encounter a trial and error affair, as you either have to be quick on the draw or get shot in the face. Speaking of shooting, there is also limited ammo. Nothing is more fun than running out of ammo when faced with an enemy on the other side of a wide chasm and having to rely on your kicks. You can even DESTROY ammo pickups as well!

I guess if there is one high point to this game, it’s the music. The soundtrack is hands-down one of the best I’ve heard in a bad video game. It almost makes you want to suffer through the levels just to hear the bitching tunes. Almost. Thank god for emulation. Of course if you want a real Lethal Weapon gaming experience, your best bet is to check out the pinball game.