Yesterday I watched the 2010-remake of "The Wolfman", which of course is based upon Universal's classic monster movie bearing the same name, from 1941. The remake was pretty average and I have to say I like the original better. After watching the movie I decided to spend a couple of hours making a new RetroCopy Master System theme, and what better game to do than Wolfchild?
Download theme which can be used in RetroCopy v1.0:
http://www.retrocopy.com/blogimages/wolfchild.zip (4.16 MB)
Although the movie "The Wolfman" and the game "Wolfchild" both deals with humans who turn into wolf-looking creatures, they are otherwise not related. Also, in "The Wolfman" Lawrence (Larry) Talbot, without his own will, turns into a dangerous, uncontrollable werewolf, while Saul in "Wolfchild" deliberately uses one of his father's inventions to turn himself into a wolf-human hybrid in order to save his father.
Just like the Wolfman-remake, Wolfchild is also pretty average, and although having decent graphics, I have to admit Wolfchild is not the most interesting game in the Sega Master System catalog. It was originally made for Amiga and Atari, and was then ported to several consoles, including the Master System. This port lacks that little something special which makes the game stand out, and perhaps the most noticible thing that is missing here is music. Why on earth didn't they put any music in the game (other than the title screen music)? Wasn't there enough space on the ROM? Couldn't Core Design afford to hire someone to program some 8-bit Master System music into the game? Some games don't require any music, but this is not one of them. This is an action game with monsters and odd environments, and you don't want it to be completly silent when walking around in that world. Sure, there are some cheap sound effects, but the game should have had music. Without, it almost feels like an unfinished prototype.
Also, I know the game has a plot and a story, so why aren't we told that story? You have to read the instructions in order to understand that you are Saul, the only survivor of a family that got murdered by a terrorist organization. Saul's father was an expert in genetic research and you use this research to turn yourself into a "wolfman", seeking revenge.
The concept and story is interesting, but what is annoying about this, is that if you lose health, you go back to being a normal human. The wolfman is able to shoot (which is a big advantage in this game), while the human is only able to punch. Why is this? Can't human hold guns? You also have a special attack that kills everything on the screen, which I found out by accident. Of course, the game doesn't tell us that information either.
Like I said, the biggest flaw with Wolfchild for SMS is the lack of music. With some music in it to liven things up a bit, it could have been a decent game. Without, it's only mediocre. The drawing on the cover is really cool though, and that is what I based my RetroCopy theme upon.