Mick and Mack as the Global Gladiators
1992 (Sega Genesis)
Thanks to GameRush’s recent .99 cent sale on all their older used games, last weekend I picked up another 30 Sega Genesis games to add to my ever-growing collection. After we got home and were able to sort through our treasure, I let my son dig through the pile and pick out what we were going to play first. His selection was Virgin’s Mick & Mack as the Global Gladiators.
From the outside of the box, it is next to impossible to detect that Global Gladiators is in fact a McDonald’s-based game. While the back of the box touts that Global Gladiators features great graphics, great sounds, and a nice environmental clean-up theme, it fails to mention that the secondary goal of each level is to collect all the spinning McDonald’s arches and present them to Ronald himself at the end of each level. The looming golden arches in the background of the main menu inform gamers that you may have just stepped into the commercial zone.
The game begins with a quick introduction showing Mick and Mack reading a Global Gladiators comic book in their local McDonald’s. Suddenly, Ronald McDonald appears and magically sends our two heros directly into the comic book (too bad they weren’t reading a Playboy). Mick and Mack’s goal is to clean up the environment in order to return back home.
Fortunately for us, both Mick and Mack are armed with goo-shooters, guns which shoot goo that travels over and down in an arch-shaped fashion. Your goo-shots are unlimited, and you’ll need an itchy trigger finger to destroy all the Goobers, Squeak-Beaks, Snappys and other enemies you’ll encounter in this comic book world.
Brightly colored and nicely drawn, Global Gladiators debuted in 1992 during the height of side-scrolling platform games. Fans of other platform games like Earthworm Jim, Vectorman and Pitfall The Mayan Adventure should know exactly what to expect. Global Gladiators’ levels are big and scroll far, so expect to spend a few minutes hopping up and down just to see how far the levels actually go. During your exploration you’ll run into plenty of enemies, most of which fall into one of two categories; those which shoot, and those which run back and forth to guard a small area. Both can be effectively dealt with using your goo-gun (which shoots recycled, non-toxic goo apparently).
Global Gladiators contains four different worlds, each consisting of three levels each. In order to beat the game you’ll need to work your way through Slimeworld, the Forest, Toxitown and the Arctic. In order to complete a level, players must collect at least 30 miniature spinning McDonald’s arches and present them to Ronald McDonald himself at the end of each level. Collect more than 75 and you’ll be taken to a bonus round which involves collecting garbage (thrown out from your local McRestaurant, perhaps) and place it into recycling bins.
Overall I found Global Gladiators to be a pretty enjoyable platformer. The whole recycling theme feels a bit forced, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Global Gladiators was an already existing game that McDonald’s purchased and forced their logo into. Despite the McTheme, Global Gladiators comes off as a solid game with plenty of room to explore and lots of enemies to defeat. Despite the fact that I’d never heard of this game before, Digital Press ranks it as an R2, which means it should definitely be affordable should you run across it. Global Gladiators is reflective of the other platformers of the time, which means it’s fun, it’s easy to learn, and you’ll probably die while jumping a lot.
A final thought It is my understanding that a large portion of the proceeds of this game went towards the Ronald McDonald House. My question to you is, just how big of a house does that clown need?