Monday, 22 June 2015

Top Five Psycho Fox Characters

Nintendo fan-boys can keep their infernal plumber and puffy pink pillow; one of the finest 8-bit platformers in my opinion has always been Vic Tokai's fantastic multi-animal adventure, Psycho Fox. Its graphics and music are among the mighty Master System's finest and the stages are full of appealing features and alternate routes giving it fantastic replay value. One reason I like it so much, though, is the ability to switch between different animals with their own specialities. Some are more useful than others but all add something to the game and help make it one of the most enjoyable platformers I've played. Here are the characters in order of usefulness:

5 - Hippo

This portly fellow is probably the most amusing of the selectable characters (and the happiest - look at that broad smile!) but he's also the one you're almost certain to use the least. He's the only one who can punch down walls but you won't encounter them very often and even when you do there's usually an alternate route. Other than that talent, he's much slower than the other characters, making him near useless on stage three, and his jumping ability is pretty woeful too. The fat one you like more because of his warm personality than what he brings to the team...

4 - Tiger

I always used to think this sprightly feline was a cheetah considering his talent is high-speed running, but he's apparently a tiger which... aren't really creatures renowned for their speed but rather their power and savagery. Oh well, no matter. Mr. Tiger is another appealing character appearance-wise, but probably another you won't really use much. His abilities nearly match those of Fox aside from his superior running speed, but that just makes it more likely that you'll run into an enemy. He's great for collapsing bridges though, and he does look cute...

3 - Fox

The leader of the vigilante group and the all-rounder as far as abilities go, although if the title is anything to go by he's also got a few screws loose in that cunning mind of his. His demeanour doesn't seem especially psychotic though, aside, perhaps, from his worryingly-expressionless face. You'll start the game with Foxy and you'll almost certainly continue to use him until you reach an impasse, but once you 'transform' into another creature, will you actually choose to change back to Fox? Perhaps, but most likely Foxy's presence will be most heavily felt during the earlier levels. Still, he is a pretty cool guy and he can handle most stuff the game throws at him...

2 - Monkey

Monkey's are awesome in all situations as everyone knows, and this dungarees-wearing simian is no different. He's probably the first character other than Foxy that you'll use and he's mighty helpful too. His running speed is nearly as good as the titular character but his jumping ability is far superior, and in a game like Psycho Fox which is nearly as vertically-oriented as it is left-to-right-based, this is an immeasurably useful trait to have readily available. I can't speak for other players but I generally spend most of the game playing as this leapy oaf.

1 - Birdfly

But all of these oddly-bipedal nincompoops pale in comparison to the undoubted hero of the game: the one and only Birdfly! For me, one of the biggest disappointments of Psycho Fox's otherwise splendid semi-sequel, Magical Flying Hat Turbo Adventure, was the omission of the brave black squawker. His replacement, who I believe is an egg, performs a similar function - namely, sitting obediently on the player's shoulder, swooping across the screen on command, taking out any enemies he touches, then swooping back to the player - but he doesn't do it with anywhere near the style and character of Birdfly whose flutteryness and waggling feet are more endearing than all the other characters combined. Weapon. Friend. Confidante. Invaluable...



  1. Endearing grabs dude :) Birdfly is indeed a Fox's best friend! Are you willing to make a final judgement on PF vs WB3?

  2. You never asked me that before I don't think but the answer isn't difficult - WB3 is the better game. It's the best title on the MS if you ask me. PF is the best platformer though, by some margin :)