Toejam & Earl 2 may share the same music, characters and themes as the original, but the gameplay is such a dissapoi

User Rating: 3.5 | ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron GEN
The original Toejam & Earl came out in 1992. And boy, what a game it was. A relatively open-ended world you could explore, finding ship pieces, and presents that contained goofy items like rocket skates. Good times, great memories as Colt Cabana would say.

But those great memories were all but ruined by the sequel, which was released roughly a year later. Toejam & Earl 2, also known as Toejam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, retains the same music and characters as the original. But the gameplay was completely changed, and they turned it into a nearly broken 2D side-scroller. Their logic is just beyond my knowledge, but they felt the need to either mess with the winning formula set in place by the original, or they just got lazy and released a mess of a game with the Toejam & Earl theme just tossed in to make a quick buck.

Whichever way it went down, the Toejam & Earl fans like myself were the ones who got the shaft. Gone are the open levels where you have to go hunting for the ship pieces and elevator to take you to the next level.. In it's place is a side scroller. You can jump, shoot some crap and do some special moves. But it all just works horribly. The jumping and shooting isn't too bad, but the special moves are worthless. Your goal is to get to the end of the level while saving all the "Earthlings". You save them by shooting them with your crap and then collecting them in jars. The biggest problem with the gameplay is that it's just boring. The normal walking is faster than in the original, but the side scrolling just doesn't work with Toejam & Earl. It just ends up being a total mess that you can barely play for 5 minutes without changing games. Compare this to the original, which I found myself playing nonstop for an hour or longer, and that's pretty pathetic for a sequel to such a great game. The game is hard, though. At least once you get a few levels in. But just because it's hard doesn't mean it's fun. It's like desperately trying to force out a piece of crap stuck in your ass. This game is just horrible.

As for the graphics, well they're okay. They're a slight improvement over the original, but they're not amazing for the Genesis. There's not too many major frame rate issues, although that's pretty easy to do in a side-scroller that's so constrained as far as your viewpoint goes.

As far as sound goes, Toejam & Earl 2 sounds pretty much exactly like the original, which is to say it sounds good. The music, while identical to the original game, is still catchy and hummable. The other sounds aren't so great, but they aren't as horrible as the gameplay. Value. Well, you probably won't get any more than a couple minutes with this game. 10 minutes if you have a lot of patience. Since there's no redeeming value to the gameplay, this game is no value either.

I just hated this game. Not just because it's a bad game, but because it's predecessor was so amazing. Toejam & Earl 2 may share the same music, characters and themes as the original, but the gameplay is such a disappointment that it brings the rest of the game down with it. Why this game ever hit store shelves is beyond me. In conclusion, I hope we can just pretend that this game, and the equally abysmal Xbox game, never existed and the original Toejam & Earl was the first and only game in the series.