The game? Why, it's Floigan Brothers Episode 1, of course!
You'd be forgiven for having never heard of it - indeed, untill yesterday I'd never even seen the game in the flesh...er, plastic...and was convinced that it was one of those vapourware games that the mags loved to review and excite us with, but that never came out to buy.
But Floigan Brothers is real and I paid the paltry sum of £6.99 for it, while also picking up a copy of Sega Worldwide Soccer 2000: Euro Edition as part of the deal after Father Krishna's shining account of it a few posts back. As a sidenote, SWWS Euro is indeed a top notch kickabout - and comes highly reccomended, but you'd be advised to skip the revolting intro sequence lest it causes your eyeballs to implode.
Moigle at work assembling your 'surprise' in the garage. Wonder if it's one of those life-like shagging dolls from Japan...
Obviously, you can't tell from this, but the animation is supoib
But back to Floigan Bros. Apparently (well, according to the omnipresent Planet Dreamcast), Floigan Bros. was a top secret platform game that Sega had in development since the early days of the Dreamcast, and had been pored over for around 3 years untill it was perfect for consumption. Obviously, the efforts of the development team only reached a very small section of the market due to the scandalous demise of the platform as a whole, but rest assured: The Dreamcast Junkyard is here to spread the good gospel of the Foigan Bros!
Yes, you can punch your brother. At last!
I didn't really know what to expect from FB - I read a few reviews online, and most are quite favourable (although hint at the relative shortness of the quest), but none really set you up for the visual and sonic treat that assaults the senses like American friendly fire when you power up. You know it's going to be good though, when the developer's intro screens are as well produced as an episode of Spongebob Squarepants and the 'press start' screen dialogue has the feeling of a cartoon version of Buggsy Malone.
Upon pressing start, you are given the option to play a tutorial or the main game, although you are quite literally forced to complete the tutorial the first time you play, as the main game isn't accessible untill you've done so. However, this isn't your run-of-the-mill "go here and press that" text scroller, oh no: what you get when you load up Floigan Bros. tutorial is for all intents and purposes a real time, polygonal cartoon with some of the best voice acting and animation you've ever seen. The tutorial level is more than a simple training excercise, it's a fully scripted and seamless introduction to the world of Hoigle and Moigle Floigan, where it's your job (as the shorter, more intelligent Hoigle) to help Moigle collect ingredients to make some cookies. Sounds stupid, I know, but it's got to be the best tutorial I've played and they way the chracters interact can sometimes feel like you're not actually playing a game at all - just watching a cutscene...but you're not! you're playing a real-time game! It's amazing!
After the tutorial is over and you've been shown how to coerce the bigger, thicker, computer controlled Moigle into doing stuff like play mini games, and 'taught' him a few new tasks (such as standing in various spots so that you can run around him, make him dizzy and faint, and then jump on his flabby gut to bounce to higher places); it's off outside into the Junkyard to start the game proper.
A scene from the brilliant tutorial
The premise of the game is rather simple: Moigle wants to make Hoigle a suprise in the garage, but to do so he needs his help collecting seven items from around the Junkyard. Before you think it's just going to descend into standard platform guff after the outstanding intro level, stop. It doesn't: it's just a continuation of the same high quality graphics, superb animation and really quite unclassifiable gameplay as you guide Hoigle and Moigle around the 'Yard solving puzzles, taking hints from a trio of signpost holding mice and playing umpteen mini-games. It's really quite a task to describe how this game works without being able to actually show you, but please - this is a game that deserves your attention, not only because it's one of the prettiest looking games on the Dreamcast, but because it's so God-damned original and refeshing too.
And did I mention laugh-out-loud funny? If you see this game: BUY IT.
Also, if you want, click here to read my review of the really quite pallatable Deep Fighter over at Review Centre.