Review Information
Game Reviewed Poochie, by 4 Eyes
Review Author Q-Nova
Created May 19 2019, 11:44 PM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Whenever I browse through the many good ol' fangames on this site, Poochie always stuck out to me. What's unusual about this game is that it doesn't star Mario, nor Yoshi, but Poochie! Yes, he's the dog who appears in only a few levels in Yoshi's Island. Despite being a pretty cool dog, Poochie only appears in one other fangame as far as I know, and I'm not sure if we'll ever get to see him in the fangaming world again anytime soon, considering how much fangames have changed nowadays compared to the late 90s and early 2000s.

This game is made by 4 Eyes, who seems to be an oldbie that vanished from MFGG long ago; he hasn't even created an account on this version of the site yet! I haven't played this game until a few weeks ago, but when I did, I noticed that 4 Eyes clearly put some effort into Poochie, he did some cool stuff that made it stand out more among even the Mario fangames from its era! Is it fun, though? Let's find out as we ride along with Poochie!

Wait, his name is actually spelled as Poochy? Oh, uh, maybe this happens to be a similar-looking dog that has a slightly different name, yeah.
Pros +Some cool visual stuff here!
+Ukikis have an interesting behavior for an old fangame
+Who doesn't love that dog? Huh, HUH?
+Nice underground remix!
Cons -Charging sometimes doesn't work
-Knockback can be annoying
-Second level makes the two cons listed above even WORSE!
5 / 10
Poochie seems to be just roaming around the world, as he must charge onto all of the enemies to proceed to the next level. The Skeleton Goonies and Koopa Paratroopas are the basic "move back-and-forth" type, but the Ukikis seem to have some sort of brain that makes them move and pause at times, which is pretty impressive considering the time this was made at!

The platforming engine has some quirks, but I can forgive that, considering that it appears to be typical in old fangames and they aren't really bothersome anyway. What I can't forgive, though, is that charging will sometimes not work! Poochie may stop early or simply not respond to the pressed Ctrl button! It's REALLY annoying, since it can lead to unfair bumps from enemies. I thought Poochie ain't stupid!

There is knockback in Poochie, which is, again, uncommon in fangames from its era. Poochie only gets knocked back to the left, though, which can be irritating when you're dealing with enemies from the left; I have gotten three-hit-combos from Koopa Paratroopas before! The first level is okay, there are even some neat details like the leaves that fly away when Poochie runs over them, but I think the second level has a really annoying design. Seriously, whenever you jump onto a platform, you're expected to charge at an enemy in less than a split second, otherwise you'll be greeted with a bonk, which may result with you falling into a pit! (Remember, charging will sometimes not work, so it's even more annoying!)

I like that there's an instructions screen that tells you about the controls and HUD before you start the first level, something that's also uncommon in old fangames. There's also a cute story, although it doesn't explain why is Poochie beating up a bunch of enemies. Perhaps there would be more levels and the story would have more relevance to the gameplay later on if Poochie wasn't scrapped (I should've mentioned Poochie's status at the beginning of this review, eh?), although the story doesn't really matter at the end.
8 / 10
The graphics are from Yoshi's Island, although they seem to use some kind of filter. I dunno about you, but I kinda like how the sprites look, it even gives this game a bit of an identity! It's weird that not all of the graphics use the filter, though, such as the second level's tileset and leaves (the latter of which clash even more, since they're 8-bit rather than 16-bit). The filter isn't what makes Poochie's graphics interesting, however! Nu-uh, that has to be the palette-swapping! To give you an example, the instructions screen has everything turned red and black! Back then, fangames can't use shaders, so the color-changing had to be done manually, and it's REALLY COOL!
7 / 10
I expected Yoshi's Island MIDIs when I first played the game, and while that happens to be true, there's also MIDI remixes of Yoshi's Story music and the ever-recurring SMB1 underground theme (which sounds like the remix from Superstar Saga), which is a nice surprise. Some are nice (I like the underground remix in particular), while others aren't as nice. The sound effects are just your typical Mario sound effects, so...yeah.
3 / 10
Once you're done with the two levels, you're done! There isn't high-scores, collectibles, or anything that wants you to come back. The game can be kinda fun to play, although the charging issues and knockback can drag down the experience. It's not so bad if you know what's ahead of you, though. I think that if 4 Eyes were to build upon the game and fix some of its issues, Poochie can be quite a journey!
Final Words
6 / 10
Poochie has potential to be amazing, but right now I think he should consider going to a dog school.

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