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I recently had the pleasure of playing this game for the first time in almost 15 years. If you have to think of something deserving of the title Totally Rad I'm fairly certain you're not about to attribute it to a sub par NES game released in the early nineties that was an exercise in youth pandering, would you? Wait, maybe you would, but I said deserving.

You play as Jake, a hip surfer-kid magician-in-training, and attempt to rescue his girlfriend Allison and her Dad in Jaleco's side scrolling platformer. It is made very clear that he is, indeed, "hip" in the brilliant dialogue played between levels, such as:

Allison - So like, Jake, is this Zeb dude for real? Will he teach you his totally rad magic?
Jake - Yup, he thinks I have gnarly potential. And I think he's totally decent.

or:
Allison - Jake, they're like stealing me or something, Help!

and still:
Allison - He's the gnarliest professor on the coast.
Jake - So, it's your dad they really want!
Allison - Jake, I kinda want my dad back, you know?
Jake - That's totally understandable. Wow, how about if I save him?

Appropriately released the same year as Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Totally Rad seems to be a marketing executive's brain-child to peddle a completely linear and uninventive game to consumers. However, unlike current shovelware releases, even the worst NES games still seem to have a certain charm and enjoyment on offer. It was a simple run, jump, shoot game with only five levels to its name, but I'll be damned if it didn't feel like someone depended on you.

In my opinion, that makes the major problem with this game the legacy left by the name. If it wasn't for this game Smash TV would not have needed to be named Smash TV, or Half Life wouldn't have had to be called Half Life. Of course this wouldn't have been a problem had they stuck with the Japanese title, Magic John.

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