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Planet SEGA Saturn
Magazine MADNESS
Retro Fire

Written: 6.3.07
Acquired: 3.13.06
Status: Cart only
Price: FREE

Pub: HudsonAugust '95

It's funny how things work out in the world of video games. How many times do you hear about a game being kicked around the internet forums, and find it in the wild later that week or month? In March 2006, I ran across a blurb on SWAT Kats. A few rabid fans supported it in light of the lashing it received. A week later I spotted a copy at Game Crazy and took full advantage of their Buy 2 Get 1 Free deal. I had never heard of this game before.......

                     You remember SWAT
don't cha? Yes, no?
                     I can't blame ya if you
                     don't. The cartoon debut in 
                     September '93 and ran until
                     December '94. 23 episodes
                     were made. Back then I
                     was a huge cartoon fanatic
                     but for some reason I can't
                     recall ever watching an ep.
                     Apparently it was violent,
                     going hardly five minutes
                     without crap blowing up.
                     The show, to this day, has
                     a decent cult following

Of course, as did
most cartoons of
this nature in the
early-mid 90's, a
toy line was also

It's interesting that the show died off in late '94 yet the game came out toward the latter stages of 1995. Let's see if the game does the legacy proud...


Select from T-Bone or Razor. T-Bone is slower but stronger than Razor. Each has his own unique secondary weapon

            Some valuable
            goodies for your

Wait-a-sec... experience points?! Yup, what's interesting about this action platformer is that as you kill bad guys (and grab those ? icons) you gain experience points. Each time you level up, your weapon is upgraded and your health bar increases. In the beginning your health and shot is very weak; a total of six guns are available (the first one travels very shortly and the biggest one doesn't even go half-way, so this is MegaMan not)

  • Level 1 EXP:  Pea Shooter
  • Level 5 EXP:  Spider Web Missile
  • Level 10 EXP: Cement Machine Gun
  • Level 15 EXP: Octopus Missile
  • Level 20 EXP: Pincer Missile
  • Level 25 EXP: Slicer Disc (quite potent, I might add)

Numbers pop up over bad
guys' head like an RPG!
It's too bad though that the
weapons, despite looking
different, don't have any
varying uses

In addition to your Glovatrix attack, T-Bone and Razor have their own special moves, which can be called upon via Street Fighter II commands...




SWAT Kats is a one-player experience. Considering their buddy role in the cartoon it's a shame there wasn't a 2-player option. The felines will be the first to agree with 'cha...


5 worlds await. To
begin with you may
pick any of the 1st
four. Forget about
tackling world 3 or 4
first, however, since
your health and fire 
arm is not up to par.
But it's nice that the
option is there

Let's examine the first 3. The rest I'll leave you to discover...


               Don't you hate
               when this stuff

Your first mission is to save
the greater metropolitan area
of MegaKat City from a deadly
bacteria virus

These guys don't play around!

Scaling walls and buildings is part of your job description

What's up with all that debris
falling from the sky there, eh?

                                       Damn my big mouth!

                                       [I think Mr. Stay Puff
                                       has a bigger one -Ed.]

Quite an urban renewal program they got there

                            It definitely follows the
                            SWAT Kats legacy

Many gamers have voiced their displeasure for this game. And here's one of the chief reasons... the stomach-churning Mode 7 shooter bit (I didn't find it pineapple-chunky myself, but hey what can you do?) The blue guy is just a spinning picture. This section can be tough at first but the good thing here is... you get infinite lives (for only this section)

"OHHHH my stomach..."

After you survive the swooping
mutant bats it's to the monster's


Onto the next level in World 1...

                                     When it rains like such,
                                     things get very slippery
                                     so watch your step!

All that pollution and carelessness
has created abominable creatures

SWAT Kats: top-notch action AND
geo-political messages all wrapped
up in one

                      The cave is home to some strange
                      and unrelenting adversaries...

The open-ended-ness
of it is quite nice too

                          Here's where T-Bone's special
                          rocket delivery comes in handy!

Talk about bringing back bad memories of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS!

But if you thought that was bad.......

Hot dog, an extensive scaling section. Other than the mutant fly there, what's the big deal eh?

                 THAT'S THE
                 BIG DEAL!

Good grief. You gotta be fast to last, believe me. Now you see why the developers placed a 1-UP there at the beginning....

Almost there!

Perseverance is the key

Boss 1 is the maniacal Dr. Viper


Oh thank you

How nice of you

                                                        Uh, on 2nd thought I
                                                        think I hear my dear
                                                        Aunt Edna calling!

                              The graphics are interesting.
                              In world 1 it's quite bland but
                              there are some nice touches
                              here. It's got a unique pastel
                              like look to it

Grab that coin way up there

Gotta dig the roller coaster
ride in the background, as
well as the sea of houses
all lit up at night

                               Man are the enemies here
                               strange to the bone or what!

The Manic Merry Go-Round
is but one of many park rides
you'll engage in

                                                 Pop that sucka!

                                                 Fun bit, this is

I hated this ride as a kid...

[O rly? Where did 'cha grow up,
Alabama? -Ed.]

I apologize for his crude nature,
readers. He's the Jonah Jameson
of -- [GET BACK TO WORK! -Ed.]

Hopefully you are well-versed in making precise timed leaps...

Silly though they may be,
their aim can be tough to

                      Who doesn't love the ferris wheel?

                      A perfect place for romance...

... or an early grave!

                                       Have you ever been to
                                       Schlitterbahn? I went
                                       there once, summer
                                       of 2002

                                       [Fascinating -Ed.]


[Wii?! Where?! It's mine! -Ed.]

Hmmm, you're right... where have I seen this before...

Ah yes... why if it isn't everyone's favorite underrated vermin... Rocky Rodent

           ... And he's none
           too happy about
           it, either!

T-Bone: Am not!

Rocky: Are too!

T-Bone: Am not!

Rocky: Are too!

T-Bone: Am not!

Rocky: Are too!

Razor: Dee too!

Rocky and T-Bone: *BLINK BLINK*

*Bleep blip bleep blip*

[What's going on 'round here?!
Get these monsters out of my
office! -Ed.]

It's OK sir, they're not on the payroll

[Why didn't you say so! Here, have
some cookies. Nevermind, they're
chocolate chip, my favorite!

Oi vey. Never a dull day here, no sir ree. Alas, back to teh game... let's see what other surprises lie in waiting at MadKat's crazy park...

Talk about a low blow -- T-Bone always gets the last laugh!

My kind of ride!


                                     I could do without these
                                     nasties though


The spookiest place in the park!

                Ace reflection
                bits, though!

Even more open-ended
than the cave!

This place is very tricky

                                  The old saying comes to
                                  mind... "There's a wolf at
                                  the front door, and a tiger
                                  at the back"

                                  [Quit talking 'bout my wife
                                  and mother-in-law! -Ed.]

It's a catastrophe in every
respect of the word...

No stinkin' icy blocks are gonna stand in MY way!  MWAHAHAHAHA!

MadKat is boss #2


Hoo-ray it's time for another Mode 7 bit...

Again your goal is to enter the vile creature's mouth

Those purple thingies form
into spears and hurls itself
after your space ship

                                  He's considerably tougher
                                  than the first time!

HURRAH!  But not so fast -- the PastMaster sends you to ancient times!

Love the fog there. This level is
my favorite of the entire game.
I really enjoyed the look and
style here

                                   Hmmm, who... or what...
                                   are they running from?

Sheesh, I had
to ask didn't I!

                                             Atmospheric, 'init?

That pile of bones
just cracks me up!

[The ogre... not so
much -Borat]

                             The journey up the mountain
                             is slightly reminiscent of NES
                             Contra! And check out what
                             happens when the little guy
                             misses swinging that shovel!

Heh heh... good stuff

                 "You'll never take me alive!"

                 "Well, you'll never take me dead!"

                 [The price I pay... for free labor -Ed.]

Neat little bit this is

Watch yo' head, T-Bone!  Those platforms collapse too -- way to bring a brother down!

These spiders move
unnervingly..... yesh

                                                    Heh, actually I think I'll
                                                    stay over at Holiday Inn
                                                    but thanks for the offer
                                                    mate! Cheers

This force-scroller part
sees giant ogres and a
pesky PastMaster and
his PO'ed pet

                                                   These bits are
                                                   quite tricky!

Later on in this world you'll battle the PastMaster. The rest is up to you. Good luck


This game very much flew under the radar. Advertising was next to none, I could not find one single ad in all of my back issues. Furthermore, only EGM previewed it, and neither GameFan, Super Play or EGM ever gave the game a review. Although I fell somewhat out of gaming in '95,
I knew about most of the SNES releases at that time. SWAT Kats was a discovery in 2006....
it goes to show you the lack of pub the game got


SWAT Kats incorporates a password system, funky stuff like 6C-HO-24-JJ but at least it's only 8 characters


All in all, despite a few tricky bits, this game is rather a walk in the cake, or a piece of park as they might say [*slap forehead* -Ed.] You won't need a whole lot of tries to beat the dang thing, and at the end, a performance assessment is doled out. It took me 229:50 or 3 hours and 50 minutes. For 5 worlds? Damn


I have to say, though, that this game will forever hold a soft spot in my gaming heart. It was the first SNES game I beat in my 'resurrection' period, and as such it help break my bad habit of playing a game for 30 minutes and moving onto the next. I never intended to beat SWAT Kats back on March 19, 2006 (when I first played it). I was going to take the cart out and play something else when I decided to give it one more casual go. That 'casual go' turned into two hours and before I knew it, the game had me hooked. What started out as dull impressions on World 1 turned into a strange love affair as I tackled the later, more engaging levels. And I could see why someone would hate this game. The first world is boring standard menial platforming action stuff, and that annoying-ish mode 7 part can be a HUGE turnoff, but if you actually stick with the game it gets much better as you progress. I suspect many walk away with only having played World 1. A tragic mistake. One I almost made, and because of SWAT Kats I now try to beat every game I start. If anything, I'll always remember it fondly for that

The graphics, like the game itself, start out very bland and dry, but progressively gets better as you go on. The sound and music isn't half-shabby. The classic cartoon intro that everyone raves about, with the intense guitar riff, makes the faithful leap over. For those who followed the cartoon who could forget Razor's "BINGO!" soundbyte? AIM sure haven't, and it sounds spot-on

No, the gameplay is nothing special, but it can be quite enjoyable in spots and really affirms to me what a truly awesome system the Super Nintendo is. Here's another one of countless games you could just as easily waste a weekend on! The thing that I noted when I played through SWAT Kats back in March 2006 is that it really reminded me of an 8-bit Nintendo game from 1990. That weekend I spent happily working my way to fight DARK KAT was akin to an innocent weekend some 15 plus years ago. This, of course, is meant as a compliment to the game's basic simple feel. There's something "NES" about it, and I like it for that reason. It's a shame though the weapons don't have any different purposes. Worlds 4 and 5 were a bit of a letdown, coming off the heels of the relatively commendable previous two worlds. Don't expect a furious action title, either

But hey, there's enough good to go with the bad....

The SNES library is very strong, and SWAT Kats, though it does nothing to separate itself
from the pack, is simply another delightful-in-its-own-way action title that could serve you well
on a rainy weekend. I have fond memories of playing through this game from last year, and at
the time I gave it an 8. That was, until I played the likes of Super Metroid and company, you
understand. SWAT Kats isn't quite THAT good (that being, 8 out of 10 good), but chalk up yet another serviceable action game for the ole SNES


Maybe you guys
did in the cartoon
world.... but in the
realm of the SNES
..... not quite up to
the high standards
set before y'all, but
a decent effort!

Graphics: 6.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 6.5
Longevity: 5

Overall: 6.5