Video Game: Barnyard Blast
Barnyard Blast: Swine of the Night
is an action platformer for the Nintendo DS
made by Sanuk Games.
The game consists of six stages worth of platforming and blasting enemies to pieces. The premise is that the (anthropomorphic) piglet Cliffy Belmart has gone playing in the local dark and forbidden castle of doom, tossing toilet paper to and fro, and this has angered some evil entities. They proceed to kidnap him. Robert Belmart, his father, then sets off on a journey through six stages of horror-themed platforming action to rescue his son.
He gets to use a pistol, a shotgun, a whip, and dynamite as his weapons. The pistol is weak but has unlimited ammo; the shotgun fires a strong but short-range burst (a bit strange for being a shotgun) with limited ammo, the whip runs off special weapon ammo (blue hearts), and dynamite is lobbed and has a delayed explosion for a lot of damage but is also limited. Robert also picks up ability cards from stage bosses, which that let him recover HP from blue hearts, spend blue hearts for stronger attacks, run faster, jump higher, or other abilities.
The game is a pretty transparent reference to the Castlevania
games, particularly the older ones which were straightforward platformers rather than the more famous and more recent castletroids
. In addition, it fully means to lampshade
various videogame tropes, and does so quite shamelessly, with famous zany videogame quotes popping up all over the place. And just look at the names of the six levels:
- A Night Walk in the Graveyard
- The Ancient Castle Ruled by Darkness
- The Swamp Full of Disgusting Creepy-Crawlies
- The Volcano BBQ
- The Forest in the Way
- The Castle of Intolerable Pain
This game shows examples of:
- Boss Rush: A small one in the last level, where you fight two bosses back-to-back: the hailfire dog and the giant flying eye, which also happened to be the bosses of the other castle level in the game. Fortunately, you now have access to more ability cards.
- Clown-Car Grave
- Excuse Plot
- Funny Animal: Robert, Cliffy, and the rest of their family.
- Goddamned Bats: The winged eyes, which actualy behave kinda like the dreaded "Castlevania birds".
- Lampshade Hanging: Everything. Everything. From Robert's wife asking him to pick up milk along the way, before the first level, to Robert commenting that his son has no taste for dramatic monologues.
- Robert clearly states that he'd rather go on a dangerous mission himself rather than notifying the authorities of his missing son, even though that would be a much safer and more sensible alternative.
- Robert complains that there is a forest in the way between him and the final level. Then the Title Card of the next level shows up, calling it... The Forest in the Way.
- Lost Aesop: Presented as a lampshading. Cliffy learned a lesson from this whole ordeal, a lesson about toilet paper and evil things.
- Medium Awareness: Demonstrated by Robert before he corrects himself after referring to "the last level".
- Monster Mash: Actually, this game surprisingly averted this trope. With the stock horror and platformer settings you'd think you'd get some classic monsters, but most of the monsters in this game are actually unique to the game.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Ancient Castle Ruled by Darkness.
- Nintendo Hard: Don't let the silliness fool you; the game is hard.
- Shout-Out: to many games, including Mega Man 2, Super Mario Bros., Zero Wing, and others, mainly in the form of quotes. But most of all, to the Castlevania series:
- The "slayer" whip. And more subtly, hearts that power weapons.
- The entrances to both castles.
- Endless zombies in graveyards and buildings. Though the way the graveyards are set up makes them more like Ghosts N Goblins's version.
- The epilogue, which speaks of this tale having to repeat itself in about a hundred years. (The Castlevania series canon says that Dracula rises once every century, shortly before the turn of the century.)
- That One Boss: The dinosaur boss.
- Whip It Good: though not as much as in Castlevania.