Saturday, November 24, 2012

Acclaim Remote Controller

Because my last wireless joystick post was so well received, here's another one... but wait, it's not just a tragic ad, it's also a terrible comic strip!
Acclaim
presents
Kid Remote
in
THE POWER TO MOVE!
Kid Acclaim: "(... STUCK IN A RUT...)"
THE KID WAS AT THE END OF HIS ROPE
KABOOM
WHEN OUT OF THE BLUE...
Kid Acclaim: "AWESOME!! THE ACCLAIM REMOTE FOR NINTENDO!"
NOW...
THE KID CAN PUT THE MOVES ON THE WWF SUPERSTARS

Hulk Hogan: "WHAT HIT ME?"
Kid Acclaim: "THE ACCLAIM REMOTE!"
WHEN SUDDENLY...
AIRWOLF ENCOUNTERS THE ENEMY

KA: "EAT SOME RAPID-FIRE!"

LATER...
BATTLING WITH IRONSWORD -- THE REMOTE'S 30 FOOT RANGE KEEPS THE KID OUT OF DANGER.
PLAYING WITH NINTENDO WILL NEVER BE THE SAME
KA: "THANKS TO THE POWER TO MOVE!"
TO BE CONTINUED...
The look and feel you already know.

  • No messy wires
  • Rapid-fire for higher scores
  • Accurate up to 30'
So, the requisite panel-by-panel analysis: The scene opens on Kid Remots, described at the end of his rope and self-described as being in a rut. Neither of those is the case: his game has reached the GAME OVER screen and he is all tangled up in a joystick cord. Here's a pro tip: your game sessions will last longer if you keep the joystick in your hand rather than winding around your torso and then lead it off-panel.

This next panel is a great one to take out of context. Shazam! In my pants! The lightning bolt not only frees Kid Remote from his self-inflicted Japanese joystick bondage, but also vaporizes the armchair in the room with him. Miraculously, the electronics in the room are not only spared, the GAME OVER message on the screen doesn't even flicker. (Maybe KR is so inept a gamer the message is actually burned-in?)

That controller would be great if it wasn't so cartoonishly large the start and select buttons would be inaccessible during play. Then we have more oversized things, meaty wrestler arms (or "monster python quads" as I like to remember them), and even more oversized legs (put together, their bearer much be pretty disproportionate!)

Really, Kid Remote, of all the companies to wear the logo of, you picked Acclaim? Was Acclaim popular enough to even have shirts?

OK, what else does the remote do? We've pretty much covered it in the first four panels. But let's demonstrate its use with some Acclaim games, all of which benefit from being played 30 feet away!

I don't even know what the kid is supposed to be fighting in the Ironsword panel. Its scales make it look like it aspires toward a kind of dragon paw, but the shape is closer to a man-eating plant of some kind, like some sinister sunflower Triffid.

In the closing panel here we see that sadly, overuse of the Acclaim remote has resulted in gigantism in Kid Remote's hand, leaving him unable to operate an NES controller, his grotesquely oversized fist painfully swollen shut. (He was vindicated however when the first round of Xbox joysticks came out.)

Looking at the minuscule small print on the bottom, puzzlingly, Ironsword (of Fabio cover art fame) is indicated to be a trademark assigned to both its publisher Acclaim and then later its developer Rare Coin It. There's another head-scratcher in that area which I'll save for a future post, since I have just so much to work with here.

I have my doubts that Kid Acclaim's adventures really were continued. However, it may be worth noting that Kwirk (remember him?), along with other Acclaim-published characters, appeared in a TV show -- "the Power Team" -- that was essentially an unlicensed Captain N knock-off, only with Acclaim's characters. Anyhow, a real-life video game genius, Johnny Arcade, directed the team's activities with a special joystick -- perhaps a Acclaim wireless controller?

Well, I won't get to the bottom of this one tonight.

Just before I wrap up, I discovered that this comic was also a storyboard for a TV commercial. Who knows, perhaps someday I'll analyse those here too -- though it would have been tough squeezing a TV commercial into a comic book!