Little Samson is a bizarre platformer for the original Nintendo. In a peaceful kingdom, a dark prince is resurrected and it’s up to four heroes to save the land: Samson, Kikira the dragon, Gamm the golem, and K.O. the mouse. It’s a simple story, with a fairly basic concept that, like most NES games, doesn’t go anywhere. Gameplay however is, and will always be for NES games, the main focus.
Each of the four heroes can be switched to at any time and they each have unique powers. For example, Samson can climb walls as well as shoot pellets, while Kikira the dragon can fly and shot a tri-beam laser. They each have their own weaknesses and advantages and its up to the player to decide how to use them. Heroes can also receive health upgrades, found through each level. Tread carefully though for while characters can be switched on the fly, if that hero dies, it’s back to the checkpoint. In a very basic sense, it’s kind of like Mega Man, but instead of powers, players have four charcters to choose from. Even the energy bars look like Mega Man. It’s simple and a lot of fun, plus the bosses are unique and it’s pretty challenging at times, but never dire.
This game holds up pretty well for a NES game since it came out so late. The color pallet is great and the level design is interesting. To further harp on it, it’s a lot like Mega Man besides the powers, which is not a bad thing. However unlike the Mega Man series, this game has some gratuitous music. Each character has his or her own theme, which switches once that hero is chosen. There are a few other pieces as well like boss and menu music, but the music overall is nothing spectacular.
Little Samson is a neat little blast from the blast that unexpectedly holds up even without playing it as a child. When a NES game still feels fresh today, without nostalgia, that’s a key sign of a gem. From the cool powers of each hero as well as the Mega Man like design, it’s definitely worth finding. And dare this reviewer wish, a sequel, or a remake.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on July 7, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.