Video Game Review: Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (Arcade)

As much as I loved playing the Sega Genesis version of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, I was always a bit bummed that it wasn’t the same game as the arcade version, which I loved even more but barely got to play, as the arcade machines weren’t very common in my area.

Most people probably only know the Genesis version, which is a side and vertical scrolling game. The arcade version is a top-down view.

Now the gameplay and mechanics are damn near the same but the robot mode in the arcade is a lot better.

Fans of the Genesis game should remember how f’n cool it was to turn into the robot but if you just missed the shooting star on the screen, you missed out on robot mode. In the arcade version, the monkey just shows up and blesses you with the robot transformation and then you get to rain down superior laser fire on the baddies!

The game still has the special attack, which sees you break out into the “Smooth Criminal” dance, as your enemies join in and then die. Well, unless they’re super strong like some of the baddies late in the game.

For the most part, this has cool level design, it’s easy to navigate and less of a maze than the Genesis game.

Also, I think it’s fairly short. I was surprised that I beat it as quickly as I did but as a kid playing this, I never got very far.

Overall, this is the superior version of the Moonwalker video games. It’s held up well and it’s still fun to play.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: the very different Sega Genesis version of the game, as well as other action arcade games of the late ’80s/early ’90s.