Pen Pen (Japanese) - Review

Release Date Publisher Developer Additional Information
27/11/1998SegaGeneral EntertainmentJap Reviews Avg : 71%

Pen Pen Triathalon was one of the Dreamcast's four launch titles in Japan. The game was apparently inspired when the game's designer saw penguins running and swimming at the zoo. Taking this idea General Entertainment created a racing game in which penguin like creatures run and swim their way through the courses. At least on paper this game seems to have some potential in it.

Pen Pen Triathalon was a joint venture between people at Sega Japan and General Entertainment. So what you say? Well these people can be linked with several hit games including Sega Rally, Panzer Dragoon, and Sonic R. As a result, I was eagerly awaiting the game and hoping it would be in the same category as the other three games mentioned.

However, it was not to be. Pen Pen is definitely beautiful to look at. In fact, I would go as far as to say this is probably the most graphically accomplished game of all the launch titles. But graphics don't make a great game alone, and in the gameplay department Pen Pen falls just short of the mark.

The whole game just seems too simplistic in it's gameplay. The game also seem to run too slowly overall with the penguins feeling more like seals to control. Everything seems that little bit too slow.

Overall, Pen Pen Tiathalon is a just above average racing game. While it is fun for a while, it is pretty short lived and just can't match similar racing titles of yesteryear such as Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing. Children will probably get a bit more out of the game then I did, but I'm sure Sega would have been hoping for much more from this title to help launch the system. At least we can look forward to Sega Rally 2, Monaco GP, and Super Speed Racing which are due in the next couple of weeks.