We’re in a bit of a bad stretch in the WELCO METOT HENEX TLEVEL series. Here we have the second of three Make My Video titles from Sony Imagesoft and Digital Pictures. This also happens to be one of the US launch games for the system. And people wonder why the Sega CD didn’t catch on.
Youth hip hop groups were kind of a thing back in the early nineties. Another Bad Creation more or less kicked the whole thing off in 1991, but when Kris Kross came on the scene in ’92 they blew the doors wide open with their backwards clothes gimmick and their first single, “Jump.” It sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks, which set a record for any rap recording at the time. They followed it up with “Warm It Up,” which spent time near the top of the charts as well, not to mention winning a Billboard video award. Their debut album went platinum after that.
So actually, when you think about it, Kris Kross were the most relevant of the three Make My Video groups when the Sega CD launched in 1992. Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations” had been big in ’91, and INXS’s “Suicide Blonde” was a year older still.
Kris Kross pretty much peaked with their first album. Their two followups were less successful. But they did stick around a while, appearing in movies and going on tour with Michael Jackson to promote his Dangerous album, as well as making a cameo in Jackson’s “Jam” music video.
Anyway, there’s not a whole lot to talk about here. This game follows the same formula as the rest of the Make My Video series. You’re challenged to edit a music video in real time using three simultaneous streams – the actual music video and two collections of stock footage – as well as a bunch of effects like strobes, mirrors, colored filters, etc.
Your videos have to meet the requirements laid out at the beginning of the editing session. In Kris Kross the whole thing is based on a painfully kiddie-’90s-hip radio show premise where eight different callers ask you to tailor videos to them based on “Jump,” “Warm It Up” and “I Missed the Bus.” And once you get through those eight callers you also have the option to freestyle edit.
These games were tech demos. Sega had bet heavily on full-motion-video being the future of the genre, and wanted to show off what the Sega CD could do. And though the videos were postage-stamp small and the quality was atrocious, it was kind of impressive that three different feeds were running simultaneously.
Still…thank goodness I only have one more of these to write about.
Sad post script: As I was doing the research for this article I discovered that one half of Kris Kross, Chris Kelly, died just a couple weeks ago on May 1, 2013. He was 34 years old.