First I want to cover familiar games that were ported over to our fun loving older, cooler cousin to Game Boy who probably smoked but didn’t inhale.
Monopoly: 5/10 Gameplay 4/10 Graphics 2/10 Music/Sound 9/10 Replay Value 2/10 Originality
Super Breakout: 5/10 Gameplay 3/10 Graphics 1/10 Sound 5/10 Replay Value 2/10 Originality
Paperboy: 3/10 Gameplay 2.5/10 Graphics 3/10 Sound 2/10 Replay Value 0/10 originality
What these 3 titles have in common is I loved them all in their original incarnation and I loathe them with fiery burning sriracha hate now. Monopoly, albeit being a straight rip from your kitchen table to the NES, was almost the most replayable game of all time; it’s the banker for you, no messy cleanup and you don’t even roll the dice! This version is uglier, the colors popping less, looking like neon lights burning out from the 90’s discotheque they resided in. Super Breakout is Breakout but without the 2600 charm; colored blocks sit in a row, as options for “new” modes await but their just a riff on the “classic” take and not as fun. And then there’s Paperboy. What have you done to our little spitfire waking up at 6 o’clock weekends to get the neighborhood their world events and funnies? The game has a weird look to it; the color screen sort of scratches the colors all up. The gameplay is completely unintuitive on this system; and there are both more and less obstacles than before. When they aren’t around, you’re just a kid riding his bike. but when they are, you can’t get around them! Really? Kid rides his go-cart next to a sign next to a huge hunk of metal? How is that possible? Paperboy is one of the classics and this port makes me want to commit it to a home and let it choke on the green jello on Wednesdays.
Next, 3 titles I’ve not played before:
Xtreme Sports: 2.5/10 Playability 7/10 Graphics 5/10 Sound 5/10 Replay Value 6/10 Originality
The Grinch: 3/10 Playability 4.5 Graphics 5.5 Sound 3/10 Replay Value 1.5/10 Originality
Lufia- The Legend Returns: 5/10 Playability 7.5/10 Graphics 8/10 Music 3/10 Replay Value 5/10 Originality
Xtreme Sports begins as any classic tale does; an overstuff pitchman, sweating canola oil, pitches big rewards and riches on TV for any Xtreme Sports stars and 2 young and oddly dressed youths dream big. It’s a unique game as you kind of explore this island and train up for the games, but you can wander the island sort of. I liked that aspect. The games themselves are perpetuated as easy; the trainers repeat that over and over again but I couldn’t get anything to work except the Luge properly. That being said, the look of the game was really cool and had it’s own unique style.
The Grinch was based off the horrendous Jim Carrey vehicle that destroyed youth’s Christmas spirit everywhere. You bumble through a strange series of levels where Who’s from Who Village are on watchdog patrol (so has The Grinch reverted to his old ways? That would be a huge 360 from the end of the story? Why are they looking out for him? ) And you have to steal all the gifts w/o being seen. Some of these scenarios are quite tricky to maneuver, giving the game it’s only real bright spot. The graphics are muddled; and the music is less annoying than you would think coming from the Whos; but even worse, it’s completely forgettable.
Lufia- The Legend Returns begins as any good hearted RPG does; with a young boy destined for bigger and better things. Getting there is the challenge. Not in recent memory can I remember sitting through more dialogue than getting this clunker out of the gates. And the combat begins as simply and as unappealing as any RPG I’ved played. That said, the backgrounds are quite detailed and fully realized and the music excels; as any good RPG should; the sound lifts off the game and makes you realize you should be playing a game with a better budget or imagination. I hated the START/SELECT screens and the battle screen; way too busy and unclear. I know a lot of peoples that believe if it’s an RPG, it’s golden; but just an expansive world and story doesn’t always cut it; in fact, when an RPG game is good, it’s typically life-changing; so anything in between just feels like a waste.