Thursday, October 15, 2009

Five favorites: portable platformers

Truth be told, I prefer to play platformers on a TV. There are moments when that isn't possible, though--and in those moments I pull out my trusty GameBoy Advance (or DS, depending on the situation) and insert one of the following cartridges.

1. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (GameBoy)--I know Wario's first solo outing isn't considered by many to be his best, but for some reason it's the one I turn to whenever I need my Wario fix. That said, you can't go wrong by playing any of the Wario Land games that appeared on the GameBoy (or the one that appeared on the Virtual Boy, from what I've been told).

2. Balloon Kid (GB)/Balloon Fight GB (GB Color)--Let's count the reasons I keep coming back to this long-lost gem: 1) It's about a girl who has to rescue a boy, 2) it's no walk in the park (in fact, it's pretty damn difficult--take that, Super Princess Peach), and 3) it inverts the left-to-right progression that has become a platforming cliche. (Oh, and it features some fab tunes courtesy of Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka.) In other words, it's a portable platformer that's well worth your time, too.

3. Donkey Kong (GB Color)--Considering the quality of this title, it's crazy that Nintendo hasn't remade it once or even twice. (Actually, it seems they planned on releasing a remake of sorts, titled Donkey Kong Plus, for the GameBoy Advance, but canned it in favor of the similar-but-not-quite-the-same Mario vs. Donkey Kong.) Until they do, I'll be playing this classic platformer-puzzler combo on a regular basis.

4. Drill Dozer (GameBoy Advance)--Well, well, well ... what do we have here? Another platformer with a female protagonist--and it doesn't suck! Actually, it's the complete opposite of sucky. Like the aforementioned Balloon Kid, Drill Dozer turns the platformer genre on its ear, although this game accomplishes that feat with a gigantic drill instead of a bunch of balloons.(Fun fact: This developer of this title, Game Freak, also develops Nintendo's Pokémon games.)

5. Kirby Canvas Curse (DS)--When the crew over at reviewed this title, they called it "the DS's first great game." The guys and gals at, on the other hand, hailed it as "incredibly innovative." Unfortunately, the critical acclaim didn't have much of an affect on consumer interest and it sold less than 150,000 copies (in the U.S.) in its first two months. If you see a copy (new or used) out in the wild, do yourself and your DS a favor and pick it up--you'll be glad you did.


Viewtiful_Justin said...

Thanks for this list!

I've wanted Donkey Kong for friggin' EVER! No luck finding it anywhere for cheap-ish. And...maybe I'll have to pick up that Kirby game. I thought I heard it was lame...maybe that was Yoshi's Touch n Go...

Bryan Ochalla said...

You're welcome, Justin! BTW, Donkey Kong *definitely* is worth it. Such a fun game. Kirby Canvas Curse is great too. I haven't played Yoshi's Touch and Go, so I can't speak for that one, but Kirby Canvas Curse certainly isn't lame (at least IMO).