So, I pushed both THE "DENPA" MEN 3 and Etrian Odyssey IV to the back burner this past weekend so I could play a handful GameBoy titles--specifically, BurgerTime Deluxe, Final Fantasy Adventure, Snow Bros. Jr. and a little gem known as Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe (aka Sunshine Angel Marlowe).
Here are a few thoughts on each of the aforementioned games:
BurgerTime Deluxe--What can I say about this title that I didn't say in the "Great Gaymathon" review I published earlier in the week? I don't know, to tell you the truth--well, other than that I finally made it pretty deep into the game and, as such, experienced some of its most daunting challenges.
Sadly, I never was able to successfully make my way through stage 4-4, so eventually I had to cheat (by looking up passwords via GameFAQs) to play through the rest. I'd normally feel kind of bad about that, but not in the case of this game--thanks to the fact that some of its later levels are tougher than nails and seriously impressed me with the amount of strategy that's required to beat them without wasting all of your "pepper shots" and lives en route.
Random aside: my favorite part of this most recent playthrough of BurgerTime Deluxe revolves around encountering the gigantic angry doughnut enemies that only pop up in its last few stages.
Final Fantasy Adventure--I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but I was absolutely obsessed with the first two Final Fantasy Legend titles that were released for the GameBoy way back when. (The third one, not so much--although in its defense, I've yet to spend much time with it.)
Given the above, it almost could be considered criminal that before this weekend I'd never played that series' companion (in the States, at least), Final Fantasy Adventure, for more than a few, scant minutes.
Now that I've played it for a good couple of hours, I can honestly say I was a complete idiot to ignore it for so long. The game's basically a mash-up of Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda and, thus far, has proven to be even more enticing and enjoyable than that combo suggests.
Two of its standout characteristics, in my mind: its destructible environments (assuming you're sporting the right equipment) and its old-school difficulty level. (Oh, and a third: its sublime soundtrack, which harkens back to Square's glory days.)
Snow Bros. Jr.--Considering I've long professed to being a bit of a "super fan" when it comes to single-screen platformers (see: Bubble Bobble), you'd think I would've put some serious time into one version of Toaplan's Snow Bros. or another before now.
Not so, sadly enough. Actually, I've spent a few minutes with both the arcade and Mega Drive iterations here and there, but neither left a very positive impression on me, if I'm to be completely honest. That had nothing to do with its gameplay, mind you; rather, I think it had to do with the game's odd, off-putting art style.
After I came across Snow Bros. Jr.'s Japanese box art a few months ago, though, I decided to give it another chance. And you know what? I kind of fell in love with it as a result. In part, this change of heart can be attributed to the earworm of a tune that accompanies players through the first 10 stages, although the snowball-throwing and -making gameplay is pretty infectious, too.
Taiyou no Tenshi Marlowe--File this one under "it's never too late to discover great GameBoy titles." That's because I didn't even know of this Technos-made game until some kind soul on Twitter brought it to my attention a month or so ago.
After reading about it over on hardcoregaming101.net, I decided the above-mentioned twitterer was onto something and hunted down a copy of the game as quickly as I could. It wasn't long before I was regretting that decision, though, as despite the game's adorable art style and pleasant backing tunes, I found myself stumped by its gameplay during my first few attempts at it.
Returning to the Hardcore Gaming 101 article I mentioned a paragraph ago opened my eyes as to what I was doing wrong (yes, you can aim the sun's beams at baddies to get rid of them, but if you want to advance you have to aim them at the flower seeds that populate each stage, too), and ever since it has been smooth sailing.
Actually, it's been better than smooth sailing, as I now consider myself a fairly big fan of this kinda-sorta tower-defense game. It's far from a perfect game, of course--as implied by the fact that it took me a while to figure out how to play it--but it's also refreshingly unique and features some really impressive spritework.
Will I ditch all of the above and get back to THE "DENPA" MEN 3 and Etrian Odyssey IV this week? I'm not at all sure, to tell you the truth. I have a feeling, though, what ends up happening will fall somewhere between those two extremes (as in, I'll probably continue to play Final Fantasy Adventure while also playing one or both of the 3DS titles).
See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts