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SummaryThe game Nintendo doesn't want you to play.
The GoodIn 1985, Nintendo released their popular Super Mario Bros. game to the public, and it was the first true platform game for any system. Although the game was a huge success, Nintendo only released the game for their NES but they had no intentions of porting this over to other systems at the time. Time Warp, a little known German company, created The Great Giana Sisters as a result, and their brand new game was very similar to SMB, but they wanted something original, rather than the commonly used theme of rescuing the princess held captive in a castle.
Time Warp had the character having a dream where they are exploring a land infested with monsters, dragons, wasps, and the like; and the only way to escape the land is to find a magic diamond. But in addition to this change, Mario was replaced by a punk named Giana, the enemies and power-ups were different, and both the blocks with the scrolling question marks and the flag at the end of each level was not shown. Thus, The Great Giana Sisters was born.
In Giana Sisters, the first few levels are similar to SMB; but from then on, the game introduces its own elements ranging from platforms that collapse under your feet TO blocks that turn into boulders when you bump into them. These elements add challenge to the level; and if you are not paying attention, you could lose a life. There are more power-ups that include regular, bouncing, and homing shots. Although you can kill monsters with these three shots, enemies like piranhas are invincible to these shots. You have to jump over them again, and this add to the challenge. The places that they can be found are very narrow. and they are difficult to pass by just jumping over them.
The title picture looks colorful with the main enemies around Giana and the yellow castle in the distance. The words that make up the title are written in Doctor Who style (at the time when Sylvester McCoy appeared in the series). Giana is seen wearing a red T-shirt and a blue mini-skirt; her breasts show underneath the T-shirt. She looks more revealing than she does as you are playing the game.
In my opinion, Giana looks so much colorful than Mario, and the monsters look exactly the same as they are in SMB. Giana herself grows a mohawk that looks good on her when she collects the first power-up. The light-blue background for the levels is not spectacular as the backgrounds that are used in future games, but that bland background is also used in SMB and I didn't notice this as I played through the entire game.
When it comes to music, I believe that Giana Sisters has an excellent soundtrack, starting from the melody you hear on the title screen right down to the actual game play. The sound effects are similar to what you hear on SMB. I enjoyed listening to Giana's screams when you lose one of her lives. The controls are easy to follow since they are the same as those in SMB's.
The Bottom LineThe Great Giana Sisters is a very good game which plays similar to SMB for the first three or so levels, then moves away and introduces different elements to make the game more challenging. The graphics and sound is great, and the controls are easy to follow.
The differences were not good enough for Nintendo as demanded the game be withdrawn from sale. They wanted the 2D side-scrolling platform genre all to themselves. This incident led to the cancellation of the ZX Spectrum release. But it was too late: everyone made illegal copies of the game before Nintendo got involved, and the joke was on Nintendo.