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Garfield and his Nine Lives (Game Boy Advance)

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Written by  :  Riemann80 (18291)
Written on  :  Jun 17, 2011
Rating  :  1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars

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Summary

Boring.

The Good

The sprites look not too bad, and they are animated well. Also, the control scheme is alright. And, well, the game is starring Garfield.

The Bad

While the characters are drawn quite nicely, the backgrounds look rather bland and undetailed. There are barely enough objects in the fore- and background to prevent the environment from looking completely deserted, and the game does not conceal the least that the levels are built from squares, which altogether makes the game look like a mediocre shareware title.

The music is also far from being spectacular. I found the tracks quite forgettable, and they hardly fit the corresponding level. I would describe it as mixture of the music from the Wii Sports games and elevator music.

There is also a problem with controls. They are not unresponsive, but due the animation, Garfield's kick attack is quite delayed when you press the button, which gets annoying over the time, especially when trying to enemies in mid-air.

The story is not only a bad dream, but also a bad joke. It's just an excuse to send Garfield through this nine disjointed levels. I do not even see why they did come with it, as there are no story elements between the levels, so they could have just left it out altogether, especially as it wasn't even worth of getting an intro sequence. Furthermore, they did not even imply the "9 lives" concept (as it's the same Garfield in all of the levels), unless Garfield has lived an entire life on John's parents' farm, another one on a tree, another one in a sewer,... and so forth.

The level design is even more bland than most of the visuals and music. You're mostly running around, collecting things and punching enemies. The gameplay is stripped to the most common and worn-out ingredients of platformers. The stages are built by the numbers, there is nothing really interesting, neither in the structure, nor in the usable objects, the theme of the level, the design of the enemies - the amount of genericness is almost painful. You do not even get interesting locations, just the ones dozens of jump'n'runs have featured before, like a haunted house, a sewer or a science lab. And you won't find anything notable you haven't already expected when seeing the setting of the level.

Last but not least, the game hasn't really much to do with Garfield, apart from a few character sprites (a common issue with licensed titles). The game does not have the typical Garfield humour, and the lack of a real story prevents further connections with the comics or the TV series.

The Bottom Line

In all in all, the game is not horrible, but on the other hand it is also a primary example of genericness with a license slapped on it. Yes, it's a kids' game, but that's no excuse for being boring. Although I must admit that I'm the wrong person to give a suitable estimate of what children like to play, I have my doubts they would regard it as highly as the model platformers on the Gameboy Advance. If you're looking for a colourful, kid-friendly and not-to-hard jump'n'run, you should rather take a look at the Kirby games, for example. And if you are a Garfield fan and would play a 2D platformer starring your favourite feline, then play Garfield: Caught in the Act on the Mega Drive / Genesis instead. It's not a fantastic game, either, but at least it is fun in contrast to this snorefest.