GAMEBOY COLOR! @gbc
Army Men (Game Boy Color)
A mildly amusing romp with those little plastic men you probably melted on the kitchen stove.
Ahh....army men. What boy didn't have these things growing up ? I had hundreds ! But at a dollar a bag, it's not hard to accumulate that many.
This is the Game Boy Color version of Army Men. In it you play Sarge. As, you guessed it !, a Sargent in the Green army. You're tasked with infiltrating the evil Tan forces territory and taking out buildings, picking up technology, scientist, or obliterating everything in sight. Mostly obliterating everything in sight. The story is simplistic, but amusing. It centers around finding the Tan super weapon, and stopping the Tan dictator's army from invading the Green country. It plays out like a WWII propaganda film in the cutscenes. But most of the story comes at the beginning of the levels with text. It's still fun finding out what come next though.
The best looking graphics are the digitized cutscenes in the game. Some are taken from Army Men 3D, but they still work here. They're also some of the highest color cutscenes on the Game Boy Color I've seen. As for the rest of the game, it's a bit mixed. The action takes place from a overhead, semi-isometric perspective. This would provide ample opportunity to make fairly detailed graphics, but sadly this isn't the case. The graphics are slightly grainy, but it's still very easy to tell everything apart. All the crates containing the different ammo in the game are marked with letters, so you always know what you're picking up. The explosions are actually pretty good. Nice rich color and high resolution. The animation on the other hand is another mixed bag. Sarge has obviously been rotoscoped, but he moves pretty slow. It's neat to see him move, but the enemy soldiers are a almost pain to watch. But sometimes when you shoot them, they fly into a million little pieces ! Or melt with the flamethrower. And if you stand far enough away, sometimes you can see them patrolling the area. The maps, and the menus all look good and were well thought out. A overall, good to average graphics style.
What a treat ! I turned this on, played boot camp, and nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard "Grenades ! These'll come in handy !". It's also fun hearing Tan soldiers scream when you run them over with a tank or jeep. It's a fairly rare thing when a GBC game has digitized sound, but few that I know of, other than Bionic Commando, have speech ! And the lines are actually fun to listen to. It's gives a extra dimension of depth to a game that would normally have been mediocre. It gives Sarge some personality. "A mortar ! Hm hm hm." That line in particular is the most humorous. And for being a GBC game it's remarkably clear. The GBC is supposed to be a little less powerful than the NES, but any NES game with digitized sound sounded awful. Granted, you can hear the electronic ring in it through head phones, or a GBA speaker. But it still sounds awesome. Aside from speech, all the other sounds are digitized. The gun, grenades, explosions, everything ! And it all sounds like what it's supposed to. The only thing disappointing is the music. I'll get to that in the bad section. Overall superb sound !
"A" fires you'r weapon, "B" switches weapons,select brings up the menu, and start can drop a weapon if you need to. There are actually so few good things to say about the controls, other than they're tight and responsive. So expect a tirade about them below.
The most important aspect of any game is if it's fun to play. Army Men provides a mildly fun adventure through the world of plastic men and real combat. The boot camp introduces you to most of the weapons in the game you'll be using. The levels are spread out over the desert and Alpine theaters of the Green versus Tan war. The desert, predictably, is BORING. The Alpine theater is where the best levels take place. Most of the missions are VERY simple, and rarely require a lot of thought. Seek out, destroy. You have a variety of weapons at your disposal though. And there are even two levels where you get to drive jeeps and tanks. The driving controls were that sames as Sarge's, but more responsive and faster. But other than those few missions with vehicles, and building destruction, about all you'll do is kill Tan soldiers. Over and over and over and over again. FOR 28 LEVELS. But the combat is never boring. You'll usually be surrounded, but never overwhelmed. But considering that this game is about army men, and on the GBC, it's more than likely this game was aimed at a younger audience. I suspect the six year old boys still fascinated with the little plastic guys that are on the game's box. But it can still prove to be a good time killer for older gamers.
The only thing to really say here is that this game uses a password system. I don't really like the password system. Read below why.
For the most part the graphics were OK, but the animation was pretty stiff. I know that Sarge was rotoscoped, but the Prince in Prince of Persia moved faster than Sarge does ! And the tan soldiers are very unimpressive. They're stiff, and and usually just stand around until you get there.
You'll be wowed by the music that plays at the title screen, but not the music that plays during the game. It's simple marching drum beat that's been digitized. You like drums ? I hope so, because that track you hear in the first level plays in the second level. And the third. And the fourth. And all the way to the end of the 28 levels. It's a good thing you can turn it off. Not that it matters, because when any other sound effect comes up, the music is cancelled out. I have never seen such laziness in sound design in my life !
The straw that broke the camel's back. You have two choices of control options. One where a arrow on the D-pad always takes you up, down left or right. And the other that lets you move relative to your position in the game with the D-pad. Facing up ? Press up. Facing down ? Press down. Now this wouldn't be such a problem if it weren't for two things. Control setup "A" is far to loose and setup "B" is far to stiff. But control setup "B" is preferable to "A" because it's more predictable. "A" swings wayyyyy to much. And can cost you in a hot combat zone. While on "B", it's murder trying to line Sarge up for a shot, especially a diagonal shot. EERRGG !
This problem stems from the slow animation. There are only a couple of these instances, but they can ruin a whole mission some times. If you're caught in the sights of a Tan grenade thrower, RUN ! Oh wait, YOU CAN'T ! Because sarge is soooo slow, if you get hit by a grenade, it results in a huge amount of health lost, or instant death. This becomes particularly infuriating when you can't even see the grenade thrower, making for some very cheap hits. And to make this even worse, grenade throwers are usually in a thick zone of riflemen. So if you loose some health, you better have some backup somewhere, or it's game over. And why can you only carry three of ANYTHING at a time ? This makes little sense. And why are there only TWO levels with vehicles ? I play all the way till the end to barely get to use my jeep and tank to run over Tan soldiers ? What a rip !
Even though password feature is imaginatively done (tanks, grenades, and jeeps as symbols) and the levels were fairly short, this game desperately needed a battery. There are simply too many levels to use a password for. I could see ten, even twelve levels using a password, but TWENTY-EIGHT LEVELS SPREAD OVER TWO AREAS is simply not good enough ! Shame on you 3DO.
The Bottom Line
Army Men provides a mildly amusing romp in the world of the plastic toys most small boys have memories about. But this game was more aimed at those still playing with those little plastic men. It's worth picking up if you want to hear your GBC talk, or you want something for the youngsters. But I really don't recommend this for other than those two reasons. Unless you're a Amy Men fan. In which case you might want to get some help for that.
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on October 20th, 2015
A interesting piece of history, but little else.
THERE WAS A LOT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THIS GAME.
The Bottom Line
So, Wipeout. Everybody loves Wipeout right? Even the first one? Not so much. There are a number of reasons for that. First, a little info. In the future there is, get this, hover crafts! Really fast hover crafts! And just like today, humans must professionally race things that go fast! The manual tells the story of how this sport got to where it is, but it basically boils down to being the Indy 500 of the future. But with repulsors, not V12s.
So you start out the game, and from the get go, you have a generous selection of crafts and and tracks to choose from (Six tracks in total.). One class of crafts is unlocked in championship mode. The other class has four craft manufacturers, and two crafts for each one. Each one varies in weight, but I couldn't tell a difference on the track.
The game features the standard championship, single race, time trial and multiplayer modes. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Except the multiplayer. I was going to check out that option and, what the hell? Searching for other Playstation unit? What does that mean? Oh yeah! The parallel.. link.. cable. Did anybody ever buy that? I have exactly ONE other game that even uses it. Why can't I use the second controller port? Who wants to drag a console, another copy of the game, AND A TV to their friends house just to play a game? Err. So multiplayer is out the window, but I'm sure the single player will be better! Siiigghh
Now before I get to the racing, I simply have to mention how GORGEOUS this game is. Especially for such a early PS1 game. Almost everything is brightly colored, well texured polygons. 98% of the stuff on the side of the track is polygon as well. Giant signs, structures and rolling landscapes add to the atmosphere. There isn't much pop-up or clipping either. Aside from the tracks, the crafts themselves look great. The different crafts are really just the same model with a different set of textures on them, but they look really cool. Even the menus look cool. The icons are all large polygon objects that look reasonably close to the real thing. (Memory card, controller, exct.)
The game in general oozes visual style. I'm not sure what you would call the art style of this game, but I'm going to call it...post modern\communist urban techno scifi rave style. (Don't you just love art?) You know the kind. Futuristic fonts, lots of little moving lines, cubic and circular character designs, unknown text and numbers all over the place pointing to things? It's great eye candy and adds extra flare to a already awesome looking game.
Well enough blabbering about the graphics, onto the racing! The controls are pretty basic. X is acceleration, circle fires your weapon, triangle toggles between first person or external view, and the R2 and L2 are the air brakes. The air breaks are tricky. When you go into a sharp turn, you have to hit them at just the right time, or you'll crash into the corner. But then again, you might be crashing a lot anyway.
Why? Well, once you start a race, you get up to speed pretty fast. The sense of speed is exhilarating! But the first tight turn you come to and, BAM! You hit it! And then you're ping ponged a few times on the walls before you get going again. This happens a LOT. Why? Well, the manual say that the game is compatible with the PS1 Mouse. Hmm. Why would that be? Could the D-pad on the controller not be precise enough to properly steer the ship? Why I'll be damned, IT IS! At first anyway. You can play with it, but it takes a LOT of practice. Just to review this game, I had to use a third party PS2 controller that lets you use the analog sticks to play regardless of whether or not the game uses them. The handling was dramatically smoother, and more precise. But even then, I found myself still eating it a lot.
It's even worse when you're racing against other people though. They're always hitting you with weapons. Don't worry though, they're not very powerful. I never seemed to get anything but lock on missiles, and even then, they only worked when the target was directly in front of you. There's also a shield, but it barely lasts one section of track. Why include the weapons at all? Sure they do some damage and slow you down a bit, but it's not like they're strategic or anything. They just seem like a randomly tacked on feature.
Then there are the speed boost arrows. (Blue arrows on the ground always make hover craft go faster right?) This would seem to be a good thing as they're all over the damn place! It's as if the developers knew that players would be constantly slowing down so they put them all over the track. But you're already going really fast, and these arrows make you go so fast, it's hard to adjust to the new speed. Tight turns? Not even the air brakes will save you. Which brings up another thing. What's with the air brakes? Why do I need two drift brakes when a single regular brake would have been just as good, or even better? I can't even make tight turns WITH the air brakes!
Which brings me to my biggest complaint. All the problems this game has could have been greatly alleviated by one, simple thing: WIDER TRACKS. The first track is plenty wide, and only has one narrow area. But subsequent tracks get so narrow, and have such tight turns, if you make one mistake, you lose you field position. It's even hard to get a position above seventh most of the time. All of this has ruined what once could have been a decent racing game.
OK! So the racing isn't so hot. Please tell the music and sound effects are good at least! You know what? I couldn't fricking tell you! This is the part that makes me really mad! The sound effects and music volume move in unison. But not like you think. Turn the music up, the sound effects go down. Turn the music down, the sound effects go up. Who the hell told Psygnosis that was ok?!?!?! If you want to hear both, you have to turn the volume on the tv waaayyy up. Not that it ultimately matters. The sound effects are pretty boring, but at least the music doesn't sound horribly dated. It's 90s techno, so I'm not sure whether that's good or bad, but I thought it was rather unremarkable. At least the audio is consistent with the game environment. Go through tunnel? It echos. Get near the grand stands? You hear the crowd cheering you on for some reason. Small, but nice touches.
So let's recap. The graphics are gorgeous, the controls are highly suspect, the game would have been better with wider tracks and the sound is boring. I really wanted to like this game, but it just has way too many flaws to forgive. It's a interesting historical item, but little else. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a post modern\communist urban techno scifi rave to go to.
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on May 30th, 2011
Centipede (Atari 2600)
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on April 17th, 2011
Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2)
Desperate love leads a young man to slay the mightiest of giants.
Most gamers have heard of Shadow of the Colossus by now. But what about the average person who's never even heard of this game? Describing it as "A game where you slay 16 huge monsters across a empty world." is criminally misleading. Yes, you have to destroy 16 giants, but why?
Love. That's the reason you (The wanderer in the game.) came to this land. To seek out a ancient cursed shrine. On your horse (Agro.), lies the body of young woman. She was sacrificed for reasons you can't fathom. But you love her, and would go to these accursed lands, just to save her. It's said, a being named Dormin lives there and it can bring back the souls of the dead. As you lay your love on a altar in the central shrine, Dormin speaks to you. As you speak to the godlike being, it offers to bring back the soul of the maiden. But only if you slay sixteen mighty beings called Colossus. Your love for her is so deep and desperate, you agree to go out into this barren land time has buried, and set out on the impossible task.
It is only you and Agro on this journey. Your only weapons are a magic sword, and a bow. The sword, when held up in sunlight, reflects intense beams of light. As you turn around left or right, the beams start to converge, and become one beam at a certain point. The merged beams point to the location of the colossi. Go in that direction, and you will find it. But it's not like going point a to b. This a wholly contained world you must travel across to get to it. There are no neatly divided sections. It's remarkably consistent in style, no matter how different the environment.
Great stone ruins are scattered across your path. Withered and hewn by the forces of time, they loom over you, like they were carved by gods. Stone temples carved into mountain sides out of sheer will, are slowly filling with dust. Scant traces of road can be found at bridges, barely holding onto the chasms they span. Stone steps and arches that have no more travelers. Only weeds and ancient dust. Crumbling canyon walls disguise the road you ride upon. Large stones that tumbled in make it uneven, grass and dirt hide what's underneath. It seems a work of nature, until you come across road markers. Untraveled, neglected roads that lead to dead cities. Great vaulted dwelling places, large open stone yard, water drains and tall spires is what they're made of. Lonely for nobody now, it crumbles away where nobody can see it. How odd that it's bright and covered in green foliage.
One can't help but wonder what great people once lived here. What magnitude of disaster makes a place so ruinous? How long ago was this land forsaken? All fruitless questions, as no answers are ever given. Only you are left to wonder why.
Perhaps it isn't so sad. Nature seems to keep this place company, even while aggressively eroding it. Weeds take root on crumbling stone edifices no matter how shallow the soil. Great washes of green cover cliffs, canyons and plains. The forests are damp, shady, and cool. Streams flowing from places you'll never see, fall over deep chasms, slowly eroding them into cliffs. A stray lizard or bird is almost the only type of life you'll see in these lands. Even fish don't appear that often. They swim in flooded court yards, that are now like small lakes. Large collections broken of stone collect at the bottom of high canyon walls. The brightest and most beautiful green grass grows there. It leads into dry, blighted areas, where it seems nothing lives. Not even weeds deem those places fit to live in. The sun doesn't even care to shed much light on this place. The desert seems like a relief from this wholly dead and depressing place. Low dunes undulated across it's openness. Only occasionally interrupted by a free standing set of stones, or a few blocks of a building long gone.
All of this describes the world you explore. You think the landscapes alone are pushing the PS2 to its limits? Just look at Agro. He moves like a real horse. He has momentum when he runs, and takes a moment to slow down. He even stands around like a real horse. Even you move like a real human being. If just the two of you are so well portrayed, what will these colossi be like? The time for wondering is over. You have arrived at your destination. You have to climb a high wall to get to it though. You're suddenly reminded that Agro is the only living thing in these lands that cares for you, and he is your only source of companionship. As you climb off of him, you can give him a comforting pat with the circle button, unsure whether you'll ever see him again. As you pull up the cliff, the ground starts to shake. Dust comes in large drifts. Trees, barely alive shake all the way to their roots. And then it appears, the first colossus.
It lumbers across the plateau unaware of your presence. It stops and stands at the other end, just looking around. It's larger than you dared even imagine. You pull out you bow, and let loose one arrow into its back. It groans, and turns to face you. It's looking right. At. You. It starts moving towards you. Now is the time to start running towards it.
Suicide you might say. But the only way to defeat it is to climb it, and find its weak spots. Simply plugging it with arrows and slashing at it wildly won't subdue the giant. But how? Its skin is covered in fur and protective stone! Panic sets in. Then it dawns on you. You can grab it's fur and armor to get where you need to go. You climb it's back, and jump to each armor piece. It'll try to shake you off. You have a energy meter that wears down the more you hold onto the the behemoth. It will momentarily stay still long enough to let go of it's fur and let you run to it's weak spot, refilling your energy in the process. You pull out your magic sword to make the spot appear glowing. You grab hold on top of the spot, but the colossus thrashes violently to shake you off. After each thrash is the time to strike, plunging your sword in deep, and pulling it out again and again until his life bar is empty. Great plumes of black blood gush out, almost obscuring your view. The throws become even more violent until the last stab drains all of the creatures resolve to fight, and to live. It falls with such force, the ground all around it shudders and shatters. A great thing is now dead. As it falls, you see the light literally go out in its eyes. Its essence, is a black vapor that envelopes it, evaporates, and then is drawn into you. This surge of energy makes you collapse, and black out.
The game prompts you to save, and you wake up at the central shrine. Weary, and exhausted, you rise to your feet. A idol representing the colossus you just destroyed, lights up with energy, and crumbles. Dormin describes the next colossus, and you start a new trek for the next one. Agro comes trotting in after a few moments, somehow knowing where his master is. But the journey and colossus are not the same as the last. Some live in lakes, long undisturbed. Others live in neglected, secret gardens. There are even those that fly. Soaring high in the sky, dipping and rising up with ease.
They all move with awe inspiring confidence. They are often unaware of your presence. Why should they care? You are nothing more than a fast moving blot darting around their feet. Others, so hungry for sport or destruction, see you as a excuse to wantonly chase or destroy. Each one is so intricately detailed with fur, armor, and mottled skin. The texture capabilities of the PS2 are pushed to the limit on these moving mountains. They're almost XBOX quality. It pushes animation to the brink as well. Every part of their bodies are articulated. They have weight, momentum, and fierce intelligence. Some relentlessly pursue you. Others try their best to avoid you. Just trying to figure out how to get onto them later in the game represents most of the challenge.
After a while, you start to feel bad for them. Such proud and magnificent beings, slain in a matter of moments. But it is for your love you do this. Surely these beings did something to deserve their fate. Why else would they such life draining spots. Perhaps they were cursed with them? Maybe they destroyed this land? Or maybe Dormin is lying to you. Has it some grudge against them? Until the end, you are given no answers. If you do not act, it will not restore the life of your loved one. If you continue, you might be being used for murder. Your lover for her is too strong. You continue.
Greater strength is needed to grasp the later colossi. Each one you defeat gives you greater health and strength, but it can be gained additionally by eating fruit from certain trees scattered across the land and collecting white tailed lizards. Those lizards are only found at save shrines. Small shrines that mimic the central shrine, can restore your health, and save you much backtracking on longer journeys.
The last colossus is the longest journey of all. It seems like a eternity to get there, but at the end, lies the last battle for the soul of your love. Have you forgotten? All these battles, lonely trips and hardships were for her. You are ragged, filthy, and exhausted. Your skin has a strange color to it. No longer the same as you started, but not noticeably darker. You have no time. The final battle is here.
All of the pretty words I've written so far can't possibly describe how epic (Yes, I know how overused that word is.) the final battle is. It truly must be experienced first hand. The ending is unexpected, horrifying, beautiful, and surprising hopeful. That's all I'll say. The game is a experience you have to play to fully understand, no matter how long a review describes it.
It really feels like a living, breathing world, and all the sounds that go with it. Wind rolling across the plains, birds chirping in the forest, soothing water falling over the cliffs, and the stillness of the desert. A Sweeping musical score plays just before, and during battle. Other times, it plays softly for intimate, emotionally charged moments. But for the most part, there is no music. Why would you need it? It would only distract from the natural sounds in the landscape.
I can't come up with anything else without spoiling the game, so I'll tell you about some of the other features of the game. Unlike ICO, there are extras to unlock replaying the game. New items like masks, harder difficulty and new weapons are a few. But the biggest reason is to explore the landscape. Even after defeating all the colossus, there are still huge amounts of land to be explored.
That's about it for the good. Now unfortunately, comes the bad.
Like nothing else in the game, the camera really fucks it all up sometimes. Team ICO apparently couldn't decide whether or not to make the camera manual or auto controlled. After moving, in a few seconds, it goes back to the default. It doesn't matter much when you're traveling across the landscape, but in the heat of battle it can get pretty frustrating.
The controls are somewhat erratic too. Just trying to get on Agro sometimes will drive you crazy! And he doesn't keep a steady speed very well, so you have to keep tapping the X button to keep him going.
The music seems like it has a hard time keeping up with what's on screen sometimes. Depending on how far away you are from the colossus, the music gets louder or softer. Sometimes it takes it a few seconds to get up to speed when you're suddenly close to it again.
That pretty much wraps things up.
The Bottom Line
Shadow of the Colossus is a game that has no equal. There's simply been nothing like it before or since. Anybody who considers themselves a gamer should play this game. Period. For somebody who's never played this game, go out and find this game. Period. These closing words may seem too brief, but I mean, come on! I just wrote a huge review trying to describe the game to you! I loved it, and that's all I can say.
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on January 31st, 2011
Donkey Kong Land III (Game Boy Color)
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on February 4th, 2010
Blades of Steel (NES)
Face Off !!!
Despite the fact I know next to nothing about hockey, I thoroughly enjoyed Blades of Steel. Why ? Read the review. Sheesh, how many times have you had to figure that out ?
OK, as I said before I'm no hockey expert, but I'll try not to embarrass myself too much. The basic goal of the game is to send the puck into the opposing player's net. First off, to get possession of the puck, you hit the "B" button like mad to get the puck into your possession. You can also hold down a direction button to pass initial possession to a team member in the line up.
You can be a hero and try to get the puck into the net by yourself, or pass it to another team member closer to the net. You can also intercept the other teams passes, making for some dramatic 30 second scoring opportunities. I think you get the general idea of the offense, but what makes this game different from other hockey games of the time is when the opposing players have the puck, the game automatically changes your defensive player, so you're always near the puck. When it's near your net, you automatically gain control of the goalie. If the opposing player misses, and you catch the puck, you can pass it back to one of your players. To win a game, you have to have the most points before the clock runs out.
OK, now that I covered the basics (In a very boring fashion.), lets get to some of the more unique aspects. You know how hockey players tend to beat each other senseless on the ice occasionally ? Well, that happens on a regular basis here. If the opposing player isn't exactly in the sharing mood with the puck, you can fight him for it. It goes to a side view, where you have to rapidly press the "B" button to punch, or "A" to block. The first to run out of energy loses the puck.
Now I know what you're thinking. "But Daniel ! It sounds like any hockey game I could buy !" WRONG ! All hockey games are essentially the same as far as rules go (Or so I'm told.), but Blades of Steel puts all the elements of a good hockey game together with a fast paced, aggressive arcade style. Because your defensive player automatically changes to wherever the puck is, it eliminates the frustration of changing your defensive player (Unlike Nintendo's Ice Hockey.). This means you can play fast and aggressive.
You still have to be mindful though, because the AI is pretty tough at times. Oh yeah, there are penalty shots, but that only happened twice to me. One nice surprise that comes during half time, is you can play a mini shooter on the video screen. It even has advertisements for other Konami games ! The game modes are pretty standard, with single game, career mode and two player. The two player isn't as exciting as I thought it would be, but it's still fun. Standout gameplay all around.
While the graphics are detailed, they aren't spectacular. All the players are well defined, and animated smoothly. The player you control always blinks, so you know who you're playing as. The puck slides quite easily across the ice, without any awkward movements. All the players and teams are multi colored, but use the same models. The rink is pretty plain, but has a nice semi-three dimensional aspect to it. My favorite touch is before and after every round, the teams dance around the ice in a choreographed routine. Hilarious ! Good marks for the graphics.
This is another area where Blades of Steel stands out. Although attempted before, the digitized sounds are done better here than in earlier games. "Blades of Steel.", "Face off !", "Get the puck !", "Fight !", "OOF !", "AHH !" and one other I can't remember. Even today, you can still make out what they're saying, despite it being pretty scratchy. As for the other sounds, they're the standard beeps and shuffle static sounds. The music is good, but somewhat subdued. Overall a nice package.
"A" is slap shot, "B" is pass during the normal game, and "A" is block, and "B" is punch during the fight sequences. And the directional pad moves you around. Not much to say other than all the controls are responsive and easy to learn.
There is a bit of a confusion factor to the game. Although your character blinks, when all the other players crowd together, it can be hard to tell where you're at. Or when you accidentally intercept a pass, you might not know what's going on for a few seconds because everything is moving so fast. The only other thing is the game can get a little repetitive after a while.
The announcer constantly shouting "Get the puck !" gets real old, real fast.
The Bottom Line
If a person like me who has only watched two whole hockey games in his entire life can like this game, it's pretty much guaranteed anybody will. A classic that definitely stands the test of time.
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on October 24th, 2009
Donkey Kong 64 (Nintendo 64)
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on April 7th, 2009
Tomb Raider II (PlayStation)
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on March 10th, 2009
Crazy Taxi (PlayStation 2)
YEAH YEAH YEAH YEEEEEAH YEAAAAHHHH !
Those looking for deep, rich fun need not look here ! It's pure arcade, out of control action ! For the uninitiated, Crazy Taxi is a game where you pick up passengers and take them to their destinations on time to get paid "CRAZY MONEY !" Now that you're initiated, you are now ready to make CRAZY MONEY !
Picking up random strangers and taking them places might sound like a bad idea, but it's actually fun ! You know, because here there's no muggers or hookers wanting rides here. I think it's time to get to the gameplay mechanics before my mind wanders somewhere else. I'm not sure the cabbies you play would mind that much anyway. You get four to choose from. Axel, a punker with a bad attitude and a awesome head of green hair. Gena, the hottie of the bunch, who gerunckle isperabby kththththhh blabablab, uh what was I saying ? oh yeah, cabbies. The ultra hip, hip hop dude B.D. Joe, and the middle age Vegas type of guy Gus. You have quite a colorful cast to choose from, but more cabbies would have been nice. I personally like Axel the most.
Anyway, passengers are ranked by how much they'll pay you, and how far you have to take them. Red and orange for quick "CRAZY MONEY !" and short distances, yellow and green for long distances and lots of "CRAZY MONEY !". To pick up a passenger just stop in they're highlighted ring and they'll jump in your cab. To get your "CRAZY MONEY !" you'll need to get them there in the time limit above their head. If it runs out they jump out of your cab even at full speed ! Why did they jump out ? Maybe you hit too many cars along the way. Yes, you can hit cars in this game and not come to a screeching halt ! You can even knock over a bus ! It'll slow you down, but it's still cool ! What's even more, cool is the ability to drive ON THE SIDEWALK, UNDERWATER, AND JUMP OVER CARS IN TRAFFIC ! You'll need a ramp for that last one but still ! You can even scatter pedestrians, but not run them over. (Hey, this isn't GTA !) All of this is determined by how far you get within the main time limit. You can choose from three to ten minutes to pick up as many passengers and "CRAZY MONEY !" as you can. Worried about getting lost ? No worries, as a huge arrow points the direction you need to go. Once the time limit runs out, you're graded on your performance. I usually rank a B.
"But Daniel ? I've played all the different mission times and the afternoon isn't over yet ? WHAT WILL I DO !?" Go out and play in the sun ! Yeah I know, it's cold outside (Or hot depending on what time of year you read this review.), but it might be fun ! Just remember to bring a Game Boy. Anyway, after you finish the main modes, there are a slew of mini games to play. The only ones different from the normal part of the game are the "CRAZY JUMP !" and "CRAZY BOWLING !". All are fairly fun, but only marginally. Over all for the gameplay, CRAZY fun !
YEAH YEAH YEAH YEEEEEAH YEAAAAHHHH ! Whoops ! Sorry, it's a very catchy song. Well since it's stuck in my head, I'll reveal that the soundtrack for this game is provided by the Offspring and Bad Religion ! I've never heard of the latter, but the Offspring deliver the best track of the whole game. It goes, YEAH YEAH YEAH YEEEEEAH YEAAAAHHHH ! OK I promise not to do that anymore. Fortunately the rest of the game measures up. Loud crashes, big bangs and most of the passengers have something to say ! I love it when Axel gets mad and says "Yeah yeah I got it !" It's also fun to hear the pedestrians scream when you're coming. Then there's the narrator, but I'll get to him later. So to wrap it up for sound, CRAZY good !
Stunning for their time, they've aged better than most. The people all look angular, but the texture mapping has managed to look good because of it's simplicity. Nice vibrant colors are much nicer to look at than ugly complicated ones. That's not to say they're without detail, (That would be CRAZY !). All the houses, buildings, cars, people and other objects are nicely rendered with a very nice style. The beaches and the hills look the best. Given that this was a Dreamcast port, it's held up even better to the test of time. Most Dreamcast to PS2 ports look rough now looking back on them. (Ecco comes to mind.) It's really hard to get more descriptive than that with a arcade game, but I'm trying ! Overall for graphics, CRAZY FRESH ! I know I know, I'll stop. Maybe.
Simple. Simple simple simple. And responsive ! You have the gas, brake, horn and a button to toggle reverse and drive. Nuff said.
The game starts to wear "CRAZY !" thin after a while. Sure it's arcade action at it's best, but that's the problem. It's an arcade game. It was meant for ten minutes of play. Most likely the time you run out of quarters. This was not meant for days on end of play. it's fun for that afternoon of fun, but you'll likely feel more than a little bored after a while. Don't get any delusions that this is Gran Turismo. Also, I found it hard to get around town. It was too easy to get stuck on sidewalks, and when knocking over a big bus, it was hard to get out it's way on time. Oh did I mention all the name brand stores in the game ? ("yo ! Take me to Pizza Hut !") It's a sad reminder of what Sega was willing to do keep themselves afloat at the time. Overall, it's fun, but ultimately a shallow ride.
There are only two things that stink in the sound department. One. The announcer. He's so out of place ! He sounds like somebody from a truck stop ! And his adding "CRAZY !" to everything gets old the THIRD time you hear it. Second. Sure you have the Offspring and Bad Religion as the soundtrack. That sounds like a dream, but it's painfully apparent how much money Sega was losing at the time (Apart from the aforementioned name brand name stores.) because they only licensed FOUR songs. Even YEAH YEAH YEAH YEEEEEAH YEAAAAHHHH ! gets mind numbing after a while. Yeah yeah I know I promised. Sue me. And the game kept skipping some songs after 30 seconds ! That might be just my disk, but it's very annoying.
Fortunately the graphics only suffer from common problems of their day. Some of the pop-up became pretty bad near the ocean. A whole mountain popped up twenty feet in front of me ! At one point the whole road clipped out in front of me ! That only happened once, but it's troubling. And the texture resolution is really starting to show it's age.
The Bottom Line
Great fun for a weekend, but not much of classic. I still recommend picking it up anyway since it's so cheap, but don't get your hopes up too high.
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on January 4th, 2009
Tekken. What other game besides Street Fighter comes to your mind when you think of fighting games ? Besides Virtua Fighter, DOA, King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat, oh never mind.
Gameplay is what makes or breaks a game. Does Tekken make the cut ? Press start to continue ! OK, there's nothing out of the ordinary here. Punches, kicks, and throws. What makes it different from every other non-descript fighter before it ? It's in 3D ! Sure, there was Toshinden and Virtua Fighter, but neither of those were this smooth. For masters of all the awesome combos, you can be an unstoppable machine ! Pummel, throw and fight your way to the top ! And in addition to regular throws and such, you can punch and kick opposing fighters while they're still on the ground ! There are two different kinds of throws for each character to make it extra juicy. (Extra juicy if it's your friend playing against you !) If you beat the game with all eight characters, you get eight more to play with. Oh, did I mention you get to play Galaga at the load screen ? Why did that never catch on ? So much fun.
HIGH-YA! Sound is really not a strength for fighting games, so the sound here is pretty average.There's plenty of easy to listen music.(Why did I say easy to listen to ? Because most game's music of that time when on a CD format was total garbage.) Most of characters have their own unique sounds, but some are recycled for opposite personality fighters. It's not bad by any stretch, but not terribly inventive either.
This is where Tekken has showed it's age, but I'll get to that later. The animation is still as smooth today as it was back then. I was shocked when I got to the boss fight and saw how fast he moved, without loosing his smooth animation. The fighters are all polygon based, and are fairly well designed. It's still easy to tell what part of the fighter is what. With some older polygon games, it's awfully confusing to tell what exactly you're looking at some times.
One thing that's not confusing are the backgrounds. All are very varied, and highly imaginative. The baseball field is really cool. You can even see yourself on the big screen TV in the distance ! I personally like Windermere and Fiji the best. (Nothing says bloodsport like a tropical island.)
But aside from it's excellent graphics, Tekken is also know for it's highly realistic FMV. As always, there's one true ending, and fancy endings for the other characters. (It's Kazuya ! I won't spoil what it is though. Maybe.) FMV and all, this is still a great looking game.
Another reason Tekken is so long lived. The controls are dead simple. You have a left and right punch. A right left kick, and you press two of those buttons to throw your opponent clear across the screen. The controls are responsive, but really flexible. I'll get to that later though. To help, you can customize the button layout, but there's no real need. All in all, a good setup.
THIS GAME IS HARD ! Even with the fights down to one round, and the time set to twenty seconds, this game can still be unreasonably difficult near the end. I have always played Tekken on the medium setting, but this was almost too much for me. OK, a lot of this stems from the controls, but we haven't got that far in the review yet. (Unless you're skipping you lazy bums !) And some of the unlockable characters aren't worth the time. Devil Kazuya, and Heihachi require PERFECT precision to unlock. No two characters are worth all that trouble.
This game has aged better than most, but still shows it's age just like other games. Even by 1998 this game would have old. The characters are made up of lots of polygons for a 1994 game (It was in the arcade first.), but it still looks awfully blocky at times. Particularly Kuma. And the texture mapping on some of the characters looks ugly. (Kuma and King come to mind.)
The controls are smooth, but only after you spend more time than you should getting used to them. For new comers, and people that have other Tekkens first, they're awfully stiff. And even when you get good with them, you'll still be trounced by characters later on in the game. This makes the game harder than it should be.
The Bottom Line
Definitely a must have for Tekken junkies like myself, and great fun for anybody looking for a good fighting game. And since you can get it so cheap, there's no reason not to get it !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on November 15th, 2008
VS. Duck Hunt (NES)
Ruff ruff ruff!
Ahh...what can you say against Duck Hunt ? So many memories. Like not letting your sister have the zapper after an hour. Ahh... memories. But how could you not put it down? It's great arcade action! And extremely addicting!
You start the game, your hunting dog sniffs around, barks, and jumps into the grass and starts chasing out ducks.
The gameplay is very simple. Just point the light gun at the and shoot ! You only get three shots to get a duck that flies up on screen. Shoot too many times, or miss and it'll fly away. And then we all know what happens next. Your trusty dog pops out of the grass and laughs at you. I personally think it's kind of funny. He also holds up the ducks you shoot.
The real challenge of the game is increasing speed of the ducks, and your aim. If you're a lousy shot, you won't get very far. I got almost all the way to 22,000 points.
If you get tired of shooting ducks, you can always shoot clay targets! Yes, there's another game included ! It's at the bottom of the selection screen. It's slightly more challenging than the ducks. One cool aspect is you can shoot a target when it's really far away.
Oh yeah, and you have to use the Zapper gun with this game. There's only one downside though, but I'll get to that later. It's far better than using a controller.
The dog barking, the ducks, and that little chord that plays when you shoot a duck. Oh yeah, and the dog laughing at you. There's some music at the title screen, but it's not very memorable. And that's it more or less.
There's actually no control at all (unless you use cheats.) When you pull the trigger on the zapper, if you hit a duck, it registers it as a hit. It's only as accurate as your aim, so you can't say it cheats (Ha ha! You stink !)
The only downside as far as I can see is the need of the Zapper gun. You see, it works with reflection. That was no problem with old glass screen TV's, but today's flat screen TV's won't work with it. I know, I've tried. Other than that I have no complaints !
The Bottom Line
This is a great game for all ! If you read the review, I'm not sure how to convince you to try it, but you'll love it if you do !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on October 16th, 2008
Stress Reducers (Windows)
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on August 26th, 2008
Ant Attack (Windows)
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on August 26th, 2008
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on August 26th, 2008
Woo Ha !
I was expecting a neat experience from this much vaunted game, but whoa ! Aliens,mirror floors, handheld nukes, and giant exploding cows ! Well, strap yourself in for one of those wacky reviews ! And no, you can't get off ! (Laughs like a mad scientist.)
Some story first. This is a action game. Like I needed to explain that. But it's a very very very very very very, ...huh...., very very very very very VERY different action game. How ? Let me explain. First off you play Kurt. A ordinary explorer who works with his long time friend Dr. Fluke Hawkins. Along with his robot dog Bones. (Or as Kurt calls him, Max !) A evil force known as The Stream Riders are threatening Earth. (Mostly Scotland for some reason.) And it's up to Kurt to save the Earth with Dr. Hawkins coil suit.
Now on to how the suit works in the game. First is the parachute. It lets you glide and hover for a surprising distance. Another feature of the suit is the chain gun. Yup. Chain gun. Can you say fun !? It works exactly how you think it does. And it never runs out of ammo. (Yeeha !) The next is the most innovative of it's time. The sniper mode ! It shocked me how far I could go out with it. Plus you have all kinds of ammo. Grenades, mortars, and homing bullets. Cool. It's even cooler to snipe at a boss from a distance and see him duck for cover !
Now with the specifics done with, let jump onto the larger view of the game play. Aside from the stuff you read above, you can also carry items. Grenades, tornadoes, "World's Smallest Nuclear Explosion", and the "World's most interesting bomb.
But what good would all these neat weapons be without stuff to blow up ? Well, why are you asking me ? Anyway, you have all kind of adversaries in this game. Ranging from standard grunts, to huge armored flying bots. And at times there can literally be DOZENS of them onscreen at once ! And you can get yourself into real trouble if you don't pay attention. The AI in this game can be pretty tough at times. And there's a re-spawn hub that keeps spitting them out in some area's if you don't blow it up. Some times there are so many, that are so tough, if you just hang around...BOOM ! You loose all your progress. But amid all this mindless destruction, there are a few puzzles. All of them I remember being lob mortars into vent holes. Yeah. a few puzzles.
Most levels only require you to get to point 'a' to 'b'. And shoot anything that moves. But each level takes place inside a moving alien invading city. You have to stop the city from reaching and destroying a Earth city. If you take too long though, the city is doomed. But even if that happens, you can still win the level.
And the last aspect of gameplay is the platforming ! Smooth movement. Some of the platforms are easy to get to. Others require you to stand over vents to launch your parachute to lift you up there. And it can be quite challenging at time. (Look at this if you don't believe me.) Oh yeah, and there about five off the wall bosses. I won't spoil them. One more thing. The loading screens are interactive. Sliding tubes, floating down corridors, and even snow boarding, are in between the levels. But mostly it's walking hallways.
I'm doing sound next because it's almost as outstanding as the gameplay. Since the sound here was done by Tommy Tallarico's studio, it's already got a lot going for it there. And it delivers ! Huge explosions ! Funny power-up sounds ! And that awesome cow noise ! My personal favorite was the monkey scream sound from that "I feel top !" power-up. It's not Dolby quality, but honestly, who cares ?! Oh yeah, and the aliens like to scream at you in their language. I'm not sure It would nice to hear it translated ! And then there's the music. Again from Tommy Tallarico.It's a fine example of how Red Book audio is done. It ranges from the most dramatic, to zany circus music. Well, that's it really ! Superb sound overall !
Ah...it's not quite as impressive as the PC version. I'll get to that later though. But it's still a great experience ! HUGE area's to see, towering monoliths, and some of the best mirror reflections I've ever seen ! And the explosions for the time were very impressive. Not just sprite animated flames, but polygons and particle effects ! Explosions are easy to explain, but the overall look of the game isn't. So, I'll let some screenshots do my talking for me. Done gawking ? Good. One thing you might have noticed was Kurt himself. He's not 3D. He's a sprite. (AKA 2D character.) A main 2D character in a completely 3D world is something that I've never heard of to this day ! And works exactly like he's a 3D model. And aside from that, he's been so convincingly rendered and animated, you might not even had noticed if I hadn't pointed it out to you. So how do the aliens look ? Well they're rendered in 3D, but look a little chunky. Aside from that, they move with lots of articulation and expression. Who needs motion capture ? The textures are a mixed bag though. Some are really detailed, while some objects exist without any textures ! But it doesn't detract at all from the gameplay. And the whole vibe this game gave off has never come close to being captured again. Not even it's sequel ! So to wrap it up for graphics, awesome !
You move with the D-pad. Jump with the X button. Fire with the square button. Change ammo and special items with L2 button. And enter or exit sniper mode with the select button. That's it ! And it's all super responsive, and never lags.
Well, there's not much to say other than you save at the end of every level, and it only takes up one memory block. And Bones is the image of the block on the memory card screen.
Sense of Humor !-
Don't expect this again any time soon in my other reviews, but I felt I had to mention this. Giant exploding cows, the laugh out loud captions for power-ups, (World's Most Interesting Bomb for example.), and the ridiculous looking bosses ! My favorite part was where Bones, well, I won't spoil that one. But you get my drift. It's not that obvious style of funny, but a "Are you kidding me ?" ridiculous style of funny. Just play the game and you'll get it !
The only real complaints I have about this game are it can be very hard at times, and it's WAY to linear. I really don't like it when the game starts to feel like a endless hallway. (Don't worry about that hallway fell too much though.) Oh yeah, and it's short ! Shorter than ICO short ! Why must all good games like this be so short ? Why Shiny why ?!
The graphics, while still highly original, are starting to show their age a bit. Polygons without textures ? Soooooo 1993.
The Bottom Line
This is by far one of the best games you'll ever have the pleasure of playing ! Short it may be, it's worth the price of admission ! (And yes I know how tired that phrase is .) It can usually be found for cheap. So if you don't pick this up when you have the chance, you have no excuse whatsoever ! Don't pass it up !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on August 12th, 2008
Ridge Racer (PlayStation)
The best racing game for the PS1 !
WOW ! This is by far the best racing I've ever played for the PS1. Originally a arcade title, Namco pulled out all the stops for this Playstation version ! (No pun intended.)
As a first generation Playstation title, especially a polygon one, you would expect this would be butt ugly by today's standards. Not so ! The clean, simple style of the graphics are just as pleasing to the eye today as they were in 1995. Another surprising aspect of this game is the somewhat meticulous detail. The big TV at the starting tunnel has Galaxian playing on it. At night, the hotel on the beach stretch, all the lights are lit up in the form of a smiley face. The cars have old Namco game logos and names on them. And the overall look of the game is pleasing. And it's colorful. Something else that's rare in a early PS1 game.
Not to say they're perfect though. There is some clipping occasionally, and some pop up, but this is forgivable. It never gets in the way of the track, and is always very far off. Even the sprite based girl at the starting line is well animated. All the menus were well laid out and easy to use. And the last thing I want to harp on is the exceptionally smooth frame rate. Not once did I notice any drop whatsoever in it. For graphics, superb !
There is a downside to the sound, but I'll get to that later. The first built in music track is the best one of the bunch. But one gimmick that never caught on, was the fact that once the game was loaded, you could put in your own music cd and listen to that instead. It's a cool idea, that works well enough.
The cars should obviously sound the best right ? Well they do. Not the type that roars, but whines up like a turbo car. That may sound lame, but it really doesn't matter much when you're racing. Overall for sound, decent.
The type of control actually depends on your car. I'll get to that in the gameplay section. But the controls are pretty simple. X is the gas, square is the brake, triangle switches views from first person, to third person, and the top shoulder buttons shift gears up and down. A classic setup that really can't be beat.
Where the rubber hits the road ! Yes, that was a terrible pun. I promise no more. Maybe. Anyway, this is the best arcade style racing game on the Playstation. I can see why this was so popular when it came out. It can all be summed up in this phrase: car go fast ! Really fast ! Almost 200 mph fast ! Plus at the initial load screen, you get to play a round of Galaxian ! If you manage to kill all the invaders, you get a whole mess of unlockable cars ! It's a blast trying to go around the track full throttle. And trying to weave in between other cars for a better position. It's really exhilarating when you nail a turn at full speed without bumping the walls. Why don't you wan't to hit the wall ? It'll slow you down, or knock your gears lower if you hit something hard enough.
Oh yeah, you have gears to shift. Not to worry though, the auto transmission is the default. And since I don't know how to shift gears, that's a good thing. Speaking of car parts, I'll get to the cars.
Awesome selection ! You only get four cars initially, but that changes later on. The cars come two basic models. Compact and sports car, Ferrari style. The compact cars tend to handle better, but the Ferrari wannabe's go the fastest. I like the RT Ryukyu car best. It's got the best steering. All the unlockable cars have old Namco game logos and names splattered on them. They only steer slightly better than the other cars, but the Galaxian Ferrari style cars go really fast ! There is one more car to unlock, but I didn't have patience to get it.
But now that you've got a awesome set of wheels, where are you going to take them ? To the track ! There's really only one track in the whole game (it's timed), but it has different areas that open up at higher difficulty levels. Each difficulty level has two, to three laps respectively. The harder levels tend to have sharper turns. This hurts you if you picked a car with poor steering, but is forgivable, because all the tracks can be easily memorized. Another reward you get for finishing first on all the tracks is the extra tracks you get. They're just the same tracks backwards, but some are set at night. But they tend to very hard. Make more than two mistakes, and you run out of time. But finishing these tracks won't get you anything extra that I know of. And if you don't finish first, you can still set record lap times.
And this is where the memory card comes in. You not only save your records, but any tracks and cars you unlocked as well. What a relief ! No worrying about loosing your hard earned extras. So to wrap up gameplay, excellent !
Well not much to say here. Like almost every Playstation 1 game, it uses the memory card. It only takes a minimum of 1 block, but if you want to save in more slots, it'll take up a lot. Another aspect I'll be noting from now on ,in regard of Playstation 1 games, are the icons for the saves on the memory card. When you go the memory card screen without the game inside, you can see the boxes that represent the saves. It's just a big R, but sometimes they're animated. So great tech specs !
Where the game stalls. I know I know. But it was too good to pass up !
As you might have noticed, the good section about the sound was pretty thin. Now I'll tell you why. Remember how I said the first track was OK ? That's because it's the ONLY good track in the game ! All the rest are some of the worst garbage I've ever heard ! And if I'm not mistaken, one had sample of Urkel ! What were they thinking !? And the announcer is almost unbearable. And you can't turn him off. "Wow, I've got that I'll on tape so you can see it later ! You're the greatest!" Well duh ! I finished first didn't I ? I don't need to be reminded ! It's not so much that the lines are bad, but it's way they're delivered that's obnoxious. And he says the same things over and over. The only time he was helpful was letting me know when I was being tailgated by another car. And even though the use your own cd feature is a good idea, it doesn't work all that well. It never starts at the beginning of the song. Who wants to hear "Lazey Eye" mid song ?
The game can be a bit much for new comers. The turns are very hard sometimes, and if you hit them a lot, you'll be screwed for the rest of the race. Plus it knocks you out of gear if you hit it hard enough. And even though there are lots of different track variations, it's still the same track, and it can get repetitive later on. And no two player ? Come on !
The Bottom Line
This is great game for anybody to play ! I 100 percent recommend this game. Not very hard, and full of challenge later on, it's one the best racers you could buy for any platform. Period !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on July 7th, 2008
Star Wars: Episode I - Obi-Wan's Adventures (Game Boy Color)
The Episode I game that should have been made for the movie.
Well this was a pleasant surprise. It's not as boring as many would have you believe. Although not very long, it's a ride worth taking if you have any interest in Star Wars.
All the levels are linear, so there is no need to worry about getting lost. And just because all the levels are linear, don't expect something that'll force you down one path the entire game. The linear level structure gives the game focus, without strangling the fun factor. Most of your missions consist of opening locked doors, rescuing citizens, or just getting from point A to point B. Sound fun ? Well it wouldn't be unless you got to blow stuff up ! Battle droids abound in the levels and you'll often be surrounded. This comes to my favorite part of the game.
The weapons at your disposal are a blaster, the Force, and (here it comes !) a lightsaber ! Got your attention ? Good. Although you can't do anything fancy with it, it's still fun to whale on a group of battle droids with it. And best of all, it deflects any laser blast. The pistol is rarely useful, but necessary at some points. The ability to use the Force is somewhat limited though. You'll mainly use it to move boulders, boxes and the like. You can use it on battle droids, but you have a limited supply of it, and it's best to use it on move able objects. But not to worry. There are Force power-ups hidden all over the levels.
The locations are surprisingly varied for a game like this. From the Trade Federation gunships, to the swamps and palaces of Naboo. It makes a great showing for the Game Boy Color. I liked the swamp levels the best. So overall for gameplay, rock solid.
Da da da, DA ! Da da da DA da, da da da DA da, du du du duuuu......Oops ! I've got that stuck in my head. (Thank you John Williams.) For as underpowered as the Game Boy Color is for sound, it does some spectacular renditions of the music from Episode I. Everything from the main theme, to the Duel of Fates (partially) when Darth Maul shows up is amazing. Spot on eight-bit renditions.
The other sound effects are almost as good as the music. Obiwan's footsteps can be heard throughout the game when he walks. The laser blast sound nothing like they do in the movies, but hey, this is the Game Boy Color we're talking about here. The most impressive piece of sound is Obiwan's light saber. It doesn't quite match the actual "whoosh" sound, but close enough. For sound, excellent.
Here we go ! The Game Boy Color really shows off what it can do here ! All the back grounds, structures, and textures for this game are widely varied and almost never the same. Something the Game Boy Color isn't exactly known for. The textures are detailed, colorful, and varied to the extreme. The colors used for the game could have been a bit brighter, but it's OK.
The animation is what's really stunning. Screenshots do not do it justice. You literally have to see the game in motion to see how smooth, and lifelike it is. Especially Obiwan's light saber.
The other thing that stands out are the beautifully digitized photos from the movie. You see one before each level, when Quigon instructs what to do in the level. The opening movie is really cool, with super bright, wide screen stills from the movie. It's far beyond what even I thought Game Boy Color was able to do. So in short, (Short. Ha ha, right.) these are the best graphics I've ever seen on the Game Boy color.
Control and Save feature- From Now on, I'll put what kind of save method is used for a handheld title.
The A button is attack, the B button is jump, select switches between weapons, and start pauses. Enough said. The password feature is good and short. Everybody hates long passwords.
Even though the light saber can deflect everything, PLEASE stop throwing destroyer droids at me ! In the later levels they abound. And it takes FOREVER to destroy one ! And the Force feature, while cool and done well enough, is underused. They could have even put more Force puzzles in and I would have been happy. And it's only nine levels long. I want some more !
The Bottom Line
For Star Wars geeks, and non-geeks, this is a game that's worth playing if you love Star Wars at any level. Heck, I might just play it again today !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on April 21st, 2008
WinFight (Windows 3.x)
Freeware has never been more fun !
You open up the application, press F2 and boom ! You're dead. You use the mouse pointer to shoot the cowboy. It's neat because the cowboy dosen't appear in the same place twice. You basically play until you win in the timed round. I can't remember, but it might go on forever in normal mode. Or it could end when you run out of lives. Over all, pretty good.
Pretty decent. cowboys show up all over the screen, but the menu is in the little box the program opens with. The cowboys are drawn and animated well. Another cool thing is when you miss, a little bullet hole shows up on screen. Very nice. And to erase the dead outlaws, you can drag the box over them to clear your view. It really helps when you get going.
There are four sounds. Your gun, the bad guy's gun, the outlaw being shot and the "Draw" sound. It sound clear enough. They are WAV files after all. Amusing is about the best way I can describe it. Not bad.
171 KB ? Cool ! I can fit this and the ZIP file it came in on a floppy disk ! It'll run on modern Windows, so no worry there.
For me at least, when I press F2, it hits the previous icons I clicked on. I had to keep clicking on the window to get it going.
The Bottom Line
A fun distraction. A game for everyone. Um...FREE ! What other reasons do you need ?
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on April 4th, 2008
Game Boy Camera (included games) (Game Boy)
Very strange indeed.
As you would expect, this is not your normal Game Boy game. Oh no it's....uh....hm....huh.....well........it's something, fun, but what I'm not sure. Read on to find out more about this puzzling little piece of fun.
The centerpiece of the cartridge. The camera takes pictures in grey scale (2 bits per pixel) 128 by 112 pixels. That is pretty laughable by today's standards, but this was actually one the first mass available digital cameras. You can only hold up to 30 pictures though. But not to fear ! It's Game Boy Printer compatible. One last technical note. The camera head can turn 360 degrees. I don't know why I should mention it, but I wanted to.
Shoot- This is the mode where the action happens ! It's actually got a lot crammed in there. You have options for a self timer, panorama and vertical pictures, trick lenses, and inverse lenses. I'm surprised Nintendo got all that into one cartridge. When you actually take your picture, you have even more options ! Hit select to bring up a menu. You have the option to turn on or off the dithering, change shutter speeds and inverse the picture colors ! And it freezes the picture before it captures so you can decide weather you like it or not. The other features are for the rest of the game. You can shoot your own face for the games in here. You go to magic and select game face. It'll give you a screen with four blank ovals. Place the camera so your face fits the ovals and take the pictures ! Now you too can look ridiculous in a video game !
To wrap up the camera functions, very nice ! And not as primitive as you would think. Now onto the gameplay modes !
Since this game has a camera built into it, you would expect to use it for the built in games. And you be right. Now for mini reviews !
Space Fever II- A fun little shooter. You start off with two ships that momentarily hover in front of you. Shoot one and you get the juggling game. Shoot the other and you get the DJ game. Get a score of 2000 and you unlock a sprinting game. Space Fever II it'self isn't a bad game at all. All of the bosses are picture heads of the Nintendo staff. The third boss is your own face if you took the play pictures !
DJ- As the name suggest, you play a DJ. You have the option to compose three different pieces and put them together to make music. It can be a little confusing at first, but after a few times, you get it. Plus you can hold down the "a" button to scratch the music. And use your own face for the DJ !
Ball- Again, you can use your face for the ball juggling guy. That pretty much explains the ball game.
Run run run !- This is actually the most challenging of all the games. Again, you guessed it ! You can use your face for the runner. You race against a bird and a mole. You have to tap the "a" button as fast as possible and jump over hurdles to get to the finish. I've only done as well as second place.
Overall great games ! And now onto view !
You didn't think Nintendo would go to all this trouble and not let you look at the fuzzy masterpieces you took did you ? Well, aside from being a viewing gallery, you can doodle and and stamp your pictures ! Take nice portraits of relatives and paste googly eyes and and a giant nose on them ! You do so by pressing the "a" button when viewing a picture. It's fun, and there are a lot of stamps to choose from. The garden variety big nose, to Pokemon and Mario. And if you don't like the stamps you can doodle on them yourself. Painting is somewhat awkward with a Game Boy's D-pad, but not impossible. The other mode in view has a whole range of options. Animation lets you view animations (aka pictures you took strung together). Hot spot is cool, but useless really. You put a stamp on the picture that's invisible and choose a reaction when you find it on the picture. The other is a slide show. It's self explanatory. But you can choose the music that plays and the order in which they come. Decent to say the least !
Start and Select-
Ah..finally, the last part of this review. Almost. When at the main menu, you can press start or select to gain, yes, even more options. Most of the options you can get access to in other parts of the game. But some specific options can only be found here. Like making the hotspots for your pictures, composing (I can't remember what it does. Sorry !) and linking. Yes you can link two Game Boy Cameras together. You can only trade pictures, but it's still cool anyway. And you can make animations in the select options.
Start takes you to a galaxy far far way........but don't expect the theme you're expecting to play. Here you can look at high scores, make a ID for your camera, picture stats and credits. You have to unlock "Run Run Run" to see the actual credits though.
And that ends the longest Gameplay- part of a review I've EVER DONE. Now onto the graphics.
Well well, quite a surprise here ! They may not be the most technically impressive, but they have style. Almost everything looks hand drawn. Like the head at the view menu is something I didn't the Game Boy capable of. It's incredibly smooth. And so it goes with the rest of the game. Excellent design ! The camera graphics are another thing. Obviously it isn't going to be high res, but not as bad when the proper settings are applied. The main menu is immediately impressive. When selecting from the different modes, the camera head turns with your selection. Plus it's animated smoothly. And the dancing Mario at the title screen is hilarious. So in short, (I think it might be too late to say that in this review) the graphics are excellent.
The music here is super catchy ! Plus you can make your own in the DJ game. There isn't really any other sound than the music other than the usual conformations beeps and bloops. It's actually the second best sound I've heard on the Game Boy. First being Donkey Kong Land. So to keep it brief (Ha ha !), the sound is superb !
Control- The D-pad and "a" button are used for everything. The "b" button is usually the cancel button. That's pretty much it.
And that's it for the good. Now for the bad. I promise I'll keep it short. I hope.
The DJ game only has one slot to save your creations. How infuriating.
Space Fever II- You only get ONE LIFE. I know it's not a hard game, but come on ! And for some reason when you press the "b" button, it apparently is self destruct. Utterly useless.
And that's it. Wow. I actually kept it short. Weird.
The Bottom Line
This is for all of those who wish strange, off beat fun with a camera. I one hundred percent recommend this game. For boredom, fun, mischief and all purpose wackiness. One piece of advice, don't try and take a picture of the sun. It'll ruin your eyes !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on March 19th, 2008
Missile Command (Atari 2600)
80's Cold War paranoia manifest it'self into a insanely fun game !
What's not to love about this game ? I'm sure every gamer at some point has played it.
As stated earlier, it's almost impossible to find fault with a game so simple. You have control of a spot that shoots missiles to shoot down incoming hostile missiles. Simple enough. But you have be on your toes because the missiles aren't interested in you, but your cities. You have six cities to protect. Once all those cities are destroyed, game over. But it speeds up with each level. Right about now if you're saying, "No sweat ! I'll have this beat in no time !", then you're a twit. Obviously this is the kind of game that tends to almost go on forever (my best is 13,000 something), but from what I've read it has a glitch that stops somewhere around 2,000,000. But it would take superhuman reflexes to go that high. Still, it's fun, and has great replay value. Thumbs up here !
Err, how to say, not much. The missiles, and city explosions all sound good. So hard to describe this music is, dwell on it any longer I will not. (Yes I recently watched Star Wars if you're wondering about that last line.)
Decent for the 2600. I like the little mushroom clouds when the missiles hit the cities. The graphics aren't much different from the arcade version except for the detail level. You can clearly make out all the objects in the game without confusion. That is somewhat rare in a 2600 game.
You move with a joy stick and press the fire button. I'm not even going to try and elaborate the control set-up. It's too incredibly obvious how it works.
One last note-
Like Space Invaders before it, it taps into that fear of nuclear war and invasion like few games have before or since. Yes the graphics are crude, and the sound minimal, but that doesn't make it any less tense than a game today. I'm surprised that few games like it have been made since. Although I suppose if more games were like it they would pretty pessimistic. Oh well.
The target dot could have been faster. That's it.
The Bottom Line
This is the type of game anyone can play. So play it ! Now ! You'll love it ! Or have dreams of nuclear missile filled skies. Hm..what's that rumbling ?
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on March 17th, 2008
Tomb Raider: Gold (DOS)
Tomb Raider Gold review v.2
I decided to re-review this game after seeing how poor my original review was. So this is a four level addition to the original Tomb Raider .
The basic idea of the game is still the same here. Find artifacts, solve puzzles and kill monsters. But these levels do it with a classy execution. The second and fourth levels wind up tall, and complicated passage ways at the top of a oblique or statue. The puzzles aren't as hard as the ones in the original, but still require some thought. The first Atlantis level might drive you a bit crazy at first. Hint- don't climb down to the floor when you first enter. The gun play is a bit better here than in the original. Fighting the mummies and mutants is far more forgiving this time around because the fights usually happen on flat floors or where there's ample space. The platforming in the game is a lot of fun. Particularly the the cliff crossing . The traps can look a bit intimidating at times, but never impossible. Overall, the gameplay was excellent.
Tomb Raider has never had very bad sound, but it doesn't stand out either. Almost all the sounds are recycled from the original game. But at least it isn't repetitive. The music is minimal, but effective. It's Red-book audio, so you can stick it in a cd player to hear it. The average sounds of the walls moving and mummies screaming was still cool though. So the sound is average. but not bad.
Ah yes. The area where Tomb Raider has almost always shined. Just like the sound, a lot of it has been recycled from the previous game, but that is not a bad thing at all. The Atlantis walls still have that creepy pulse, Egypt still looks dusty and the monsters actually look a little better. Perhaps because there are more of them to look at. The overall look of the game is very good. One of my favorite new things is the outdoors levels. you can look right up at the stars ! That's a good thing since some of those levels can be claustrophobic at times. I was really impressed by the draw distance. In the first Atlantis level you can almost see clear across the canyon. Lara's character model hasn't changed, but it would have nice to Lara's model from Tomb Raider 2 used.
You can edit the controls to suit how you want to play, so no need to explain them.
Only 8 MB of hard drive space ? All right ! This game will take up almost no space on your PC. It has on the cd it'self patches for most of the major video cards at the time. Voodoo 1, Voodoo Rush, Rivia TNT, Matrox....I had never heard of Matrox before this game ! I couldn't use any though because I don't have any of those cards. But I'm sure it look better with one of them. And you don't need any old DOS sound cards to get it to work on a Windows PC. I can't remember what the sound settings were, but they worked. And one last note, this game has a screenshot key ( the forward slash key ). It takes them in PCX format. This is something that the original didn't have and was much needed. To wrap it all up, very nice package !
As I said in my older review of this game these levels can be needlessly difficult at times. Some of the problems can be the cameras fault, but some of the passageways to other areas are almost impossible to find without a guide( Like the first Atlantis level ). And no new cutscenes ? Or story ? Either Core didn't have a lot of time with this, or they were being really cheap.
This was actually my fault. I didn't read the manual for those sound settings for Windows, and bought a sound card with DOS drivers to hear the game. I suppose manuals are worth reading. On another note that isn't my fault, this won't run on any Windows after Windows ME. That's because it was designed for DOS, and all Windows before Windows 2000 were DOS based. Anything after ME is NT based. As a result, it won't run AT ALL on a new PC without patches. And those patches are actually hard to use. Sigh And one last thing, there are supposed to different DOS and Windows versions of the game, when in reality they are the same. To run it in DOS you need DOS 6, and to run it in Windows, you have to use the MS-DOS prompt. It can be misleading. Oh, and before I forget, the screenshot key doesn't take one screenshot at a time, it keeps dumping them in the hard drive until you press the key again. Don't forget to press that key to stop them !
The Bottom Line
If you are a hard core Tomb Raider fan, get this game ! If you wan't a good Tomb Raider game, try Tomb Raider 1 first. I recommend this game fully, but with some caveats. Only get it if you are willing to put with some of it's more bothersome aspects. But otherwise, enjoy !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on March 14th, 2008
Ico (PlayStation 2)
One of the Playstation's finest.
ICO was the first Playstation 2 game I bought. It only took about eight days to finish it, but it was a memorable experience. Nothing on the Playstation 2 has ever quite managed to out do it. This is a game that is nothing like anything I've ever played before. A true masterpiece. Read onto the review to find out why.
Puzzles galore. And not all the puzzles are the typical push the block stuff. No no, these puzzles require a fair amount brain matter to solve. Some require some backtracking, but it's usually a minimal distance. One of my favorites for instance- You have to get Yorda to a high ledge. But there's only a locked door and a climbing chain to get there. Yorda can't climb chains, so you have to figure out how to unlock the door. Once you're on the higher ledge, there are grates and a tunnel beneath them. You climb into the tunnel and go to the end and stand on a pressure pad. It opens the locked door and you call Yorda. She stands with you and on the pad. You leave her on the pad and go out the door. Climb back up and call Yorda to the open grate where you can pull her up.
Simple, yet requires thought. The first time I almost drove myself crazy trying to figure it out. If won't reveal anymore, but needless to say the puzzles are great.
The platforming in the game is good, but plain. It's mainly jumping across gaps and scaling ledges. Some of the scaling in the later parts of the castle is cool, but some of it can be tedious. It certainly doesn't detract from the gameplay, but only adds one really innovative thing. When you're travelling with Yorda and you cross a gap, you can call to Yorda to come to the other side of the ledge so she can leap across and you can grab her, and pull her up. You have to do the same with some ledges and ladders. You have to escort Yorda throughout most of the game, but it's not usually aggravating. The first time she's being abducted by shadow beings, you might jump out of your seat with fear of not getting there in time. It creates a special bond between the two of you. If she gets lost you feel you have to go back and get her. It may be somewhat cumbersome to go back whole areas to do it, but you have to in order to finish the game, and to have some peace of mind.
The combat in the game is simplistic, but I wouldn't want something more complicated in a game like this because it would bog it down. The square button is always attack. But you gain weapons in the game. It goes from a wood plank, to a sword, to a mace and ultimately the magic sword. The mace is the best weapon for most of the game. It beats out the sword easily, and anything beats the plank. The magic sword kills shadow beings in one swipe. But by that point, they won't try to seriously harm you. The showdown with the evil queen is actually the hardest part of the game. Once you hit her, the sword goes off in a different direction out of your hands. It took me about seven tries to finally get her.
All in all the gameplay is some of the best I've ever experienced in a Playstation game.
Like no other 3D game, it does audio in a minimalistic way, but it's incredibly convincing. When you're near the sea, you hear gulls, the sound of waves crashing into the cliffs below. The crackles of torches pop and crack while your footsteps echo in the lonely halls. In the courtyards, birds chirp, the breeze rustles the leaves in the trees gently lulling them back and forth. The sounds of shadow beings squirming out of their pools makes your skin crawl. You...am I getting too poetic ? Well it was at least it was well written. The music is a bit more difficult to describe. It's mainly made up of classical pieces, but some sound like keyboards or like they were electric. Regardless of how it was made, it absolutely resembles nothing I've heard in other videogames or movies, or otherwise. Very incredible. The voice acting is good, but somewhat hard judge. All the dialogue is done in a fictional language. I heard somewhere it was backwards Japanese. But not to fear, all of it's subtitled. But some of it (everything Yorda says) is done in symbol subtitles that aren't translated. But I suppose that would be redundant. The queen sounds as nasty as she acts. Very condescending. ICO himself sounds concerning but innocent. Yorda is impossible to judge accurately, because almost all of speech is very quiet. But not bad at all. To wrap it up for sound. Great ! Fantastic !
Now this is where ICO shows how well it has aged. The one thing people talk about when discussing this game is the lighting. And rightly so. Never before or since in my opinion has a game ever managed to duplicate light so perfectly. That type of blue-grey you get in the shadows, the way the grass almost looks yellow in the sunlight, or how it shines brilliantly in the open. The shadows come across like they do in real life. Words simply do not do most of it justice. A tired cliche' yes but true. The areas you get to play in are no slouches either. Drab, broken down, overgrown with weeds, and not too much color. Why is this appealing ? By itself it would look horrible. But the light gives it it's color and depth. Like in real life. And boy are those depths and colors pulled together well. Torches give off a flickering glow, the sun makes even the blandest looking of stones brilliant. One cool graphical element is that if you look at certain points in the game, you can see future ares of the game.
Whoever did the character animation should get a award for their work. It can be a little jerky sometimes, but more realistic than any other game in 3D history. The cutscene at the gate after the queen leaves, ICO looks filled with dread and shock as rushes back towards Yorda. His eyes grow wide, and his shoulders fall back just before he runs. That attention to detail is impressive and puts most other 3D games of that era and even today to shame. Yorda shivers when the wind blows, and looks around curiously. Most impressive of all are the shadow beings. They drip of black, smokey, oil like stuff. It's almost impossible to believe that those things are made of polygons. Amazing. One last thing I wanted to mention are the trees in the courtyard of the earlier mentioned puzzle. It just fun to zoom in on them and see the bright green leaves sway back and forth in the breeze. It's for whatever reason very captivating.
Simple. Intuitive. Precise and responsive. A perfect dream for those who hate complicated, unresponsive control schemes. Nothing more need be said.
I noticed that some of the textures were a mix of high-res and low-res textures. It didn't look cohesive in some spots and was slightly distracting in one part of the game. I know this game was originally intended for the Playstation 1, but I swear I saw some textures that looked like there on the Playstation 1. At one point early in the game I noticed that a wall looked like a mess of pixels. When I zoomed in on it, it smoothed out. But zoom out and you get pixels. I just wonder if they were in such a rush to get it onto the Playstation 2 if they cut corners there. It ultimately doesn't matter though. And at the top of the cart rail track during a fight, the frame-rate dipped slightly.
Yorda can be a bit much to handle at times. If she gets lost you have to go get her. Sometimes she'll climb a ladder, stop, and go back the other way. Sigh.
The Bottom Line
I have said everything I can to convince you to get this game or try it in the review above. If you actually read (Yes most people skim huge reviews like this)it that is. But I fully recommend it for something that's truly a unique experience.
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on March 7th, 2008
Hop to it !
This was one of the first PC games I really ever remember playing, so I've always had a place for it in my collection. Although a re-visioning of the original, it's still a insanely fun game.
Talk about addictive ! The levels are arranged in blocks from beginning to end. The first level block consist of the "retro" levels, remakes of the original game. Cross the road, river, and logs to get to the baby frogs. Simple. But it gets faster as time goes on and gets hectic. The next level block is made of pond and road levels. But you get to ride on birds, balloons and turtles. But these levels are fairly non-linear. Which means you can get the frogs in any order you want to. And the levels have numerous enemies throughout them. Dogs, bats, rats, slugs, raccoons and spiny slugs. It's a heck of a lot of fun especially in the western levels ( yes western levels) when you have to avoid falling boulders ! But the later levels make good use of Frogger's new abilities: power croak, super hop, and a long bug grabbing tongue. Most of the bugs are worth about 60 points though. Super hop is good for jumping over certain enemies. And croak lets you here the baby frogs croak back to get a better idea of their location.
Do do....do do DO DO.....do do do do do do DO DO ! Um... sorry about that. He he..I got the western level music stuck in my head. Needless to say the music is catchy. All of the level blocks have their on music and different music for most of the levels. Plus if you put the game disk in a cd player, you can listen to all the tracks ! The sound effects while good, sound a bit scratchy at times. Like the sounds of the bugs. But everything else is well done. Like how Frogger gulps when he swallows a bug. And the croaks all sound realistic.( I know I'm running out of stuff to talk about when I'm discussing frog croaking sounds.)
This is where I could go on forever. For a Windows 95 game, the graphics look shockingly smooth and have held up pretty well. When I say smooth, I mean the textures aren't pixelated at all. Nice and clean. Despite having a polygon look to it, it's done in a unrealistic style that's almost like...OK I hate using the cartoon analogy, but that's the only comparable thing I can think of. But anyway, another cool aspect of the graphics are some of the subtleties. You can see the clouds in the car windows when they pass by, or out on the water. The rats in the sewer levels shake their heads when they land on the pipes. The baby frogs kick their legs in anticipation of your arrival. Fish in the water. Dead fish skeletons in the water. Plus the water looks thirst inducing. Too bad you die when you jump in it.Sigh
This whole review I'm trying to do different. For any PC games I review in the future, I'll include this.
As for the specs, they are not bad at all ! 640 by 480 resolution, support for the Voodoo 1 video card, and you can't beat the cd format. Plus it takes up almost no space. So if your a freak about hard drive space consumption fear not.
I'ts somewhat tricky and tempermental to try and get running on new machines. It will run, but be prepared to fool around with the display properties for a while. I can it running on my new machine, but no music. I gave up on why weeks ago.
Some of the longer levels tend to be repetitive. And after you find a frog, it sends you back to the start of the level. Err. And why is it Frogger STILL can't swim ? That's totally absurd. Frogs ARE amphibious ! Oh well.
The Bottom Line
If you want a good game to unwind with, I 100 percent recommend this game. If you're looking for game with tons of replay vale, try Frogger 2. But If you like games overall, get it. You'll love it !
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on February 24th, 2008
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Game Boy Color)
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on February 22nd, 2008
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (Genesis)
Try again for the one hundred and seventh time ?
Despite it's unforgiving difficulty, how could you stay away from this game? This is actually a updated version of the original Street Fighter II. If you played that I've no need to explain the concept of the whole game. What's new is the hyper mode. It's insanely fast and even MORE difficult than the regular mode. I didn't last two rounds. But I'm not that good at Street Fighter games, so it's no surprise. It's able to play this fast because of the Genesis has a faster CPU than the Super Nintendo. That's good for those who want a fast and furious fight. The graphics are great by Genesis standards. Lots of little lights and crowd animations really bring it to life. The sound is pretty good, but the Genesis was never known for it's abilities in the sound department. And there are new characters. I can't remember who, but it must have been Bison. Overall a good package.
Don't get me started.
The difficulty is the absolute worst I've ever played in a fighting game! It literally took me over 100 something tries to finish the game! And don't say just lower the difficulty, because when you finish the game it says "why not try it on a higher difficulty wimp!" or something to that effect. No story ending ! And some of those combos are hard (impossible) to pull off when things get heated.
The Bottom Line
If you love your games nice and frontal lobe melting difficult, then this is the game for you. If you want a good fighter, try it once and if the difficulty scares you off, run, run to the hills!
By GAMEBOY COLOR! on January 10th, 2008