Trax (GB): COMPLETED!

I had no idea this little gem even existed. Not only that, but it’s by the same chaps as Kirby’s Dream Land. Even without knowing that, I think I could have guessed – the music and sound are reminiscent, and even your tank resembles Kirby. Sort of. Even the end sequence is the same as Dedede chasing Kirby, trying to pounce on him.

But before that, the game.

You drive a cute wee tank and shoot other cute tanks and trucks and things. There are bosses, power ups, hidden stuff (blow up everything!) and it’s really quite fun. Spinning your turret round is a minor pain (you can only do it clockwise), but never really annoying. There’s a fair bit of slowdown, but that’s to be expected given how busy it can get with lots of enemies, bullets and explosions, and this is only a Game Boy, remember.

Did they ever make a follow up to Trax? Because I’d love to see one, perhaps with better turret spinning!

Hudson Hawk (GB): COMPLETED!

Hawk! Steal things! Because reasons!

The Game Boy version wasn't fantastic, as it turned out, but was reasonably playable.I seem to recall, back in the day, that although the film Hudson Hawk was utterly dire, the games based on it for various platforms were actually rather good. The Game Boy version, which I decided to play today for no specific reason, wasn’t fantastic as it turned out, but was reasonably playable.

Hudson Hawk is a platformer (because of course it is – pretty much all film licences at the time were), where Bruce Willis throws balls at things and steals paintings. There are two puzzles in the entire game, both really quite simple, and aside from not being able to see very far ahead of you (making some baddie appearances a bit of a surprise), the whole game was surprisingly easy. And short. It’s a very short game, especially since the first mission is longer than the other two combined, giving you a false sense it’ll be a much bigger than it was.

Street Fighter Alpha (GBC): COMPLETED!

You must defeat Kenneth Masters to stand a chance.

Street Fighter AlphaThere’s no way that Street Fighter Alpha, Capcom’s CPS II based arcade fighting game, would be any good on the Game Boy Colour: A system not just lacking in buttons, but also roughly one ten-millionth as powerful. It’d be like expecting Elite Dangerous to run on a Speak and Spell. And yet, here it is, surprisingly well turned out.

It doesn’t have all the moves, characters or backgrounds. The animation isn’t as fluid (but for a Game Boy title it’s pretty damn good) and the sound effects are limited at best – not least in there’s no speech – but it feels and plays like a Street Fighter game. Most importantly, Ken is Ken, with all his special moves intact and he is best. Ken is always best.

Street Fighter Alpha
I wub you, Ken

Since Ken is best, it’s him I used to complete the game and in doing so found one major difference between this version of Street Fighter Alpha and the Saturn one I used to play so much: the Game Boy Colour port is incredibly easy. I only lost one round in the whole game (versus Birdie, if that matters) and even that was close. Final “boss” Ryu was a complete walkover.

Street Fighter Alpha
Ryu, Ryu, you smell, of poo.

Crawfish have worked miracles with the GBC hardware to pull this game off. They did it again with the Game Boy Advance port of Street Fighter Alpha 3 too (which I also played, briefly, a few days ago) but somehow that endeavour seems more feasible. At least the GBA is a 32bit sprite-pumping powerhouse to begin with, whereas the GBC is a calculator. Incredible.

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Wario Land 3 (GBC)

This is really more than a bit good, isn’t it? I mean, it’s a bit like Mario 64 in that each level has to be completed multiple times to get different treasures in different ways, but obviously in 2D. And it’s more puzzley. But the idea is still the same.

I’ve collected about half the treasures so far, and opened up quite a few levels meaning I was wrong with the 4-levels-per-world statement in my last post. At least one world now has 6! I only have 2 or 3 (it’s difficult to tell on the screen) bits of the musical box though.

Wario Land 3 (GBC)

Hello! No, I’m not dead. I’ve just had no time to game, no unpacked consoles to game on, and no internet access to update my diary even if I did have both of those.

For reasons I don’t really understand, I started playing this yesterday. On an actual Game Boy Colour as well! How exciting! I’d never played it before, but have played, and completed, the second and fourth games in the series and enjoyed them. This is more like the second, as it doesn’t have the silly race-out-the-level Wario Land 4 had, and is the better for it.

There seem to be 4 worlds, with 4 levels in each world, and 4 treasures to get in each level. So far, I’m on World 3, having got at least one treasure on each level so far. I don’t know if it’s necessary to do the lot to complete the game, but we’ll see!

Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB): COMPLETED!

Another day, another completed Castlevania! So this was a fair bit easier than the last one, although there was a tricky bit near the end with ropes that move up and down and then change direction, with the cogs on either end killing you.

The end-of-Dracula’s-castle boss wasn’t Dracula, but Solieyu Belmont, the son of the main character (Christopher Belmont). He was under Dracula’s power, or something, and was actually bloody hard to kill, what with his whip and stuff.

But kill him I did, and then it was the shortest of short levels before I had Dracula himself to kill. He was pretty easy, once I’d figured out you had to whip him in the face.

Game Over, then!

Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)

No sooner was the first GB Castlevania over and done with, I moved straight onto the sequel. And guess what? It’s ace. Not Aria of Sorrow ace, or even Super Castlevania IV ace, but it’s certainly waaaaay better than The Castlevania Adventure. Yeah, so it’s still slow (although not quite as slow), but it’s easier (so far), not jerky, has more detailed graphics and there aren’t any pixel-perfect jumps! BEST.

You have four castles to tackle, before moving on to a fifth, housing (I assume) Dracula. I’ve already completed the first four, finding them fun to play and not console-smashingly impossible, and the bosses are much better too.

And the game has a password system, so I can stop and continue later. Which I will do!

The Castlevania Adventure (GB): COMPLETED!

Oh my! Only four levels? Just as well as if there were any more, things may have been broken on purpose.

Level 3 is the real killer. The spikes are really rather hard to get past. Once you do, however, the rest of the game is pretty easy in comparison. The boss at the end of Level 3 was some sort of Harpy, who was easy to dodge, and then it was on to Level 4. It looked like there was going to be a SuckySuck(TM) bit, with all the previous bosses one after another, but thankfully it was just the first one. Again. And again. And again. I must have killed him about ten times on this level alone.

After some more spikey bits (which were actually pretty easy), I finally made it to Dracula. And killed him on my second attempt. He turns into a bat after you die, but thankfully he’s not too difficult.

So that’s the first Game Boy game I’ve completed in years, and the 9th game this year so far. And the 5th Castlevania title this year too. I’ve got the second Game Boy Castlevania lined up now too!

The Castlevania Adventure (GB)

What? In? Hell?

This has to be the slowest, hardest, most irritating game ever made. Ever. Your character (Simon? It doesn’t tell you) moves as a snails pace. You have no subweapons. You can’t jump very far (and the game is full of pixel-perfect jumps), you only have three lives, often when you die you go back miles, and the whole game jerks and judders all over the place.

Ace!

So I spent AGES trying to get past the Stepping Stones of Doom (pixel-perfect jumps) near the end of Level 1, and finally made it. Then Level 2 threw up some heads that spit balls which aren’t nice, and boomerang men, before finally making me kill a load of moles. Which I eventually managed. But since when did Dracula have moles?! Bats and zombies and rabid dogs, yes. Moles?

Now I’ve just got past an awful forced-scrolling vertical run-from-the-spikes bit, only to think “Phew!”, and then have another forced-scrolling horizontal run-from-the-spikes bit. With pixel-perfect jumps! Hurrah!

I’m this close to smashing the game into a billion pieces.