Yesterday I finally started to get into the Gameboy emulators, which includes every Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Gameboy Advance game ever made. To me, The GBA generation represents the Golden Age of Shovelware, and so I’m really eager to sample some of the finest examples of licensed games.
Not before finding that among the romset include the video carts that were produced by Majesco. Have you ever wanted to watch Spongebob on a high def tv but downscaled and at half the fps?
It worked, but I had to pause and unpause because the emulation would get out of sync and cause the audio to have an echo. Spongebob loses a lot in the visual translation, especially the squash and stretch of animation. If something on screen is small enough it will just look like a colored blob. I really wanted to watch some Jimmy Neutron, because that’s at the nexus of GBA Rom videos AND terrible CGI.
But really, I had to get back to my task, and I wanted to find the most early 2000s ass GBA game I could find, and I think I picked a good one.
Pretty much what Crawfish interactive did was they saw what Vicarious Visions did with the excellent Tony Hawk GBA port and went “yep lets do that”. Except much worse. If I were writing for an early 2000’s video game magazine, i’d say that this game is worse than a real life scooter hitting you in the shins. You can go off halfpipes and do tricks, I think you can grind on rails but I haven’t been able to do so with any predictability. It’s really bad! I think this is the embodiment of the early 2000’s licensed sports game zeitgeist.
Some more random browsing and I came across this game, and I was disappointed to discover that you don’t play a wolf.
SabreWulf is a Rare produced platformer where you find creatures and animals in the level, reposition them in order to navigate the levels, find the object you’re trying to retrive, and then try to outrun the wolf as he chases you back through the level. It’s an interesting loop, you have to get creative with the animals you find which act as platforms, boost pads, or clear obstacles. One of them is even called a “Boomer”
I played about 2 levels before getting bored. It has the trademark Rare gamefeel, look, and writing. It’s actually pretty well executed and is probably well designed the further the game goes. I think if you weren’t playing as an old white dude the game would have a greater appeal, but what the fuck do I know.
Getting back to licenced games. I guess the number of people who watch Tom Clancy films who also play GBA games has some overlap, so why not make a top down tactile shooter based on the hit movie?
It plays somewhat like….Hotline Miami? Yeah I guess that’s the closest match i can make. You pick a squad of other agents before each mission starts, and when the agent you control dies from bullet wounds you control another character. You basically run room to room shooting other NPCs, there’s no way to order your squad to take point or shoot at someone, and when they manage to shoot at another NPC they get maybe one or two bullets in, so basically useless. I didn’t finish the first level but I assume it’s just more of the same.
Our Final game for the night is a Konami production
It’s a tactics based RPG, but much like Dive Alert there is a lot of plot exposition between and during levels. The main thing I remember about this game is that certain plot details were left out in a Nintendo Power game guide because it was too PG-13 or whatever the fuck, so maybe I’ll get some resolution on that and play the whole thing through. Who can say. I find the battle system to be interesting, as I generally like tactics rpgs, and this one has little action sequences to each attack, which is neat.