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First Impression: Tarzan (GBC) ~ Hide and SEEK.

TARZAN_gbc_E_IGN entry

So, one day on a garage sale, I saw this game. Since one of the very first games I ever played was Tarzan on the PC, I had to have this. I enjoyed this game quite a lot. And now, after all those years, I still have the same cartridge and the instruction booklet. I’m quite happy that I still have it since I have fond memories of it. Now, I have never finished this game since I couldn’t get passed the tiger battle as a kid. That’s why I’m writing a first impression. Anyways, enough stalling, let’s dive right into this game and let’s take a look at it. As usual, feel free to leave a comment on the game and or the content of this article. 

Collect-a-banana gameplay.

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The story in this game is amazing. They made it work on the Gameboy Color! They follow the movie quite perfect. The levels and stages are designed around some amazing scenes of the movie. As a kid, I watched that movie a lot.

While the characters don’t have a lot of development in the game, I still enjoyed this story quite a lot. I’m so glad that they know what the gameboy color was capable of doing.

The game is surprisingly longer then you would think. This game consists out of 23 stages. Which is quite long for a movie game. It’s actually quite good too. This game is a platformer, but not in your traditional sense. You need to collect a certain amount of banana’s before you can advance to the next stage. The amount of banana’s you need to collect are shown when you start the level.

You don’t always play as Tarzan, there are levels as Tuck… but…

The bad things.

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… There is barely any variation between the characters. They all play the same. Apart from Tuck’s hitbox being slightly bigger then Tarzan’s.

While the controls are really solid, the jump animation is a bit broken. Sometimes the jumps, well, don’t work. You can’t grab a ledge you see clearly in front of you or you clip right through the edge.

I don’t know it was my copy or not, but the sound was messed up. The music had like a missing line of melody. The noise it added was rather annoying.

A disappointment was that you couldn’t multiplayer the hide and seek mode. You had to pass your gameboy to your friend after you had hidden one of the characters. That was a major let down for me. Thankfully, this allowed me to play this game with my sister. Since we only had one copy of the game back then.

Another annoyance is that the checkpoints aren’t clearly indicated. Suddenly, you get shown that you reached a checkpoint, but it looked like a usual ledge or platform to me at first. Also, if i remember correctly, once taken is always taken.

Oh, don’t get me started on the password system. It’s quite creative by using symbols but why do they have a password system in place for this game? There were games like the Legend of Zelda who showed that they can make a saving system work on the Gameboy color!

 Is it bad?

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So, I have talked about most of the things this game does wrong. But it isn’t that bad. Thankfully, this game has some other good things. The animation blew my mind, and it still does today. What Disney displays here, is just amazing. The game feels tense and nice.

Looking at it now, you could argue that this game has the problem of design over gameplay. I mentioned earlier that some jumps didn’t work correctly. I think the culprit is that the animation is too good.

The difficulty curve is just perfect. While some parts might be a bit unforgiving, I don’t think that is such a bad thing. Do you seriously expect games from that age to be forgiving.

Visually, this game is nice to look at. The game is sometimes a maze… Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that a map would be nice. But at the other hand, I understand why there isn’t a map. Since you play inside the jungle, which is unmapped terrain in the first place. Also, Tarzan doesn’t know the whole jungle like the back of his hand.

Another thing I forgot to mention is how you go to the next level. As soon as you got all the required banana’s you don’t go to the next level automatically, you have to find your partner. He is hidden in sometimes a hard to reach area. This tests your knowledge of the level and you have to use all your skills.

What I don’t understand, and I can’t test it since I don’t have one, is that this game supports the Gameboy Printer. Yes, you can make images and print them. This is wasted potential in my eyes.

Before I wrap up this article, I think I should talk a bit more about the controls. Since there isn’t any tutorial, I liked it that you can find out what each button does on your own. But, as soon as you play, you will understand that this isn’t the best choice. You’ll have to play that in order to understand it. Otherwise I ruined each surprise.

Anyways, let’s wrap up this first impression here. I almost wanted to start the conclusion as I was writing a review. But I haven’t beaten this game, so I can’t write a review. Anyways, I think this game deserves a play. It isn’t perfect, but it’s good. It isn’t polished, but it’s fun.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article. I wish you happy holidays and I look forward to seeing you guys soon. Since the Gameboy and Gameboy Color month will still go in January. I had a way more busy time then I expected, so I couldn’t write enough articles as I wanted for this theme. That’s why I decided that. But anyways~ Take care!

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Review #006: Playmobil Top Secret Agents (DS) ~ Climb ladders with stone.

Playmobil Game

This game didn’t have a site, so here is the GameSpot page. 

My buddies over at Arpegi wanted me to review something different. Games I never really finished like SuperMan 64 came up. So, it’s obvious that they wanted me to review a bad game. I selected this “gem” instead. It’s a game I, tried, to play and never really 100% finished. Like I said in my Corpse Party impression article, I usually write about games when I’m completely finished them. But this game is different. On my old Dutch blog, I had simply a list of why this game was so terrible. But I am now going to give it a fair review. Let’s see if I wasn’t harsh on this game, I actually went ahead and replayed the game for as long as I could and then started writing this article. I’m rather curious how it’s going to turn out since my list of things I want to talk about has grown each part of the game. That can be a good and a bad thing since I didn’t tell if it were praises or complaints. One thing is for sure, it isn’t a good good game, it’s not going to get many points. But like the Happy Video Game Nerd has a video series, how bad is it really? And is it worth playing it? Even if it’s only to see how bad it truly is.

So, what’s the game?

playmobil-top-agents-nintendo-ds-001_mAlright, let’s dive right into this game. The first thing I have to men

The music sounds like a track of not even a minute looped over and over. The music sounds like something you created in a program where you can drap & drop samples into a timeline.tion is that I always let the game music play while I’m writing the review. To get in the mood for writing the review. So, I get reminded of how the game played. But do I now regret that decision. The music isn’t terrible but it’s isn’t what a game of this name.

So, I haven’t left the menu screen just yet. The font of the menu screen is terrible. When I’m on the menu where I can pick new game files, the word “game” looks almost like the replaced the letter G with an eight. Some letters are pretty close to each other and some letters like the “W” seem to take up more space then they should.

Plus, it wouldn’t surprise me that they didn’t play much games before this. Which game actually says, “Delete game file”? So, in other words, you can delete the game files from the menu screen? Well, that’s a very new and risky feature. I’ll be sure to try that out.

So, I skip somethings at the menu’s and dive right into the gameplay. One thing I can credit this game for, the game looks clean and inviting to play. They did a good job there. The music gets a little bit better but doesn’t sound catchy at all.

Plus, the names in the game are way to generic. Like the story. A random bad guy suddenly takes over the city or world and after you have some minor plotholes, you are left with a confused mind after the introduction. I can understand that

this game might be based on a cartoon series or a comic book show but they then leave the guys who don’t follow it in the dark and confused.

Climb ladders with stone.

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After the opening you get an extremely long introduction to the story. And like you would expect, the story is extremely generic. It’s a kids game, I can forgive it but it’s extremely forgettable. Wait, I actually take something back. A kids game can have a pretty memorable story. If you take of the Nintendo games and look at the games that are targeted towards kids, you can clearly see that the story is rather interesting.

I went through the effort to make this screenshot myself. This clearly shows the Q&A (word for quality testing) that this game lacks. The animation goes down in my eyes since you don’t climb up the ladder correctly. And here is the thing, it’s the very first ladder you meet in the game.

I forgot to actually mention that you need to press select after each dialogue/cut scene. And I had and actually have still trouble adjusting to that.

I touched on this before but the names don’t improve this game. “Jet Girl” and “Agent SPY” are two prime examples of this.

I have to give this game also some positive feedback, the game’s controls actually do work. And the game does what’s supposed to do. But let’s go further into the game and let’s see if it gets any better, or worse.

The driving. 

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On my previous blog I didn’t gave this game a full review like I’m doing now. And I want to correct that with this review. I often play games that aren’t targeted to my age or my style but when I got to the part where I needed to hit the road, I gave up.

I’m truly patient with games and I like to give them a fair chance, but this game truly lost me at the driving part. The drivers ride all over the place and they can’t turn at the road at all. It almost seems like the game’s animation is based on a grid and made and then the levels are designed. Sadly enough, this makes things break when a level is changed.

Also, I don’t get why on so many places you need to be reminded of the current date & time. That’s a truly “helpful” feature. It’s almost like they put this feature in so that the kids have no excuse anymore when it’s time to stop playing and go to bed.

I also don’t like how the game asks your language every time you start. This is similar to how you don’t have buttons to not have to press the select button after the 2nd or 3rd time you have to. Genius!

But back to the driving. It simply doesn’t work solid enough. Textures can glitch in each other, cars can ride in each other. Your radar/ map isn’t clear and the controls truly are messed up and unresponsive at times. Also, the game got a lot uglier at these parts and it looks pixelated as if this game was for MS-DOS. What I’m trying to get to is that this game doesn’t look sharp in these sections.

And at this part I started to loose interest. I remember from the first time I played this game that this is actually couple of mini-games. And judging that you can select these from the main menu, the game must be a “blast to play”. Since this gives me the impression that the game is rather short. Well, time for the conclusion.

Conclusion

The good:

+ The game controls work in the non-driving sections.

+ The non-driving sections look inviting.

The bad:

– Nearly no sound effects.

– Lacking story.

– Terrible driving.

– Annoying menu’s.

– Bad animation.

– Music that isn’t fun.

– Extremely easy game.

– Glitchy AI, like in the driving parts.

– Uncreative names.

My final thoughts:

I played a lot of Playmobil when I was young and I got excited when I saw this game. And oh boy, do I regret this buying impulse that I sold this game. I normally don’t get rid of games but this game was way to terrible to play.

This game lost my interest extremely fast. I have read some other reviewers talk about this game being fun for kids, but if you are a kid or a parent, I don’t advise this game at all. There are way better games to play that are way more fun and will be less frustrating then this one. The Nintendo DS library is big but this is one of the games that is a mold on the game library.

Don’t buy this game, it’s extremely bad and doesn’t deserve any positive attention. I might be very harsh here but this game is one of the worst games I have actually played without seeing it in a TOP 10 list.

Score: 20 / 100