I’ve organized a plan for RA, where I’ll do a different console per post, with increased +1 entry each time, up to 10, after which I will make a reset. The console pick up is entirely done by RNG, although I do tend to avoid those that still lack a sufficient number of games in their library. However, for a time being, I might put that on hold, because I really want to prioritize the major clean- up that I’ve been thinking of doing for a while now. Well, I’ve kind of started it a while back, but for real, I should be more consistent with it.
Monsters, Inc. [Game Boy Color]
This game is a platformer that starts out pretty decently, but it quickly accelerates into shoving instant deaths into the face of the player. That comes in terms of enemies, platforming segments and boss battles. Boss battles in particular are pretty awful, because it’s not really crystal- clear as to how they should be handled, especially the second one. Another major issue is the boss patterns, which you need to learn proper, as you cannot really outrun your foe and your huge hitbox is of no help either. This game doesn’t shine all that much when it comes to level variety and some visuals in certain levels can be confusing sometimes when it comes to handling properly the platforming. The controls of this game are not very good, but I’ve seen worse. Suffice to say, even if you get used to them, performing certain difficult platforming segments still won’t feel as good as they should. At least the game is generous enough to provide you with a decent number of extra lives and HP pick- ups are all over the place.
How well does this game live up to the original source material? Last time I’ve watched “Monsters, Inc.” was probably over more than a decade ago, but from what I remember, I think this game does its job good enough. You can switch between Sulley and Mike in certain levels, but the majority of the game is dedicated to Sulley. Sulley has a bigger hitbox, can grab onto ledges and roar at sleeping children at the beginning of the game. Further along, Boo will join him for a few stages, but as far as I have played this game, I never found her attack to be of any need or use anywhere in the game. Mike is the character to go in pretty much every stage where he is available. He can double jump and has a projectile attacks, which costs 1 HP per ammo, but it’s still pretty good enough to take out most of the opposition that might try and stand in your way.
My final statement for this game is – I really hated the stage with the doors! The issue there is not the design of the stage, but rather, the fact that you need to position well to grab onto the doors in order to climb on top of them. That gets especially frustrating when it comes to the moving doors, where in some cases Sulley would refuse to grab at all, resulting in pretty much a loss of life and a restart of the whole stage. I also think that the vertical scrolling is done pretty badly. To keep up with your nemesis who is chasing you and can instantly kill you, you need to be really ahead, way past what the camera shows you even. Memorization of the level layout plays a huge role in that, but is this really how the developers intended the level to be played? Does this game suffers from a lack of quality playtesting?
Warlocked [Game Boy Color]
I called this game a “Budget Warcraft: Orcs and Humans”, but I don’t know how strongly do I feel about that opinion. It’s quite the unique experience, I’ve never imagined that I would ever play RTS for a handheld. I think what made me come up with that opinion for “Warlocked” more than anything was the resources gathering in this game. Come on now! A gold mine that you sent your workers to and lumber harvesting? That is so WC alright! I do like that they made different variations for the gold mine and the lumber. In some levels you gather rocks and in the underground levels you mine the gold straight from a drilled- in hole in the ground. Those are but a few simple touches that put a genuine smile on my face.
When it comes to the two factions in the game, the only differences between them are the sprites. Both Humans and Beasts play the same, they both have identical unit types and structures that share equal stats and functions. The only buildings that you can build in this game are farms, towers and barracks. Farms increase the maximum number cap of units that you can have, but sadly, no indication about it is displayed anywhere on the hub menu, which can be kind of annoying. Turrets provide a slight defense for your base. Pretty weak in general, can easily fall to merely a two melee soldiers. The barracks lets your produce either melee soldiers or archers. The first type is what you’ll be producing most of the time, as archers are more fragile, expensive and only necessary for taking down enemy dragons, really.
Maps vary from small to medium- sized. In general, the campaign missions are on the low side of difficulty. Especially the missions where you can obtain Dragons, which you can use to clean up any opposition in no time. In general though, the enemy CPU doesn’t gather resources and does not rebuild structures, but is usually fortified really well. A few waves of melee soldiers usually does the job just as well as a single drake. As for the missions themselves, they mix it up with something new and different every now and then, so it’s not always about cleaning the whole map from the CPU’s units and structures.
The bread and the butter of this game are the wizards. These are really strong units that you can rescue per each missions, after the first one for each faction. They can be stored and summoned from a temple structure, which you need to reveal on the map in order to use. They have no cost for summoning and each one can provide you with unique power. In general, most wizards can instantly kill an enemy unit. Some of them do that and turn the enemy unit into resources, which are credited to your bank right away. Some wizards can convert the enemy units into archers for your own personal army or into weak critters that you can kill in few hits. There are wizards that make your units tougher to kill or fortify your turrets to be able to sustain more damage. The list goes on and there are wizards unique to each factions, even though they are yet again a sprite swaps sharing similar stats and powers.
Maps hold secrets, like wizards, hints, maps for multiplayer and gambling mini- games that you can unlock, so full exploration is encouraged. Army stocks can be saved, imported or exported. The mini- games provide you with additional extra gold for your stock files. [?] I wonder how good multiplayer is? I haven’t experience it yet, but would really like to at some point in the future.
The RA achievements push one towards finding all the wizards. While that is fine and dandy, wizard distribution is unique for each new save file. Luckily, that distribution comes in the form of a few unique sets, all of which have been recorded by a guy on the internet. I’m really glad that documentation exists, because honestly, there is no point in replaying the campaigns over and over, without any knowledge regarding the wizards spawn order. In my case, I was literally chasing after finding sprite swaps of wizards that I’ve already experienced during my first initial run. [Only Sage and Necromancer were left when I consulted the documentation.] Is this a form of cheating or did I do good for saving time chasing wild gooses? I’ll let you be the judge of that…
The plot of this game is pretty bland for each faction, wherein you just build up your path towards dethroning the lead figure of the opposing nation. The music in this game is pretty catchy and it fits quite well with the muffled and bland voices of the units. It’s quite the hilarious experience, I really enjoyed it!
Having trouble defending your main hall? Put a wizard there to halt all attacks along with a worker to repair all the damage. If you have a wizard than can convert enemies into resources or archers, you can turn the attacks into quite the profit! It requires a little bit of micro, but it’s quite effective.
This game… It’s not really amazing, but it can be the perfect gateway game for anyone who wants to get into the RTS genre. Personally, I give it a honest 6/10.