GameSpite Quarterly #1, part 8

Kirby’s Dream Land
Ah, Kirby’s Dream Land. That tenuous first step into the world of Kirby, before powers… and before pink. It’s always weird to look at the box art and see the hero looking more like a ghost than like cotton candy, but that sort of creative uncertainty is precisely what makes this game so gosh-darned charming.
Bionic Commando
Hey, so you may have noticed I really like Bionic Commando a lot. And, you know, this Game Boy port is a near-perfect rendition of the NES game, with a few embellishments and additions. I can save you a click and a couple of minutes right now by saying, simply, so dang good. There, now you know the gist of the article.
Final Fantasy Legend III
Kirin puts the wraps on the Game Boy SaGa games with a brief look at the weirdly un-weird Final Fantasy Legend III. You know a series is pretty screwy when the “odd” chapter is the one that’s most like a normal RPG. But this is the only SaGa game that wasn’t helmed by Akitoshi Kawazu, this its black — er, white — sheep status.
Donkey Kong ’94
Someone on Talking Time referred to this article as “The Donkey Kong ’94 of Donkey Kong ’94 articles.” That’s high praise indeed! And if you’d ever played DK ’94 you’d understand precisely why. If not… well, it’s never too late, even though Nintendo seems to have abandoned this masterpiece in favor of Lemmings-like offshoots. So it goes.

15 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly #1, part 8

  1. I found it hard to get into Bionic Commando for NES, but, at your recommendation, I downloaded the new title for PSN and absolutely love it. I gotta re-visit the NES and this one sometime soon.

    As for Kirby, along with Zelda: Link’s Awakening, it’s one of the earliest titles I remember beating all the way through without a guide or Game Genie. I really need to hunt down an old Game Boy one of these days.

  2. Plowing through Quarterly #1 really, *really* made me wish that there was a Game Boy Virtual Console service for the DS. The only GB games I ever really tinkered around with were Tetris (of course) Pokemon Yellow, and so now I feel like I’m missing out a big chunk of gaming history. Fah!

  3. Yeah, of all the boneheaded mistakes Nintendo has made, the lack of a portable VC ranks up there.

  4. That someone on Talking Time was me.

    I picked Donkey Kong ’94 again last month after abandoning it when I was a kid. It’s aged really well, all the puzzle elements feel completely flushed out without wearing out their welcome or becoming too repetitive. It’s a shame that Nintendo never bothered to revisit that game because it has one of the deepest control schemes of anything on the Gameboy.

  5. Actually, Mario Vs. Donkey Kong is pretty much a complete remake of the game for GBA. The sequels went all Lemmings on us, though.

  6. Yeah, I remember playing one that was very Lemmings-esque and I wasn’t crazy about it.

  7. Its funny that Calorie Mate would have never even played DK ’94 if not for my recommendation a year or two ago either.

  8. The FFL III article feels like it was cut off just as I started enjoying it. If it wasn’t mistakenly cut off, I don’t mean to complain – it was a good read.

  9. One thing that definitely made FFL III more accessible than the previous two: the rules for monster/cyborg/etc parts and meat usage were explicitly given in the manual! Seriously, with the manual’s tables and your current level, you could usually know in advance what you’d turn into.

    And if you didn’t like the result, there was always the Flushex unit…

  10. One of the problems of FFLIII is that the game’s pretty much stacked in favor of keeping one human and one mutant and making the other two into a beast and a robot. It’s nice to have extra variety, but the cyborgs and monsters are just crap.

  11. Skyward – like some of the other short articles, the FFLIII piece was originally planned as a “sidebar” to go next to a longer article. The actually publication layout didn’t work out that way in the end, which is why some of the article lengths seem kind of random.

    dtsund – Huh, maybe *that’s* how I managed to get through it as a kid without GameFAQs. Ah, the days of occasionally decent manuals.

  12. We may not have a GameBoy VC, but don’t let that stop from playing these games. GameBoy carts are particularly cheap on eBay or Half. I recently bought Donkey Kong ’94 and Gargoyle’s Quest for about five bucks each, and I am absolutely loving them. Donkey Kong ’94 in particular is a fantastic game that has aged incredibly well. When I think of GameBoy platformers I don’t usually picture a game controlling as fluidly and as well as DK94 does.

  13. Summed it up pretty well on DK ’94 I’d say! Not to mention that this game, and not Yoshi’s Island, as the buzz around Miyamoto’s feelings would suggest for other people as well, is the reason why I felt bitter that the Donkey Kong Country series attracted the lion’s share of the hype instead.

    Aside from that buzz related spite (and lordy knows I have a lot of that in my system), DK ’94 really still is the puzzle platformer gold standard pretty much. Wario Land 2 and 3 would have come closer if they didn’t involve so much trial and error in lieu of skill.

    By the by, since I haven’t really played it in ages, what was it that was missing from Mario vs. DK 1? I just remember that it missed something.

  14. what was it that was missing from Mario vs. DK 1?

    It was all done with ugly, prerendered characters instead of sprites.

  15. Also, to access hidden levels, you had to complete the regular levels with preternatural perfection. Maybe there are humans capable of doing this, but I’m not one, and it was quite frustrating to know I’d never be able to see the whole game.

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