Review by Summonmaster
Reviewed: 07/22/03 | Updated: 07/22/03
A classic gem that actually 20 in 1!
Game and Watch Gallery is a compilation of about 20 old games (after everything is unlocked), enhanced with bright mario themed characters and settings. You start of with the 6 default games: Fire, Rainshower, Donkey Kong 3, Boxing, Mario's Cement Factory, and Donkey Kong Jr. As you play you will unlock stars, which in turn unlock other games. Work hard to get those stars!
Gameplay 10/10 - The games themselves are very easy and addicting in their own respects. The key to this is in their simple yet hard to master concepts. As nonsensical as some of the concepts are, you'll be playing the games for a while, and you can reflect back on these points if you lose ;). You'll have fun bouncing survivors on a trampoline to get them to safety in Fire (although no building would have so much survivors and remain standing for so long, and they should wait their turn to jump out if they don't want you missing any of them). Rainshower will have you scrambling to keep your clothes dry (why does one raindrop stain the whole article of clothing? one shouldn't hang their clothes outside on a rainy day!). Mario's Cement Factory will have you dropping cookie dough (deadly obvious how it's different from the name of the game) in a haunted factory, to make cookies, while ghosts try to interfere. Donkey Kong Jr. has Donkey Kong Jr. trying to endlessly free his father through 3 different locales. Boxing has you pitted against wigglers, boos, and villains in exciting matches. Finally, Donkey Kong 3 has you as Mario shooting bubbles to send ghosts and fireballs to your nemesis, Donkey Kong. There are even more games to get after you unlock stars such as Chef, Octopus, and the infamous Zelda (Game and Watch version). There are modern and classic modes for these games, and the classic versions simulate the LCD screen experience with the sudden movements and all! Easy and Hard, as well as the hidden Very Hard modes keep the challenge intact. This is a wonderful assortment of simple and fun games that you'll want to keep playing. The only downside is that you may need to practice for a while on some of the games, since lasting until you get 1000 points isn't always a walk in the park if you want to get all 5 stars for a game. You can also save your in game progress for times when you want to stop playing and return later. You'll have to pick up playing the game you saved however or the data will be lost.
Control 10/10 - There are no real complaints about the controls since they're pretty easy to master. Instructions and button functions are shown to you before you play a game so control is no concern.
Story 0/10 (None) - There is no evident story which links the games together, which is a good thing because trying to make one wouldn't make sense. The games themselves also have no stories, and the points to the games are self evident. This game is basically straight up game playing.
Audio/Visual 9/10 - The sound is very good since none of the music is too annoying. If it is, you can always turn it off before you choose a game. The sound effects are well done from the clink of the pan in Chef to the bouncing of people in Fire. Sound is non existent in classic versions of games, but it's all to reproduce the nostalgic value of the classics. The colours and the characters are great in modern mode. The vivid characters from the Mario series all help out in playing the games. The classic versions retain the black and white styles with a little colour in the background. The only thing about the classic and modern versions is that either version can make it slightly harder to play the games since the classic versions feature jerky movements, but can be predicted by the unlit background shadows (you'll see what I mean), and the modern version has smoother graphics, but harder to predict paths (no unlit background shadows). It's hard to explain but once you look at the games you'll see.
To Buy or To Rent? There's clearly no point to rent a GBA game since you'd have to first of all find a place that rents them out. A game with so much to unlock isn't just to rent if you like to do this sort of thing. This one is to buy. You can even link up with only one game pak (2 GBAs, of course) for Boxing and Donkey Kong 3, which is an easy 20 stars right there if you have a friend or another GBA.
Overall, a very wonderful game with high replay value and much to discover.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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