Review by Phange
"Definitely the odd-man-out of the "Classics""
Ice Climber is not a very good game. It never was, and never will be. Through the grace of Nintendo Gods, Ice Climber gained marginal popularity because of its heroes starring in the incredibly popular Super Smash Brothers Melee. Ice Climber THE GAME is nothing more than a very simple mind-numbingly dull action game. Starting as "Popo", your job is to move to the top of one of 32 mountains. On the summit is a pterodactyl that will take you to the next level. In 2 player mode, a somewhat ingenious (but ultimately hindering) amount of cooperation is required. Popo and Nana must help each other from scrolling below the screen (which means certain death) and at the same time jump to normally impossible-to-jump-to ledges. This all sounds fine and dandy, but in actuality it is SO BORING.
Typical early NES fare. It isn't presented particularly badly, and the animals for the most part can be determined from their sprites. The GBA does a fair job emulating the original NES's sprite flickering and scrolling. Overall, Ice Climber is not a bad looking game, and in some respects it's probably one of the best looking games in the NES Classics series.
MAN this game is boring. It has absolutely no merit to its name. After scaling the first mountain, I felt like I had enough. I must admit, though, that 32 mountains is a pretty decent size. However, this game can hardly hold someone's interest through the first mountain. There's just NOTHING to do besides jump and avoid enemies. This worked well in Donkey Kong (nostalgically speaking) but Ice Climber doesn't have nostalgia on its side. Most Americans didn't even KNOW Ice Climber existed on the NES until Super Smash Brothers Melee introduced the characters.
The primary selling point of the NES Classics series is the nostalgia that each game brings. Sure, they're all a complete ripoff at $20 if one would judge them by today's gaming standards, but the point is that they're CLASSIC NES games. Ice Climber simply is NOT a classic NES game. It wasn't even a very good game when it first came out, and age tends to damage even the best of games.
The music is pretty catchy, actually. I could hum the Ice Climber tune for quite a while. Overall its an upbeat, whimsical melody that almost anyone would enjoy. The other sound effects are just standard fare.
This game would be fine as part of a LARGE compilation of games, but as just a single, $20 game for the GBA, its an absolute ripoff. With practically no replay value (and hardly no reason to play it the first time) this game is just not worth the money. Only die-hard collectionists should even THINK about picking this title up.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10
Reviewer's Rating: 1.5 - Bad
Originally Posted: 06/17/04
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