Review by Stan S

"Good Enough for the Original? Try This"

I am normally a fan of all NES games, even those that have such an incredibly high suck value that no one would even consider playing them. Why? I really don't know, there's just something about the system and the games and all of the history I have with it. At any rate, older games are always a draw for me, there is nothing better than popping in Wrecking Crew or Donkey Kong 3, or any other game that was released in the early years of the NES or Famicom. This game was one that did not see release in America, or anywhere other than Japan as far as I know, but you may be lucky enough to find it on a pirate cartridge as ''Super Load Runner'' or ''Load Runner 2.'' The game itself requires little for me to go over, especially if you are familiar with the original Lode Runner. So, I'll be brief.

Gameplay (10 out of 10)

The gameplay is exactly the same as the original, there is nothing new to go over. Now, some people may find this to be not what one would expect for a sequel, but really, it basically works because of the difficulty level of this game (I'll get to that). Simple enough, you run around avoiding the pre-Bomberman robots to collect piles of gold dust. Collect all of them, and progress to the next level. You can create gaps in the floor by pressing either ''A'' or ''B.'' Press the one, turn to the left and you create a gap, press the other, and you do it the other way. You can use this to trap the robots, or to make pathways to get to other areas.

Control (10 out of 10)

I already mentioned that above in gameplay. Start is Pause, Select can be used for the obvious, and the action buttons perform as I mentioned. Very easy to get used to, there's nothing to it.

Graphics (10 out of 10)

Same as before, though the levels tend to be larger, with more variety in the positioning of various ladders, climbing poles, and so forth. If you liked the original, there is no difference really, though I could agree that a beef-up on the graphics would have been a nice touch.

Music and Sound (10 out of 10)

I liked the original theme and sound effects, so this may annoy some people because it's simply the same thing all over again. I could see how a new musical score or different sounds would have been a good idea, but really it doesn't bother me, as the music is not the most integral thing about this game. The tinky tinky walk of your character doesn't bother me either, I rather enjoy it.

Difficulty (100000000000000000000000000000000 out of 10)

Here is where the game really shines. While everything else is just the same as the original, the difficulty is completely over the top. New gamers, I suggest you play the original before even thinking about this game, otherwise you will most likely hate it. It's called ''Championship Lode Runner'' for a reason. Essentially, it picks up right where the other left off, thus you can imagine what the levels are like if you've played the first. In Lode Runner, you could basically go around and play the levels as they came to you. In this one, forget it. The screen quickly scrolls through everything, requiring you to make quick judgements about where you are going to go and how you are going to get there. One wrong move, and you'll either be stuck, dead, or lost. Every level thus becomes a giant puzzle of sorts. Some are easier than others, but for the most part you really have to think to make it through this game even a few rounds. Sometimes, going one step down further will completely screw you up, so be careful.

Replay Value (10 out of 10)

Again, some people may seriously hate this game, especially if one considers the difficulty. But, I've always been the type to find all the good in every NES game, and this one really provides it's own through the ''championship'' feel it tries to provide. If you haven't beat the first one, forget this one, you need the skill to do it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/01/04

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