Video Game Review: Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (Gameboy)

As much as I have liked firing up and playing the original Kid Icarus every few years since I was a kid, I had never played its sequel, which was released on the Gameboy, as opposed to the original Nintendo.

I feel like this is a severely underutilized franchise and to date, there have only been three Kid Icarus games made. Granted, the character of Pit does make appearances in other games, sometimes as simple cameos and sometimes as a playable character like in the Super Smash Bros. game series.

Despite quite a lengthy break between the first game and this one, Of Myths and Monsters doesn’t really break any new ground. In fact, this almost exactly follows the template of the first game in how it goes from vertical scrolling levels to side scrolling ones and then gives you a fortress at the end of each world that can scroll in either direction.

Furthermore, this has the same amount of levels, laid out the same way. The graphics almost look identical, even though this lacks color, and the mechanics function about the same, although platform jumping seems a bit improved here.

My only real complaint is lack of color, which couldn’t be avoided due to the Gameboy platform at the time. However, the final level in this is ridiculously insane.

But this chapter in the series does improve one major thing: boss battles.

Where Kid Icarus had lame, easy to beat bosses that were still incredibly tedious to fight because of their hit count, Of Myth and Monsters actually gives us some cool bosses, especially the final boss, that aren’t as maddening to fight.

But even with better bosses, this is still bogged down by the last level and the black and white presentation. So I guess this makes it break even with the original game.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: the original Kid Icarus, as well as other NES and Gameboy action fantasy or sci-fi games like the two original Zeldas, Rygar or Metroid.

Video Game Review: Castlevania: The Adventure (Gameboy)

Fuck me, I forgot how goddamned awful this piece of shit game was until I decided to replay it. I mean, it’s Castle-fucking-vania! How do you screw that up?

Even Simon’s Quest, which a bunch of simpleton’s want to claim is a terrible game (it isn’t) blows this mindnumbing mindfuck out of the water.

The awfulness of this game mainly falls on its mechanics. The controls are horrendous but then, so is the motion and movement of the character on the screen. You thought jumping in some of the NES Castlevania games was infuriating and tedious? Well, wait till you get a load of this shit game.

Granted, you should never actually play this unless you have free access to it and you hate yourself, your sanity and are deliberately trying to be self-destructive with a God Mode code.

Apart from the mechanics, the game is boring, looks boring, has stupid bosses that are generic, uninspiring and don’t channel the same sort of classic horror feel that the NES games did.

Fuck this game. If you own it, burn it.

Rating: 1.5/10
Pairs well with: The original and far superior Castlevania trilogy for NES, as well as the Gameboy sequel.

Video Game Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (Gameboy)

The Amazing Spider-Man was the game that made me want to get a Gameboy for Christmas the year it came out.

I was really hardcore into Spidey at the time and having the ability to play a Spider-Man game was something that excited the hell out of my eleven year-old brain.

This beat the superior Genesis game by a few years but it was still a really fun game for the time even if it was pretty hard due to wonky controls, poor mechanics and really simplistic graphics and level design.

I think the thing that captivated me the most, at the time, was that it had a good amount of enemies from Spider-Man’s deep rogues gallery.

This featured Mysterio, Hobgoblin, Scorpion, Rhino, Doctor Octopus and Venom, who was new at the time and the favorite comic book character for most boys circa 1990. There are also Lizard cameos throughout the game. Well, I’m assuming it’s either Lizard or people he infected with his condition, as he/they appear at every manhole in the game.

Sadly, the game hasn’t held up well. I don’t think that it was necessarily great for its time either but being that I was such a hardcore web-head, I excused the game’s flaws and just tried to immerse myself into the role of Spider-Man.

Rating: 6.25/10
Pairs well with: its sequel, as well as the Spider-Man game for the Sega Genesis and the Maximum Carnage game for multiple consoles.

Video Game Review: Super Mario Land (Gameboy)

Super Mario Land was released in 1989 as one of the launch titles for Nintendo’s first hand held console, the original Gameboy. I think it was the first game I actually played on the platform.

It’s pretty much a standard side scrolling Super Mario Bros. game. It’s similar to the original Nintendo trilogy of games, being closest to the first one in the series.

What I like about it is that it’s really unique in that you don’t fight Bowser but instead, fight a alien dude in a spaceship. You also fight giant flame breathing sphinxes and a lot of other new types of enemies. Plus, everything either has an ancient Egypt or a UFO theme.

While this also has some of the old baddies in it, the koopas in this game are more like a cross between koopas and bob-ombs. Instead of their shells bouncing around as weapons, they now fall and explode.

Ultimately, this was a pretty imaginative Mario game with a lot of cool things that set it apart from the others before it without diverting away from the gameplay style that made the games popular.

It’s a smooth running, energetic game with cool levels, neat monsters and a final boss that was unlike anything else in a Mario game before this.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: the other Super Mario games for Gameboy and the original Nintendo.