GBAtemp game of the week - #69

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by FAST6191, Sep 13, 2012.

Sep 13, 2012
  1. FAST6191
    OP

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,737
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    GBAtemp book game club #69 time. The club is one of a handful of series we have around here that aim to highlight interesting games to play but where the others are about us reviewing the title this one is more about those wishing to join in discussing it.
    The leaked code, commercial releases, homebrew games and ROM hacks for the GBA, DS and Wii will be what provides most of our selections but there are to be occasional asides should the DS be able to emulate something. This said if the franchise or game has notable entries on another platform then we will try to at least mention it in passing.
    The selection process itself is not going to be shared however we are not aiming to make another greatest ? games list as those are done elsewhere and they frequently omit many of the new and interesting games that companies have attempted over the years.
    This said special reasons (anniversaries, new releases and such) and themes might crop up over the course of things with them being noted when they do happen. There may also be runs posed (complete the game without....) or challenges which might even have ROM hacks to help that out. For the most part, seen as we are a weekly series, it will be one game per time unless there are very similar sequels or we are setting out to compare and contrast competing titles.



    #69 - Juka and the Monophonic Menace (GBA)

    Southpeak Games did publishing on this one and where they are often a shovelware and old franchises and NA releases of popular European games publisher they do occasionally have some interesting things (a couple of weeks back we highlighted Ninjatown which they published). The game itself was made by Orbital Media, Inc. who seem to have more or less fallen off the face of the earth but before they did that they did a few really interesting GBA games. The GBAtemp Recommends! series already highlighted their superb racing game Racing gears advance and Scurge Hive frequently finds itself on lists of underrated games, this however is about Juka and the Monophonic Menace so on with that. If ever there needed to be a case made of why trying to categorise things into broad genres is an increasingly irrelevant concept this would probably be one of the key pieces of evidence in it; some have called it a simple RPG, others pushed it towards adventure and others somewhere else again and each can have a case made for it.
    The story itself, while enjoyable, would be at home in just about any fantasy setting save perhaps for the slightly musical theme of many enemies but it is solid and dodges many of the tropes and clich├ęs. Gameplay wise it is classic isometric puzzles, towns and such although battling takes place in level and in real time which means we would probably recommend it most to fans of Zelda games and previous game of the week Summon Night - Swordcraft Story 2 and if nothing else makes a somewhat nice game to avoid having to make a massive commitment to play and/or introduce someone to this style of gameplay.



    First few minutes of gameplay (multiple other videos available)

    "Why play this when I can just play Zelda?" or was Orbital Media, Inc. the star the shines very brightly for a very short amount of time?



    gbagotw should get you other links in this series
     
  2. Hadrian

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,978
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I do miss Orbital Media. Racing Gears Advance is still my favourite handheld racer and Scurge: Hive was very well done although the GBA version was a lot better than the DS one.

    This game may not be as good as Zelda Minish Cap but that doesn't mean people should ignore it. The presentation was top notch, characters were interesting and so was the story. It was very vibrant and colourful and the maps and sprites were very well designed. I liked the alchemy part of the gameplay too and I never felt bored while playing it. The music is some of the best you'll hear on the GBA, really memorable tunes and I hope whoever did them is working now. I remember it being quite a long game too.

    Overall it's a forgotten gem and I really hope the people at Orbital Media are doing well because they were such a talented bunch of people they just came out at the wrong time perhaps, everything they were doing were for GBA and they had to make the transition to DS...maybe they ran out of funding or their publisher dropped out. If this was today the developer could have easily put these over to eShop/iOS/Android to help with costs and without worrying about a publisher. The Pirate Battle game they were working on looked brilliant as too was Racing Gears 2. Maybe they should have done some licensed titles to help fund those games just like WayForward do.

    BTW you have this down as a NDS title.
     
  3. Bladexdsl

    Member Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    14,353
    Location:
    Queensland
    Country:
    Australia
    did that say it was by zoo?!! :wtf:
     
  4. Hadrian

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,978
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    2005? It does look like zoo 5 in the vid.
     
  5. FAST6191
    OP

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,737
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    As part of this I had a quick look to see if some of the staff are doing anything else- the producer does not seem to have done much since (Clue(do) and that Wheelman game) although mobygames is not the best as far as being complete goes. Just checked again and the programmer is doing IOS stuff and the Sound design was Jake Kaufman (saving a click he does seem partially tied to WayForward and has done Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Saints row 3, contra 4 and elements of destruction among several other things).

    I agree though- if they managed to get back in the game they could clean up on IOS and such.

    +1 to the GBA scurge being the better game as well. I think for me it is a toss up between that and one of the Pirates of the Caribbean games for "best GBA version of a game which also exists on the DS". I had not really paid attention to the pirate battle game but just checked it out... could have been one of the very few pirate themed games that are any good.
     
  6. Aeter

    Member Aeter A walking contradiction

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    The lands of nether
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Looks interesting, will definitely try this one out.
    I'm still occupied with Swordcraft Story games though.
     
  7. BORTZ

    Global Moderator BORTZ wtf, nintendo

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,652
    Country:
    United States
    Wow I totally missed this game. I love the over world pixel art and stuff. The characters look so alive.

    Fast I'm glad you do these sort of things. I'll never get bored of reading your posts.
     
  8. Hadrian

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,978
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yeah looking at what he has done there are some titles I loved the sound to.


    In terms of how the games were exact I can't think of many others Star Wars Episode III was better on GBA, DS one had some terrible 3D space crap tacked on. Though the DS did have completely different versions of games like TMNT & Spyro: Eternal Night others that were a lot better on GBA.
     
  9. ShadowPirater

    Newcomer ShadowPirater Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    beyond reality, in the shadows of nowhere
    Country:
    United States
    I definitely loved this game, so much so that I ended up writing my first walkthrough for it. It's quirky and different and really easy to pick up and play. Definitely a hidden gem for those who are into these types of games. I'm really glad it's getting a little recognition.
     
  10. Xenirina

    Member Xenirina Scener

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Country:
    Australia
    The game looks alright.
    I've never been a fan of the GBA era, but they really did pump out some good games in those times.
     

Share This Page