GBAtemp Recommends #68: Warlocked

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Welcome to the 68th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favourite games and applications with you. The titles we recommend may be "old school" games, a piece of Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention!

    This is the third part of a special four week look at excellent games of the Gameboy/Gameboy Colour.​
    Real time strategy games...not really something that you'd expect on the GBC, really more to the screensize and also the controls but there isn't many on the handheld. Enter Bits Studio who thirteen years ago released and game quite similar to Warcraft but with more emphasis on story and the odd RPG element.​
    The story is the usual fantasy RTS fare. Mankind and the beastly creatures of the planet are in a worldwide battle to occupy and take over the world for themselves. To do this they must build their towns, gather supplies and train up knights, archers and other fighters to aid their fight. The humans, under Queen Azareal's rule, have their kingdom nicely settled in the world. However Chief Zog, wants to obliterate the human race from the planet and therefore has been attacking and raiding the towns and territories in a bid to takeover and emerge from the shadows. As the player you can either defend your kingdom and attack Chief Zog's minions or you can be Chief Zog's minions to rule the world. So yeah it's kinda Warcrafty.​
    If you've played Warcraft, you pretty much know what to do. Like Warcraft the map is covered in a "fog of war" and so you must go out adventuring to clear this fog so you can see more of the map. You start with Grunts and you'll need to send them our gather wood, gold etc so that you can afford to build the towns, farms etc and also be able to have enough supplies to raise a army of Knights, Archers etc. As well as those you can also get dragons too which will help your quest. Dragons however can only be found if you find their eggs on the map. However what sets it apart from Warcraft and other RTS games is the introduction on Wiz's. There are around 27 Wiz's for you to rescue and these characters can then be used to aid you in your quest. Some Wiz's will turn the enemy into chickens, others will make your Grunts work twice as hard and another will help turn some of your units into crows which really helps you explore the land and lot quicker.​
    There are 30 or so missions to take part in and overall the game can last around 15-20 hours, depending on the type of player you are. Some of them are short, others are fairly deep and could actually take around 40 odd minutes to accomplish. What really does draw you in are the extras and hidden bits you can get, these really did help keep this cartridge in my GBC way back. As well as single player maps there are also some multiplayer missions as well which are fantastic...if you knew someone else with a copy of the game but I enjoyed playing those with a friend all those years back. As well as the regular mission there are also some mini games in the form of poker and slide puzzle games which do provide a nice enough distraction.​
    Bits Studio did an excellent job with the controls. It's just a simple case of dragging the cursor and tapping A or B, normally I would expect this to be a bit cumbersome but they did a great job at making sure this doing this isn't a chore. Admittedly...AI is pretty dumb, so you will end up having to make sure your characters do what they should but it's nothing massive.​
    With a RTS there will be a lot happening on the screen for you to keep an eye on, the developers have done fine work in making sure this is easy on the eye and that everything doesn't look too cramp. Graphically it looks like a Nintendo title. The characters are bold and animate very nicely and with so much on the screen I really do feel that the game is pushing the 8-bit GBC hardware.​
    The music is very memorable and is actually by a fantastic composer by the name of Jereon Tel who is quite popular for his work on the Commodore 64. The tunes will stay with you for some time and some people may want to wander into the sound test part to hear those again, just check out the music in the video down below! There is some nice and clean digitised speech in there and not only is it some of the best I've heard on the platform, but it's some of the best I've heard on a 8-Bit platform.​
    Overall what Bits Studios done on the GBC is outstanding, it's not a perfect game but its a damn fine one that was constantly in my GBC and then later GBA all those years back. Sadly it only got a release in the US and it took a few years before I was able to play it legitimately. It may take some of you some time for it to gel with you but stick with tedious tutorials and you'll be rewarded with a damn fine gem of the game. The game was highly rated when it was released and is often mentioned as a title that people would like to see on Virtual Console​
    The developer did do a sequel to the game for GBA called Wizards and it looked fantastic...sadly Nintendo passed on publishing it and they never could find a publisher for it and it now belongs to the "potential greats that never got released" list. There is a trailer of that title after the Warlocked one. ​
    ^ DAT MUSIC!!​
    How could Nintendo pass on this awesomeness?​
    Genre: Real Time Strategy
    Release Year: 2000
    Developer: Bits Studios
    Published by: Nintendo
    Released For: Gameboy Colour

    If you enjoyed this week's edition of GBAtemp Recommends! please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future.

    If you would also like to write a GBAtemp Recommends! article, let me know.​
  2. Janthran

    Janthran Solarian

    Sep 17, 2011
    United States
    The Pacific Northwet
    RTS on the GBC?
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Wow this completely went under my radar (I can not say I had ever heard of it prior to reading this), the closest I ever got was the GBC Warriors of Might and Magic and that was definitely an action game.
  4. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

    Jan 22, 2009
    United States
    Warlocked was absolutely amazing for the GBC. I remember this game with vivid memories. Some levels had super strong units to rescue. Wizards, and other units with special abilities were hidden around the maps. It was actually very deep for such a simple game.

    I'm actually humming one of the themes right now. I haven't played it in almost 9 years. All in all a very memorable game.
  5. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

    Oct 23, 2007
    PowerLevel: 9001
    The music is AMAZING! This one goes on my GBC "Gotta Play" list :D
    Qtis and Sterling like this.
  6. ferofax

    ferofax End of the World

    Jan 26, 2009
    Have to agree, this was an awesome game for me as well. Too bad I only found out about it in recent years. Could have been awesome back in my GBC heydays.
  7. FireEmblemGuy

    FireEmblemGuy Celebrating a decade of shitposting

    Jul 6, 2007
    United States
    Michigan, USA
    I loved this game; as far as I can remember it was what got me into the RTS genre.
  8. PrimeTime 84

    PrimeTime 84 Advanced Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    Too bad I didn't know this one back in the day, I totally loved RTS and my purple GBC :P
  9. Tornplaya

    Tornplaya Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    United States
    I'm a huge RPG and Strategy fan and this game brings back so many memories. I'm surprised yet happy to see that this game here; whoever does the recommending revival project knows what a good game is and has an excellent taste in games.
  10. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy ~I have crippling depression~

    Global Moderator
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    Bookmarked. This game looks right up my alley.
  11. TheDarkSeed

    TheDarkSeed I'm a pretentious sack of shit

    May 11, 2009
    United States
    The sword is OUTSIDE THE FRAME! It has to be good.
  12. beatsbydresale
    This message by beatsbydresale has been removed from public view by TwinRetro, Feb 25, 2013.
    Feb 25, 2013