Overlooked "faux-retro" compilation: G.G Series Collection+

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by Vague Rant, May 6, 2014.

  1. Vague Rant
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    Vague Rant Deceptively cute

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    I just wanted to point G.G Series Collection+ out as it seems to have flown well under the radar.

    [​IMG]


    The cart is a collection of small games by defunct developer Suzak (probably best known for F-Zero: GP Legend and Climax on the GBA or the kinda-mediocre Wario: Master of Disguise on the DS). The G.G Series are a number of small, "16-bit-style" games the developer released as DSiWare. The DS collection is split about 50/50 between a compilation of these games and new games exclusive to this release. Several of the DSiWares are already available on the eShop in English [EDIT: more on these later], depending on your region, but if you're on a DS/Lite then that's no help to you.

    Here's some shots of the various games, courtesy Amazon Japan:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Games are split into four genres: Puzzle, Shooting, Action and Sports. You start the game with one of each already unlocked, and earn GP by playing them and beating Targets (i.e. challenges). This can be used to buy new games (or accessories for the helper girl who presents the game, if you're into that).

    So how are the games? Hit and miss, if we're honest. Some of them are fantastic, some are pretty average (I'm looking at you, Drift Circuit). With 30 games spanning several genres, though, it's hard not to find something to like, whether it's an ARPG like The Last Knight or a platformer like the seriously fun Shinobi Karakuri Den. The games are fairly easy to get the hang of without necessarily needing to understand the manuals, though they do have pictures accompanying their controller descriptions, so it's quite possible to learn how to play from them if necessary.

    The obvious parallel to make here is the Retro Game Challenge/Game Center CX series, similar faux-retro collections on the DS. G.G Series doesn't have the level of atmosphere those games do, with their '80s magazines and cheesy manuals: the manuals here seem fairly matter-of-fact (and are in Japanese, so if you can't read it it won't make much difference to you) and there's not really much peripheral to the games themselves unless you really enjoy customizing the helper. Still, 30 games is more than both games put together (I think), even if they're not always crafted with quite as much love as indieszero's instant classics.

    Not quite a classic, but still very worthy of your time if you enjoy its more polished cousin.

    EDIT: Nintendo Life has reviewed several of the standalone DSiWare games which were released in the west (renamed as the GO Series in Europe):

    Shooting
    D-Tank (7/10)
    Dark Spirits (7/10)
    Z-ONE (6/10)

    Action
    Ninja Karakuri Den/Shinobi Karakuri Den (6/10)
    Super Hero Ogre (5/10)

    Sports
    Drift Circuit (2/10)
    Horizontal Bar/Let's Swing/Tetsubuo (6/10)

    I largely agree with these reads on the games, from those I have played. I think Karakuri is a great arcade-style game worth more than 6, and Tetsubuo is an interesting concept that plays like fingernails on chalkboard, worthy of a four or five at best.

    All of the above games are included in Collection+. There are only four true G.G Series games which aren't featured on the collection, all of them sequels: Chou Hero Ogre 2, Drift Circuit 2, Shinobi Karakuri Den 2 and Z-ONE 2. The original Drift and Chou Hero games weren't really anything spectacular, so we're not missing much there, but the other two might be worth a shot. Unfortunately, these four all remained Japan-only, so they're not accessible to most users.

    It's probably also worth mentioning that there are several more games "in the series" which aren't really in any way related to the rest of the games. When Gamebridge picked up the G.G/GO franchise for publishing in the west, they also slapped the name on a few other games to give them a bit of brand recognition. I don't know anything about the non-Suzak/Genterprise games or their quality; obviously, they're also not included in Collection+.

    Something I've found interesting in my experience with the collection is that the non-DSiWare games created exclusively for this collection are some of the best. I would have expected the games sold as DSiWare to be the strongest while the rest were rejects or lazily slapped together to bump up the game count. However, this assumption was entirely wrong, and games like Whipper no Daibouken (cute little Indiana Jones-esque platformer), All Breaker (a creative puzzle-platformer built around hammering blocks and using the environment to defeat enemies) and Variable Arms (Contra-style run-and-gun with a transforming robot) are far superior to some of the lesser games that were actually sold individually.

    Overall, I think Collection+ is stronger than what little we saw of the series on the eShop. Many of the strongest games remained as Japan-exclusives or were only released in this collection, so even though the individual games' review scores point to the collection being fairly average, there's a lot of value to be had.
     
    hippy dave likes this.
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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  3. Vague Rant
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    Vague Rant Deceptively cute

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    Ah, I'm sorry I missed your Game of the Week on this; looks like we covered much the same ground, including backhanding Master of Disguise! Good to know that this game has gotten its fair share of attention here though, since it's such a niche product.

    I've definitely started to find it difficult to accrue GP, so I suppose we'll see how long I put up with it before I end up enabling cheats or using your save. Thanks for the link.
     
  4. masterz87

    masterz87 GBAtemp Fan

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    if this was ever translated into english, I'd definitely play it but I'm not going to wrap my brain around moon speak even if the games might be fun. If I can't read it, I don't play it. Call me crazy, but I don't do that whole "you can play this", etc. type of thing where you play games in moon speak. Looks interesting but I have wario ware DIY plus tons of minigames to try to play if I want it, and at the very least they should be in english of some sort. I do wish that that one had english in it of some shape or form but until then I'll hold off.
     
  5. Clydefrosch

    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    this looks interesting. do any of the games require knowing japanese to play?
    or are all of them arcade based and easily graspable?
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    There may be one that requires some Japanese knowledge. Most are just slightly simplified versions of arcade classics -- if it moves then shoot it, match coloured animals to coloured boxes. There may be occasions when you accidentally shoot a limited ammo weapon and cause yourself hassle by not having it later, should I ask for a show of hands for people that did the same in the old days when they had no manual (or did not read it) then I do no expect to see many people saying they did not.

    Alternatively back in the 16 bit era translated/localised games would often still have some kanji artwork on their titlescreens and the like, this can be treated in pretty much the same way. Those screenshots up above were not cherry picked to show lots of English.
     
  7. gundambot

    gundambot Member

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    it's soo hard to unlock stuff.....

    i played quite a bit back then and still haven't managed to unlock shit...other than using the points they gave you at the beginning...

    it gets frustrating..:unsure: