Review - Games Explosion! (GBA)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Covarr, Aug 23, 2006.

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Aug 23, 2006

Review - Games Explosion! (GBA) by Covarr at 1:10 AM (1,500 Views / 0 Likes) 0 replies

  1. Covarr
    OP

    Member Covarr Sentient Cash Register

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    Introduction

    In my experience, THQ is not a name that pops up in casual conversation too often. A simple rule that tends to be followed is "If you see that name, avoid the game". With catastrophes such as the seemingly unfinished yet released anyway Banjo Pilot, it's no wonder people don't generally like THQ. This game is a continuation of the sad tradition, bringing us a collection of 16 poorly coded games, about half of which are actually ripoffs of popular arcade games. For the sake of simplicity, I've sorted this review the same way the games are sorted on the collection itself.

    Neon

    Neon Square
    The name doesn't really make it obvious, but this is a Pong clone. Just like pong, the graphics consist of squares and rectangles in the style of Atari 2600 pixelation, except they seem to be glowing. There is an annoying song playing in the background, and bland sound effects. The biggest problem, though, is that there is no variation on the bouncing angle of the "ball". It starts out at the same diagonal, and always makes a 90 degree bounce when it hits either paddle. This makes the location quite predictable and ruins the potential for strategy. On the other hand, strategy is irrelevant considering that the AI seems not to try anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Tic Tac Toe
    A basic drum beat and pseudo-strings for music, odd and unrelated sound effects, and outer-space backdrops make the presentation of this game hard to understand, as it has nothing to do with the game itself. The cursor is simple and efficient, making it easy to point at any square, which is just what the AI does when set to easy; it ignores the player's moves and places its own tiles at random, making the easiest tic-tac-toe game ever. When set to normal or hard it presents somewhat of a challenge, but there is nothing exciting about collecting wins that won't even be saved to a high score list.

    [​IMG]

    Sudoku
    The L and R buttons are used to choose a number to set, and the D-Pad and A button are used to place the numbers. The setup is well designed and efficient, but entirely non-obvious, so it may take a while for those who haven't read this review to figure them out. This game's biggest problem is that the starting grid layouts are randomized; higher difficulty means less numbers to start with, but there's no guarantee that even an easy puzzle will give you enough information to actually solve it. On the plus side, this means that there are millions of possible puzzles, and you'll never get the same one twice.

    [​IMG]

    Club

    Blackjack
    This game is pretty playable, but annoying music and an ugly UI with confusing symbols prevent this from being any fun. That's really all there is to say about this one.

    [​IMG]

    Darts
    This game really has no business being on the GBA. The concept is simple: press the A button when the cursor is in the right place, and your dart is thrown. It takes virtually no skill to get the dart exactly where you want it. Somehow, though, the opponent AI can't get this one right either, as it gets quite a few complete misses. Of course, this may be partially due to the fact that the points are given based on a seemingly different dartboard which is up and slightly to the left of this one, as a bullseye often is not counted as such.

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    Crazy Bowling
    More like Crappy Bowling. The screen has two meters that seem to have no effect once the ball is moving; supposedly where you stop the cursor on these meters will control how the ball moves after placing it, but realistically you can't tell the difference. Another shortcoming of this game is that it is impossible to throw a gutter ball. Admittedly, this may be because there are PINS IN THE GUTTER, yet as hard as I tried I couldn't miss.

    [​IMG]
    WTF do those bars mean?

    Zap

    Avoider
    Is it Asteroids? Is it Galaga? Is it terrible? If you answered "sort of" to all three, YOU'RE RIGHT! This game allows you to move left and right like in Galaga or Space Invaders, but the bubbles break apart like in Asteroids. How a bubble can kill a man I don't know, but that seems to be the point of this game. Combine this with laggy, unresponsive controls, and you've got Avoider!

    [​IMG]

    Space Shooter
    This one seems to be a straight up ripoff of Space Invaders. So much so, in fact, that it goes the same way as Neon Square and copies the look and feel of the game it's imitating. Bad graphics and annoying music aside, though, this game plays quite well. Instead of the stop-motion sort of thing that Space Invaders had, this boasts fluid motion, which actually seems to make the game more fun. This is, without a doubt, the best game in the entire collection.

    [​IMG]

    Pipemaster
    Your average Pipe Dream clone, complete with the bad graphics and annoying music you've come to expect with this collection. There's nothing particularly interesting in this one, though, except for poor piece randomization.

    [​IMG]

    Music Pop
    At first glance, this might look like a DDR clone. In fact, if you want, you can play it almost like a DDR clone if the difficulty is set to easy until you get Up and Down arrow at the same time. Alas, it is actually a clone of the balloon-pop minigame in Yoshi's Island in which you needed to press buttons in order. All you have to do is hit the buttons in order from top to bottom when a line gets to the right of the screen.

    [​IMG]

    Cyber


    Ice Jumper
    This looks and plays like a clone of some sort, but I don't recognize the source. Basically, the goal is to jump from iceblock to iceblock without inexplicably jumping in a direction other than that which you pressed. You can actually predict when this is going to happen based on a "powerup" you can get, but it will end without warning causing you to fall in the water and die.

    [​IMG]

    Warehouse Man
    This game is sort of like Sokoban. The goal is to use your tank/vehicle to push blocks onto the radiation symbols of the same color, collection gold along the way. No explanation is given as to why there is gold on the floor of the warehouse, but it's probably related to company benefits or compensation or something. This game is especially un-fun to play because of the exceedingly slow animations that accompany your movement. Not only that, but if you screw up and put yourself in a situation where it becomes impossible to win, you must restart manually.

    [​IMG]
    Good luck trying to figure this one out at a glance.


    Pizza Man
    The picture for this game in the main menu implies that it is a Pac-Man ripoff. This is very much not the case. This game is, in fact, a "Root Beer Tapper" clone with EXTREMELY laggy and unresponsive controls. The game moves slowly enough, however, that you don't exactly need responsive controls. Also, don't let the name fool you. Your character is neither a pizza nor a man. He is a robot. Every character in this game is a robot. And you are serving beer, not pizza.

    [​IMG]

    Mc Rudolf
    Since the menus in Games Explosion show everything in all caps, I wasn't sure if this was meant to be prounounced "M.C. Rudolf" or "McRudolf". That's okay, because either way the game sucks. It plays somewhat like Ice Climber in that you are going up, and you can't fall more than a few platforms down or you die. Unlike Ice Climber, there are no enemies or collectibles, aside from the same backwards powerup that appears in Ice Jumper. You need to be especially careful when attempting to control your character in this game, as there are two types of jumps and no clear way to determine which will be used. Just remember that one goes twice as high and as far as the other.

    [​IMG]

    Board


    Checkers
    This is pretty much a standard checkers video game, but slightly uglier and with yet another sloppy AI. Also, the game won't point out why a move is illegal, so you need to look at the entire board for a piece to jump when it won't let you take your turn normally.

    [​IMG]

    Eliminate
    This MasterMind clone gives you control of no less than two cursors at any given time. The up and down arrows choose what color you want to place, the left and right arrows place that color, the A button places the color, and the B button submits your guess and goes to the next line. That's right, a button typically reserved for cancel-type actions is used to continue. On the right side of the screen, the game offers purple a purple piece for each color you have right but in the wrong place, a white piece for each color you have correctly placed, and bad music to distract you the whole time.

    [​IMG]

    Overall


    Don't even waste any of your time with this collection. It can be fun to show your friends the Tic Tac Toe game just to see the look on their faces when the AI makes a remarkably stupid move, but other than that there is virtually no entertainment value in this package. If you MUST play it, though, leave your GBA's volume silent, because this is possibly the worst video game music ever. If you get this as a gift, return it to the store unopened. If anybody at THQ is reading this, I know of a good landfill in New Mexico where you can put all your unsold copies of this crap.

    Final Score: 0.5/10
     
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