Thursday, January 8, 2009

Game & Watch Collection review

Hanafuna cards aren't the only thing you can get for 800 coins at Club Nintendo, no sir, there's more Nintendo history to be had. Those looking for a free game can redeem their hard earned coins for the, once Japanese exclusive, Game & Watch Collection.

This "collection" features three of the "multi-screen" Game & Watch titles, including: Oil Panic, Donkey Kong, and Green House; all faithfully recreated using the two screens of the DS. My biggest gripe though, is that while technically the game is a free reward for spending virtually $800 on Nintendo products, 3 games isn't much of a collection when you've realized 15 multi-screen Game & Watch games were released in all.

Then (Donkey Kong - 1982) and Now (DS Lite - 2006)

As you can see, putting these games on the DS isn't so far-fetched, and in fact it works quite well. However, what makes this Game & Watch Collection different from the Game & Watch Gallery titles from the Game Boy, is that there are no "modern" versions of the games, recreated with Mario characters. So what you're getting is three straight ports, with both A and B versions, and an added alarm feature. As a note to those unaware, the difference of A and B games is that the B game is harder and/or faster.

Oil Panic
This one of the more well known Game & Watch titles, as it's been feature in the first Game & Watch Gallery, this collection, WarioWare, and as a move for Mr. Game & Watch in the Super Smash Bros. series. The way this game work is that you control the character on the top screen, who's objective it is to catch the dripping oil. As your bucket fills, you must empty out to the character on the lower screen, who moves left and right, requiring you to time you catches and tosses. It's a fairly decent game for those with twitchy fingers and yet a good sense of timing.

Donkey Kong
This is not the classic arcade (or NES) game you know and love. Do not let the layout of this game deceive you, cause while it may look like that familiar Donkey Kong game you've played, it will not play like it. The biggest fault of the game is that unlike the free-will controls on the classic version, you're limited to the Game & Watch's pre-determined character frames. And then there's the crane in which you have to grab and swing upon. It's kind of a mess really, but if there was ever a Donkey Kong you wanted to master, try this on Type B and contact me back.

Green House
The last of the collection is my personal favorite, and what looks to be the predecessor to Donkey Kong 3. Here, you have two sets of enemies to worry about: the caterpillars on top, an the spiders on the bottom. It's you job to quickly jump between the two screens in order to spray out the little pests before they reach you plants. It may not sound like much, but I was slightly blown away by how much I was actually getting into this. I don't think my fingers have moved that fast while playing a DS game before. So if I can credit it with that much, so be it.

Final Thoughts
This is not a game (or set of games) for the casual Nintendo fan. And considering it requires you to have spent around $800 in Nintendo products in order to obtain it, chances are you're going to be a hardcore fan if this is in your collection. Sure, the fact that you are only getting 3 simple games may make you want to hold onto your coins for something else, but this is one title you won't find anywhere else. It's truly for the collector.

Overall Score: 7.5/10


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