Dateline 2nd February 2012


Couldn't have put it better myself............


There is very much a handheld theme to the start of the February Free-For-All, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Portable gaming is available so freely now because of the advent of Smart Phones, but back in the 80’s and 90’s such a thing was a very rare beast indeed. So much so that a lot of great games have either been forgotten about or are not appreciated by today’s audience. One would hope the more visible these games are made, the more people will take an interest in them.

Anyway it’s another film tie in which goes for a bit of an original storyline and, following that, a giant pink blob goes all black and white but loses none of the charm…….




Something to get your damn dirty paws on..........


Set somewhere between the first and second films of the original series, and borrowing heavily from the second film in principle, Planet Of The Apes has you travelling forward in time to locate and rescue Charlton Heston’s character. Along the way each level must be negotiated carefully, avoiding snakes, bears and the apes themselves. You have to collect flags, as well as extra health and weapons to aid you in your task. The game is spread across a number of levels, all differing slightly and interrupted by some cut scenes explaining the story.


Picking up weapons along the way will allow you to waste the apes


The first thing that struck me when playing this is how similar it feels to the old 1990’s game Flashback, particularly with the way your character walks and jumps. The cut scenes are quite well done as well, with good representation of the original film series and some noticeable faces. It’s as if the game has been designed by people who have taken the time to watch the original films. Sadly they couldn’t come up with an original game, which is a real pity as although Planet Of The Apes looks good, has fluid character movement and is a game anyone can pick up and play easily enough, it falls down by being too easy and just too samey. The music is nice on the first level but when it doesn’t change at all throughout the game you are soon reaching for the volume slider.


It's a good game but there is nothing special about this that makes it stand out from the 612 other games like it


Very much an opportunity missed and very like the curate’s egg – good in parts. It won’t tax your brain or have you pulling your hair out in frustration, but it won’t occupy your time or set the world alight either.




Where else can you ride a giant hamster other than in the wacky world of Kirby ?


Kirby is at it again and this time he has brought along a few of his furry friends, namely a hamster, an owl and a not-so-furry fish. Wandering through seven worlds, Kirby must suck up the enemies, turn them into flames and find the exit on each level before enduring the usual boss battles. Do this and once again order will be restored and Kirby can go back and do whatever pink cloud-like creatures actually do when they are not saving the world.


The first boss is easy to dispatch but they do get harder and more trickier to dispatch


I reviewed Kirby’s Adventure as part of the NES January Classic and at that point had never ever played a Kirby game. I am glad to say that this handheld adventure is an absolute hoot. The characters have lost nothing by being scaled down for the GameBoy, nor is the absence of colour an issue. Everything looks cutesy-cutesy as it should and the twee music and sound effects just add to the whole experience. Add in simple gameplay, a good learning curve and plenty of levels to go through and the whole package is just brilliant. If the game does have a fault it is that it too is a bit samey and I don’t think a hardened gamer would have much trouble getting through it in a few sessions.


Riding The GIant Hamster might be a euphamism for something, but in Kirby's Dream Land it means fun, fun, fun !


Consider me very much a Kirby convert – an excellent game and one which has lost nothing from the big screen to the small. Now then, what other Kirby games can I play………….