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|The State of Role Playing Games on Game Boy Color. |
By Philip Wesley 2000
Prologue: This is an editorial, ranting upon the state of RPGS today. Not just any old RPGS. Game Boy Color RPGS. I'm not going to dive into the huge pool of older black and white Game Boy RPGS. Although that list is a complete droolfest of awesome goodness. I'm going to talk about the genre in "color". So, it'll be a short editorial. (Just kidding)
Introduction: There are three different kinds of RPGS on the Game Boy Color. Ports, "DX games", and original games. And there are several different types of RPGS in those kinds. Mainly: "Sim/Strategy RPGS" (SRPGS), "Action RPGS" (ARPGS), "Role Playing Games" (RPGS), and a few of those weird "Exploration RPGS" (ERPGS). Okay. Let's look at the three kinds and talk on them a little.
The Game Boy Color seems to be getting some decent RPG ports. Most notable right now, is the excellent and accurate ports of Deja Vu 1 & 2, and Shadowgate Classic. Both are classic "Exploration RPGS", where a lot of exploration and clicking is needed. More of a thinking puzzle than an RPG. They both contain "Roles" that the character plays out. Similar to Myst, Riven, or my favorite of game of this style: "Journeyman Project Turbo". Now, these are great and accurate ports; but one of the best ports is yet to come. We have Crystalis coming to us soon, in an enchanced form. That action RPG is considered to be one of the better RPGS on the NES. There are rumours of "Uninvited", "The Legend of Zelda", "The Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link", "Star Tropics", and "Star Tropics 2: Zoda's Revenge". This is a decent genre right now; but if companies would just realize that they make no money off of NES games anymore, and just start porting over the games in drove, this genre would be even better. Right now, in Japan, this genre is over the top, with an excellent enchanced port of Dragon Warrior 1 & 2 on the SAME cartridge. That's just BEGGING to be released here and it should be. And with the port of the SNES conversion of Dragon Warrior 3 on it's way, this genre is amazing in Japan. Here in the USA, though, I would have to give it a C-. What needs to be done here, is for companies to just mindlessly port over NES RPGs. You know a lot of video game magazines will "frown" on the idea. But, consumers will eat the ports up like bread and butter.
A few older Game Boy games got "DX" remixes for the color system. Now, titles like "Last Bible" (Revelations: The Demon Slayer), "The Legend of Zelda 4: Link's Awakening", "Harvest Moon", Pokémon Yellow, and "The Legend of the River King" are fine and fun. All of those titles got something new with their transitions, save for "The Last Bible" and "Pokémon Yellow". Link's Awakening got an extra dungeon and a photoppi shop. Harvest Moon got a confusing timer. The River King got some additional landscape fixes. In the future, we should be seeing the *much better* "Last Bible 2" ported into the US. It's "DX" version is already out in Japan. We will also see the DX version of Legend of the Sea King. The problem with this genre is the lack of certain titles in this "DX" series. For example: The Final Fantasy Legend series, Great Greed, Final Fantasy Adventure, The Sword of Hope Series, James Bond 007, the odd "Puzzle RPG" Mole Mania, the Gargoyle's Quest series, etc. If, like I said, developers went ahead and did go "DX" crazy.. would it be a good thing? Yes. I think it would be. Majesco has been "color crazy" for a while. They seem to only be DXing a lot of.. questionable titles; but they mean well. And with the right coloring, a lot of the fore-mentioned titles could enjoy a HUGE success ratio. The Final Fantasy ones are all million sellers worldwide and they have a recognized name. They will sell. In market where kids are just starting in RPGS with Pokémon, the logical thing to do is let them.. "step up" to harder and deeper RPGS. Especially those hard to find ones, like Great Greed. Overall, I give this genre an A-. Because, it's doing well; but it just needs "more". On a minor note, yes, I consider Legend of Zelda 4 to be an RPG. Why? Because, in an RPG, you play a Role and you level up. -In some of them- In this game, you increase your strength by finding items and you interact with NPCs. (Non-Playable Characters) You earn the money to purchase some items by beating enemies. Got it? It's like earning experience.
Games like Azure Dreams, and Mario Golf share the name of other systems games; but they are original in themselves. Mario Golf is really a "Golf RPG", which is odd. Games like Quest: Brian's Journey, Quest for Camelot, Bomberman Quest, Power Quest, Dragon Warrior Monsters, and Survival Kids are the mainstay of the genre. With titles like Dragon Warrior Monsters, Mario Golf, Azure Dreams, Survival Kids, Power Quest, and Bomberman Quest, this genre is looking decent enough. And with titles like Lufia: The Ruins Chaser, Pokémon 2, Dark Angel: Anna's Quest, Monster Rancher Battle Card, Pokémon Card, The Legend of Zelda Triforce Trilogy, Warlocked, Heroes of Might and Magic, and many more down the way, it looks great. But, the games must be given thought and CARE. For every Survival Kids, there is a "Quest for Camelot", and that's not a good thing. Over all, I say an "A".
Ending thoughts: Well, that's it.. I can stop talking? Cool. That was kinda pointless; but you read it through.. didn't you? Peace!