Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gargoyle's Quest - Review

Here's a hidden little gem I picked up off of the 3DS Virtual Console. As an early EARLY Gameboy title, this one seemed to go widely unknown, despite having two other games in the franchise on the NES and SNES. I figured it was only $3.99, why not give it a shot? And what I got was a surprisingly good game that holds up rather well, even 20 years after its release.

Gargoyle's Quest is basically a spinoff of Ghosts and Goblins, which some of you may know as the hardest game in existence. Have no fear though, this game doesn't reach the heights of difficulty that its father game so proudly flaunts. It takes you through the story of the gargoyle Firebrand and...well you know what, the story is primitive. Very primitive. However, as one of the first Game Boy games, that's to be expected.

What I didn't expect, however, was the surprisingly varied gameplay and slight genre-bending that the game employs. The stages take the form of side-scrolling platformers in which you use the gargoyle to fly through obstacles and shoot enemies. However, the game also features an RPG-style world map and towns, complete with random encounters. The inclusion of RPG elements is a nice touch. It's not THAT in-depth really; there is a form of currency, but really you can only use it to buy extra lives. Also the way you upgrade your HP, abilities, and flying is rather forced. It's nice to see the elements there, nonetheless.

Of course, being an early Game Boy release, this game is short. It's really short, like six hours or less. The fact that you can save anywhere you want using the Virtual Console makes things easier as well, but that's hardly a fault of the game. It's definitely not going to keep you up nights. The platforming, while fairly ingenious, doesn't take too long to figure out and soon you'll be blowing through the limited number of already short stages. But for what it's worth, there aren't many games on the 3DS Virtual Console right now that are any better. And there are way worse ways to spend $3.99. So I say go get your 3DS (for both of you that have one) and give it a shot.


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