Title : Adventures of Star Saver
Publisher : Taito
Developer : A-Wave
Genre : Platformer
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1992
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $20-$25
I was staring at my video game shelf last night, looking at the huge list of games that I have to collect as well as review, and thought to myself, "Hey, Tom. You've been focusing entirely on the home consoles, but you've forgotten about something that was really a humongous part of your video game childhood."
And you know what? I was damn right. How could I possibly continue to ignore the gaming systems that stayed with me through those 21 hour car rides from New York to Florida during those family vacations to Disney World? That moment of pure bliss where I finally made it back to the hotel room after a full days worth of walking around, only to relax in the comforts of an air conditioned room, with my good 'ol Gameboy at my side.
Who can forget that horrid speakers that made the sound feel as if it were scratching your very ear drums. Or the equally horrible green screen that you could only view at a certain angle. And don't even get me started on trying to play this game at night. It's one of the few reasons why your gameboy turned into a transformer with the magnifying screen, speaker expansion, button additions. Just look at this monstrosity!
So, you know what? I'm going to start throwing some old fashioned Gameboy game reviews into the mix! Why not, am I right? Everyone loves a Gameboy game now and then. Hell, some of the games were downright spectacular. Others, not so much. But you could only do so much on a portable system am I right?
I'll stick with the original brick grey Gameboy that we all grew up and loved, and I'll mix in a few of the game boy color games. You won't see any of the GBA until later on if I have time, because I want to go back to the forgotten age. Ha, I wish I still had my original Gameboy that I covered in Pokemon stickers from the original Pokemon strategy guide. Totally ruined that one. Filled with sticky gunk all over the buttons.
First up on our reviews, a game I didn't play until I actually started collecting retro video games again: THE ADVENTURES OF STAR SAVER!
As a police officer, your primary duty is to protect your family and citizens from extra-terrestrials. Isn't it? I thought it was. Well, that's not what Tony did. Tony let his sister get kidnapped by Aliens, and in fact he let himself get taken in the process. So these Aliens actually want Tony to get involved in some espionage action, and act as a spy for these aliens who want to invade Earth.
But is Tony going to agree to this? Hell no. Instead, he's going to team up with some giant mech who apparently can link up with him telepathically and form the ultimate fighting duo! Sort of like Blaster Master if you will. You'll have the ability to jump in and out of your suit at certain parts of the game, so that's really close to Blaster Master. But the game plays more like a Mega Man-esque. Meh, I don't know what it's like. It's just a standard platformer!
Prepare yourself to blast your way through numerous levels, collect power ups, and kill dogs. Yup, kill dogs...
The real kicker to this game, besides the traditional platforming elements that are done actually quite well, is the number of power ups that are at your disposal for your epic-mech-suit. You've got it all in Adventures of Star Saver, and you're gonna need every single one of them. The one problem? One hit, and you lose it...and you'll end up getting hit a lot. So in a way, it's a bit of a give and take scenario.
There are two that you'll see more often than others, and that's the POWER BLOCK and the GUN upgrade. The power block actually sends you another suit, if you happen to lose the one you were travelling in, while the gun upgrade, upgrades your gun for either your mech suit or your traditional pistol if you're walking around as a human.
Then you've got some other ones, which are two versions of invincibility, and also a block that looks like an arrow. The arrow actually allows you to survive a fall, if you miss a jump and you'll end up grappling yourself back up to the level instead of immediately dying.
The best thing about this game has to be the most odd-ball selection of monsters you'll encounter. They must have pulled these things out of their arse, because I don't know why an alien invasion would involve mechanical birds, giant rhinos, musical instruments that kill you with music notes, and rabid dogs. What a task for a mech suit to take on these foul creatures.
Honestly though, I think the developers just wanted to create something in explanation for their rampant drug usage when designing this game. Still, works for me!
You know what, to kick off the Gameboy reviews, I have to say this game was a good start. It's entertaining, the controls are fluid, and while it's just a standard action platformer, it's surreal enough to make you want to play through the whole thing just to find out where the hell it's going.