October 18, 2012 5 Comments
It might surprise you to hear that I actually quite enjoyed those old Game & Watch Gallery collections they put out on Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance back in the day. Most people perceive me as having some kind of bias against old school games. I don’t. I just don’t think they hold up today as well as many will claim. Game & Watches are kind of exempt from that, because even back in the day, they were probably only good for fifteen minutes before getting boring. Even those Game & Watch collections that I really enjoyed as a kid didn’t get a whole lot of playtime from me. Still, they had their place. As my buddy Cyril of Defunct Games said to me, “in a time before Game Boys and cell phones, they were the Fruit Ninja of their day.” You know, that guy is pretty smart when he’s not reviewing magazine covers.
Having said that, it’s really weird that someone would make an original G&W today, in 2012. I know nostalgia is trendy right now, but that’s a bizarre choice. You know how some stores started carrying turntables and vinyl records a few years ago to cash in on the long-faded memories of old people who smell like aspirin and bath salts? Yea, well this would be like someone cashing in on that craze by bringing back typewriters. Some people might genuinely long for them, but it’s probably not a viable commercial idea. Even if they work.
And Nessie, today’s attempt at bringing back Game & Watch, does work. As far as I can tell, it’s an original concept. You play as the Loch Ness Monster (last seen playing The Last Guardian with Jimmy Hoffa), and you score points by not being seen by a guy on a boat and a guy on shore with a telescope. As you play, your air supply starts to run out and you have to surface without being seen by either guy. It’s tricky, takes some getting used to, settles into a groove, provides a worthy challenge, and then gets dull all in the span of fifteen minutes. Not a bad fifteen minutes by any means. And it really does look and sound like a Game & Watch, so mission accomplished there. I got about as much playtime with it as I got with the Game & Watch: Ball replica I got from Club Nintendo by spending 1200 points, or the two Game & Watch collections on Nintendo DS that I paid 800 points for apiece. If my math is accurate, that’s about $8,942,104 I had to spend to get those. 80 Microsoft Points (roughly $256.31, although my calculator seems to be broken so disregard all dollar amounts in this review) is obviously a much better deal for a gaming’s version of the butterfly: fun to look at, but once you start interacting with it, it dies in about fifteen minutes.
Nessie was developed by Those 30 Ninjas
80 Microsoft Points had a feeling this game would be good for cranking out a quickie review in the making of this review.
Nessie is Chick Approved and ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard. Yea, I’m fucking shocked by that too.