OK, so I was a bit disingenuous in that last post when I implied that I checked just one game off my to-buy list recently. In fact, I checked two games off said list: the aforementioned Rainbow Islands and the game you see sticking out of the PC Engine CoreGrafx II below, Gekisha Boy.
Although I’m often frustrated by this Tomcat System-developed, Irem-published game, I still like playing it from time to time. Specifically, I like its sense of humor and its spritework. Its take-photos-of-crazy-stuff hook is pretty cool, too. If only I could make it past the third stage…
It’s been a while since I last bought a PC Engine game. In fact, I don’t think I’ve added to my (still small) HuCard and CD collection since early this summer.
Well, the drought ended yesterday afternoon when a well-cared-for copy of Mizubaku Daibouken (aka Liquid Kids) arrived on my doorstep. I’ve wanted the PC Engine port of this Taito platformer for a while, but I held off on buying it until a few weeks ago because of high price it tends to command on eBay.
What changed a few weeks ago? I found a cheap-ish copy, that’s what. Actually, I wouldn’t call it cheap, but it certainly was cheaper than the other complete copies of the game that have appeared on the popular auction site in the last year or so.
Anyway, now that I’ve checked that game off of my to-buy list I can turn my obsession–er, attention–toward the other titles included on said list, namely, Gekisha Boy, Parasol Stars and Rainbow Islands.
Well, it’s that time of year again–the time of year when I waste way too much time pondering how I’m going to spend the birthday and Christmas money I receive from my parents.
So, what am I hoping to buy with this presumed windfall? Here are the top three possibilities:
1. A slew of PC Engine platformers–Specifically: Gekisha Boy (right), Mizubaku Daibouken, Parasol Stars and Rainbow Islands. How much can four old PC Engine games cost, you ask? Quite a bit if you’re anal retentive (like yours truly) and you only buy games that come with boxes and instruction manuals.
2. A red Twin Famicom–My desire for Sharp’s toaster-esque console–its eject button causes cartridges to pop out of the system like toast pops out of the aforementioned appliance–seems to bloom and fade like the blossoms of a cherry tree. Apparently it’s blooming again, as I can’t stop thinking about the damn thing.
3. A PS3–Surprise, surprise: I’m actually open to buying something current. Of course, the problem with this choice is that it’s the most costly. That said, it would be awfully nice to (finally) be able to play games like 3D Dot Game Heroes, Demon’s Souls, Katamari Forever, LittleBigPlanet and Valkyria Chronicles.
I honestly have no idea which of the above options I’ll blow my money on at the end of the year, but you can bet your butt I’ll post all the gory details here.
Although the PC Engine was home to many odd–and oddly endearing–games during its wildly successful run, few if any were wackier than Gekisha Boy (aka Gekibo, Photo Boy and/or Photograph Boy).
That wackiness is evident from the get-go, as players are immediately tasked with filling the shoes of a green-around-the-gills photographer who has to hit the streets to look for outrageous snapshots that can be taken back to his tough-as-nails newspaper editor.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, consider this: While you keep one eye out for those aforementioned photographic opportunities–which include delightfully detailed (words which can be used to describe all of the game’s graphics) flashers in trench coats and Michael Jackson look-alikes–you have to keep the other eye out for a myriad of dangers–such as bouncing balls, skateboards and other random projectiles–that stand in your way of the perfect shot.
They stand in your way of making it to the next stage, too–since you lose valuable film every time you get hit by said projectiles. (That’s important because the more well-taken photos you turn in, the more points you receive from your boss and the more likely you are to advance to the next level.)
Controls in Gekisha Boy are about as tight as they can be–with the d-pad handling the movement of your character and the aiming of his camera, and the action buttons corresponding to your camera’s shutter and your ability to jump.
Unfortunately, the well-tuned controls don’t make the game a walk in the park–it’s more like a walk down a darkened alley in the bad part of town. As such, expect to repeat each level many times before you succeed–especially as the game progresses.
Considering the sights you’ll see along the way, though, you’ll likely enjoy every hair-pulling minute of it.