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…
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.