Game & Watch Gallery 2
Are you folks ready for some pick-up and play action this week? This week sees the launch of Game & Watch Gallery 2 hitting the eShop. Check out the full review after the break to see if it’s worth breaking the bank this week.
Game & Watch Gallery 2
Developer: Nintendo EAD, TOSE
Original Release Date: November 1998
With around 50 Game & Watch games to choose from, it was really only a matter of time before Nintendo decided to make a series out of the games after the success of the original. The basic idea of the originals remains in the modern remakes: Score as high as you can before scoring 3 misses. Lives and higher multipliers come out at higher score thresholds, but for the most part gameplay remains unchanged as you rack up the points.
This installment offers 6 different games to choose from, five from the get go with the sixth unlocked after earning enough stars in the other games. Nintendo this time has graced us with the likes of Parachute, Helmet, Chef, Vermin, Donkey Kong, and the classic Ball in this offering, both which include faithful reproductions of their classic gameplay, and modern reproductions featuring familiar Mario characters in 2 levels of difficulty, with a third unlocked after scoring 1000 points in the modern games.
The classic versions are fairly straightforward gameplay wise, considering the limited hardware they had to deal with. Parachute sees Mr. Game & Watch rowing a boat to catch parachutists from plunging into the cold shark infested waters; Helmet has you traversing the outdoors to enter a door on the right side while avoiding tools falling from the sky; Chef has you sautéing food items to rack up the points; Vermin has Mr. Game & Watch walking on a field with two hammers in toe, waiting for moles to pop up and smash them back into the ground; Donkey Kong plays like an incredibly simplified version of the original with you trying to make Donkey Kong fall; finally, Ball is the simplest, although perhaps most addicting, where you are simply juggling back and forth.
Although these vintage games can offer some thrills, for the most part I found the modern reimaginings was where I got the most playtime. Nintendo did well to add different gameplay quirks to make all of the games generally more fun all around. Parachute sees Mario catching a combination of Toads, Yoshis, and Donkey Kong Juniors who all fall from an airship in the sky at varying speeds, with a cannon at the side they’ll occasionally drift into to mix things up; Helmet has Mario running back and forth collecting coins that add to the score but slow him down as enemies rain hammers and spiked balls on his head; Chef has Princess Toadstool (Peach) properly browning food items to feed to a Yoshi that follows her while trying not to burn the food; Vermin has Yoshi protecting his eggs from various Nintendo mainstays like Shy Guys, Koopas, and Boos; Perhaps the most disappointing, is Donkey Kong, which plays very similar to the original; and finally is Modern Ball which unlocks different characters (Yoshi, Mario, Wario, and Bowser) as you earn more stars in the other games.
Again, stars are earned upon high scores, with one being awarded for every 200 points in a mode which go towards unlocking goodies in the game like the Music room, information on other Game & Watch classics in the museum, additional characters in Modern Ball, and ultimately, the cast credits.
If you’re looking for some great pick-up and play action, Game & Watch Gallery 2 more than delivers on that promise, with both awesome ports of the original games and imaginative remakes featuring your favourite Mario characters. The Star system makes you shoot for the high score every time and the modern games offer some great tunes that I found going back to just to hear. If you’re looking for a game to pick-up to keep you briefly entertained when you’re bored, pick it up: for 3.99 it’s some great value, however, if going for high scores is not your thing, or you want a game with some meat on its bones, you’re better off skipping out this week.