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The Whole Game in My Hand #4 - March/ April '07

by Michael J. Anderson, 2007-05-03
Another month has come and gone ... and then another, and now we actually have a few interesting handheld RPG's to look at. I will continue to include a full review at the end of some articles (last month I did Final Fantasy III DS), but will move more to including mini-reviews in-line for other games I've been reviewing so that you can get a better picture of multiple games rather than just short snippets and one monster review. So as a result you will get several mid-sized reviews, in fact in this edition you get several small opinions, three medium sized reviews, one large review and a full review feature. This month's featured review is Mazes of Fate for the GBA, which is an attempt by a small independent developer to bring us back to the exciting first person RPG styles of the Wizardry and Ultima games. This isn't the best game I'll talk about in some detail this month but Mazes of Fate is bound to be much more appealing to people typically enamored of western-style computer RPG's ... and it is just really cool.


GameBoy Advance – February/March 2007 Releases



Like Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, the GBA seems to be going out in a blaze of glory, saving one of its best games for the end of its storied run.

Final Fantasy VI Advance (My Score 5/5, Rated E-10)
This is no swan song, it is an act of defiance. Sure I've been told that Final Fantasy VI is the best game in the series ... but for some reason it didn't sink in. That has significantly changed! The history is the GBA is littered with excellent games worthy of buying a system to play - from Advance Wars to Golden Sun and more, there have been plenty of reasons to get a GBA in the past. Even earlier entries in the Final Fantasy Advance series, such as the first two games of the series packaged into a single cartridge with loads of extras, have been worthy or buying a system if you haven't enjoyed the experience before. And now, at the end of the GBA's life, Final Fantasy VI Advance is another such game.

The amazing confluence of excellent graphics, wonderful sound, and a densely packed story and adventure makes this a must have if you own a GBA or DS, and worth trolling for GBA system bargains if you don't. I never played the original console versions, so I have been experiencing the series fresh as it has unfolded on the GBA and DS. I have really liked each of them, although I had started to get a bit fatigued after Final Fantasy I & II and never finished Final Fantasy V, but in general I really enjoyed them. Then along comes this one and makes it all feel fresh again.

The game features a wonderful steampunk story and a huge cast of memorable characters which would be enough to power an excellent game. But it is more than the story and characters, it is the gameplay as well. The combat system has been greatly expanded to include real-time as well as turn-based elements, and the strategic nature of the battles is increased by this. There are more skills and tools at your disposal, making combat much less of a grind through all of the random battles. This is just an overall excellent game that has surpassed Final Fantasy IV to become my favorite in the series ... so far. And while this is the end of the line for the GBA contribution to the series, I can't wait for whatever comes next!



Mazes of Fate (My Score 4/5, Rated T)
This is a definite anomaly - an independent game based on original IP released at the end of the GBA's life. And rather than playing to a core GBA audience, it is a true hardcore RPG lover's delight. Check out the full review at the end of the article!

 

GameBoy Advance – Coming Soon and Outlook


Maybe time is running out for the GBA in terms of new games - there is not a single RPG planned for the next several months as far as I can tell, and only perhaps a half dozen games in total scheduled for release by summer. So from here forward, if there are no GBA releases I'll just completely skip the section.

 

Nintendo DS – February/March 2007 Releases



Lunar Knights (My Score 4.5/5, Rated E-10)
After two years, we're finally seeing some good role playing games for the Nintendo DS. The system had a real dearth of good games for the genre - and a primary offender of the early very bad games was Lunar Dragon Song. I admit that seeing the title of this release made me think of that game, which made me quite wary. I'm glad I pursued the game and found out that there was no relationship between the games - because this game is fast, furious, fun, and possibly the best handheld role-playing game yet for the Nintendo DS!

You take on the roles of two characters - Lucian and Adrian - who are both trying to destroy the vampire overlords who have occupied their planet and put a solar barrier in place to enforce an eternal night. They act for their own reasons, and we get a lengthy look at their individual motivations as the game unfolds. The way in which the story unfolds is surprising - this is a very action-oriented game, with loads of combat and space flight missions in between, and yet the game deftly keeps you in touch with the story and characters throughout. The use of the DS controls is also handled well - you need to use the touch-screen and microphone, but you are never shouting into the mic like in certain other games. The result is a game that is very exciting and fast paced, but at the same time has a solid and engaging story and interesting characters. This is a rare mix indeed, and one that will be enjoyable for gamers of all types and ages.



Spectrobes (My Score 2.5/5, Rated E-10)
Spectrobes has been compared to Pokemon quite a bit, and it is easy to see why - you find and 'awaken' youthful spectrobes, and by evolving them they become more useful and stronger in battle. Your own attacks are relatively useless most of the time, it is about managing your roster of spectrobes to ensure success in battle. The game is huge and the graphics and sounds are very well done, and the first hour or two are loads of great gaming. Spectrobes features a system for hunting artifacts, a stylus mini-game for unearthing them once found, a microphone game to awaken the Spectrobes from their fossils and other nice touches.

But I have some very mixed feelings about the game - my kids LOVE this game and I can completely understand why, because their play time allotment and interest in maximizing the number of games they get to play means not playing any one game for an extended period. This play style accentuates the positive - fun battles, exploration, mini-games and all those cute Spectrobes! But playing the game full-on the way I do - longer sessions, dedicated in the pursuit of the conclusion - is a very different experience. The first couple of hours are great, but imagine having to manually explore every inch of territory looking for hidden stuff - that is what you do in Spectrobes, then you move to a new planet and do the same thing. The digging and waking and evolving sequences are nicely done and fun - by by the 1000th time you've done them they cease to be fun. The battle system is not much better in that regard - they have really great special powers with great effects, but the battles devolve into running around charging up those special attacks. And given the huge scope of the game, and the disproportionate cost of things compared to battle rewards, you will be forced to take almost every fight you encounter.

After dumping dozens of hours into the game I can see ways that they could have made it less repetitive and more fun, but watching my kids revel in things I find boring reminds me that there is a very specific target audience for this game. That is the real criteria I would use for this game - if your kids love the Pokemon GBA games they will likely enjoy this quite a bit. But while those are truly excellent games with strategy and depth for gamers of any age, this is much more repetitive and will not have a long life for gamers outside of the target audience.

Lost In Blue 2 (Average Score 2.5/5, Rated E-10)
The original was a survival game that I described as having "glaring flaws and a fundamental bias against the player" that "prevent you from enjoying all the good things to be found around the island". The sequel adds stuff, but makes it impossible to get to and in the long run is a more frustrating and unrewarding experience than the original.

Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja (Average Score 3/5, Rated E-10)
This is a classic Rogue-like wrapped in a nice little story about some Ninja who settle in a small village and proceed to enrage the gods. The game is getting pretty well pounded in reviews, but I'm giving it a chance and will report back with a larger review next month!

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (Average Score 4/5, Rated E-10)
This is just fantastic - I review it in more detail in the PSP section, but you can't go wrong with either version. The PSP has better music and graphics, but also has a serious bug that isn't present in the DS version. Pick your poison and drink deeply!

 

Nintendo DS – Coming Soon and Outlook


The month of April is dominated by the release of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl - these have sold more than 5 million copies in Japan since their release, and the pre-sell numbers for this game are high enough that if the only copies sold are the pre-orders this will still be one of the top 10 games of the year. Both of my kids are playing those games - next month I'll have a report. In late May we will get Etrian Odyssey, a turn-based dungeon crawler that includes an in-game map editor and the ability to share dungeons with friends. Definitely looking forward to that one. Also, there is a recent rumor that the Nintenbdo DS titles Bioware is known to be working on is actually in the Baldur's Gate universe. Here's hoping ...

 

Sony PSP – February 2007/March Releases


Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (Average Score 4/5, Rated E-10)
Is is a RPG or a platformer or an adventure game? Who knows and who cares - it is a really fun and charming game that works well across various ages and skill levels. Somewhat overlooked, this is one of the better games on the system that has lost out because it doesn't come across as 'mature' enough for many jaded 20-something PSP owners. Shame on them.

Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner (Average Score 3/5, Rated E-10)
This one is described as 'a darker version of Pokemon' ... and comes off like a sad attempt to make a more adult version but completely missing what makes the Pokemon games so charming and addictive. The game is bland and lifeless and lethargically paced ... and the monster collection scheme has been done better elsewhere.

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (My Score 4.5/5, Rated E-10)
Take a Bejeweled-esque 'match 3' game, come up with a load of variants on that base game, wrap a classic fantasy RPG story around it and what do you have? Possibly the best game of the year! Most genre-melding efforts fail to produce anything that fans of either genre enjoy, but Puzzle Quest is a great puzzle game and a great RPG all at once. The puzzle part is a simple variant on the jewel matching game that millions have enjoyed since Popcap introduced Bejeweled in 2001. The RPG is an interesting mix or Japanese and Western styles, with a high fantasy setting and characters presented in a distinctly anime style.

The way in which the RPG and puzzle genres are combined in this game is truly inspired, and is the reason that the game is so addictive. As a role-player, you start out as a low-level character in your class of choice - Druid, Knight, Warrior or Wizard - with all of the usual attribute bonuses and drawbacks. You are the son of a noble in service to the queen in a time of fast approaching danger, and slowly gain her trust by accomplishing small quests in the local area around the castle. You gain experience and gold by doing quests for various people you meet, and eventually level up and are able to allocate attribute points. These grant you certain affinities - for example, having a Fire affinity grants you more damage with fire spells and a higher likelihood of an extra turn when matching fire gems. Gold it used to buy items - things like weapons and armor - at local shops, as well as catching up on rumors at the tavern.

After a while two things will happen - you will start to get followers and you will gain a stronghold. Followers grant you bonuses to your attributes and battle parameters, such as the dark hunter who gives you an automatic 10HP strike against undead at the start of battle (except on the PSP where they do nothing). Your followers also have quests they are seeking to accomplish, which will take you all over the map as the game progresses. Speaking of the map, it is a nicely laid out two-dimensional map showing all of the towns and other critical points once you have found them. Certain areas will be available from the start, but others you uncover through quests and interaction. When you get a quest, your destination is highlighted in a color based on whether the quest is a main or side quest. The points on the map are connected by 'routes' and enemies can appear along the routes. This means that going to do a quest is a free trip but the return results in three or four surprise battles. These are not 'random encounters' in the Final Fantasy tradition, as you can choose routes to avoid extra battles; but when there are three roads leading to your destination, and each one has an Ogre on it - you're going to be fighting an Ogre.

The stonghold system is pretty amazing - you get a fortress and can build out a dungeon and wizard tower and other functions with gold you obtain through quests. This stronghold serves several purposes: you can now capture enemies you have defeated three times before, learn spells from your prisoners, craft items based on runes you obtain by searching in just about every location on the map, and train and level up mounts to carry you into battle. Eventually you will also be able to learn techniques that will let you besiege other cities and build yourself an empire!

Now to the combat system - yep, it all boils down to 'match gems and go'. But it is deep and varied and terribly addictive. There are five basic combat modes - standard combat, capturing enemies, learning spells, crafting items, and upgrading mounts. All but the standard combat is goal based, single player gem matching with parameters for success. For example, to learn a spell you need to accumulate points in all four elemental types as well as creating and matching a certain amount of spell scrolls based on the difficulty of the spell. Run out of moves and you fail. This can get tricky since scrolls are only created when matching four or five gems or meeting certain other conditions. Capturing enemies involves completely clearing a preset pattern - more difficult enemies are more difficult to clear. There is pretty much a single solution for these, which is acceptable since you only capture each creature once.



But the vast majority of time is spent in standard combat. This is where puzzle game meets RPG in the most strategic and addictive puzzle combat you could possibly imagine. Everything you do matters - your choice in weapons and armor augments your natural abilities, as do the items you have crafted. Mounts give you an extra spell and can also boost your natural attributes. Combat is turn-based gem matching, with some preset rules: matching four gems means an extra turn, and matching five gems gives an extra turn and generates a wild card. Matching colored gems gives you mana of the same color - blue, green, yellow and red mana match with the four elemental masteries. Matching stars gives you extra experience (provided you win the encounter) and matching coins gives you extra gold as a reward. But since the ultimate measure of success is reducing your opponent's health to zero, matching skulls is the first order of business. These do direct damage to enemy health based on the number you match and whether they are standard or +5 skulls. That is pretty much how the first couple of battles will go - you will try to match four gems or get a chain of matches going to cause massive amounts of damage. But you have to be careful, because your opponent will take advantage of your mistakes, and the 'luck of the fall' can favor them equally as likely as it will favor you. This is where spells and skills come into play. If you have a high Fire Mastery, you become very likely to get an extra turn from matching three red mana gems. Likewise, if you have a Fireball spell, you use up some red and yellow mana and get to select the center of a 3x3 block to destroy - and you get the benefit of all gems destroyed and subsequent matches. The proper use of spells can change the tide of of battle in a single turn: I have taken down stronger opponents before they had a chance to flex their power, and have had battles where I had most of my health intact and an enemy one turn from destruction and watched them use spells and skills and get favorable drops and eventually lost the battle.

So what else is there to say? Not much - other than this game will ruin Bejeweled forever for you, as you will be longing for some consequences beyond just getting points. And also that you will quickly descend into 'just one more turn' territory until you make your way to the end, which will take dozens of hours. Well, there is the save system, which rocks - many PSP games seem to lose their mind when you put the system to sleep and ask you twenty questions to save again in a supposedly auto-save system. This one just works. Also, there is no death penalty - if you fail you can simply try again until you succeed. You can repeat certain side-quests for added experience, which turned out quite handy when I found myself feeling a bit out-gunned approaching a main quest battle, I just went back and spent time repeating a lucrative mission until I'd leveled up a couple of times and was ready to keep going with the story. And that is the beauty of Puzzle Quest - it keeps solid puzzle action in your face at all times yet never lets you forget that it is a deep and engaging role-playing game.

 

Sony PSP – Coming Soon and Outlook



There are a few interesting looking PSP RPG's coming out in the next couple of months. In April we get Valhalla Knights, which had promised to be more than just a generic Final Fantasy clone with a Norse setting. Early word is that it would have been better being derivative than what it ended up being - a boring grind. More on this next month. There is also a listing for a new game in the Generation of Chaos series called 'Aedis Eclipse', but the first one was pretty terrible, so I will need some serious enticement to travel back to that world. After that we wait ... the next RPG's slated for the PSP are i June with the re-release of Final Fantasy I and (my personally most anticipated game) Dungeons & Dragons Tactics.

Well, that was one of the best (two) month periods yet! ... and now as mentioned before I will look at Mazes of Fate in detail.

 

Handheld RPG Review - Mazes of Fate (GBA)


If the GBA is so dead then why are there still really good games being released for it? Sorry, I just have the questions, not the answers.

This was released in late December and is very interesting even before you start playing - a solid independent release that takes you back to the old days of classic computer RPG's, when names like Garriot and Bradley ruled the world. Mazes of Fate is a reimagination of the classic role playing genre as represented by games from the Wizardry and Ultima series, and takes you on a long and sprawling story that is told through a long series of towns and dungeons. If you are of a certain age and get misty thinking of the Kingdom of Llylgamyn, trust me and just buy this game. This game is truly cut from the same cloth as those classics, and while not up to the standard of a game like Wizardry VIII, it is a solid game and great for some reasonably deep dungeon action on the go.


Haven't I seen you before?

The graphic style of Mazes of Fate is instantly familiar - it looks like a game that you played on your PC a dozen years ago. Which one? That is the thing - it cuts across a wide swath of influences according to interviews with the developers, and it shows throughout the game. There are obvious classic dungeon crawl influences, as well dialog and branching influences taken from more recent games such as Knights of the Old Republic and Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. But in terms of the visuals, if you are a fan of the classic Wizardry games, you will find that it looks better than Wiz VII but not as good as Wiz VIII, as a point of reference. The game features a fairly typical symphonic soundtrack that sounds pretty nice through the GBA speaker and is a nice companion as your traverse the many massive dungeons.


That character has CLASS!

Just in case you were wondering, since this is a classic role-playing game you get to select from three pre-made characters or roll your own. The standard characters are a Warrior, a Rogue and a Mage, each with their own backstory. Rolling your own character means selecting one of the three portraits (two male and one female) and allocating your stat points. There are four main attributes: Strength, Endurance, Dexterity, and Wisdom. Each acts as expected - strength impacts attack damage, dexterity provides ranged attacks and defense, endurance helps with health points, and wisdom gives magical power. There are also four sets of skills: Combat, Physical, Magical, and Rogue. The classes come pre-configured with one hundred points spread across the range of appropriate attributes. If you choose to create your own character, eighty of the points are distributed for you evenly, leaving twenty points to specialize. I found the distribution the developers chose was about what I wanted, and I wanted to select a pre-made character, so I chose Naveral the Mage and began my journey.



Of course, over the course of the game your characters will gain levels, obtain gold and items, and visit shops. In this regard Mazes of Fate plays much like most RPG's - levels give you points to allocate however you choose (though the usual min/max rules apply), items given as quest rewards are useful and valuable, and there is plenty of good stuff in shops. Your character can equip nine pieces of equipment including weapon and shield - you get rings, amulets, headgear, armor and footwear. Weapons have attack attributes for damage and speed, and there are single-handed and two-handed weapons as well as bows for ranged attacks. Each of these has a corresponding skill - so choose wisely and focus on one or the other.


Where am I now?

There are three main view modes - town, overworld and dungeon. Guess where you'll spend most of your time? So lets hold off talking about the massive dungeons for a minute. You start out in the city of Sumur, which consists of about a dozen building with various inhabitants to talk to and quests to pick up. Moving from place to place in the city puts you on an 3D style map where your hero moves quickly from place to place. Movement speed is way too fast, but since your only goal is getting from place to place you won't care. Houses you can (attempt to) enter are clearly identified as you approach, so you will quickly get a feel for the layout of the city.



This pseudo-3D walking mode switches to static 2D when entering taverns, merchants and houses. Nothing moves in the buildings, and you cursor from person to person to engage in dialog, trade, and seek quests or rumors. As you select a person (or a notice or other item), you get a close-up view, similar to an adventure game. The artwork is all nicely drawn 2D with plenty of character and detail - when you are in a tavern, it feels appropriate, as does the thieves lair, and so on. None of the dialog is voiced, but the written lines are well scripted and appropriate for the characters. The dialog trees give you the usual choices in a branching system that lets you be kind or harsh or greedy - for seasoned PC gamers it will seem familiar, but it is a style that is under-represented on handhelds. Most discussions end up with you getting information, trading, getting send on a wild goose chase, or given a quest. Most of these involve you entering and clearing a dungeon.

Like I said, most of your life in this game is spent in dungeons. This is where is gets really interesting - not that the interaction and dialog aren't great, but tying it together with combat and exploration makes the whole game really come together. Oh, yeah, baby - these are big, maze-like, exhausting dungeons. You explore dungeons in a first person view similar to classic party-based first-person games, with the (up to ) three party members shown along the bottom with bars for health and mana and a turn timer, and the dungeon view occupying most of the screen. You see straight ahead, with a limited field of view of a few 'blocks'. The walls and floors and ceilings are all visible and nicely detailed and the designs and layouts vary widely from area to area. Movement in dungeons is done in a variation of the classic roguelike style - everything is based on blocks and clocks, but the turns happen in real time so that if you sit still for a while you will see enemies approach you or just walk back and forth if you are out of their field of view. When you are moving you can tell that each player gets an action per turn, so that the faster you are moving the faster your enemies will move. Character models for the enemy monsters are very nicely done, with some really huge beasts you encounter and think "oh no, I bet THAT thing hits hard" ... and find out that they do.


We're on a QUEST!

The story is also pretty classic stuff - humans have advanced their skills in magic to the point where they are approaching the gods in terms of their power, so the gods battle among themselves and eventually decide that the humans must die. They come up with a replacement race that will submit to their wishes and curse humankind. The great King Harlac communicated with the gods and arranged a way for humankind to fix things and start new, but was betrayed by a servant. Thus hope is gone from the land as the followers of the servant are rebelling against the king and members of the new race of goatmen are settling in the area. The land needs hope ... and a hero. You. Are. That. HERO. (sorry for the Larry Boy reference but I just couldn't stop myself no matter how hard I tried.

The quest structure has a number of interesting facets - the quest log is detailed and remains updated until you clear the quest, you can obtain help with your tasks even mid-quest by talking to patrons at local taverns, and the quests aren't static. What I mean by that is if you loot a personal chest while clearing rats from a basement (yes that quest is there, fully tongue-in-cheek), the way that others who find out about it deal with you will change forever. The same is true for how you handle quest rewards - there is a real sense of your choices and decisions having consequences throughout the game.

Pretty much every quest involves you going into a dungeon - sure there are exceptions, but for the dozens of hours I played the game I can recall only a handful of non-dungeon quests. I have read reviews that said "you can only trek through so many dungeons, collecting keys, flipping levers, and stepping on plates, before you wish there was more to do." To that I say BAH! Every dungeon is full of enemies, puzzles, traps ... and they are all huge! But don't let that fool you - sure you'll spend tons of time in dungeons, but this is not a simple dungeon crawl. It is a full-featured story-based game with loads of quests and the systems in place to make them all work.


Hit me baby one more time!

I like to play a mage so I can lob balls of fire at monsters. There - I admitted it. I also like to bash things with swords. Fortunately there is no lack of combat in Mazes of Fate. The combat system is simple to learn, but offers a decent amount of depth and challenge as you continue to play. Fortunately this is not like a jRPG where you and your enemies are teleported to some mystical battle area to resolve the fight. It all happens where you stand. Enemies will pursue you once spotted, and you can launch a ranged attack if you spot them first. Once you close to melee range things get real. The little green ball in between the health and mana indicators is the 'recover orb', which indicates your state of readiness. You cannot choose a combat action until your recovery orb is full - movement take a small amount from the orb, while an attack or spell or using an item all completely drain the orb. Certain actions take longer to refill than others - for example, sword attacks with a short sword will be ready again more quickly than a large two-handed sword.

The fact that combat takes place in the open has consequences, of course - other creatures in the dungeon are awake and moving, and quite often hunting you down. You will often find yourself moving from battle to battle ... and occasionally other foes will come from behind and join up with the other enemies against you! You have the option to 'camp' just about anywhere, but since that just passes time and heals you up, enemies can interrupt your sweet dreams and rain down blows on your unsuspecting bodies! What did you expect passing undead to do - fluff your pillows?!?

The magic system is a labor of love that starts out difficult but ends up rewarding. For every two skill points you allocate to a school of magic you get a new spell. Since your mana depends on Wisdom, this means maxing out for Wisdom and choosing magic schools carefully. The spell schools consist of offensive, defensive and buffing spells. Offensive spells are largely the usual fireball and lightning stuff, buffing spells either heighten your stats or reduce your enemies, and healing spells keep your party alive. Since there are no clerics, your mage needs to serve more than one role.



Ha ha - fooled you! I don't really exist!

One of the greatest frustrations in a exploration based dungeon crawler is to collect clues that lead you to a place where some really cool secret shop is supposed to be ... only to find out that it is broken and the trigger doesn't work. There are only a couple of serious flaws like this - but after having something as juicy as this hinted at the entire time you're in a dungeon, having it end up broken is quite frustrating and disappointing. There are a few other issues - some broken dialog and quests that you seem to be able to get multiple times. But while there is a certain lack of polish in areas, at no point do you feel that the game is broken. The level of bugs are less than most current PC releases, and the quality of the experience more than makes up for the flaws. One thing that PC gamers won't like is that there are only two save slots and saving takes about thirty seconds. Loading a game is nearly instantaneous.


What's the Fate of these Mazes?

When I saw screens and read the description of this game I was hooked and ordered it as soon as I could. And I haven't regretted it for a moment. This is a huge game that really brings you back to the classics while also feeling modern is some respects. There is a solid story, interesting characters and well-written dialog, a robust quest system, challenging combat and no game-ending bugs. It has certain flaws including an optional area that looked to be delicious but wasn't fully implemented, but that shouldn't stand in your way of enjoying the dozens of hours of game time and cool quests.


Pros and Cons

+ Captures the essence of classic cRPG games.
+ Solid combat and magic systems.
+ Really nice quests with CONSEQUENCES.
+ Huge dungeons and diverse enemies.
- Bugs and unfinished areas.
- Difficult to find a copy.


Final Score and Game Info

I score Mazes of Fate as a strong 4/5, which decreased from 5 after I found some bugs throughout the game. If I were 'half-starring' it would be a 4.5 game. The core gameplay is solid and addicting, and it is really like taking a step back in time and discovering a classic game that you never played, yet has been updated graphically and influenced by more recent games. You can only get it through eBay or Amazon.com (on eBay the publishers have a mini-store), but it is definitely the type of game worth seeking out. Indeed, even if you aren't normally a handheld gamer, you can get a GBA for pretty cheap now and enjoy this game - all for less than the price of two games.
Box Art