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    jp's Boulder Dash EX (GBA)

    [November 11, 2005 12:20:07 PM]
    Wow. I finished this yesterday.

    It's a "wow" because I thought there would be know, a secret "boss" level or a bunch of special levels that are opened up after you win the game. Apparently not. Oh well, it was fun.

    Overall, the game isn't that great particularly because the initial levels are rather haphazard as to their difficulty/enjoyment. The last ones are much, much, better.
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    [November 7, 2005 12:26:19 PM]
    I'm slowly making my way through the last world. (I think it has 15 levels and I've cleared 3 or 4) The levels are getting really good! (fun and challenging)

    I've figured out another reason why some of the puzzley levels weren't that good. In many of the levels you can pick up special items with "powers" (such as rotate the level 90 degrees, destroy a rock, etc.) When you receive a bunch of items you expect to use them all, right? It's sort of an unwritten use everything you get and the stuff you get gives you clues as to what to do. Sometimes this doesn't happen. For example, some games might give you the "right amount" of items, but there is a very clever way to beat a level using less... However, the norm is that you make optimum use of the stuff you get. This rarely happens in this game, which kind of ruins the feeling for some levels.. Huh? I have all this stuff left over? Oh, that was easy!
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    [November 3, 2005 07:51:39 PM]
    I'm currently playing the next to last world (ice, I think). This game is shorter and longer than I thought. The first 3 worlds are a cake-walk while the difficulty has really ramped up (in a good way) over the last. Also, the 4 and 5th worlds have more levels in them.

    I was really intrigued by why I felt the first 3 worlds didn't work. ('cause they were too easy and relatively unsatisfying) I think the problem is that the levels lack a clear identity. If I remember correctly, boulder dash is a game that mixes puzzle elements (figure out how to get all the diamonds) with some minor action (you can "dodge" some things). However, the levels are more "puzzley" in the sense that failure results in death and there is usually one way to win. Or, there is usually one part of the level where you HAVE to make the right choice.

    This doesn't happen in this version, in the first few levels, mainly due to a design decision in the game. The character now has an energy bar and if you run into an enemy you lose some (but not all) of the energy. So, in many cases you can "gung-ho" your way to a key location by "taking the hit" from an enemy. (instead of figuring out the correct way to do it). I did this a few times...and it made some levels feel "fake" and too easy. There was no challenge si I could run across and meet the objectives rather easily.

    I'm not saying that adding the energy bar is a bad idea. It is good, as many latter levels demonstrate. Basically, it gives you the chance to make a mistake and still continue to play. (whoops! I just brushed into the lizard, back up! back up!) However, in the well-designed levels, you can never rely on the energy bar to clear the level, you HAVE to get the right solution puzzle-wise.

    Actually, there are some latter levels that feel puzzley and others that feel more actioney. That's good. The problem is where they don't feel like either or when they feel like one kind of level but aren't really...
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    [November 3, 2005 07:30:19 PM]

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    [November 1, 2005 12:56:50 AM]
    I've always liked Boulder Dash, but from a distance. I was never a hard core player since I don't think I ever had a copy of the game...but I still think it's a cool game!

    So, I'm only expecting some nice, light, easy fun with few bells and whistles. Old school. I think I'll get that..though maybe it's a bit too easy? I've already cleared the first two worlds (of six)!
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    jp's Boulder Dash EX (GBA)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 31 October, 2005

    GameLog closed on: Friday 11 November, 2005

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Light and easy fun. The game gets better the more you play, so hang in there!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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