Figured i’d check in with the SNES and NES online measly offering and see if some obscure back catalogue title dropped while Nintendo forgot to say it or did but we didn’t care.
And Jelly Boy is indeed one of those titles you might have gone your entire life without knowing about as it blends perfectly into the humungous pile of platformers of the 90s, and only came out in Europe, to boot.
So, it’s one of those 16 bit platformers that wanted to jump on the bandwagon, so it has a Sonic style health system, and often very tight time limits for the levels…. which i guess were made to make it feel more like Sonic when it’s otherwise a more linear “europlatformer” of british descent starring a humanoid shaped jelly in baby pink that can morph in various shapes, including a duck… when you duck, so the game has a sense of humour.
The main issue is that you have to find jigsaw pieces hidden in the level to unlock the zone’s boss, bu beating bosses only nets you item needed to finish the game, but to actually enter the next zone/world you have to find out first that there’s a hub area to access each world’s map, and you need to find a key in each zone to access the next one.
The game doesn’t tell you about any of these, most likely on purpose to sell guides and avoid people from easily beating it while renting it in the day, even more because just the first world it’s so obtuse. Once you know what the hell you’re supposed to, the game is actually decent, looks good , has a lot of levels, i’d say it’s worth a play by platformers buffs…. with a walkthrough on hand.
As Nintendo’s own Nintendo Switch Online retrogaming offering continues to baffle and disappoint everyone, i decided to pick from this pathetically tiny new serving of small, back catalogues titles most people don’t really care about… well, Spanky’s Quest, from Natsume.
Don’t be fooled by the cheeky title, because a very Kirby-esque (albeit shitty, as it doesn’t actually explain even the basic premise) cutscene will introduce the titular simian, Spanky, trapped in a tower by a witch and now in a quest has to escape while watching out for enemy fruit homunculi.
It’s the kind of game that if i played back when i was a kid, i would have most likely dropped after the first few levels, not in frustration more as not being that interested. Doesn’t help that there’s no tutorial of sorts, since the way you attack isn’t obvious, nor the game tells you can bounce the bubble you launch to power it up multiple times, and then use the bubble button again to pop it for a bigger, more powerful projectile attack.
Once you figure this out, you realize this is a fairly straighforward puzzle platformer, where in each level you need all the keys (hold by the enemies) to open the door leading to the next stage, albeit made a bit more challenging by the fairly unique method of indirect attack by throwing – and juggling – bubbles like actual spherical objects, and NOT the way Bubble Bobble does it.
To my surprise, it’s actually a decent little title, and while it’s not too long (just 50 short stages, even without the save states and rewind features it’s not that hard or time consuming), it has some charm and depth to it. Just a decent, but cute little puzzle platformer from the era. Nice music, too.
Played via Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES service.
So, i guess i was one of the few people mildly interested in some of the February 2012 NSO updates. Which is somehow managing to make me miss the original Virtual Console, somehow.
But i have a thing for caveman platformers, i do, so here we are.
To be fair, i didn’t expect much, especially since it comes from Titus (and if you know something about retrogaming, their name wasn’t exactly one welcomed with cheers), i wasn’t familiar with it and just figured it was gonna be a Joe & Mac clone, but this isn’t really the case. And while it’s easy to understand its existence being relegated to niche retrogaming obscurity, as the 90’s were obsessed with cavemen and dinosaurs and this one didn’t do much to stand out in the avalanche of cavemen themed movies or videogames… you might want to give this one a chance.
It’s not an unsung SNES classic by any means, no, it’s kinda generic and unremarkable, but it’s surprisingly nifty, pretty entertaining, and the while the plot see a caveman named Sam on a quest to feed his starving village, while searching for a bone graveyard so to make his tribe rich… it’s very cartoonish and fond of the usual caveman anachronism. It’s also not short, with a good variety to the levels, often putting you in control of a vehicle like a glider; and while the level design starts off fairly straighforward, more often than not it requires you to explore the levels and collect the required items, as it is still an “euro platformer”, and a pretty challenging one too.
I just wish your character’s standard attack was less crap, and the controls were a bit less slippery, but it’s a good retro platformer.