Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Adventures of Star Saver (GB)

The Adventures of Star Saver title screen
Developer:A-Wave|Release Date:1992|Systems:Game Boy

This week on Super Adventures, something a little less colourful.

The Adventures of Star Saver is a Game Boy game... and that's pretty much all I know about it. I just saw the name and realised it had to get played. My best guess is that it's a management sim based around running a discount supermarket chain, but I'm not going to completely rule out the possibility that it's a platformer.

Either way no one wants to stare at 300 black and white screenshots so I'll be keeping it short this time. This'll be a Regular Adventure rather than a Super Adventure.



Hmm, looks like it's one of those post-apocalyptic alien abduction kinds of situations.

Our heroes were just minding their own business, taking their guns for a walk through the smoking ruins of the city, when a UFO sticker suddenly relocated them to the rings of Saturn for a laugh. Well one of them anyway, unless the woman's piloting the robot.

I think the black and white look actually suits the game; it's like a pixelly 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'. It would've been green on the original Game Boy screen mind you, but that works too. Makes it looks like nature's taken the city back.

Seems that I'm actually playing as the robot, jumping around a cave and shooting monsters. I know it's a cave because creatures are hanging down from threads and there's no ceiling in outer space. It's definitely not a forest level, that much I'm sure of.

The platforming seems solid enough and I can't complain about the way the machine leaps around but the scrolling isn't as slick as I expected. Also there's no parallax scrolling backgrounds, just an empty black void. Not exactly a huge shock for an 8-bit 4 colour handheld system... but it does mean my GIFs will have an absolutely tiny filesize. I can basically turn this article into a really quiet Let's Play video!

Wow, it's lucky I wasn't standing closer to that wasp-bot when I opened fire or else I'd have been hit when it split. Dick move, wasp-bot.

Also, why's there a tiny ringed planet in this cave? I mean I don't care where aliens dump their planets, but the tiny rocks making up the ring should've fallen into the bottomless chasm, like I nearly did when I made that jump. I didn't expect the platform to suddenly drop like that! None of the others did.

Well that was an emotional rollercoaster.

I went from 'thank fuck the hole didn't drop me into a spike pit' to 'oh crap I'm balancing precariously on top of a tiny moon, and it's moving' to 'why is there an invulnerable lion's head floating in front of me?'

I jumped into it and this apparently helped somehow, so... yay?

Bouncing shurikens are also a good thing to jump into it seems, despite not being in boxes like the other power ups. I love this new gun I've got by the way, it's so powerful it makes time stutter when I open fire. I was worried grabbing that bow would make it disappear, but nope. It just makes my bow score go up by two I guess.

Aww, and I was doing so well too.

I'm not out of it yet though. Seems that I'm playing by Ghouls'N Ghosts rules and the mech acts like a hit point for my hero. I've lost my awesome three-way shot though! Also the music's changed, which is a nice touch. Though weirdly it sounds more like a happy power-up tune than a 'careful mate, one more hit and it's all over' tune.

I knew there was something up with that dog!

There's something up with the mysterious fish bones scattered around the jumbled scenery tiles as well, but they're not likely to bite me so they're not something I'm going to think too hard about.

At least now I know what the bow does! It's an automatic grappling hook that saves me if I fall off the level. I'm chasm-proof! Can't say I've seen that tool show up in many platformers. They're usually far too fond of their instant death pits.

Also I think this metroid might be the first boss.

Not even close to actual speed.
Yep, he's a boss alright. He likes to hover around and follow me for a bit, then suddenly drop. It's all very predictable though; I counted how many seconds he stays airborne, so I always know when to get out of his way and take shots at him

Really wish I still had that three-way shot about now.

Or just having that mech would've been nice.

I love Max's little dying animation though. But I'd like it better if his head didn't end up landing where his feet should be.

Well I've still got a couple of 'Max's left so I'll give it another shot. The character's not actually called Max by the way. According to MobyGames he's a police officer called Tony who's on a mission to rescue his sister. Though GameFAQs claims he's called Kevin. Sadly I've no info on what his sister's called and whether or not she's a princess.

It respawned me all the way back up here!

I did exactly what I did last time and jumped onto the power-up shuriken, but this time I got surprise bats in the face! Well I was surprised they were so early at least, as I had a good four seconds before they reached the platform last time.

Just get back in the mech you dumbass, I'm sure it's fine. Giant blinking cyclops bats aren't going to wreck a combat mech in one hit. It's a shame Mythbusters got cancelled as they'd back me up on this.

And the boss is dea... what?

You can't have a dead boss explode into enemies, that ain't right! Especially when it means I get kicked back half a level and have to drop down and kill him all over again.


SOON, ON STAGE 2.


Bad invulnerable dog.

I've just gone and thrown away the last of my lives right at the start of stage 2, but at least that means I won't have much to replay this time!

Well I couldn't have been more wrong.

Wow, the game really doesn't come with any continues, huh? Even Castlevania gives you continues! I'm not sure I even want to keep playing now. I'm not sure why they didn't put a few pixels of anti-aliasing on the underside of the 'V' either, it looks so jagged.


7 DAYS LATER (I DECIDED TO TAKE A BREAK).


Damn, there's some beautiful slowdown going on later in stage 2. I thought I was playing GoldenEye for a moment! I wish I was playing GoldenEye.

I was confused by the flickering tiles at first, thinking that they might be a glitch or something, but of course they're the weak points I have to hit to destroy the walls. Should've realised that faster really, though in my defence I do have a headache... now.


LATER.


I got up to the stage 2 boss without too much trouble (it was a really straightforward level this time) but it turns out that I'm bad with timing and hit boxes. I'm just throwing all my lives away on this guy because I never know where to stand and when to move. He's not even doing anything clever, just going through a scripted bouncing routine.

It would be nice if the game put me right back in the fight like this, but truth is I had to replay the last section of the level every time I got Tony killed. I decided to take pity on you and edit that bit out.


STAGE 3.


I've reached stage 3! This time I've nuts falling off trees and spiky ceilings to deal with. Also a power-up shuriken that flung itself into the abyss rather than let me catch it. Fortunately I can skip most of that with these caves, making this the best level yet!

Stage 3's boss is a lot like the stage 1 boss, except it comes with a twist. Also a tiny weak point. Also it's some kind of spider thing instead of a metroid.

I don't like it.

Then when I tried to get back to the boss, this happened. It's just like this game to make the collapsing floor look identical to the non-collapsing floor.

I'm more relieved than angry though really, as it gives me a fantastic excuse to turn the game off and never play it again


CONCLUSION

I didn't play The Adventures of Star Saver all that long, but during my time in the game I didn't save a single person! I was mostly a Star Killer really, but I guess Lucasfilm owns the copyright for that one. Also I didn't see any stars either, so I'm deducting points for that too.

It actually seems like a fairly playable platformer, certainly better than some of the crap I've played. Trouble is that the game doesn't have a whole lot of content (you can finish it just over half an hour if you're competent), and the developers have chosen to make this last by being stingy with the lives. There's no continues, no passwords and definitely no star saving. Reviewers seem to think that it's easy enough that you'll never need them, but I've got GIF proof that those reviewers need to quit being so good at games. I bet those bastards have even beaten a Mega Man game or two!

You might get a bit of entertainment out of this one, but I can't see it getting dramatically more interesting after stage three. I mean it might do, but I can't see it without beating the stage first and I'd rather not.


Wait, I forgot to mention that the game's called Rubble Saver in Japan, so perhaps that's what Tony's sister's called! Though probably not.

Anyway, leave me a comment if you feel in the mood. Etch your thoughts under my article so they may persist for all eternity. Or until Google shuts Blogger down at least.

9 comments:

  1. please please, do Veil of Darkness for DOS. You will love that game (I hope)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ask me one more time and I'll delete it from my site's archives.

      Delete
    2. oh god, sorry. I didn't get the notification last time. my bad.

      well, at least I can say you "uploaded" that article very fast ! thanks for your work

      Delete
    3. No problem!

      I wish more people would request games I've already written up, it saves me a lot of time.

      Delete
  2. The little baseball cap fellow reminds me of the chap from Cave Story. The first level reminds me of Nodes of Yesod or Sacred Armour of Antiriad.

    I suppose everything reminds me of something else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To me he looks like Leon S. Kennedy wearing Jill Valentine's cap, and I have no idea why.

      Delete
  3. That look super-classic. Sadly my GB was lost.

    ReplyDelete

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