|If Hollywood has taught us
anything its that we dont want originality. People complain about movie
trailers giving too much away, but I dont think thats the problem. When we see
a trailer for a romantic comedy, we pretty much know that theyll get together in the
end while the affable comedic support looks on wistfully because we know the conventions
of the genre so well. We can chart the plot points on a grid and we get very uncomfortable
when the movie doesnt follow our expectations completely.
game makers too often follow this same line of thought. "Hey," they say to one
another, "people really seemed to like that Mario guy walking from left to right
across the screen jumping over stuff. We could make a game like that, only have Batman do
it." They all nod their heads in approval and set out to make a game that underwhelms
and manages to be successful at the same time. I think this happens more on the Game Boy
games than on any other system.
latest notch in the yardstick of mediocrity is Atlantis: The Lost Empire for the Game Boy
Advance. A few months ago I reviewed an Atlantis game for the Game Boy Color.
Interestingly enough, I found a few things about the Game Boy Color version of Atlantis to
admire, although this game is pretty much what youd expect, and I get bored when my
expectations are met completely. This game comes at a very interesting time. The movie has
vanished from theaters and the DVD is still months away. The quality of the gameplay and
the relative obscurity of the release suggest a game that wants to be dumped rather
Atlantis: the Lost Empire, you play the bookish Milo, who is too busy being an action hero
to ever actually seem bookish. Running, jumping and climbing, you have to avert disaster
on a variety of levels with the clock ticking down. The levels are fairly short to work
your way through. The game provides a number of secondary challenges to keep you coming
back if you dare.
The graphics are no workout for the Game Boy
Advance. The colors are fairly drab throughout, which makes it difficult to see some of
the action on the Game Boy screen. Some of the cut-scenes were nearly impossible to see
without a light shining directly above your head. The only real failure lies in the
controls for the game. They get pretty frustrating. Milo is too quick and can jump too far
for his own good. I had a real hard time judging just how far he could jump and would end
up overshooting the mark.
probably should be easier on this game in much the same way I should be easier on Adam
Sandler movies. Like Happy Gilmore, Atlantis: The Lost Empire hits all of the
expected notes. Like so many things in the entertainment industry, its not bad.
Its adequate. Most people wont be too disappointed with this game in much the
same way that most people wont be disappointed with Rocky VI when it comes out. I,
on the other hand, gave up on Rocky at number IV.
Jason Frank (10/30/2001)
Ups: Nothing really WRONG with it.
Downs: But nothing really great.
Game Boy Advance