The Game Gear Directory: (Gl-Gu)

Callooh callay! No sports games today!

Global Gladiators, Mick & Mack as the (1993)

Just so you understand, this game is listed under G as per Wikipedia, but I'm unsure, so I might revise the game's position when I come to compile the Directory. This platform shooter is fitfully fun, but suffers from rather poor performance matched with unwieldy, over-animated sprites that are a little too big Enemy projectiles are also small and hard to notice, leading to what I consider a lot of unfair damage being taken. There's momentum to your movements and jumps which I found awkward to get used to, especially as the game's collectathon element (akin to Cool Spot) requires you to make difficult leaps pretty much from the off. Despite all this criticism, though, it is quite enjoyable. It's clearly ambitious, but maybe a little too ambitious for a Game Gear cartridge. ***

GP Rider (1994)

Well, you only got it out four years after the arcade cab, Sega. Still, this motorcycle game is pretty good - as smooth as the brilliant F1, though it lacks the undulating slopes of the courses in that game. And, of course, a bike is different to an F1 car. There's nice variety to the visuals here as you make your way through up to 18 stages of driving madness. You've got a choice of three bikes, which as well as being natty different colours also offer varying "stats" which presumably change things up in some way, I don't know, I haven't the intricate grasp of the game feel that you might need in order to perceive the difference. There are several modes; Arcade, Tournament and most interestingly World Tour, seeing you cross the same world map as the iconic Super Hang-On. You can also link up with a friend and absolutely destroy them. Yeah, as you can tell, I'm having trouble thinking of anything compelling to say about GP Rider, so I'll leave it at this: it's fine. ***

Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude! (1993)

Alright, just what the heck is going on here? What's the story with this "Greendog" fellow? Best known for his Mega Drive game, though comics strips featuring the lanky sod also appeared in the UK's short-lived (two issues) Max Overload magazine. You take control of ol' Greenie himself, and s-l-o-w-l-y make your way through somewhat overlong stages based on jungles, beaches, temples, all sorts of clichés. And it's sort of weirdly arcadey in that it seems almost impossible not to get hit, though there are plenty of health items so it sort of become about mitigating damage as much as you can. The constant onslaugh of enemies is pretty trying, and not just on the player - as mentioned this game is slow, taxing the Game Gear to a ridiculous degree. You've got a frisbee to defend yourself, but most enemies - including tiny little frogs - take multiple hits, making it very impractical. I don't hate this by any means, but I wouldn't recommend it. **

Gunstar Heroes (1995)

A valiant effort, I suppose, but much like the attempt at Dynamite Headdy, it's a case of Treasure's eyes being bigger than their stomach. I wish it were more enjoyable, but it's nothing more than a curio; a version of Gunstar Heroes which loses the fundamental sense of chaos that defines the game, and therefore loses the game. It's interesting to play through once so you can go "Oh, so that's what Gunstar Heroes on the Game Gear feels like", but it offers nothing more than a conversation piece, not really. Funnily enough, sequel Gunstar Future Heroes for GBA had much the same problem, but somehow inverted. I will, however, save that for the Game Boy Advance Directory. Which I'm not bloody doing. **

(Next: H)