Review: Game & Watch Gallery 2 (3DS eShop / GBC)

Now in colour!

After successfully remaking and re-releasing four Game & Watch games with Mario characters in Game & Watch Gallery, it was only a matter of time before Nintendo selected another bunch to redo. With around 50 different Game & Watch games originally released, there certainly isn't a small pool to pick from, but here we have six simple games with a colour twist.

Of course, the basic idea of Game & Watch remains unchanged. In each game, your aim is simply to get as high a score as possible, without losing all your lives. Lives and score multipliers (if you're doing well) are awarded at certain score tresholds, but likewise you'll also eventually be hit with speed increases and a higher difficulty.

In this second instalment, there are six games to pick from, five of which are initially available while the sixth is unlocked by getting good scores in the others. Naturally, none of the games in this one are carry-overs from the first. You'll start with Chef, Donkey Kong, Helmet, Parachute and Vermin, each of which, just like in the first game, includes both a classic mode faithful to the original handhelds, as well as a modern remake, featuring Mario characters and much improved graphics.

Chef is a bit like Fire: you bounce around food using your skillet, trying not to let any of it hit the floor. In Donkey Kong, you must simply make your way up an obstacle course, removing part of Donkey Kong's platform every time you reach the top and eventually making him fall. Helmet is one of the simplest games in the series — all you have to do is move to the right of the screen and enter a door that periodically opens, while avoiding a garbage barrage raining down from the sky. In Parachute, you must row a boat around to catch parachuting civilians before they fall into the shark-infested waters, and in Vermin you protect a garden from invading critters.

Naturally, just like in the first collection, the modern versions of these games come with some interesting gameplay differences. In some cases they make it easier, but in other cases they'll only complicate things further. For example, in Chef you can now earn lots of bonus points, because Yoshi can be found walking around below you. Feeding him well-cooked food will get you bonus points, though you should avoid completely burning food before giving it to him.

Donkey Kong and Helmet feature several different stages rather than just the one each, and you will have more to deal with than just barrels and falling tools. Like with Fire from the first game, Parachute has different characters who fall at different speeds, and Vermin ups the ante by increasing the number of spots to protect in your garden from five to six.

Once again, doing well in the games will earn you stars, which this time go towards unlocking the sixth and final game, as well as unlocking entries in a Museum mode, where you can read information about some Game & Watch games not included in the package. Getting a lot of stars will also let you play as different characters in the final game, which will change some things dramatically.

One star is earned for every 200 points you earn in any of a game's modes, though you stop earning them after 1000 points, but since each game has four modes there are 20 stars to earn in each game. Getting 1000 points in a modern mode will also unlock a super hard version of modern for that game, for those who want an extreme challenge.

Just like the first time around, the modern versions of the games feature some nice new graphics, while the classic versions are completely faithful and identical to the original releases. The modern versions also come with some catchy music, some of which is sure to stay on your mind for a while.

Conclusion

As with the first game, Game & Watch Gallery 2 features a collection of several highly addictive score based games. There's a lot to do, and with both faithful ports and remakes being included in the same package you're sure to be entertained for a while as you attempt to earn all the stars available. And after that, maybe you can go in for seconds with the super hard difficulties.

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