The Neo Geo is known primarily for its fighting games and the occasional shoot-em-up, so it’s good to come across a cutesy platformer on the system. If you are familiar with Super Mario Bros 2 on the NES you’ll have an idea of what to expect from Blue’s Journey.
Every good platformer has a gimmick: in this one the elf-like character you control can throw leaves at the bad guys into order to stun them. Once your foe is stunned, you can pick him up and throw him at other baddies. You can also jump on the bad guys and bounce them off the screen, which is pretty cool. Along the way you will find powerups, such as bombs, to aid you in your quest.
You will need all the help you can get because the bad guys come at you from all sides. Just when you think you are on top of things, rock-dropping birds will try to smash your skull open to add to your woes. Each level has a few secrets to be found along the way. One of the action buttons allows your character to shrink so you can fit through small gaps, which will allow you to take different paths to reach your goal. You can also use the flowers you find along the way to purchase items in shops.
Given the power of the Neo Geo the visuals are less than impressive. The game does nothing that the SNES couldn’t do. The music does the job nicely; it’s typically cute but very repetitive so you’ll probably just phase it out after a while.
Whilst Blue’s Journey is fun for a while it doesn’t really have the depth of similar platformers on other systems. The gameplay is too awkward for this to be considered a classic. The presence of a two player simultaneous player option is a pleasant surprise, but the game is still dull with a buddy helping you out. This is worth a look for the curious, but don’t expect this to entertain you for very long.
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