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Pyuu to Fuku Jaguar Byo to Deru Megane Kun

version: jp - year: 2004 - developer: konami - publisher: konami - format: gba, cartridge - condition: mint, w/ glasses - rarity: hard to find

This Egyptan themed level sports 3 levels of parallax scrolling


Bonus stages often offer a break from standard levels


Castlevania anyone?


Great "Mode 7" effects SNES-style bring cool gameplay twists


Who needs real 3D when you can have 3D glasses :)




Review - 2D is dead. Long live 2D! Real 2D games seem to be a thing of the past, to the point that not many people around care about them anymore. Of course, there are some happy exceptions like the Neo-Geo for instance, but its days of glory have been long time gone, while its remaining days of actual service are numbered unfortunately.

The GBA has basically been the last bastion of real 2D gaming. Big companies only invest on 3D when developing on big consoles but apparently, small projects can still be done using strictly 2D graphics. 2D graphics require smaller teams therefore cost much less to develop. Add to that the technical limitations of the GBA hardware and you get the perfect console where 2D games can still be a viable financial alternative.

But let's go back to Konami's game. Behind the incredibly long title (let's call the game Jaguar for short), resides a humorous action-platformer apparently inspired from a popular manga. The main hero is armed with a deadly...erm...flute... but despite that, the music instrument proves to be a deadly weapon :) It is possible to purchase power ups along your quest, which basically give you greater range. Graphically, Jaguar features some very nice characters, with tons of frames of animations. The backgrounds are varied, colorful and often inspired. They also feature a generous amount of parallax scrolling!

The funny thing about this game is that it is filled with references to other videogames. So you will have a side-scrolling shooter stage where Moai look-alike heads, Volcanoes etc will shoot projectiles at you. If this sounds familiar, it should because the programmers recreated the 1st level of Gradius! Other familiar games citations include a Castlevania level and a series of 1 on 1 fights, Yie Ar Kung Fu style...with the same dated graphics and weird controls...There are even a couple of levels where the game will look, play and feel like an 8bit platform game (on purpose). I have to say that playing through 8bit graphics for one stage was fun enough but I felt that this retro section of the game should have been way shorter cause it got old very quickly.

The music is good enough although it tends to be a bit repetitive. Speeches (in Japanese) sound nice and clean while sound-effects are definitely appropriate. Gameplay is faithful to 2D platformers of the time. It alternates side-scrolling sections with 3/4 over-head sections and bonus stages that add in some variety to the overall experience.

Some stages will also have the option to use the 3D glasses bundled with the game to experience eye-straining 3D-look alike effects! Who needs real 3D when you can use 3D glasses :) Honestly though, I couldn't use the glasses for more than a couple of minutes, cause they gave me an instant headache... Another interesting thing about Jaguar is that by pressing the shoulder buttons, you'll be calling upon one of your 3 sidekicks (each with his/her distinctive attacks). Call them often as they provide decent additional firepower.

Difficulty isn't very high since after each stage, the game will save your game. Jaguar is a funny little game, filled with references to other classic 2D games and enjoyable for what it is: a good old platformer, that won't leave a mark into history but that is nevertheless enjoyable!

Bottom line: An original 2d platformer, filled with references to other konami games and somewhat reminiscent to goemon....7/10










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