Friday, June 03, 2005

Recommended Gaming: MAME GP32

Beastie Feastie
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Here's one I'd never played myself until a couple of months ago, despite being a Mame fanboy since 1998. I'm not sure how it evaded my gaze for so long, especially as it's known by at least two other names, 'The Glob' and 'Super Glob'. There are slight differences between Beastie Feastie and The Glob, I think limited to level design. I never saw these in the arcades, perhaps as they were a daughterboard add-on to pacman hardware, produced by 3rd party Epos (I'd never heard of them either... so much for being a hard-core retro gamer. Punishment: 100 Hail Marios). This game is proof positive that there's gold in them thar hills; keep fossicking around in those MameGP32 folders and you'll find a little buried treasure every once in a while. Beastie Feastie has fairly simple platform-style play mechanics, nothing really new to offer, yet it's all put together in such a way that it's a really adddictive little game. Once you get gameplay figured out it's pretty tough to put down, at least until it gets impossibly fast in later levels. And that's a pretty unique hook: as you progress, in addition to the levels becoming more complicated, more enemies and whatever it really speeds up. A lot. I really mean it, it gets crazy after a while. That's the addiction: never mind the score, what level can you get to?
Control is quite simple: a four-way joystick and two buttons: one for calling elevators, one for hanging on to the ceiling.
You have an energy bar at the bottom of the playfield which acts like a timer, slowly decreasing over about a 2.5 minute period. The longer you cling to ceilings, the faster the energy bar will run down. Note that the way the screen is set up you need to play it horizontally to see the energy bar (by pressing the R button). I've never had it run out as it gets too frantic to hang around for long, so I play it vertically and never have a problem, though I've played it horizontally a few times and it's still very playable. See what you think.
Your aim is to eat the fruit (that's original...) scattered throughout the levels. Eat the last one and it's on to the next level.
There are a number of elevators on each level, to call for one stand under the button nearest to the elevator shaft and press the call elevator button. Notice you can use this offensively, as the elevator will crush a beastie that drifts into it's path. Once on the elevator you can use up and down to control it, again you're able to crush beasties so use this to good effect, especially on the level you're aiming for, that way you'll have a clear path to the fruit. For a while anyway; notice that the beasties respawn where they died, usually in just a few seconds so make it snappy. The beasties follow quite random paths, so don't get too cocky with them, especially considering you move by jumping so pinpoint accuracy can be difficult. In later levels some beasties can call elevators themselves, so if you're intending to cross a shaft quickly scan up and down it to see if a beastie is getting ready to call the elevator, as he can crush you just as easily as you can crush him. The jump button needs to be held down to maintain your grip, then released whenever the danger has passed. Handily, you can crush beasties by falling onto them. Remember that they'll respawn though!
I find it's sometimes handy to call for an elevator before you've eaten all the fruit on a particular floor, that way the elevator can't be called by a beastie and you can use the time it takes for the elevator to get to you floor to eat the last fruit. As you ride an elevator you can't be killed by a passing beastie, but as soon as stop they can enter the elevator and waste you. So keep your eye on where you're going and try not to get side-tracked if it looks dangerous. As the level starts have a good look at it's design, notice that if there are no walls to the sides of a floor you can wrap around the screen, as can the beasties. And try as best you can to map a way through the level, it can get reasonably complicated in later levels so having a basic idea of which elevator go to which floor is a good idea.
Have a go at Beastie Feastie/The Glob. I reckon it's a great game if you've got a spare 10 minutes up your sleeve, though it gets really frustrating later when the speed ramps up. Which is a good thing in my book, if I slam it down on level 9 I know that sooner or later I'll be back trying to get to level 10.
You'll find the game/s in the Classic folder of MameGP32. It runs well with sound and frameskip 1.

Reviewed by: Alyinsanfran


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is getting better and better with every review.

I love these old Mame games !!!

Sat Jun 04, 09:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger BobBorakovitz said...

Hey this looks & sounds a little like elevator action! I'll have to check this one out!

Sun Jun 05, 03:46:00 AM EDT  

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