Arcade Hits: Joust/Defender
Game Boy Color
Do you remember those carefree days of the Eighties, when the threat of nuclear war always took a back seat in our minds to classic Arcade gameplay? Even if you didn't grow up in the decade of Fidel Castro, Glastnost, and the New Kids on the Block, you'll probably get a kick out of playing Arcade Hits: Joust/Defender for the Game Boy Color.
Midway brings us faithful recreations of two coin-op classics that have been burned into our minds: the alien-blasting Defender and the bizarre Joust. In Defender, you control a small spaceship that must fly over a mountainous terrain, blasting UFOs attempting to abduct humans. Though the action is fast and furious, you've got the convenience of a radar display that's located directly above the screen, and you can mash the B button to unleash a blast from your mega-bomb -- wiping out the entire screen in the process.
Graphics are faithful to the originals and the game remains very playable (on a Game Boy Color, anyway). If you're playing on an original Game Boy or Game Boy Pocket, the infamous "Game Boy Blur" victimizes this particular game. Even when you invert the palette so the game is black-on-white, the end result is an incomprehensible smattering of pixels that's simply unplayable. Consider yourself warned.
On the other hand, Joust works quite well on both color and black-and-white incarnations of everyone's favorite handheld. In Joust, you control bizarre flying ostriches in an attempt to knock your fellow riders off. You can gain speed by running on the ground, though your control is significantly hampered when you start flapping your wings to fly into the air. When you win a joust against your opponents (by aiming your lance slightly above theirs), they fall off their mounts and you can collect magic eggs to score big points. Graphics are crisp, clear and distinctive, and this game receives a major facelift when played on the Game Boy Color.
If classic arcade games are your thing, then Arcade Hits: Joust/Defender will undoubtedly tickle your fancy -- just make sure you're playing on a Game Boy Color, or the eyestrain will make you take this one right back to the store. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
Great on the Game Boy Color, atrocious on the standard Game Boy. Color and a decent display make a huge difference with this one. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
Basic Arcade-style bloops and bleeps -- not too much in terms of music or other audio effects. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
Tight, polished, Arcade-classic game play. Can't complain at all. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
These arcade games have fantastic replay value -- you'll always be aiming for a new top score. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
Pretty shabby, even for simple Arcade games. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide