Or as it’s called in Europe, Game & Watch Gallery Advance.
Before 4 e’en came out I enjoyed the 1st 3 for the Game Boy & Game Boy Color, & have fond memories o’ playing 3 while sick with the flu when very young.
I’ll admit I ne’er liked the classic versions o’ the games. It’s not just the fact that the music is just constant beeps & the graphics were pure black & white: the classic versions were so sparse to the point o’ making gameplay worse. Slow & jerky animation does not fit fast-paced action games well. Here it oft led to uncertainty o’er whether or not an action would be disastrous. “Helmet”’s a perfect example: when the raining junk falls in showers, one has no choice but to slip past some junk when its @ the bottom, which is risky, since due to the animation delay, one has no way to tell when that piece o’ junk will fall the next step & clock your character or won’t. Also, the shadows that signified other frames not used could be quite distracting & could be hard to tell from the filled-in frames. The modern versions also add li’l breaks & gameplay changes, such as bonuses one can get for playing well, that help break up the monotony o’ trying to get 1000 points in 1 playthrough. Said bonuses also make the points come mo’ quickly, which makes things less tedious as well.
That said, aesthetics are something worth mentioning. The graphics aren’t exactly stellar—though I found 4’s graphics to be rather colorful—but the music is quite catchy & underrated. I’d recommend trying some o’ them—’specially “Mario Bros.”, “Donkey Kong”, & “Rain Shower.”
Then ‘gain, admittedly, the modern versions oft strayed from the subject in which the game was named. “Mario’s Cement Factory” actually becomes a cookie factory; in “Fire Attack” you’re not being attacked by fire thrown by stereotypical depictions o’ Native Americans but by Bob-Ombs & Bullet Bills; & rain’s not the problem in “Rain Shower,” but paint balls being tossed by Bowser, who just loves to fuck round with everyone else for no reason, kingly responsibilities be damned. On the flip, though, I usually found these changes funner. ¿Who wouldn’t rather bake cookies that fill cement? ¿Who wouldn’t rather have colorful paint—with the different colors acting as helpful determiners for where they’re being thrown, too—o’er plain rain?
Game & Watch Gallery 4 rehashed a lot o’ modern games from the 1st 3—the most memorable, like “Fire,” “Mario Bros.,” “Chef,” “Donkey Kong,” & “Donkey Kong Jr.” The graphics & music were mostly the same—just higher quality. That said, 4 a’least rehashed the best, while leaving ‘hind most o’ the less memorable. It also had ’bout twice as many modern games, & probably mo’ than double the classic games, since it has an unlockable museum full o’ e’en mo’ classic games. Its new recreations are also better than 2 & 3’s, with “Rain Shower,” “Mario’s Cement Factory,” & “Boxing” being particular favorites. I’d like to think o’ 4 as the greatest hits o’ the series—which is fitting, since ’twas the last (no, I don’t count those sad ‘scuses, Game & Watch Collection 1 & 2 for the DS).
This is the 1st I e’er played when truly young, on the 1st Game & Watch Gallery, & is the 1st I think o’ when I think o’ Game & Watch games.
Move Mario & Luigi holding the safety net left & right with the control pad or A & B to keep the infinite crowd o’ Toads, Yoshis, & DK Jrs. falling out o’ the burning castle from smashing into the ground, bouncing them ‘long the way to the carriage, which apparently has an unlimited capacity. Toads are the lightest, & thus spend the most time up in the air ‘tween landings; DK Jrs. are the heaviest, & thus fall back down mo’ frequently.
Despite the simplicity o’ this game, I think it may be 1 o’ the hardest: there are just so many that bounce round, forcing you to go back & forth to ensure you’re there when each character’s heading for the ground. It can also be hard to eyeball which o’ the many simultaneously-falling characters will hit the ground 1st; many times I move to save 1 character only for 1 character to hit the ground before. & sometimes characters will hit the ground @ the same time, forcing you to shift from 1 spot to ‘nother in 1 instant. Requires lightning reflexes.
This 1, on the other hand, is stupidly easy to get 1000 points thanks to the AI’s sluggish movement. Just aim Luigi’s fists with the control pad & press A to punch your enemy’s face or stomach, aiming round their blocking fists while positioning one’s own fists to block one’s enemy’s attacks.
1st one fights Wiggler, then Big Boo, then Waluigi, & then it cycles back round. Beat 5 cycles to get all 5 stars—remarkably short compared to the 1000 points required in all the other games. I guess the fact that 1 loss causes automatic game o’er makes it a li’l harder—but consider how much harder it is to die in this game than every other, this is still unquestionably the easiest in the game.
Boxing’s hard mode is replaced by a 2-player mode, which means that if you’re playing the Virtual Console version or don’t have the means to play this 2-player, you’re screwed out o’ those 5 stars. However, if you can play 2-player, getting those 5 stars is easier than anything else in this game: just play 5 rounds. You don’t e’en have to win.
This is a new modern version, though the classic version appears in the 1st Game & Watch Gallery as an unlockable.
Move the characters sitting on swings to avoid getting them splashed by the paint balls Bowser flings round. Colors indicate the position each ball will fall: green is nearest to the center, purple 2nd, black 3rd, & then blue 4th. As the game goes on, mo’ characters join swings to make things harder.
Like with many o’ these games, the main challenge comes from keeping track o’ so many things @ once while things are going quickly: you can only move lines on which characters are sitting left & right, & 2 lines stack ‘bove each other, as well as there being 2 sides for a sum o’ 4. One has to time shifting lines so that paint balls fall in holes ‘tween characters on both sides, which can be hard to keep track o’ & time when Bowser flings paint o’ varying positions all o’er, forcing one to jump all round. Not as hard as “Fire,” but close.
After every 100 points, the season changes & Mario can hit a switch to turn all paint balls being thrown into coins for quite a lot o’ points—as well as a breather.
‘Nother new modern version, though its classic version appears as an unlockable in 2.
Mario’s Cement Factory
Move Mario ‘long rising & falling elevators to reach switches to move batter ‘long 2 sets o’ pumps down to Toad or Yoshi without falling off an elevator (or letting it bump Mario’s head on the ceiling) or letting any pump fill up with mo’ than 3 batter piles. Complicating things are the boos that sneak into pumps out o’ nowhere, taking up batter space.
Despite all that, this 1 isn’t that hard, e’en with the limited mobility caused by the uncontrollable elevators. E’en @ its hardest, things move rather slowly, usually giving you plenty o’ time to react. Actually, the most problems probably come from trying to rush too much & o’ershooting elevators rather than from letting pumps get too full.
‘Nother new modern version, though the classic version appears in the 1st Game & Watch Gallery as an unlockable.
Donkey Kong Jr.
If you’re familiar with Donkey Kong Jr. for the arcade or NES, this is somewhat similar: move up each area & reach DK’s cage 4 times to free him & move on to the next level, while dodging (or landing on) the Goombas, Koopas, & Bullet Bills. Like in the original, you’ll sometimes have to move ‘long vines, which work similar to how they did in the original.
There are 3 levels: cave & grassland, sunset cliff full o’ vines, & starry cloud area. It then cycles from there.
This modern version 1st appeared in 3.
Donkey Kong 3
As Mario you must shoot bubbles in 3 rows to push the fireballs & boos toward DK while he does the same. In the meantime, you also have to take the time to keep your water pump full o’ water to have ammo. To win a round, have DK get hit by a fireball or boo, & gain a bunch o’ points; however, if you get hit, you lose a round. Lose 3 rounds & game o’er. The fireballs usually stay in place, while the boos will slowly float toward the player they’re nearest & sometimes block bubbles.
For some reason I remember this game being hard to do well in; but ‘pon recently trying it I found I was able to climb up into the 1500s without e’en trying. I think the trick is to just spurt bubbles as much as possible to get as much general pushback as possible & not to think too hard ’bout things & possibly miss falling ammo or chances to shoot. Though it seems that strategy is queen here, it’s actually mo’ reflexes. For instance, I found that grabbing every water drop & shooting straight in the middle every instant I can wins ’bout 4/5 times.
“Donkey Kong 3”’s B mode is & has always been 1 o’ the easiest in which to get 5 stars… if you have 2-player capability (sorry Virtual Console users).
Not only is this a new modern version, the classic version hadn’t e’en appeared in the series till 4.
You start with the 1st 5 games available, but have to unlock the other 5 by collecting stars.
As Peach, catch the sunny-side eggs, fish, steak, lobster, & peppers that Mario & Luigi lazily just fling ‘hind them on her frying pan to heat them &, when they’re golden brown, let it fall where Yoshi’s standing so he eats it to get points. You get mo’ points if it’s golden brown, less points if you don’t cook it ‘nough or if it’s cooked so much that it’s burnt. Letting food hit the floor makes you lose a life.
Every 200 points the background switches back & forth from the initial kitchen to the courtyard.
Unlocked by getting 5 stars from any games.
This modern version 1st appeared in 2.
Move Mario up & down with the control pad & Luigi up & down with A & B to catch the cakes as they go up—or down if Bowser, the worst supervisor in the world, flips the switch just to be a dick—the conveyor belt. If they reach the truck Wario’s driving, you get a lot o’ points, while if they fall off, you lose a life.
I’d put this @ medium-level difficulty. I’ve gotten 5 stars in this on easy before, & mo’ than half in hard, but it’s not always guaranteed for me, like with “Mario’s Cement Factory,” & is much easier than “Fire” or “Donkey Kong 3.”
Unlocked by getting 20 stars from any games.
This modern version 1st appeared in 3.
Like “Donkey Kong Jr.,” this is similar to the original arcade game, but simplified: reach the top to save Peach without getting hit by barrels or other enemies.
A safer, but mo’ tedious, way to get points in this game is simply to wait @ the start & keep jumping o’er the barrels, since unlike the classic version or the original arcade game, there’s no fire-spurting oil can @ the start.
Unlocked by getting 35 stars from any games.
The modern version o’ this 1st appeared in 2.
Move down the rope & ‘long the ground toward the treasure chest to grab money while dodging the octopus’s tentacles. The mo’ money you grab, the mo’ points you get ‘pon returning to the boat @ the top, where greedy but lazy Peach awaits; however, the mo’ money you have, the mo’ your movements are slowed.
Don’t wait too long in the safe boat, by the way: Peach is an asshole & pushes you out if you wait too long—e’en if a tentacle is right @ the start o’ the rope.
A rather difficult game, ‘specially if one’s impatient. What’s worse, there’s a luck factor to the octopus’s tentacle movement. I’m quite certain it’s possible to get boxed in right next to the chest with no way to ‘scape being grabbed.
Unlocked by getting 50 stars from any games.
This modern version 1st appeared in 1.
As Wario, guard the 4 corners o’ your house from Bob-Ombs & Bullet Bills while eating tomatoes for extra points. 1 o’ the easiest, which makes me wonder why it’s the last to be unlocked.
Unlocked by getting 65 stars from any games.
New modern version; but the classic version appeared in 1.
As you collect stars, you also unlock a museum & games in that. 1st you can only unlock games to look @; but later you unlock the ability to play the classic version. ‘Course, they’re not as fun as any o’ the modern games; but the last 1 you unlock, The Legend of Zelda, does have to be the best ‘mong all the classic Game & Watch games. If only they made a modern version o’ it… Maybe if Haley’s comet hits a lottery winner & Nintendo gets round to making Game & Watch Gallery 5—&, ‘gain, not that waste o’ cartridge space that is those Game & Watch Collection games.