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The Grinch Package Art
GENRE
Konami
DEVELOPER
Konami
PUBLISHER
1
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
unknown
CONNECTIVITY
unknown
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The Grinch

Santa was very nice to Gameboy players this year. Unlike the Nintendo 64, which had a few really great titles in the Y2K, the Gameboy had stocking after stocking, after stocking, after stocking full of absolutely stellar Gameboy Color titles ready to hang over the fireplaces of gamers on the go this past holiday season. The fourth quarter in particular was full of great titles, including some incredibly cool licensed titles. Yep, you heard me correctly - incredibly cool licensed titles. One such title is Konami's The Grinch.

visuals

The Grinch uses a top-down view in a cartoony city environment. Unfortunately, because of the maze-like nature of the game, most all of the buildings and landmarks in the cities are repetitive. The Grinch character is modeled more after the Jim Carrey version than the classic Dr. Seuss version, but that's forgivable as he moves liquidy smooth. The Whos on the other hand are fairly generic visually. I'm unfairly nit-picking this game on the basis of its license though - the graphics are quite good as far as Gameboy games go.

audio

The Grinch has a unique musical style that combines the bouncy, bubbly pop of today with classic Christmas jingles and oldschool videogame classic effects. The music that introduces the game along with cutscenes is particularly impressive. One of the more retro effects in the game is the menacing laughter of the Grinch upon completion of a level. This clever blend of old and new makes for some of the better audio on the GBC.

gameplay

While I was playing The Grinch, the Konami classic Metal Gear Solid was always in the back of my mind. Despite the lack of VR missions and heavy weaponry, many parallels can be drawn between the two games. Both involve sneaking around in maze-like environments, picking off enemies should they see you, and generally making a nuisance of yourself while running covert operations. It's a beautiful thing to see a game like MGS translate so well to a license like The Grinch.

The Grinch sees you running through Whoville stealing presents which are scattered about in typical Pac Man fashion. Your job is to ruin Christmas via stealing all the presents without being noticed. You can always bent down and grab a few snowballs to rid yourself of some opponents. If you're noticed, you break out in a hyper run as the Whos chase you, making the game even more like Pac Man. I do have one moral dilemma with this system however. When a police officer catches you, they beat you with their batons:

Now, I agree that sometimes the police need to use some force to take down criminals, but these guys will smack the hell out of you just because you get in their line of vision! Notice how police officers don't seem to be picking on any of "their kind"; only the colored folk feel the brunt of the pigs’ anger. Is that big heart that spurts from the wound supposed to make it better? Are we supposed to believe police brutality is all in the name of love? Frankly, I'm sickened by this blatant display of unnecessary oppressive force! Take off the white cap and go back to the Philly PD you Nazi bastards!

Now, back to the point. The level ends when all the presents in a level have been collected. Bonus points are awarded if you get through the level without being seen. There's a simple password system used for saving your progress.

The only real problem with the game is the lack of variety. All the maps are designed with variety in mind, but the general action of the game might make more impatient gamers yawn. That said, it's still a great little game that offers many levels of difficulty to suit every gamers skills.

multiplayer

See above.

overall

If you're an oldschool gamer like myself, you'll absolutely love this game. There's plenty of challenge here, and while the style is similar to Pac Man, it offers much deeper gameplay. If you're able to look past the Klansmen cops (which I'm just kidding about in case you're planning on writing Konami an angry letter) you'll thoroughly enjoy this game

final score Action/10


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