Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Game 30: The Adventures of the Smurfs

Did you know that as people age, they shrink? That's why my theory about Smurfs is that they're all extremely old people who read some dubious things about silver curing their illnesses. Hence their inability or unwillingness to remember words, replacing them with "smurf," the fact that they are all genderless (we all know gender dies with age) except for Smurfette (who is literally a construct and not a real Smurf), their terribly-out-of-date fashion, and their endless capacity for unfunny jokes. 

This is not a dig on Smurfs or old people - all of the above is good! I just think it's true.

What, you thought I was going to address a 5 year absence in the opening paragraph? Of course not, you know me.

Well, you probably don't know me all that well if you haven't heard from me at all in 5 years, but hey, that's on me. Suffice to say that I now live in the frigid north of the US, my politics are extremely radical (and tubular), and video games turned me gay. Sort of.

This is not the game that turned me gay though, nor is it my favorite Smurfs game on the Game Boy Color, nor is it much of anything at all! It is, in fact, a collection of minigames tied together by (horror of horrors) a top-down platformer.

This is undeniably true

I forget if my house writing style allows me to cuss, but I'm not going to go back and read all my posts to find out. Suffice to say, this game is evidence that the Music Makes the Game by being the counter-example. Also, fuck.

This game is pretty much expected, y'know? It's a licensed GBC game that has some pretty miserable minigames and irritating platforming, dodgy hit detection, and just godawful mazes. It's not anything! It's nothing!

This is nothing!!!

And yet, something about this game just made me so inexplicably mad

I think the problem is that I was expecting good music. The Smurfs' Nightmare has some of the best music on the GBC, so part of me was expecting this to be another Alberto Jose Gonzalez joint (see Adventures of Pinocchio for another example of his excellent tunes). The disappointment was the sharp point at the tip of the final nail in this coffin. 

Did you miss my tortured metaphors?

Anyway, blame this jerk:

Honestly the name kind of wins me over

Something about the droning, endless, monotonous tunes somehow made the idea of jumping around in a swamp even worse. And it was already pretty bad.

Anyway! I finished 3 levels in this game: 

1. A top down boating section where I had to avoid turtles and whirlpools to pick up nuts (or bolts?) and also not drown


2. The endless swamp level:


3. A "Bonus" level that was me driving a car directly off a cliff after 3 seconds which means I did not get a screenshot of it. But I was presented with this lovely picture after I died:

I will not save this baby

After which I was returned to the Smurf village which is, frankly, way too big. It's really large, I'm not even kidding, there are only two doors I could enter but there were at least 15 houses. Maybe they get filled out as you save Smurfs?

I had no chance to find out because, even though I was told to "Smurf Papa Smurf", he refused to talk to me. I don't know if this was an emulation glitch, a game glitch, a weird puzzle, or if I'm just a dipshit, but I could not get the game to progress past this point.

Smurf Papa Smurf indeed!!!!

Smurf him right in his stupid smurfing nose

So that's where this story ends. A blue, wet fart in an otherwise endless miasma of blue, wet farts. 

I probably would have played the shit out of this as a kid though. Little obstacles like "doing the specific thing the game told me to do isn't working" was nothing to me at age 10. I would have wandered around for 30-45 minutes, checking every nook and cranny until I figured it out. I think that's the genius of games like this - they are very resistant to being played, and so to the stubborn mind they are exactly what's needed. The problem is that, as an adult, I have better things to do. It's not fair criteria to judge these games by, but that's where we're at.

Well, also, that's the whole point of this blog, so there's that.

See you next time for (whatever game is next, who cares, i don't know)!

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