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Game & Watch: Helmet - DSiWare Review

Game Info
Game & Watch: Helmet

DSiWare | Nintendo | 1 Player | Out Now (North America) | 200 Nintendo Points
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7th April 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

Game & Watch is an iconic character that most will likely associate with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. His early beginnings were in the form of handheld games that Nintendo designed for the portable scene from 1980 to 1991. Since then, some of the games have been re-released into collections on the GBA thanks to the Game & Watch Gallery series, and Game and Watch Collection available exclusively via Club Nintendo. Now, Nintendo is bringing Game & Watch to DSiWare, much like what was done with the Electroplankton titles. Our second review will consider Game and Watch: Helmet which, as it turns out, is a surprisingly-addicting game.

    So this time around, Mr. Game and Watch is working on the construction of a new building, and he needs your help. The object of the game is to guide your helmet-wearing character to the office on the other side of the field. There are two problems that your little friend is faced with. In between the two sites, there will be tools falling from the sky as you try to make your way to the office. Silly Mr. Game & Watch thinks he's safe with his sturdy helmet, but if you get hit by one of these, you'll lose a life. Plus, the office door only stays opens for a few seconds before it closes again and traps you in the middle of the field. What will he ever do?

    Once you take your first step away from the building, you can't go back. So you'll need to use some quick thinking if you hope to make it to the end without getting hit. 
If you so happen to make it across the construction site in tact, he'll warp back to the building and the cycle will begin once again. Once you've been bonked on the head three times, the game will be over. If you can make it to the 200- and 500-Point mark, though, you'll get a clean slate and you'll be back to three lives once again! A single point is awarded for every three tools that fall to the ground, and you'll earn five points for making it into the office. Are you up to the challenge of obtaining the maximum score possible?

    The game is entirely button-based and all the action takes place on the top screen. You can play by using the D-Pad or the buttons to get the worker moving. Pressing the A Button will move the worker towards the right, and pressing the Y Button will move him towards the left. Obviously, pressing the Left and Right buttons on the D-Pad will reproduce the corresponding effect on-screen. 

In Game B, the rules change a bit, but not drastically. Rather than having the tools descend at the same speed all the way through, the items will fall faster as you earn more points. In addition, the time that the office door opens isn't as generous as it is in the main mode. Because not all the tools fall at the same steady clip, you'll need to think on your feet even more so than in Game A. Naturally, this mode will prove more challenging, even worthwhile if you're in the mood for something more fast-paced. 

    From the Main Menu you can reset your data, head back to the DSi Menu or access the Help manual. There's also a 'Time' mode which will show a demo reel for the game with a simple clock. At least it looks better than the one used for Game & Watch: Judge. But this mode probably would've had more substance had it not been altered, but Nintendo decided to remove the alarm feature from this release. As to the reason why, nobody knows. But to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a new application called the "Game & Watch Clock". 

    The menu presentation is pretty straight-forward but it does have a slight nostalgic aspect to it. This can also be seen in the menu's music, but it makes me think of a scene from an Ace Attorney game. During gameplay, there's no actual music that takes place, which is in line with the original release of this game. What you will hear, though, are constant beeping and error sounds. Unlike Game & Watch: Judge, this game actually incorporates some colour into the background as well, adding luster to the overall look and feel. If you've ever played this game in its original format, it'll likely bring a smile to your face as you reminisce on memories from the past.

    Game and Watch: Helmet is a good buy for only $2, especially since it's so well-suited to on-the-go gaming. It does a great job at delivering something so simple for sessions of short bursts. Plus, as an entirely solo affair, there's some good replay value in aiming for best records, or even taking turns with friends. If you have some memories of playing this years ago, or if you're just plain curious, spend the $2. It's not only more satisfying than Judge but it's arguably one of the best games in the series.

24/30 - Very Good

Gameplay 8/10 - Simple concept, sometimes requires quick decisions, addicting to see how many points you can rack up
Presentation 8/10 - Lots of nostalgia, incorporates some colour to liven up gameplay, Main Menu features good layout
Enjoyment 4/5 - Rarely gets old, only for solo players, much enjoyment is derived from trying to beat your high-scores
Extra Content 4/5 - Unlockable 'Score Select' feature, challenging 'Game B' option, can take turns with a friend, Rankings for both modes

Equivalent to a score of 80% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Game & Watch: Helmet
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