GBA REVIEW: PAPERBOY / RAMPAGE COMBO

Paperboy/Rampage is two games in one, but since both games are half-assed you'd be wrong to consider this as one decent game. (To arrive at such a conclusion you might take each game, divide it in half, add the two halves together and come up with the result of one. This would be wrong. Whatever you do, don't try this at home.)

Two wrongs don't make a right. They make a left and get out of town by sundown, possibly stopping in at the local 7-11 for a Slurpee.

Everyone is going to be disappointed in this "dumbnamic duo." If you're a nostalgia buff looking to recapture your youth, you might want to try a hairpiece instead because the only thing you'll be reminded about is how you wasted your life until now.

Both Paperboy and Rampage are terrible ports - and even if you've never played them before, you'll be wondering what the fuss is about. They don't hold up in today's market. I'm sure you've played mini-games that had more depth than these offerings.

In Paperboy, you have a bicycle and a delivery route. Your job is to deliver papers to homes on your route by launching them into mailboxes. It takes careful aim and timing to get it right. All the while you will be avoiding traffic, kids, animals and potholes. In its day it was cutting edge but that was some 20 years ago. At least the controls were good. The problem with this version is that the bicycle is unsteady. It's more difficult to control than the original but it's not more challenging, it's just more annoying. Sometimes after you crash you will crash again for no apparent reason, as though you failed to get back on the bike before the game started again.

Rampage is the game that features huge, mutated creatures climbing atop buildings and pummeling them with their fists in an effort to free their soon-to-be-mutated friends that are destined for scientific experiments. The novelty of this game was the ability to destroy environments such as a city. Destructive environments are old hat now and considering the old-school graphics, there's not much to get excited about watching falling pixels.

As old arcade freaks know, Rampage was best played with three players. But don't expect a multi-player mode in this version - even though the box art clearly shows the game in multi-player mode. Misleading? I'm sure it was all just a terrible mistake…

About the only thing the developers got right are the graphics. Considering how low-res they are, it's not much of an accomplishment. The colors and animations are the way that I remember them but the control issues are another story, not to mention the sound effects. In Paperboy the sound cues are all screwed up and seem to be activated randomly. In some instances, after you successfully land a paper in the box the boy will say he's sorry - as though he missed. Perhaps he's just apologizing for the state of the entire game.

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System: GBA
Dev: Frame Studios
Pub: Destination
Released: Aug 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.0
GRAPHICS
2.5
CONTROL
2.5
MUSIC/FX
1.5
VALUE
1.0