Video games have incorporated collecting since Mario tried to get 100 coins to get an extra life. So, it can be argued that the recent Looney Tunes game, which incorporates the collection of characters, is not a complete rip-off of the recent Pokemon craze. However, if the Pokemon was never created then we may have never seen Collector’s Alert so I think it is safe to say that this is a bandwagon game. That said collector’s alert is an action packed romp with some great cartoon fun. Though it does suffer from some slippery control and slow spots, overall the game comes off really well.
Though the concept may be based on Pokemon the gameplay is completely original. It goes down like this. Marvin the Martian is trying to blow up planet earth and it is up to Bugs to run around the Looney Tune universe and round up all of the characters in order to help stop him. Of course some characters need more convincing than others. If you have ever watched Looney Tunes you will see that Bugs does not really have any allies. So he has to convince everybody in the game to join him by beating them in some way. Once that is completed the character will join dear old Bugs on his journey to save the world.
Each character has his or her own special ability that they use to solve the obstacles that prevent further movement. Daffy Duck can swim, Elmer Fudd can blow up rocks with his rifle, and so on. Thankfully you can play as any of the characters at any time, but you will find that most of the time you will need to be Bugs simply because he is the only one that can jump. Some characters will require you to do small menial tasks in order to get them. You will also have to link up with a friend in order to acquire the final cartoon personalities. However these are not playable character but rather pictures for you gallery. Looney Tunes fans like myself will see just about every cartoon personality that has ever been featured in any cartoon. Seeing them all in one place kind makes you realize what a genius Mel Blanc was.
The gameplay is action oriented, not turn-based like Pokemon and Monster Rancher. You run around the levels, shooting at guys and stomping on their heads. The animations of the character are great and even though they are limited on the Gameboy, some of the great cartoon humor still shines through. A particular favorite is pulling the hunter’s hats down to their ankles so just their feet are sticking out. For the most part, the game involves running around and jumping on stuff but every once in a while there is a nice variation to keep it interesting. The pace of the action is very fast and once could traverse an entire world with rabbit speed. The only drawback is that it is that it is sometimes hard to get the right perspective in that overhead view. The games work best when they are side-scrolling.
If you can get a friend to buy the game too then you can enjoy the 2-player mini-games. There are six altogether, 3 on the main menu and 3 in the Cyber Café. They are your basic little mini-games. The main appeal is that you wager the characters that you have acquired in order to complete you collection. Some of the characters can only be accessed through the mini-games. This is a blatant attempt to get everybody to get one. Hey it worked for Pokemon.
Fans of Looney tunes will really get a kick out of this game. It is definitely appealing due to the fact that it features so many personalities. I think that the absurd packing of characters is the main draw to the game and thankfully the gameplay does not get in the way of that. Everything moves along very smoothly even though some of the environments can get annoyingly repetitive. Finally there is a Gameboy game that does not focus on just one character. If you loved the cartoon, loved Space Jam, or just cannot get enough of the games where you have to build up a massive collection pick up Alert! now.
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