Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Great Giana Sisters - Stomp some owls! Shoot some lobsters!
If you call yourself a gamer, then you should know this one already. In fact, years back I remember there being a lot of hurt feelings and flaming going on in online forums over this game. But if people could look past what's immediately obvious to them and keep an open mind, then there really wouldn't be anything to get mad about. So what's the problem with this game that people have a hard time overlooking? Hit the jump to find out.
The Great Giana Sisters was released in 1987 for the Commodore 64 among many others later down the line and it was a game that was made as a substitute for those who can't afford a NES. Which game exactly? Well, I'll give you a hint, the slogan for The Great Giana Sisters is "The Brothers are History". I honestly don't even have to point out what that even means, if I do then you're reading the wrong blog. The plot revolves around a girl named Giana who goes to bed one night and suddenly finds herself in a nightmarish dreamworld. In order to find her way back home she must find a special gem at the end of the 33rd level. Not the best premise for a story, but at least she doesn't have to rescue a prince, or worse, a plumber.
If you played that NES classic that will not be named in this blog post, then you know how this game works. You start off as a regular little girl, and collect power ups one of which works the exact same as a certain "fire power-up" in a game you might have played before. The game is a bit challenging, as you're going to find quite a few tricky jumps that require proper positioning and timing to make the jump, and if you lose all your lives its all the way back to stage 1 for you! There's a alternate 2-player mode where player 2 takes control of Giana's sister Maria.
A lot of you remember that wonderful song composed by Koji Kondo for that certain NES title, it just so happens that the Great Giana Sisters have a surprisingly memorable tune of their own composed by Chris Hülsbeck. In fact, it's one of the more fondly remembered aspects of this game as the song has been remixed countless times by fans over the years. It's a smooth beat that gives this scrappy little platformer a relaxing vibe, which is great because there are too many games out there that just seek to do nothing else but stress you out so this is a perfect game to relax with if only to listen to the music.
As it turns out, that company who made the NES saw this one coming and with plenty of legal pressure this game was never released to the general public. Luckily, this game was leaked and many people got a hold of it, some even altering the sprites to resemble a certain plumber. Eventually the whole thing is a non-issue nowadays, because the Great Giana Sisters has been ported to many systems, there was even a remake for the Nintendo DS which was pretty great! Similarities aside, all the levels are completely different and I honestly feel that it can stand on it's own as a great game in it's own right. If you have Java installed on your browser, you can play the game RIGHT NOW! And if you don't want to play it, at least watch the video and dig the trippy music. You know, sometimes being a rip-off isn't such a bad thing if you manage to do it right.