Vintage Video Game Review: Hello Kitty World

Hello Kitty World – A vintage review

Developed by Sanrio; Published by Character Soft
Released in 1992

System: Famicom

Automatic side-scrolling arcade style game

Players: 1 or 2 (Cooperative)

Hello Kitty World was originally released as Balloon Kid for the GameBoy, and then re-released on the Famicom as Hello Kitty World. There were no major changes outside of changing the protagonist to Hello Kitty and colorizing/improving the graphics. In it you play Hello Kitty, who for some reason has two balloons tied to her butt. The balloons give Hello Kitty enough weightlessness that by, simply flapping her arms, she can soar through the air. You flap your arms by tapping A and use the control pad to collect balloons placed throughout the level and avoid the vast amount of enemies that want nothing more than to pop your butt balloons. When a balloon has been popped, you can land somewhere safe and inflate new ones by tapping down on the control pad repeatedly. It’s important to keep balloons inflated, because otherwise you won’t be able to clear some of the larger gaps that you need to clear to reach the end of each level. Many of the enemies (mostly birds) fly in the air, but there are grounded enemies that can make trouble for you. The most bothersome ground enemies were the weird campfire thingies that hopped viciously at my Hello Kitty, trying to singe her little whiskers.

Each level has an entrance to a bonus area (the door is marked with a Strawberry) where you can collect more balloons that float out of pipes that look like they were hijacked from the Mushroom Kingdom. Since I can’t read Japanese, I have a hard time telling you what the balloons you collect do, other than contribute to your score at the end of every level. Also, 1-ups float out of the pipe if you can collect all the balloons without letting one hit the ceiling. The 1-ups were very valuable to me, because I found myself watching Hello Kitty’s balloonless butt fall to her death quite often. Luckily, the game seems to have a sort of checkpoint system in place so you don’t have to start over at the beginning of the level each time you die.

The boss battles were quite easy, and only involved bouncing on some crazed, indistinguishable animal’s head three times. You can’t be holding balloons when you jump though, or you won’t be heavy enough to do any damage.

Graphics: Very bright and colorful. Some of the enemies seem out of scale compared to Hello Kitty — they’re so small they make her seem like a giant. The backgrounds while flat and not very detailed, are cute and appropriate for this type of title. Score: 5/10

Sound: Catchy, cheerful, and repetitive. The song you hear when you watch the cut scene after completing a level is particularly triumphant-sounding. Overall, the music was pretty clean and not too overdone. Score: 5/10

Gameplay/Controls: Pretty straight-forward controls; use the directional pad to move, A to fly, B to release your balloons (which is necessary to make it through some portions of the levels). When you’re on the ground, A makes you jump. The controls were intuitive with a short learning curve. Score: 6/10

Overall: Hello Kitty world would be great to play in an arcade for ten minutes, but I can’t see why anyone would ever want to own it at home. Each level was essentially the same, only with more enemies and a faster scrolling speed. Hello Kitty World is nothing more than a quick time-waster at best. Score: 5/10


Fable II Pub Games Achievements for the XBOX 360

Fable II Pub Games is an XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) game that includes three of the games that are functional with the Fable II game. These three games are Spinnerbox, Keystone, and Fortune’s Tower. These were put out by Lionhead and Carbonated Games for the XBOX 360. You can order these online or they are included in the Fable 2 game. The download from the XBOX 360 Live marketplace is 800 points or roughly $10 to buy. You can download the game directly into your XBOX 360 console with this approach.
Spinnerbox is a game that is very much like the slot machines. Keystone is a combination of Craps and Roulette. Fortune’s Tower is a card game, where there are multiple numbers of one through seven. These are the three different pub games that can be played. Earlier on release there was a glitch that made it easy to exploit the games to earn gold in Fable 2, but this is no more.

There are 12 achievements for the XBOX 360 exclusively for the Fable 2 Pub Games. These are going to give you gamerscore points for earning the titles, and this will help tell you how to earn all 12 of them. Beside each of the achievements titles, tells you how to earn the title, and they are arranged by the gamerscore points that they reward the player. There is one achievement with zero gamerscore points associated with it and that is Fabled Financier. To get this play a pub game with the Fable II hero you chose.

10 Gamerscore Point Achievements

Big Spinner – At the Spinnerbox game, win big (100x or more your bet)

Fortunate Finder – You will have to unlock a new game. This can be of any type.

No Stone Unturned – In keystone, get a jackpot.

Not Just Another Mark – You will need to earn a three star rating for this title.

Penultimate Player – You will need to place in a tournament.

Warrior’s Luck – In Fortune’s Tower, get a jackpot.

20 Gamerscore Point Achievements

High Roller’s Club – You must get a five star rating for this title.

Serious Stakeholder – For this achievement, have over 2,500 gold in your bankroll.

30 Gamerscore Point Achievements

Champion of Chance – You will have to win a tournament.

Lucky Locksmith – You need to unlock all the games for this.

40 Gamerscore Point Achievements

I Want It All – You must earn all 15 of the unique items.

Retro Games Like Frogger and Tetris Are Back in Pocket Game Systems

If you can remember the classic games like Frogger or Tetris than you may want to check out these new Pocket Game Systems. No, these are not the popular or the high price Nintendo gaming system. These new game systems are Tablet and Caplet.
Yes, they are hand held. What is great about them is that one can take them on the go and have a lot of choices of the once popular games or clones of popular games. You can even buy optional accessories for both the Tablet and the Caplet such as optional audio/video cables to connect the gaming machines to a television. You can even buy starter kits for about ten dollars which includes a carrying case, lanyard, screen cleaner and a protector.

The Tablet sells for about $29.99. It is round in size and features a bright 2 inch TFT LCD screen. The tablet houses 25 games, including Frogger. Frogger is an arcade classic that challenges the player to navigate a frog across a highway and a river.

The Tablet also includes some clone or knock off games of some favorites such as Lord of the Jewels. This game is a knockoff of the beloved game Tetris, with a new twist. In Lord of the Jewels you can swap the colors inside the falling piece to create a three in a row pattern.

Tablet also includes Mutant Hunt which plays a lot like the World War II shooter 1942 and Battle Blocks that is a lot like Arkanoid. In Mutant Hunt you control a pilot who must shoot down the enemy. In Battle Blocks you control a ball and you try to keep it from escaping from your paddle as you destroy colored bricks on the screen.

Then there is the game Billboards Master. This game is a pool simulator game that can be played by one or two players.

Tablet is controlled by directional buttons on the left side of the game machine. On the right side is also two more control buttons, which are larger labeled A and B.

A few quips about Tablet are that it has no headphone settings, you can’t save your progress if you need to turn it off, even though it does have a pause button and there are no in game instructions.

You can buy the Tablet in such colors as: lime green, off white or magenta.

Caplet sells for about $39.99. It is similar to Tablet. It has a 7 inch wide screen.

Why is it more expensive than Tablet? One reason is that it hosts 35 games instead of just 25 and it has a headphone jack for private listening.

It features three retro classics: Space Invaders (in which you blast down aliens), Burger Time and Bust a Move (the popular bubble popping game).

Many of the rest of the 32 games are based on 1980’s classics, yet they are no name title games. Adventures of Waldo is similar to Mario Brothers in that you must jump on ledges, avoid bugs and collect fruit. Magic Jelly is like Bomberman in which the player plants bombs to destroy the bad men.

Just like with Tablet, you can’t save your progress when playing Caplet and it doesn’t come with any game instructions.

Caplet comes in blue, gray, orange or red colors.

Neither Caplet nor Tablet comes with rechargeable batteries like Nintendo Gameboy. Caplets and Tablet runs off of three AAA batteries.

Should you buy a Tablet or a Caplet game system for your child? It isn’t a bad deal price wise. Either machine may be a good starter system for a child to see how your child will take care of a system. You should help your child learn how to play the games, though since they don’t come with instructions.

Another game system to watch out for is the upcoming Disney based gaming machine from VG Pocket called GAMEit. This system will come with preloaded games featuring beloved Disney characters.