Boktai Review - Game Boy Advance


This video game review is going to be a little different than most… It’s going to be about why I not only didn’t enjoy the video game, but in fact I didn’t even play it for more than 10 minutes.

Boktai on the Game Boy Advance has been out for a while, and I’ve been pretty interested in it since I heard that it was made by the director of Metal Gear Solid, and of course had the sun sensor on the cartridge to detect daylight. I recently got around to purchasing the video game along with a few books on Amazon, and sadly my interest in the video game faded almost immediately.

If you haven’t already heard of Boktai, basically the gimmick is that the video game cartridge is slightly larger than most GBA cartridges, and on the back you’ll see a small black square, which is actually a light-sensitive sensor. Your character is a vampire slayer, and your only weapon in the game is a gun that is powered by the sun. The real sun, which our planet revolves around, not an in-game sun. That is where the light sensor comes in. The rate at which your gun “recharges” is governed by how much direct sunlight is striking the light sensor at any given time. There are a few ways to get around this in the video game, by charging your gun with an in-game skylight, or by eating some “Sun Nuts”. Boss battles however, where you are slaying the vampire, require direct sunlight in order for you to have any luck at all with them. And therein lies my most major problem with Boktai.

I’m an “adult”, with a more than full-time job, a wife, 4 dogs, 3 personal web sites, an active participant on several forums, and I also do web design on the side part-time. What does that have to do with anything? Basically it means that I have very limited time to play games, and when I do play them, it’s usually at 2 in the morning after my wife has gone to bed, and after I have completed all my other duties for the day. I’m at work for pretty much all of the time the sun is out, and during the little bit of daylight hours I have, I’m out working on the house, or taking the dogs for a run. So as you may guess, my point is that I can’t play this video game because I’m never out with a chance to play a game in direct sunlight. And I do mean direct sunlight. After receiving the game at work I went home to play it around 7:30, and even then, when it was still quite bright outside, I could rarely get one bar out of eight to show up on my “sun meter”. The sun had set behind some trees, so I wasn’t getting direct sunbeams into the sensor. I struggled through to the first vampire, but then because I couldn’t get any sunlight, I couldn’t beat the boss.

So after spending $15 on this game, I got about 10 minutes of play time out of it before the sun set and I could no longer play. Needless to say I found this extremely annoying. So much so that instead of waiting to play again when the sun is up, I just put Boktai back on Amazon for sale, for a few bucks less than I paid for it. As innovative and potentially fun as this game may be, I simply don’t have the patience to plan my schedule of game playing time around the sun.

If you have a more flexible schedule than I do, or perhaps work at night, you might want to pick it up as the few minutes I was able to play the game seemed pretty fun, but if you are a working adult with a limited gaming schedule, don’t bother with this one. Hell, even if you do have time to play in the sun, it’s a pain in the ass to have to sit outside just to play a game, plus to make the game work correctly you have to be in direct sunlight, which will of course put a terrible glare on the screen. It would have been great if there were some way to get around the daylight limitation for those of us that can’t plan our day around a game, but then I guess that would have defeated the purpose of the game in the first place.

And I’m aware that you can trick the sensor with a UV-rich black light, but I haven’t had one of those since I was in high school and I’m certainly not going to go out and buy one just to play this game.

Regardless of my review, if you decide to buy the game, buy it on Amazon! ;-)

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