Welcome to -- RETRO GAME DAISUKI ! -- a blog about the wonderful world of Japanese retro video games (ARCADE / PC-88 / X68K / MEGA DRIVE / SATURN / PlayStation / PC-ENGINE). Re-live the strangest games from the 80's and 90's. Retro games were our youth!
Author : HERZOG
-- Playing video games since the 80's ! --
Still trying to translate all the posts from my old blog. Please see this post for more info.
Also, please excuse any grammar and any other related errors you may find on this blog, as English is not my first language.
GRIFFIN is a competent, albeit fairly unremarkable tank shooting game from TELENET JAPAN in-house studio RENOVATION.
● Title: グリフォン ● Genre: Shooting ● Release Date: 1991.07.26 ● Developer: RENOVATION ● Publisher: TELENET JAPAN ● Media:1Mbit ROM ● System Specific:GAME GEAR
GRIFFIN for the SEGA GAME GEAR is clearly not one of RENOVATION best efforts. While the game is not really a bad shooting game, it is also not a good nor inspired one either.
It's like RENO were told by TELENET that they had to make a game for the GG but they totally didn't feel like it so they handled the development in between short breaks from their other game projects.
Starring the game is the blue-haired MINT, a test pilot for the technically advanced 「GRIFFIN」prototype tank. MINT's grandfather DR. KOBAYASHI was one of the key researchers responsible for developing the GRIFFIN, and as fate would have it, he's been kidnapped by an enemy army. Now it's up to MINT to rescue him.
It's worth mentioning that this sort of trivial story plot is only mentioned in the manual as there's ZERO storyline elements in the actual game.
The action in GRIFFIN takes place in a top-down perspective. You shoot with the [ 1 ] button and use the traditional screen-wide super bomb attack with the [ 2 ] button.
Your tank has three different weapons that can be switched at any time by pushing the [ START ] button. These weapons are :
The weapons like the rest of the game aren't all that exciting, however they all will come in handy at one point or another throughout the short 4 stage campaign. All weapons can be upgraded up to level 3 (I think) by picking up the appropriate power-up capsule.
I think the first thing most shooting game fans will probably notice about the game is that the enemy count is on the low side. And this is pretty much the main problem with GRIFFIN, for a shooting game, it just doesn't throw enough stuff for you to shoot at.
There's just not enough enemies to at least somewhat prevent you from breezing through practically every level.
As previously mentioned there's only 4 stages in the game. Stages 1 and 2 are incredibly short and can be cleared in just a few minutes. Stage 3 puts you in command of a fighter craft, and the level itself plays like a traditional vertical side-scrolling shooter. This is also the longer stage in the game, but that's only due to its fixed length and because you cannot advance faster.
Stage 4 is easily the best one. It introduces a few environmental hazards and forces you to use all your weapons. However it still suffers from the same dull level design and general lack of enemies like the rest of the stages. ■MINT-FLAVORED !
After clearing a stage and in lieu of story cutscenes you'll get to see different portraits of MINT.
This comes as a bit disappointing in my opinion. At least they should've made her lose some clothes to make it more interesting. Like what NAMCO did in PHELIOS.
■NEXT STRIKE CHALLENGE
Clearing the game unlocks a slightly more difficult second round. I think default HARD mode option would have been better, but oh well.
Of course a second round alone is not enough to compensate for all the flaws in the game, but at least it will make things (boss fights in particular) a bit more challenging.
For some strange reason though this second round skips Stage 3 altogether, making the already short campaign even shorter.
Oh, and what do you get for clearing this challenge?