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VG Pocket Tablet: Featuring Stuntman Daredevil!

Seattle is having some majorly awesome weather so I really would rather be outside working on my sun burn and flying kites rather than inside writing about handheld games. To anyone that does not have a kite and is considering a handheld gaming purchase I recommend you instead consider a dual line power foil kite. For a bit more then the price of a PSP game you can get a 1.2 Snapshot Kite from Prism. If however you hate beautiful weather and yourself, you might instead consider the VG Pocket Tablet. The VG Series of portable game machines include the VG Pocket Tablet, VG Pocket Caplet, and VG Pocket Suppository, all of which advertise extended time released relief for all day gaming needs.

The VG Pocket Tablet really does seem promising upon initial inspection. It does not take carts but instead comes pre loaded with 25 games. It is small and sturdy feeling with a very interesting over the counter medicine inspired design. It is kind of like a giant aspirin, with buttons. The buttons and switches feel nice and springy and/or switchy. Once the needed 3 AAA buttons are loaded the unit feels just heavy enough to bean someone without breaking the unit. Once powered on, the main screen has a very cool retro modern look: “VG” in stylized pixilated letters and “POCKET” in all caps in what looks vaguely like Bank Gothic MD BT font with "Portable gaming device" written underneath. Press either the A or B buttons and another title screen appears with a picture that looks like it could be very well lifted from a classic Frogger arcade cabinet. The screen declares: “FROGGER 25 GAMES Frogger® and Konami® are trademarks of Konami Digital Entertainment Co. Ltd.(c)2006”. None of the other 24 games have anything to do with Konami.

Frogger appears to be a perfect port of the arcade version of Frogger from 1981. If you don’t know Frogger play it here http://www.froggyville.com/frogger.htm or watch the video from Mega64.com below. If you absolutely love Frogger and only Frogger, this is the system for you. If you would like to play games other than Frogger you might reconsider.

Besides Frogger the system has such awesomely named games as Mr. Onion, Whack the Critter, and Stuntman Daredevil. The names of the games are like what a 3rd grader might come up with. I don’t think the names adequately describe the games so I came up with my own names for them. Below is a complete list of games as well as my alternate names.

Frogger AKA Frogger

Funny Fungi AKA Press B 3 Times to Lose Game (Seriously it is that easy.)

Lord of the Jewels AKA Michael Flatley's Lord of the Jewels (This is actually a decent clone of a classic NES puzzle game Magic Jewelry.)

Leaper the Frog AKA Leaper the Suicidal Frog (Game play involves plummeting toward the bottom of the screen but not too fast or you die.)

Mutant Hunt AKA Super Shitty Xevious

Off Roader AKA In This Game You Race on a Road Asshat!

Sudoku Quiz AKA Sudoku Quiz IV: Revenge of the Sodoku Master and the 7 Fists of Doom (This could be fun if you like Sodoku?)

Risk It! AKA Boring Hotel (I was expecting a Risk clone and was sorely disappointed.)

Stellar Attack AKA R-Gradius: Attack of the Defender Clone

Battle Blocks AKA Breakernoid

Construction Jack AKA Link’s Masonry Training

Memory Matching AKA Nietzsche’s Cultural Nihilism, and Oppositional Politics the Game

Track Star AKA Track and I wish I was flying my Prism 3 dual line power foil kite.

River Quest AKA Go Go Go to the Right!

Star Alley AKA 1942… in Space

Motorcross Racer AKA I swear I’m playing Road Rash so why won’t the attack button work?

Pinball Labyrinth AKA WTF?

Billiards AKA 6 Ball WTF?

Vitamania AKA Suppositorymania

Mr. Onion AKA Kirby’s Handgun

Delivery Express AKA Self Loathing, the minimum wage job simulator

Birds of Prey AKA Arnold Schwarzenegger VS the Spotted Owl

Whack the Critter AKA Whack the Critter (I suppose you could call this Caddyshack the Game but honestly the name is perfect.)

Stuntman Daredevil AKA Daredevil Stuntman (Game is played entirely with one button.)

Delta Fighter AKA Star Alley

The games range from horribly unplayable to sub-par clones of popular games to merely questionable. The best of the games make me wish I was playing the game that the Tablet version was cribbed off of. As an example the very familiar Stellar Attack AKA R-Gradius: Attack of the Defender Clone which is just like R-type or Gradius but not as fun. There are some fascinating selections, not because they are particularly good but because they are funny.

In Stuntman Daredevil you must press the A button to fill up a speed gauge, when you let go and your Daredevil Stuntman car rushes up a ramp and thru the air where it must land in a safe area the exact size of the Stuntman Daredevil car. That is provided that you don’t press A too quickly or your car will crawl slowly up the ramp. Use the brake Stuntman Daredevil! Also, couldn’t team Daredevil Stuntman clear the landing area a little better? These ‘stunts’ are just foolhardy. The game is actually a bit enjoyable in the way that a Wario Ware mini game is fun. The best thing about it is the name. Like if you named a game Pugilist Boxer or Outlaw Bandit.

Another personal favorite is Arnold Schwarzenegger VS the Spotted Owl. Arnold is in Dutch Tahiti (I am only guessing but there is both a windmill and some straw huts in the background) armed with a high powered rifle. He is given the job of ridding Dutch Tahiti of the invasive non-native species, the spotted owl, which is overrunning the islands. Kill enough and you get to kill more; fail and the word “FAIL” appears and you are required to kill more. Die, spotted owl, die!

In short Everything is good about the system except for the most important thing, the games.

Scores:

Screen: 10/10 Quite bright with no noticeable ghosting, great resolution colors really pop. I wish this screen was on a different system.

Sound: 7/10 Has one speaker that sounds decent enough but does not get very loud. System has no headphone jack but does have an AV out.

Controls: 7/10 Controls pad and buttons feel responsive but are crammed together so your hands have to be very close together.

Availability: 6/10 Available used online but generally overpriced.

Price: 1-6/10 Anywhere between $10 and $60 on E-bay depending on how insane people are feeling. Totally worth $5, if you like Frogger, or really bad games.

Library: 1/10 Frogger and 24 of the shittiest games known to man.

Overall: 5/10 Since the only game worth playing is Frogger. You need to ask yourself, how much do I love Frogger? If the answer is, “I break into a sweat at the very thought of the game” or, “I am trying to popularize the term ‘Amphiby’ with my cosplay group”, the system might be right for

3 comments:

  1. Great review... laugh-out-loud worthy... a pleasure to read... and I don't think I'll be buying a VG Pocket anything too soon... ;)

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  2. I'm told that kite could possibly lift me off the ground. I have yet to try that out. I also mentioned that if I were tethered to the ground while the kite pulled me up, I could theoretically float above the ground like kite-fu. That would be awesome.

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  3. I ordered an even bigger kite from China. You could totally do kite-fu with it! I am hoping the thing will be big enough to pull me off the ground. I am obviously addicted to kites in addition to games. One of these things will end badly.

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