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Montezuma's Return (Game Boy Color) artwork

Montezuma's Return (Game Boy Color) review


"Montezuma's Return is a sequel to the ancient (and, frankly, forgotten) game Montezuma's Revenge (I can only assume that the programmers didn't know what this was slang for....). It is extremely unusual to see such an obscure game given a sequel, especially after so long, but if the finished product is this much fun, I hope it's an experiment that will be repeated soon. Take 2 also produced this game for the Game Boy Color, although it is the original Game Boy's edition of the game under the spo..."



Montezuma's Return is a sequel to the ancient (and, frankly, forgotten) game Montezuma's Revenge (I can only assume that the programmers didn't know what this was slang for....). It is extremely unusual to see such an obscure game given a sequel, especially after so long, but if the finished product is this much fun, I hope it's an experiment that will be repeated soon. Take 2 also produced this game for the Game Boy Color, although it is the original Game Boy's edition of the game under the spotlight here.

As with so many Game Boy games, Montezuma is a platform game, and a very good one at that. The game sees you guide our Monty around a vast tomb, which contains roughly 150 rooms of varying sizes. Everything that should be here is: platforms (served in regular, moving and crumbling flavour), spikes, flames, ladders, and gems to collect. Get enough points and you earn an extra life. Find keys to open doors. Fall too far and you die. Touch an enemy and you die. It's all charmingly old-school. Although this means that there are few surprises, somehow I think that this was Take 2's aim - every effort seems to have been made to make this a good, old-fashioned, frill-free platformer - it could just as easily have been a Spectrum game (graphics aside of course). And I think this is a good thing. Playing this game gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling of nostalgia (and in a far more enjoyable way than BBC 2s I love [insert year here] or Channel 4's Top Ten.... shows ever could hope to do).

Unfortunately, bringing back the style of older games also involves bringing back the intense difficulty, and the screen-smashing, cartridge-chewing, swear-shouting frustration that came with it. This will be seen as a blessing to seasoned gamers who have been with us since the 8-bit era or before and have become jaded by the relatively easy nature of many more modern games. To the younger people out there, though, this could well be a bad thing. So bear that in mind when you take your copy of the game up to the counter in your local video game store. You have been warned....

The graphics and sounds fit in well with the general ambience of the game - young Monty looks like a pint-sized Indiana Jones impersonator - hat 'n' all, and he moves fluidly enough. The backgrounds are dark and moody, and you can see all that you need to see scenery-wise. The bad guys are in general pretty enough, although the first five minutes play posed the question of what it was that kept killing me. It turned out that it was a rolling skull that was bowling me over (don't you just hate when that happens?) although it could just have easily been a rock, graphically. The music changes every twenty-or-so rooms, and each tune is good enough to have you humming along after a while, although they are ultimately forgettable: unlike classic game tunes, you won't have them on your mind when the machine is switched off.

Montezuma's Return offers a solid, old-school challenge, and is highly recommended by this reviewer, if you can still find it that is. I'll give it an 8/10, but add a point if you like really tough games, and take a point away if you don't. Let's hope Monty doesn't wait quite so long before returning this time....

Rating: 8/10

tomclark's avatar
Community review by tomclark (March 07, 2004)

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