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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Giana's Return aims to be a worthy unofficial sequel of "The Great Giana Sisters".

giana's logo Giana's Return aims to be a worthy unofficial sequel of "The Great Giana Sisters". "The Great Giana Sisters" is a classic Jump'N'Run game made in the late eighties mainly by Armin Gessert, Manfred Trenz and Chris Hülsbeck and gained massive attention as "Super Mario" copy, but still had it's very own charm and fanbase.

Evil Swampy and his followers have stolen the magic ruby, which made it once possible for Giana and Maria to return from their dream. Many creatures are after this ruby, but does it really have power, or was it just a coincidence? As this is not bad enough, Swampy fell in love at first sight with Giana's sister Maria and shamelessly kidnapped her. She simply has been at the wrong place at the wrong time. You take over the role of Giana, get back the magic ruby and most important of all, save your beloved sister Maria and get home save.

Originally written for the C64, The Great Giana Sisters was a controversial game in it's day because of the similarities to Mario Bros and was withdrawn very soon after its release. Despite this, it grew a small cult following and was often mentioned in the C64 press, usually when quoting the top games for the computer.

Giana's Return is a very worthy successor to the original, and stays true to the style with familiar graphics and haunting soundtrack, but it's all souped up with more colours and better presentation. You should instantly be familiar with the controls if you have ever played the mario series, move the character across a horizontally scrolling landscape while jumping on the heads of baddies and hitting blocks to reveal goodies. There are a few powerups which give you powers like the ability to shoot but once you touch an enemy or fall off the screen you will lose it. Each level has a time limit by which you must reach the exit on the far right hand side, if time runs out you must start again and lose a life but the enemies that you have already dispatched will remain gone.

A password system is in place so you don't have to restart the game each time like with the original, it would be a fair task to get through the game on the basic life provisions and unfortunately gamers just aren't as hardcore as they used to be. Only problem with password systems is you need to write down reams off codes on paper to remember them, a progress saving feature or completed level selector would be more useful in my opinion, but it retains the retro feel with passwords.
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The beauty of this game is the whole feel to it, although some have commented on spots where pixel perfect jumping is required, I think it adds to the authenticity of the game. The graphics are superb with multi layered parralax backgrounds and varying level themes, and the music, although not original, complements the action very well.

As a final note, Giana's Return feels very complete, except the lack of high score table which isn't essential. Recent news indicates a new release is likely to happen with the inclusion of the original Giana Sisters levels - this can only make a great game better and is most welcome among the top games available for the GP32.

Features include:
    7 Worlds, with each 8 Levels - followed by a "big boss"
    Power Ups and Extras
    Oldschool style pixeled sprites and tiles
    Wonderful hand drawn backgrounds
    Illustrated hand drawn storyline
    Over 18 Tracks of Chipmusic
    Password and/or Savegame (depending on release platform)
    Hidden Warp Zones and Bonus Caves
    Hidden Trainer
    Top 10 Highscore
    Multi-Language: German, English, French, Spanish

Screenshots.

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