Return to Cameltry (thing)
Cameltry is an [obsucre] [Japan]ese [puzzle] game. The basic idea is to [maneouvre] a [ball] around a [2D] maze to the goal, within a [time limit]. The [player] does not interact with the game by controlling the ball though; instead, the player rotates the maze around the ball, with the [gravity] pulling the ball downwards*. The ball can be made to [jump], but this is very difficult to use correctly and is only for very skilled players. The rotating maze is represented smoothly on the screen thanks to the genius of the [Super Nintendo Entertainment System|SNES]'s [Mode 7] rendering system which can rotate and stretch a flat surface in any way. Other good examples of [Mode 7] in use are the [Boss] Islands in [Super Mario World], the floor in [Street Fighter 2] and the map screens in [Secret of Mana], [Seiken Densetsu 3], [Final Fantasy VI] and [Terranigma]. Most of these uses were purely cosmetic, though, but this is integral to the [video games|game].
The game has a number of different levels - at first four "[course]s" are available - in order of increasin difficulty they are [Training] (which includes screens with tips on how to play, but unfortunately in [Japanese]), [Beginner], [Expert] and [Special]. Eventually you can access the [Master] Course. Each round has anywhere from four up to about 10 levels, each increasing in difficulty, and once you have completed all the levles in a round you can pick a different one. You do not have to go through them in order, but it makes sense to. After you complete all four courses you are given a password - I will keep these below for anyone who wants them. This password, when entered, unlocks another set of four courses with completely different levels and much more difficult challenges. While the first "[field]" (the game's name for each set of four courses) is relatively easy and can be completed with few problems, the second field becomes nice and [fiend]ish by changing the rules somewhat. Some levels are the same as before but with more [intricate] layouts, while sometimes there is a limit to the angles at which you can move the maze, forcing you to use the hopelessly [random] [jump] button. Some EVIL levels reverse the [gravity], so that the ball falls towards the top of the screen. This is truly hard, and will take ages to get used to.
[Password]sPassword for each [field]:
Each maze is made up of roughly the same building blocks, but each time they arranged in a completely different way. You will [encounter] while playing...
[Graphics] and [Sound]
The graphics of the game are [functional] but not [excellent]. For the Mode 7 rotation to work so smoothly the [sprite]s which are rotated cannot be too complex, and that shows here. The music is quite good although can get repetitive after a while. The sound effects are very typically [Japanese], with random laughing sounds when you get [time] taken off. The [gameplay] shines through all this though, making the game well worth picking up.
As with many Japanese games, for no [apparent] reason, some of the text is in English. It was clearly either translated by a person who had never spoken to an English speaker in their life, or, as I think is more likely, [Babelfish]. When you get a [high score] you are told that "YOU ARE ARTISTIC PLAYER!". After each course is complete you are shown a completely random picture which includes your [ball] and at least 1 of the following:
Overall, though, the Engrish does not really detract from the game, and the parts that are in Japanese such as the training text are not necessary - I have done fine in the game with no knowledge of the [language].
Overall I would highly recommend that people picked up this game. It is available as a reasonably small download from some ROM sites - it is reasonably rare in this respect, but I'm sure Google will provide some answers. The game is emulated perfectly in [Zsnes] and reasonably well in [Snes9x], although there are some graphical glitches.
The game plays like a dream, with an almost perfect [physics engine] which means that with practice you will be able to get the ball wherever you want it. The only probem [malcster|I] have is that the [jump] feature is random, but thankfully few levels really require it. I would recommend this game to any [puzzle] or [action] game fans.
UPDATE!!! Further [research] (I hate that stuff, but it has to be done) reveals that when I said it was only ever released in [Japan], I was wrong. It was actually released in [English], but it had it's name changed to [On the Ball], just to annoy me. And there is an English and a Japanese [Arcade] version, which is playable with [MAME] if you want to try it. Overall though, as I mention above, [language] is no concern in this triumph of [gameplay] over everything else.
[yerricde] notes that "So I guess I know where the [Super Monkey Ball] developers got their idea." - very true. When you think about it, the games are very very similar in overall design.
[Triften] says "but where did the name come from?!?!" - I am not too sure about this. The title screen of the game shows the ball rolling over two humps that are on the back of a [camel], and the title text incorporates a camel design into it. But as to exactly what it signifies, that's beyond me. Anyone?
* - Sometimes, that is...
Playing the ROM in Zsnes.