The more I play this game for the best of NES big 20 the more I absolutely despise Garfield: A Week of Garfield.
What is it?
Garfield: A Week of Garfield is an action platformer released only in Japan for the Famicom. Apparently there were issues with licensing of the character in North America and Europe so the game never saw a release elsewhere.
Garfield’s lovable house mate and companion, Odie, has gone missing and it’s up to our favorite fat orange cat to search for him throughout the week.
Easy peasy, right?
The game is monstrously difficult.
First up, all the enemies are extremely deadly. Garfield has no invulnerability frames and there is no knock back. Once he’s hit he can immediately take damage again. This means that a bird flying through our player for 30 frames hits him 30 times.
Yes, a worm can one hit KO our feline friend.
But it gets better:
Not only are the routine enemies overpowered, beginning on the game’s fourth level there are boss fights that are equally ridiculous. Most are bizarre knife wielding maniac kittens that, thanks to the lack of invulnerability frames, can one hit KO you before you even realize your in for a boss fight.
But the enemies aside, it can’t be all bad, right?
Well, it can. Let’s take enemies out of the picture and we’re still left with stages that end with a locked door. Where’s the key?
Keys are always located on the final screen with the door, but are entirely invisible. Either you look up and memorize the key locations in advance, or you jump around every tile hoping to uncover a key.
Did I mention that the items are hidden too? Because they are. All items from power ups to weapons and even the keys are invisible and can only be uncovered by having the lower right portion of Garfield’s sprite touch them. It can be more than frustrating.
On the upside:
Enemy spawns are not randomly generated. After a few hours of attempts you’ll have the game memorized and only have to worry about random one hit KOs from our knife wielding psychopath pets in the neighborhood.
What’s it all for?
After you’ve completed the game’s stages and found Odie, you return to Jon Arbuckle for a well fought Congratulations and Garfield telling you, “it was easy.”
Who was this game for?
I honestly have no idea. It’s far too difficult for children and the crappy controls and music glitches make me think that most adults would have never bothered to touch it. I’m not sure how this game could have sold in Japan, as I was pretty sure rentals were banned in Japan at the time of its release.
This is likely going to be the Big20 run killer.