A guest review by “Canjo B. Rarebear”.
Let’s start out this review by first stating that my review is based on a memory of playing the game for five minute one year ago in a car ride with my sister’s GBA, which was actually mine, but which she got to carry around all the time for some reason. Since my memory of the game is dubious at best, the majority of this review will focus on the letter R instead of the game.
Alright, the title screen was a standard picture from the movie/advertising poster with the game title, etc. I don’t remember the music, or exactly was on the title screen. Nor do I remember where it said “Press Start,” if it did at all. I’m pretty sure the game was supposed to be about raising your horse, caring for it, etc., because otherwise there would be no excuse for the atrocity that was the first level.
Alright, here we go. We have to meet our horse first, right? Well, reports from the CIA have indicated the horses like hanging out in huge levels of repeating grass tiles with seemingly randomly placed patches of trees and plants. So our protagonist goes there. I think he was a native american of some sort, but I don’t really remember. He only had animations for facing left and right; up and down just used those.
All right, there are plants lying around, and horses milling about. The plants are ridiculously far away from each other, as are the horses, so prepare for a lot of walking across that nondescript grass. What we’re doing is giving a horse the plant it likes to eat, or wear, or whatever.
Alright. Take Plant X to Horse X, right? Not so simple. There’s no way to tell which plant is plant X to correspond with horse X, except when you do it wrongly. If you take the wrong plant to the wrong horse, you’re wrong, and the horse kills you bloodily (I wish) while showing you what kind of plant it wants. Did I mention that all the plants look ridiculously similar? So you have to scour the level for the right plant. I tried searching randomly before I decided to use the good old walk-right-until-you-can’t-any-more-then-go-down-one-screen-and-go-left trick. Eventually, I found a plant that looked right, so I went down to where I remembered my horse as being only to find him gone. He’d wandered off. Thus began another session of tediously combing the level. At this point I said “what the hell” and turned the gameboy off.
Now on to the heart of the review. The letter R. Why is it not a vowel? Think about it. It’s USED as a vowel lots…for instance, take the word “curl.” You’re pronouncing it krl. The letter R can be a sustained sound, like any vowel, and is as “open-mouthed” as “eh” any day. Oh wait! So you claim that when I pronounce “curl” I’m actually pronouncing a schwa between the k and the r? Not really. Watch your tongue movements as you say “curl.” You’re going directly from a unvoiced plosive velar sound, k, to the voiced trill alveolar, r. Where’s the vowel? I thought all words had to have vowels? Clearly, our definition of what a “vowel” is is flawed.
It is through this horribly flawed definition of the so-called “vowel” that children today are mislead. We don’t pronounce the last e in “exploder”; we just said “explodr!” In “petition,” we are saying not “petishun” as so many people like to say when trying to write “phonetically,” but “petishn.” Now this might be subject to one’s accent, but across accents, even when the u is definitely not pronounced, I’ve seen it spelled with “shun” when one is trying to show horrendous spelling due to Hooked on Phonics or when one is trying to write phonetically.
Speaking of Hooked on Phonics, whoever thought of that idea should be shot.
Overall: 10/10 FANTASTIC GAME!!!!!!!!