The Land Before Time: Collection

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US box art.

The Land Before Time: Collection is a platformer video game developed by Full Fat Productions and published by Conspiracy Entertainment on 2002-02-28 for the Game Boy Advance. The game is very loosely based on the The Land Before Time film, released 14 years prior. The game is part of The Land Before Time series. The player controls Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, or Spike as they adventure through the desert, swamp, frozen mountains, cavern, and volcano to reach the Great Valley. Each section has three levels and a boss.

Personal

I encountered this game while randomly looking for Game Boy Advance games to add to ROM Detectives. Being a fan of the film when I was a child, I played the game in an emulator and, after finding it tolerable, I set about finding some basic cheats for the ROM. Seeing the game was pretty easy and not very long, I went ahead and beat the game on 2021-06-02 at the default (easy, level 1) difficulty.

Status

I don't own this game, but I have beaten it.

Review

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4 4 6 4 4

Best Version: Game Boy Advance

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game has attractive full-screen cartoon cut-scenes between each stage.
  • The character animation is pretty fluid.
  • Although the plot doesn't follow the film all that closely, it does include all the important characters. Even Petrie, who isn't playable, at least flies around you.

Bad

  • The game mechanics are very basic following the formula of the 1980s. While this makes it easy to pick up and play, it also get boring fast. Only the boss fights add any interesting play elements.
  • The music is uninspired.
  • The ending is short and unsatisfying.
  • Although the game has a difficulty setting, which gives you a bit more of a challenge if you want it, all it does it increase the hit points of the enemies.

Ugly

  • The level design is annoying. Although you can look around you, you're often expected to makes leaps of faith, especially in the later stages, because you can't see any of the platforms you need to land on. However, if you miss, you often fall to your death.
  • The game is far too short and doesn't take advantage of the GBA's ROM size or hardware.
  • The final boss is just an exercise in futility. Falling rocks that insta-kill you drop far too fast to be avoided. I even had most of my lives, but I still got a game over. Upon replaying it, I discovered that I could just hug the wall to avoid every rock. I took unavoidable hits from the fire, but it wasn't enough to kill me once. I doubt a child, the game's target demographic, would discover this strategy.

Media

Box Art

All regions use this box art, but the European releases alter the title logo for the local language. Strangely, only the US release adds the subtitle "collection."

Videos

Longplay.

Titles

The US title on the box reads, "The Land Before Time: Collection" implying that this game is a collection of multiple titles like the video compilations, but it isn't, and the in-game title is simply, "The Land Before Time." The brand logo wasn't designed with a subtitle in mind, so it's tiny and the typeface doesn't match. Basically, this is sleazy marketing.

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Box) The Land Before Time: Collection
English (Game) The Land Before Time
German In einem Land vor unserer Zeit In einem Land vor unserer Zeit In a Land Before Our Time

Links

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