The Cat’s out of the Bag

Felix the Cat is back on PlayStation with two upscaled versions of the NES and Gameboy versions of the game featuring himself as he ventures to rescue his girlfriend Kitty from the Professor. This collection of 2 games comes with a Save Game and a rewind feature.

Felix the Cat NES has 8 worlds each containing 1-3 levels. During your adventure Felix will collect various power ups, milk bottles which will increase the overall score and hearts which are key to upgrading Felix’s various moves. At his weakest Felix punches with a boxing glove and will take one hit from anything before he loses a life. The second upgrade sees Felix radiate stars which can knock out enemies surrounding himself in close proximity, the third upgrade allows Felix to move around in a small chopper shooting boom shots and the final upgrade allows him to roll across the map in a tank firing cannons. This is Felix at his strongest and any hit from here on knocks Felix into his third, second and then to the weakest power, meaning you should avoid getting hit if you want the best power moves and survivability. Also any potential power increases will offer a bonus life rather than a new power up.

Although Felix the Cat does have a standard moveset, some levels will change his powers for example the river level which is mostly water has Felix upgrade himself to riding a dolphin that can shoot enemies.

As far as the games go they are relatively simple platform games. Moving from left to right with some variations in level design and controls. There are various levels where you must fly and some where you must swim, these variation in levels require you to change tactics in how you deal with enemies but the adaption is instant. The controls are fluid and the NES version of the game runs well, however after finishing the game I found myself wondering if I had fun. As someone who never played the original game I have no feelings of nostalgia to go by. Whilst I did die a few times during my playthrough I did find the experience way too easy, the later levels do have some cheap mechanics such as small alien spaceships that hunt you down and giant meteor rocks that appear from nowhere, however these small challenges are alleviated by conveniently placed power ups at the tops of springs. These also appear often and in the same pattern meaning stages do not really feel different although they may appear different in appearance.

Bonus stages are all too common also which can be found throughout the game disguised as Felix’s magic bag. Once you go inside you find yourself in a small box where you can collect various power ups, there’s no mystery, no tricks, you collect the power ups and that’s it. The same bags that appear later on in the game are no different, the power ups remain the same but may be placed slightly differently within the bag. Bosses are incredibly easy and even if you die once or twice to one of them you will pick up their pattern easily and can go down in very few hits.

The GameBoy version of Felix the Cat in comparison to the NES version runs terribly. No matter what settings I tried to play the game in there was so much slowdown in many parts whilst playing. This was both a blessing and a curse as I would at times get hit but also I could take myself out of a dangerous situation which wasn’t too often. The GameBoy version of Felix the Cat only has 5 worlds and with only 1-2 levels each world makes for the shortest of the 2 games. I also died no more than two times making it the easiest of the 2 games also.

Whilst I managed to complete the NES version of Felix the Cat in around an hour, I was really surprised with how short the GameBoy version of Felix the Cat was as I was able to finish this in around 20 minutes. Having a game called a Collection which features just two games that can be completed in a sitting is rather disappointing. This is the first game I managed to platinum before finishing a review.

Whilst the games do have a nostalgia factor plus great sounds and music, at times it can feel repetitive especially when the GameBoy version of the game makes your ears bleed after hearing the better NES version of the same theme. Playing the GameBoy version after playing the NES also dampens the experience in that it is essentially the same game just with lesser graphics more slowdown and the same stages however the stages are much shorter or some are missing altogether due to the limited space and lesser potential the GameBoy had at the time. There is also none of the small cutscenes between stages. The stages were already incredibly short in the NES version of the game. If I can recommend anything, play the GameBoy version of the game first so that you can see how much the game has improved by being on the NES. There is a big difference. I just wish the games were longer.

A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by Konami