Here’s a pretty good example of my lack of focus lately, or, rather, my more passionate and dedicated focus on other projects; I was hoping to both write and post this edition of Games I Regret Parting With before Christmas hit a few months back, especially when you consider that Home Alone is the classic family comedy about a young boy surviving a home invasion during the holiday season. Well, here we are at the end of March, the first day of spring, though it is supposed to snow today, so there’s at least a paper-thin connection to go on.
Home Alone is one of those rare game franchises where it is a different beast for the various systems it popped up on, to the point that you need a wiki to figure out where each one differs. Think like how Jurassic Park on the SNES and Jurassic Park on the Genesis were DNA-created reptiles from totally opposite prehistoric eras. Heck, one let you play as a velociraptor, and the other tried to use a Wolfenstein 3D look when inside buildings. Either way, I only ever played Home Alone on one system, the legendary Game Boy, and while I can remember that detail clearly, I still have no memory over what happened to my Game Boy and collection of tiny, gray game cartridges. All I know is that, unlike my SNES and small handful of classics (minus Mario Paint), they are all gone. Probably sold at a yard sale or traded in during my dumb trade in phase.
The Home Alone Game Boy version, while similar to the SNES and NES versions, required the player controlling pixelated Kevin McCallister to evade confrontation with the Wet Bandits. While hiding from the house robbing baddies, you have to gather up valuable items and then dump them into a laundry chute to deposit them into a protective safe. You could also resort to using these items against the Wet Bandits, by dropping them on their heads or setting up elaborate traps. Y’know, just like in the movie. In total, there are four levels, with each taking place in a different area of the larger-than-life McCallister abode. The first level pertains to gathering up jewelry/gold/silver items, the second level has toys, the third focuses on various electronics, and the fourth level has various exotic pets that are both rare and expensive. I feel like I never got past the second level, as I really don’t remember collecting electronics or exotic pets.
Evidently, after collecting the minimum amount of items and dumping them into the chute, you can go into the basement to fight a boss before locking up the safe. This is where things take a strange turn. A videogame-y turn, if you will. The first level’s boss is a giant spider, then a massive rat, and so on. Kevin eventually battles against Marv and Harry, but the true final fight is against the fearsome and deadly basement furnace. Again, I can’t recall any of these end-of-level encounters, but I was probably rubbish at Home Alone, content to simply run around the house and collect a few things.
For those too afraid to look into the matter, there are currently five films in the Home Alone franchise. Naturally, only the first two are worth watching. I feel like I might’ve dabbled in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York on the Game Boy as well, though it could have been a rental or borrowed copy from a friend. The games never controlled too way, especially when it came to Kevin’s jumping and later sliding mechanic, and could be pretty unforgiving, but the chiptune versions of some of the movie’s iconic songs were all I really needed. Plus, finding a slice of pizza inside a dresser drawer never got old.
GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH is a regular feature here at Grinding Down where I reminisce about videogames I either sold or traded in when I was young and dumb. To read up on other games I parted with, follow the tag.