Ahhh, good ol’ movie to video game licenses: like what Forrest Gump said from his movie, you never know what you’re gonna get, from classic to crap to flat-out weird, movie game licenses can have it all.
However, I don’t know how well this game embraced the Open Season movie and it’s characters, since I never saw it. So your guess is as good as mine on this one, as this was my nephew’s game, which I tried it out at one time when he left his GameBoy stuff here at the house (fine with me, oh darn!).
Of course, you get the obligatory slideshow setting up of the story of some hunters causing trouble, showcasing the usual good, cartoonish graphics that you would expect from the GBA.
But then, the ORIGINALITY of the game; oh wow! You start off controlling the big bear from the movie (whatever his name is), sidescrolling through a store, which you can take gumballs out of gumball machines along the way to shoot at any enemies you run across and knock ‘em down.
Oh gee, a scrolling shooter where you get to fire off projectiles, only been down this road only about a million times! (And then later in the game, your bear would curl up into a ball to roll through parts of levels just like Sonic the Hedgehog! Wow, I nearly had a heart attack of all the surprise elements in this game I had never seen before! Not.)
But then, the game surprised me, as it got better.
Of course, like I mentioned earlier, you sidescroll your way through levels, defeating enemies and all. There’s the obligatory shop after levels where you can buy stuff to help your bear out through his quest in putting an end to hunters that are up to no good (hey guys, why not use traps to catch an original idea or two and put them in this game?), like claws to help the bear climb trees better (which helps his fat furry butt, since he tends to slide down the trees at times...due to how fat he is, I guess) and various items to help slow down and confuse the hunters.
Also helping in your quest is...well, lets just say I was a little weary in seeing a pair of ominous eyes peering through a wooden cage at one point in the game. However, I figured I should try everything at least once, which I knocked the cage apart, and let loose a beaver with a chainsaw, who proceeded to saw a tree down to make an easy to follow path for me! That was good for a laugh, and some boss stages were original too, like the first one where there’s hunters coming out of tents and shooting at you; knock down the ones that’s a different color from all the others (which is when the slimiest looking of all the bad guys emerges), one by one, until that clears that stage, of all things. Another slightly different one involved a guy throwing rocks at you from a mine car, although that reminded me a bit of the Pitfall update for the Sega Genesis/32X/CD and SNES from the 1990s.
If I remember correctly (my nephew has since sold his GameBoy stuff), the control worked pretty well, and only a couple of levels were confusing and one or two bosses difficult, but nothing real impossible, since this was aimed at the younger crowd, as the game could be beaten in well under a week for probably most gamers in general. It’s not a bad game at all, but there’s tons of other platformers out there that are way better, so this is probably only for the hardcore GBA people who are trying to acquire an entire GBA collection and/or hardcore fans of the movie (were there any?).
Other than that, you’re probably better off waiting for the next Pixar movie, as I’m sure all of those were better reviewed than Open Season. 6/10