Smart Ball

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Smart Ball
Smart Ball Cover.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s)Game Freak
System Sacom[1]
Publisher(s)
Director(s)Satoshi Tajiri
Designer(s)Satoshi Tajiri
Ken Sugimori
Akihito Tomisawa
Programmer(s)Mark Flint
Artist(s)Ken Sugimori
Mucho Tanaka
Writer(s)Satoshi Tajiri
Ken Sugimori
Composer(s)Yasuhiko Fukuda
Akira Yamaoka
Manabu Saito
Platform(s)Super NES
Release
  • JP: September 13, 1991
  • NA: March 1992
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Smart Ball[a] is a platform game developed by Game Freak and System Sacom.[1] It was published by Epic/Sony Records and Sony Imagesoft for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991.[2][3][4][5] A sequel titled Jerry Boy 2[b] was in production, but was not released.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot.

In that incarnation, the player plays as a little jelly bean with eyes, named Jerry, traveling across a grassy landscape. The game has graphics and terrain that are characterized as cartoony and cute, which attracts younger players.

The player is able to defend Jerry or attack enemies by controlling certain physical characteristics of Jerry, such as flattening or stretching his body in order to hit enemies, or by finding objects, such as balls, to throw at enemies. The player can also run by pressing the Y button on the controller. Jerry has the ability to stick to walls and ceilings which is activated by holding down the Y button as he jumps towards them, adding an advantage over Jerry's enemies. The player advances through each level along a filmstrip map, and can revisit previously-completed levels by "rewinding" the filmstrip. Each level is a romp up and down hills, jumping between platforms, and squeezing through pipes. Scattered around each level are a number of plants that open up to reveal balls, power-ups, 1-ups, seeds and jumping enhancers. Similar to Donkey Kong Country, the player must collect letters that spell "JERRY" in each level. Collecting them all will give the player two extra lives.

Plot[edit]

A young boy named Jerry was a prince and ruler of a kingdom but has been transformed into a blob by a mysterious witch at the behest of his jealous brother, Tom, who has a crush on the young princess Emi.[6]

Development and release[edit]

Smart Ball was co-developed by Game Freak and System Sacom.[1][7][8]

The entire storyline from the game, as well as all the towns in levels, were removed in the North American version. However, there is an English fan-made translation patch that can be applied on a Japanese ROM and played on an emulator.[9]

Reception[edit]

Smart Ball was met with positive reception from critics. On release, Famitsu scored the Super Famicom version of the game a 25 out of 40.[13] In contrast, however, British magazine Super Play gave the Super Famicom version a 6 out of 10 score, stating that game is a "run-of-the-mill platform game with only its blob-shaped hero to distinguish it from the crowd. We reckon it seems pretty average."[23] The game also won the Digital Content Association's AVA Multimedia Grand Prix Award for character design.[24]

Legacy[edit]

Adaptation[edit]

Smart Ball is one of the video games featured in the manga titled Rock'n Game Boy, by Shigeto Ikehara and published by Comic BomBom from October 1989 to December 1991.

Canceled sequel[edit]

Sony Music Entertainment Japan planned to release the sequel in 1994, however it was canceled. The developer was Game Freak: Satoshi Tajiri was the supervisor, Ken Sugimori the character designer, and Yoshinori Sunahara the music composer.

The game was to be released about three years later and was slated for a Japan-only release, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Sony may have been responsible for the cancelation.[citation needed] The company were to help publish the game as well as having helped publish the original, but due to a strain between Nintendo and Sony around the time of the game's release and Sony moving on to their own system at the time, the PlayStation, the game was cancelled as a result.[citation needed]

In the proposed sequel, the player would take control of one of six different playable characters, each with a unique special ability. The game would have also featured an updated engine allowing for larger gameplay and enemy variety. Despite the cancellation, Smart Ball was not the last Game Freak game to be published by Sony. The last Game Freak game published by Sony was Click Medic for PlayStation, which was published in 1999.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known in Japan as Jerry Boy (Japanese: ジェリーボーイ)
  2. ^ Japanese: ジェリーボーイ2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 【SFC】ジェリーボーイ(Jerry Boy)全16ステージを攻略 (YouTube video). なんとなくゲーム. 15 February 2019. Event occurs at 1:26:19. Archived from the original on 2021-12-15.
  2. ^ "International Outlook - Jelly Bean". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 17. Sendai Publishing. December 1990. p. 48.
  3. ^ "Super NES Showcase - !Rumors!". Nintendo Power. No. 24. Nintendo of America. May 1991. p. 96.
  4. ^ "International Outlook - Jerry Boy". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 23. Sendai Publishing. June 1991. p. 78.
  5. ^ "Super NES Games" (PDF). Nintendo. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  6. ^ "16-bit Gamer's Guide (Part 3): The Super NES - Jelly Bean". GamePro. No. 25. IDG. August 1991. p. 30.
  7. ^ Sugimori, Ken (16 April 1993). メイキングオブジェリーボーイ. Tokuma Intermedia Comics. Jerry Boy (in Japanese). Vol. 1. Tokuma Shoten. p. 114. ISBN 978-4197930524. (Translation by Chris Covell. Archived 2020-05-21 at the Wayback Machine).
  8. ^ メイキングオブジェリーボーイ:クリエイターへのインタビュー. Tokuma Intermedia Comics. Jerry Boy (in Japanese). Vol. 1. Tokuma Shoten. 16 April 1993. ISBN 978-4197930524. (Translation by Chris Covell. Archived 2020-05-21 at the Wayback Machine).
  9. ^ "Smart Ball". Romhacking. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Smart Ball for Super Nintendo". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  11. ^ Weiss, Brett Alan (1998). "SmartBall - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 16 November 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  12. ^ O'Connor, Frank; Rand, Paul (December 1991). "Review: Jerry Boy". Computer and Video Games. No. 121. EMAP. pp. 80–81.
  13. ^ a b "NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ジェリーボーイ". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 145. ASCII Corporation. September 27, 1991. p. 37.
  14. ^ Sinfield, George; Noel, Rob (March 1992). "Now Playing - Smart Ball". Nintendo Power. No. 34. Nintendo of America. p. 104.
  15. ^ Rückert, Lars (January 1992). "Konsolen: Blobig - Jerry Boy". Aktueller Software Markt (in German). No. 59. Tronic Verlag. p. 131.
  16. ^ El Nionio; Rocket (November 1991). "Super Famicom Review - Jerry Boy". Consoles + (in French). No. 3. M.E.R.7. pp. 40–42.
  17. ^ "90年11月から'93年6月21日発売までの323本を収録!! Super Famicom All Catalog '93 8月情報号特別付録 - ジェリーボーイ". Famimaga (in Japanese). No. 16. Tokuma Shoten. August 1, 1993. p. 14.
  18. ^ Ladoire, Frank (November 1991). "Console Test - Jerry Boy". Génération 4 (in French). No. 38. Computec Media France. p. 208.
  19. ^ Huyghues-Lacour, Alain; Demoly, Jean-Marc (November 1991). "Jerry Boy: "Je sais que je suis un étranger en ce monde, un étranger parmi ceux qui sont encore des homme" - H.P. Lovecraft". Joypad (in French). No. 2. Yellow Media. pp. 134–136.
  20. ^ Demoly, Jean-Marc (November 1991). "Console News: Jerry Boy". Joystick (in French). No. 21. Sipress. p. 182.
  21. ^ Roberts, Nick; Rowley, Carl (August 1992). "Reviewed! - N-Force Knockout: Smart Ball". N-Force. No. 2. Europress Impact. pp. 90–91.
  22. ^ "Six of the best! - Smart Ball". N-Force. No. 6. Europress Impact. December 1992. p. 62.
  23. ^ a b Bielby, Matt (December 1992). "What Cart? Super Play's Game Library - Jerry Boy (Jap)". Super Play. No. 2. Future Publishing. p. 89.
  24. ^ a b "1991 AVAマルチメディアグランプリ". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 162. ASCII Corporation. January 24, 1992.

External links[edit]