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View Full Version : Tempo Jr. (Game Gear) - Very easy but entertaining Sega Club platformer



A Black Falcon
03-14-2012, 04:11 AM
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/3/586843_89335_front.jpg
US box.

Tempo Jr. is a platformer by Sega for the Game Gear released in 1995. It's one of the Sega Club titles. The Sega Club was a line of games for the Genesis, Sega CD, and Game Gear aimed at a young audience, and all Sega Club titles are both easy and short. Tempo Jr. is no exception; this game's extremely easy and it's not very long either. Unless you're a young child, expect to beat it without dying, and in not much time either (over an hour at most). The other Sega Club games, like Kids on Site for Sega CD, or Bonkers or Ecco Jr. for the Genesis, are similarly extremely easy and content-light.

The Game Gear's kind of funny, it has some pretty difficult games, like Sonic 2, but also some of the shortest and easiest games I have ever played, like Tom and Jerry: The Movie or The Lost World: Jurassic Park... this game is longer than either of those games, and is more fun too. The difficulty... I've described, but at least it's longer than a few GG games... though compared to games as insultingly short as those are, that is admittedly not saying much (Seriously, The Lost World ends almost as soon as it begins... and that was a 1997 release too, Sega's last GG game! You'd think they'd have tried. Oh well.)).

However, despite that, Tempo Jr. isn't without worth, and even though I spent $7 for the cartridge and beat it in less than a couple hours of total playtime without dying a single time (and no, there are no difficulty level settings), I had fun enough that I don't feel like I wasted my money.

http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/3/586843_2283_front.jpg
Japanese box.

Tempo Jr. is the second of the three games in the Tempo series, and it's the last one that got a US release. The first game is Tempo the 32X, and was designed by the guy behind Bonk's Adventure if I remember right. It's a good game. Not a great game, but a good game. It's a bit slow paced, and I wish it had on-cart saving instead of passwords and made more use of the 32X (it really only uses it for the animating, colorful backgrounds and nothing else just about), but it's fun. The last game is Super Tempo, 2d platformer for the Saturn released in 1998 only in Japan. It's maybe the best Tempo game, but it's also quite expensive.

http://ui25.gamefaqs.com/1496/gfs_89335_1_4_mid.jpg

Tempo is, as the image above shows, an animate green bug of sorts with headphones on. He's supposed to be cool, funky, and into music. Yeah, he's a product of '90s character art design for sure, almost painfully so. But still, his design is certainly dated, but eh, it works okay enough, and I do like the color (green). In the original game, Tempo has a girlfriend, Katy (naturally, she wears a pink dress... of course.). She is in this game, but all she does is dances with Tempo after you beat levels, unlike the original game where she can actually help you (flying around or following him or something at times, I forget the exact details). Oh well.

http://ui18.gamefaqs.com/1041/gfs_89335_2_3_mid.jpg
Ingame, first level. On the actual GG screen, the black lines between the bars in the health bar are not visible -- it's just a solid green bar.

Controls - The game controls well. Tempo can jump, roll, kick, shoot music notes, and dance. Tempo can also hover by pressing the jump button again in the air; he'll then very slowly descend, and there's no flight timer or something, only your slowly descending height. Music notes will stun enemies, at which time you can jump on or kick them. Your normal dance is mostly just for fun, but if you collect the right powerups and your healthbar starts flashing, pressing A+B together will activate a special dance that drains half of Tempo's health, but destroys all enemies on screen. It's not too useful given how easy the game is, but it's fun to do once in a while anyway. At the parts where Tempo's looking depressed and moving slowly, kick the thing and he'll get happy again. This might be a checkpoint? I'm not sure, it's so hard to die I never found out.

Gameplay - It's a platformer. Kill the enemies, explore stages to find the items, the usual. There are no pits of death here -- that'd be too tough for this game's very young audience apparently. Instead, pits and spikes just do damage, and not much of it. Most enemies drop health when killed, so running out of health is not easy. The levels are solidly designed and sized about right. The game is made up of four of five worlds, each with two levels and then a boss, with a minigame after that if you got any coins to use in it. As I said, the levels are quite easy. They're decent length, to the point where I found myself getting bored after a couple of levels, so I didn't beat this game all at once; instead, I left it on for some time and came back later (yes, I use my GG on AC power, not with batteries.). There are passwords, but you have to get a game over to be given one, so unless you intentionally get a game over, you won't be seeing them. I did get a game over once, after beating the game, to make sure that the passwords are indeed there; they are, accessible from the game over screen. Given the slow pace and minimal difficulty, they're even almost useful... you may not want to play it all at once. As for the bosses, they're simple, but fun. Most bosses have very easily exploitable patterns, so don't expect anything too hard, but they are a bit tricker than the stages are, at least until you figure them out. Like the rest of the game's visual design, the bosses have good, clear designs. I like the bosses, from the frog to the penguin to the toy soldier guy. It's kind of boring when all you usually have to do is stand still, or walk back and forth, while kicking... but oh well, at least the designs are good. As for the minigames, they're fun as I said. Levels 1 and 3 have a Simon-inspired minigame, levels 2 and 4 a game of chance and strength, pretty much. They're fun diversions. I'm absolutely terrible at the Simon game... it's got eight different buttons that light up (named after the eight music notes, naturally; remember the musical theme), and I always mess up quickly. I didn't get past a +500 bonus. The other game is a bit easier, but more random. After beating the main worlds, there's a short boss rush. You don't refight all of the bosses, you see; instead, you only fight two of them, and then the final boss. The final boss is a lot like the first boss, but with a few more moves. After that it's an ending screen, some credits, and then it's over. Yeah, you don't play this game for its great ending either.

http://ui17.gamefaqs.com/1872/gfs_89335_1_5_mid.jpg
The level screen looks a lot like the 32X game's, except here you can't choose the order you play the stages in. Preset only.

Graphics - Obviously, they couldn't recreate the graphics of the 32X on the Game Gear, but Tempo Jr. is a pretty nice looking game for the system. It's got good, clear graphics, with nice large sprites, colorful environments, and easy-to-see enemies and pickups. For a Game Gear game, this is definitely a top-level effort visually. The graphics have some detail to them, and some colorful art design too -- just look at that main menu screen! There is slowdown when there are more than one or two enemies on screen, but that's rare, so it's not too bad. As for the audio, it's decent GG audio, but like the Master System that it's based on, the GG's audio is no match for the NES or Game Boy. The advantage was visual, not aural. Also, the music doesn't sound much like what you'd imagine Tempo would be listening to, obviously, but that's just a limitation of the platform (and I don't mind at least, I prefer cart music over that...).

http://ui07.gamefaqs.com/1734/gfs_89335_2_4_mid.jpg
Sad Tempo...
http://ui18.gamefaqs.com/2353/gfs_89335_2_5_mid.jpg
Happy Tempo!

Overall, Tempo Jr. is a fun game that I enjoyed playing. It's ridiculously short and is one of the easier games I've played, but it's fun while it lasts anyway, so it was worth playing even so. I wish that they'd made a full handheld Tempo title, instead of this Sega Club game, but at least it's better than nothing. Despite the more popular platform, probably because it's a Sega Club title, this game is perhaps even less common than the 32X game. It probably should remain that way -- it's far too short and easy for me to give a strong recommendation for it -- but anyone who likes Tempo, or Sega platformers, should check it out at least. If you can find it for a couple of bucks and know about the caveats, consider picking it up.

Jeckidy
03-14-2012, 06:11 AM
I own Tempo Jr. (its about to be sold to someone I know online) and could never complete it because it bored me to tears. Certainly I prefer the 32X Tempo. Never played the Saturn one, though.

Then again, it may not be because of the game itself, but the shitty Game Gear screen definately brings out any ugliness it has by a mile. I don't know how anyone can still be playing Game Gear games on the original system for that reason alone, as this game has rather pleasant visuals.

Breetai
03-14-2012, 11:26 AM
The last game is Super Tempo, 2d platformer for the Saturn released in 1998 only in Japan. It's maybe the best Tempo game, but it's also quite expensive.

Who says it's expensive? You just have to know where to look. I got 5 copies; one was sealed still.

I do adore 32X Tempo and Saturn Super Tempo. They play a bit differently, with the 32X one promoting tricks for points, which is a cool idea in a platformer. The Saturn one is more straight-forward, but, well, VERY quirky and strange. Super awesome, just... very strange in a perverted Japanese way. Unfortunately, I haven't played the Game Gear one. I just never bothered to pick it up I guess.

http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv31/Absinthaholic/DSCN4520.jpg?t=1275763150
http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv31/Absinthaholic/DSC05666.jpg?t=1273844569
The 5th copy is on my shelf.

Baloo
03-14-2012, 04:41 PM
Tempo Jr. is an underrated and overlooked little gem for the Game Gear. Fun platformer for the system.

Hidden_Darkness
03-15-2012, 02:32 AM
Who says it's expensive? You just have to know where to look. I got 5 copies; one was sealed still.

I do adore 32X Tempo and Saturn Super Tempo. They play a bit differently, with the 32X one promoting tricks for points, which is a cool idea in a platformer. The Saturn one is more straight-forward, but, well, VERY quirky and strange. Super awesome, just... very strange in a perverted Japanese way. Unfortunately, I haven't played the Game Gear one. I just never bothered to pick it up I guess.

http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv31/Absinthaholic/DSCN4520.jpg?t=1275763150
http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv31/Absinthaholic/DSC05666.jpg?t=1273844569
The 5th copy is on my shelf.
is there any chance you would sell one of your copies?

A Black Falcon
03-16-2012, 02:17 AM
I own Tempo Jr. (its about to be sold to someone I know online) and could never complete it because it bored me to tears. Certainly I prefer the 32X Tempo. Never played the Saturn one, though.

Then again, it may not be because of the game itself, but the shitty Game Gear screen definately brings out any ugliness it has by a mile. I don't know how anyone can still be playing Game Gear games on the original system for that reason alone, as this game has rather pleasant visuals.

So play a few levels of it, kill yourself until you get a game over, write down the password, and pick it up later. That's the solution there.

As for the screen, I think the GG's screen is okay. Sure, it's not as good as the GBA or DS screen or something, but it's alright. I do have a Majesco model though, so it may have a better screen than earlier systems.


Who says it's expensive? You just have to know where to look. I got 5 copies; one was sealed still.

I do adore 32X Tempo and Saturn Super Tempo. They play a bit differently, with the 32X one promoting tricks for points, which is a cool idea in a platformer. The Saturn one is more straight-forward, but, well, VERY quirky and strange. Super awesome, just... very strange in a perverted Japanese way. Unfortunately, I haven't played the Game Gear one. I just never bothered to pick it up I guess.

http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv31/Absinthaholic/DSCN4520.jpg?t=1275763150
http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv31/Absinthaholic/DSC05666.jpg?t=1273844569
The 5th copy is on my shelf.

I'm sure you know this, but for anyone who doesn't live in Japan, it's a very expensive game. I have no idea what it costs there though.

But sure, you're very lucky to have found cheap copies of the game somehow.


Tempo Jr. is an underrated and overlooked little gem for the Game Gear. Fun platformer for the system.

Well, apart from the complete lack of difficulty, sure... but given the general mediocrity of a lot of the GG library, I guess that's probably true.

WarmSignal
03-17-2012, 12:14 AM
I keep passing a sealed copy of this game up at a local antique. Probably should grab it next time.

Baloo
03-17-2012, 12:44 AM
I've seen it go for up to $300 on eBay, when there's actually copies on there. Seems pretty scarce outside of Japan.

eddiespruce
03-17-2012, 12:52 AM
A year or two ago, I saw a copy of Super Tempo on eBay with a starting bid of $100. Nobody bidded on it, and they relisted it a few times, but still nobody went for it, which leads me to believe that it's not really worth the high BIN prices you normally see. I'd probably pay $75 for a CIB copy with the spine card, but no more.

Hidden_Darkness
03-17-2012, 01:17 AM
I'm just curious why someone would need 5 copies of super tempo?

SEGA.GENESIS1989
03-17-2012, 01:39 AM
I'm just curious why someone would need 5 copies of super tempo?

To sell on ebay ... why else???

(Iīm sorry. I couldnīt resist! :rofl:)

Breetai
03-17-2012, 07:59 PM
I'm just curious why someone would need 5 copies of super tempo?

Why not? I found them in a shop that had them priced at 2001 prices*. I didn't eBay them, but I did definitely sell/trade the four I didn't keep on retro gaming forums.

*Virtual Fighter 2 for 1500yen, when it was everywhere else for 100yen. Street Fighter Zero 2 for 2000yen, but that is also a 100-300yen game.


I saw a copy of Super Tempo on eBay with a starting bid of $100. Nobody bidded on it, and they relisted it a few times, but still nobody went for it, which leads me to believe that it's not really worth the high BIN prices you normally see. I'd probably pay $75 for a CIB copy with the spine card, but no more.
The three unsealed copies sold in the $100-150 range and the sealed one I traded someone for Radiant Silvergun. They sold within a week or two.

Maybe nobody bid on it because nobody knows what it is, and therefore wasn't looking for it. It is a VERY overlooked gem on the Saturn (which is obscure enough in the mainstream!).


I'm sure you know this, but for anyone who doesn't live in Japan, it's a very expensive game. I have no idea what it costs there though.
I don't have any idea what the going rate in Japan is either. The ones I found were by fluke, at some out of the way country mom&pop pawn shop in Saitama. I looked around Akihabara for a copy, but couldn't find one. I looked on Yahoo Auctions, but couldn't find one. In four years in Japan, those were the only copies I saw. I wasn't actively looking for it the whole time, but I definitely wouldn't noticed it if I saw it. So, it is for sure rare in Japan. I really don't know the price, though.

Tempo in Game Gear usually went for 1000-2000yen CIB ($12-25). Not sure about the 32X game.

WarmSignal
03-20-2012, 08:16 PM
Maybe its no Super Tempo but I stopped by and picked up this sealed copy of Tempo Jr today. Sticker says 15 but i paid only $5.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/DeSuEhT/IMG_20120320_185437.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/DeSuEhT/IMG_20120320_185450.jpg

Hidden_Darkness
03-20-2012, 08:57 PM
Maybe its no Super Tempo but I stopped by and picked up this sealed copy of Tempo Jr today. Sticker says 15 but i paid only $5.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/DeSuEhT/IMG_20120320_185437.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/DeSuEhT/IMG_20120320_185450.jpg
nice find, don't see too many unopened game gear games anymore.