It's not the green fairy of wormwood that makes the world go round. It's money, or so they (and also they) say. Luckily, I found a little green fairy also for money, thanks to Nintendo. He's male, he's 35, he wasted away his whole exsistence in the dullest, nerdiest way you can imagine and he just received the destiny's call to glory and money. Don't look at me, I', 33. I'm talking about Tingle, one lesser character in the Zelda series, which just got a starring role in the recent Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland. Yeah, that's the English title, translated from the Japanese もぎたてチンクルのばら色ルッピーランド which means exactly the same, silly, thing. You can't take seriously such a title, and that's the point. So, how does this parody work?
Game dynamics are not flawless, anyway. The fighting mechanics are funnier in theory than in practice: you need to hire some wacky mercenaries in order to get help into battling monsters. Battles are sort of cartoonish melees that just "happen" when you collide with foes: you lose some Rupees, the enemy loses its energy and that's it. Your bodyguard cooperates, often in a dumb way, and it's not always easy to make him follow Tingle's orders... This gives a picaresque feeling to it. That's great for the Rupee-oriented game plot and setting, but it's not-so exciting on the long term. That's why Vanpool developers put some mini-games thru' the adventure. We're talking about Nintendo DS, so using the stylus for some quick minigame action is always refreshing, but what you get in the end is a disjointed, albeit pleasing, experience. Again, the mini-games fits well with the satire & parody tone, since you can parody several game genres at a time, à la Wario Ware. Still, the formal and substantial elegance of more focused parody games such as Parodius or Super Gem Fighters: Mini Mix is unrivalled. It would be interesting to see Vanpool developing a full Zelda parody, both plot-wise and game-wise. Because, in the end, Tingle is not really a parody of Zelda: it's a bitter satire of our world (while Zelda itself is sometimes a sweet satire of it, by the way), which lacks a true identity when it comes to gaming. That said, you should really play it, moreover if you're 30+ and you need to improve the way you relate to money - or laugh about it. And now let's go to bed - I have a Yoga class at 5 AM, tomorrow. Seriously.