Monday, October 31, 2011

Fuck Mountain King

In celebration of Halloween, it only makes sense to make an entry for the first game that ever scared the shit out of me. As an Atari 2600 game, I can't imagine anybody can find the game particularly horrific these days, but, as a kid, Mountain King made me uneasy. I don't know if CBS Electronics, the subdivision of a toy company that just wanted in on some of that Atari money, intended to make the game scary to kids, but that was the way things turned out.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ariel: The LIttle Mermaid

I imagine there are at least a few people out there that are fond of The Little Mermaid for the NES. It is a Capcom game for NES, after all. But that is not what this post is about, it is about 1992's Ariel: The Little Mermaid for the Genesis, which was most definitely not made by Capcom. Actually, it was made by a company known as Bluesky Software, whom aren't responsible for many games, but did make Jurassic Park:Rampage Edition. While I kind of like Rampage Edition because it was pretty much an insane expansion pack to the first Genesis Jurassic Park, they apparently aren't that great at making their own good game from the ground up.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dragon Quest IX At Goodwill?!

There is a certain sort of game that one expects to find when trolling Goodwill. That's not to say that I never expect to find good games there, but it usually more offbeat or older stuff. A good example of the sort of stuff I've bought from Good Will is the PC version of NBA Hangtime, which is a fun game, but it is pretty old and I wasn't even aware there was a PC version. I never expect to see newer games, with the exception of abject failures like Tony Hawk Shred, so I was quite surprised to see two basically new copies of last year's Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. It may not have been the highest selling game, but it did pretty well for a Dragon Quest game in the US.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ghostbusters: The Old Good One

Ghostbusters is a franchise that has always had a pretty shaky history when it comes to video game adaptations. This probably stems from the fact that the series started in the early eighties, and there wasn't much developers could do to make a good game based on the series for primitive systems like the Atari 2600. Even though the NES or Master System could theoretically host a good Ghostbusters game, they didn't because the games were based upon earlier versions. Thankfully, when Compile developed Ghostbusters for the Sega Genesis they started from scratch and ended up making a fun game.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The WonderSwan and Wonder Classic

I'm hardly definitive source of information on the WonderSwan series of handheld game consoles, seeing as I'm not Japanese, but I do consider myself to be something of a portable system connoisseur, so I recently made a point to track one down. I guess I'll start with a history lesson. In the late 90's the Game Boy was nearly ten years old and while the refinements of the Game Boy Pocket was nice, the improvements of the Game Boy Color weren't quite impressive enough to revitalize the aging market. There must have been the idea Nintendo wasn't quite as powerful as it had been because multiple companies tried to push devices into the market. Before this point there had been competitors, but they all ended disastrously.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby's Day Never Got Out

Some weird stuff just can't be found in stores.  For example, I found this. . . thing while browsing a Genesis rom set.  Now, I don't really remember the Baby's Day Out other than the name, but apparently it was a movie that bombed horribly and spawned a game that was mercifully canceled.  The first name I noticed when starting the game up was Hi Tech Expressions, the publisher that inflicted that Beethoven game upon the world, but it was actually developed by a studio called Designer Software, who's only release was some Mickey Mouse game.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guardian Heroes: Now Affordable, Still Awesome

Until recently I would have had a hard time justifying putting up an article about Guardian Heroes. Sure, it is an oft overlooked classic game, but the fact it was only released on the Saturn, which is notoriously hard to emulate, and the rarity of the game meant that tracking down a copy of the game could get quite expensive. I consider myself lucky in that, not only do I own a Saturn, but I also have a friend that has owned the game for years. Now that the game has been remastered and released on Xbox Live Arcade for a measly ten dollars, I won't feel guilty about writing about the game for this site, and I no longer have to organize meetings at my house just to show off the game.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Countdown Vampires: Creatively Bankrupt Survival Horror

With Halloween not far off, I feel like I should write about some survival horror games. Thankfully, the late nineties have left behind a massive amount of poverty horror games meant to cash in on the success of Resident Evil. Probably the most egregious level of copying can be found in 1999's Countdown Vampires, the first game developed by K2 LLC. There is a certain sense of comedy about the fact K2 was acquired by Capcom in 2008. Of course, being unoriginal is only one of a multitude of problems, which I will attempt to document henceforth.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Neo Geo Super Dodge Ball Is Best Dodge Ball

Most people that have spent some quality time with an NES probably have some fond memories of Super Dodge Ball. For those of you that haven't, you are dead to me. It's a great game that is marred by some pretty horrendous sprite flicker, and sadly, most of it's ports sequels had issues with controls or general shittyness. Thankfully, just before going bankrupt in 1996, Technos, the company behind Super Dodge Ball, Double Dragon, River City Ransom, and a million other Kunio games, released their final game, Super Dodge Ball for the Neo Geo. This version happens to be my favorite version of the game, and the one of the most entertaining games that might be found in an arcade cabinet.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Insane Bicycle Stunt Bonus

There are few games that I have played as much as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Steam says I've played it for 73 hours, which is a lot, but it's not an absurd amount considering the game. Of course, Steam doesn't account for all the time I put into the console versions of the game. On PS2, I must have played it twice as much as that, though not quite as much on Xbox. Overall, that is an absurd amount of time. The scary thing is, I still haven't done everything there is to do in the game. I guess that's just the way Rockstar games go for me.

Cliffhanger: At Least It Has Cliffs

I've played some games with pretty big oversights, but I can't think of any as egregious as Cliffhanger for the Game Boy. I mean, how does a game called Cliffhanger  omit the ability to hang. I could understand if the movie it was based on weren't actually about a dude hanging on cliffs, but about the plot device, but that's not the case. If my memory of some ten minutes of the film, which I must have seen over twenty years ago, serves me right, I'm pretty sure the movie was about a dude that scales cliffs, and, in many situations, hangs from them. In fact, the cover of the game is a picture of Stallone hanging from a goddamn cliff.  I guess I should have expected this from Malibu Interactive, a part of a failed comic book company.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steel Ball Da-Da-Da! Breakout!

The meme probably already ran its course quite a few years ago, but I like to think that most people reading this know about Japan Break Industries. For those that don't know about it, they are a Japanese demolition company, also known Nihon Break Kogyo, that took the internet by storm in 2004 with the release of what is definitely the most catchy demolition-themed song ever. This flash video done with ASCII art and set to the eurobeat version of the theme, which would fit perfectly in an episode of  Initial D or something, was really popular. More importantly for this site, there was a promotional Flash game as well.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trouble With Focus

Lately, I've been thinking that I have a problem with focus. I have a whole bunch of games that I have access to and would like to play, but for some reason I just don't. This isn't a problem I have that is specific to video games, and I have a similar issue with books and television, but it seems particularly pronounced in my preferred hobby. There are certainly a lot of factors that lead to this, but the more I think about it, the more it occurs to me that it's not just a problem with me but a problem with games as well.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mega Man Powered Up

Mega Man Powered Up is pretty much my ideal way for remakes of classic games to be done. It takes the original Mega Man from 1987 and brings it to the PSP, maintaining what made the original great, meanwhile adding to it in a lot of ways. There are a lot of mechanical additions and interesting bonuses, but the most important addition is an element of whimsy. Between this and the also excellent Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, it seemed like Capcom was finally shying away quick and lazy ports of their old titles and were beginning to do some quality updates, but, sadly, due to the poor sales of these two titles they did not continue in that direction.