150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:39 pm


Top Gear was one of the first racing games to be released on the Super Nintendo, that's probably one of the reasons I made it one of the early reviews I did for the SNES (it was my 27th review). I wanted to leave it a good while before touching on the sequel but I guess I went and forgot and left it alone for a bit to long, so here I am a long time latter looking at its Sequel Top Gear 2 or as the Japanese would name it Top Racer 2. Again this game was nothing to do with the show of the same name.

Top Gear 2 was released in August 1993 for the SNES about a year after the first one. The original game was only released on the SNES and although Top Gear 2 came out on the SNES first it made its way to both the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Amiga in 1994.

Just like with the first game Top Gear 2 was developed by Gremlin Interactive and published by Kemco (On the SNES at least Vic Tokai published it for the MegaDrive/Genesis but that's not really relevant here).

When reviewing the first game I noted that before making Top Gear as the same developers had created the famous Lotus games which had been released earlier on the Amiga and the Sega Mega Drive and that therefore they had a fair degree of experience in this field, so by this point you'd hope that with having both that experience and having previously worked with the SNES and having produced a very well received racer they would have an excellent base to work from, then again there is the chance they'd just slap a 2 on it and add a token sprinkle of extra content, so if you are so inclined you can play a little game here and try to guess which way this will go.

If you have played the original Top Gear then when you start playing Top Gear 2 you are likely to notice very quickly that this time you do not get to choose a starting car. In the original game you had a choice of four cars to choose from. When you first start racing if you have played the original you will probably find that it feels pretty much the same. Yet it doesn't take long at all for you to realise that there is a lot more challenge here, in the original game it was quiet easy to quickly find yourself in first place again and again its not quiet like that this time around, in this one you have to fight to come in a decent place, I am not saying this is a bad thing however it depends on what your personal opinion is when it comes to a challenge.

The main reason you don't pick a car is because this game is more about upgrading, the higher place you manage to finish in the higher amount of cash you win, and with the cash you win you buy upgrades for your car, ones to make it more durable, to make it steer better, or to make it accelerate faster for example. This does add an extra layer to the game but does it make things better well yes and no. It does add to the game, it gives you more of a reason to race and something to do with the cash you earn, it also makes you feel like you have a career to pursue but there is a fly in the ointment so to speak. The problem is that with how much you earn being connected to where you place it can mean that if you are qualifying but not placing high enough to make enough cash then you can find that you back yourself into a corner where the competitors appear to be more upgraded than you are and you have set yourself up for failure.

If you want to do well overall then you will need to learn to upgrade wisely and consistently so as not to find yourself in a place where you are outclassed by the competition. Yeah if your opponents didn't get harder then this would ruin the whole upgrading idea basically making you unbeatable once you'd slapped on a few upgrades, when you think of it like this its a very hard to implement a system like this and have it work, one way they could have worked around this would be to have you be allowed to enter extra races, for example prize only races which while not progressing the game allow you to earn the extra money you might not have made if you hadn't placed high enough.

The game also features something else the original didnt and thats damage, your car can become damaged and then drive worse and slower, this makes you need to be a little more careful, if this is a good thing or not depends on if you like being careful.

Ok so I realise that I have spent the vast majority of this review comparing it to the first one but thats because its these diffrences which make it a came of its own. Yes the grasphics and sound are roughly the same as the first entry but they have changed enough things to make this more than a cookie cutter sequel, is it better or is it worse? Well that strongly depends on what you want in a racer, do you want upgrades and damage or not? If you want those things try this game if you dont then the first is best for you. I would give this the exact same score 7 out of 10 and just say go for the one which sounds the most like your kind of thing.

When I talked about the original I said that it was cheaper to get the second one with the first one being about £8 for an import or £15 for a UK version (cart only) and I said the sequel would be cheaper, its funny how times change, when I did a little searching for this review I found you can now get Top Gear for the SNES for around £8 for a Uk version and there actually seems to be a lot less copies of the sequel around with the cheapest copy I could find being £15 for a loose cart. I guess it just goes to show how the retro game market can change and flow one way and another.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Sun May 14, 2017 8:18 pm

SNES Review 117: Zoop
So usually when I am looking to do a SNES review I am thinking about the story behind the review, sometimes its a story about how the game first came in to my life, did I own it as a kid or did I play it at a friends, but I have nothing here, I have to admit that I didnt as far as my memory goes ever see any footage of this game back in the old games magazines of the time nor do I remember seeing it in shops.

In fact the first I ever saw of Zoop was when I brought it for the megadrive basically just because it was cheap, in all honesty I didnt at the time even realise that it was multiplatform, it was in fact very multi-platform as it was on the Game Boy, the Game Gear, the MegaDrive/Genesis, the Atari Jaguar, the PlayStation, the PC (MS-DOS), the Macintosh, the Sega Saturn (only in Japan) and of course because I am talking about it here as a part of my 150 Super Nintendo Reviews project I think you have figured out that it was on the SNES.

So Zoop is a puzzle game and it was developed by Hookstone Productions, a video game company I can actually find very little information about they were a UK-based video game development group which was apparently active from 1994 until around 1998. As far as I can find out they were only ever responsible for this game Zoop, a game called Sentinel Returns and then a game called Ferox which was cancelled before being released. So its not like there is a whole pile of past or future games that were made by the same people for me to compare it to, I guess ultimatly as a puzzle game it will be compared to the likes of Tetris, Dr Mario and the various other puzzlers which have stood the test of time and leap straight into the average game players mind.

Ok so lets try and explain what you do in this game, I will try to keep it basic but I think its actually a rather hard game to explain. You control a triangle in the center of the screen you move it around the center area making it point in diffrent directions. To start with a piece comes in from one of the sides of the screen and if there is a piece in its way it pushes it, your not just watching one part of the screen though, two consecutive pieces will never come in from the same angle,it might come from the left or right or top or bottom of the screen and if a piece falls into the center square, the game is over.

You will notice that your triangle starts as one colour well if you shoot a piece of the same color as your triangle,well then it will be "zooped" (disapear) and you will gain points for this. If the piece you shot is green and your triangle is green then youll destroy it, if the piece behind this piece is green youll destroy that too and so on and so on until you meet a diffrent colour. If you shoot a piece which is a diffrent colour to you, well then you wont make it disapear youll simple turn your triangle into whatever the colour you have just shot is. So if your triangle is green and you hit a green and theres another green behind it and then a red behind that you will eliminate the greens and then your triangle will turn red hopefully that makes sense, once you have played for a handful of moments it soon becomes second nature.

This all sounds pretty basic but the more pieces you can zoop in one go the more points you score, whenever you zoop the required quota for a level the game will speed up, and then there are special pieces which come into play including a proximity bomb and a line bomb and colour bomb also as the game progresses distracting backgrounds are purposly added in to try and up the challange factor this was used as a unique selling point for the game and was referd to as opti-challenge graphics, I could see some people liking this and it clearly pissing other people off, I found myself kind of falling in to the middle of this sometimes I find it annoying and sometimes my brain just seems to filter it all out for me

The sound effects in the game are kind of cartoon inspired and the music well I think at first it is catchy but soon it will make you want to pull your own ears off, yes it does that good old puzzle thing of seeming to try to be tense when the gameplay is tense but it just doesnt really cut it for me, add on to this that the graphics are just about as basic as they could possibly be, sure everything moves smothly and its quiet a bright game but there is nothing here that tests the system in even the slighest way. I am not going to say that the game cant be fun in small bursts but its just that there are much better puzzle games out there than this, it is fun ismall dozes but its ultimatly a forgetable experiance, there is a reason you hear people go on and on about Tetris and Dr Mario and Bust A Move insted of Zoop. I would give this game a very average 5 and would say not to buy a cart of it unless you can get it for about £5 and then only if you like puzzle games as this is very unlikly to be the game to convert someone who is not a fan of them.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Mon May 15, 2017 12:55 pm

SNES Review 118: Spectre

Originally Spectre was a Video game for the Apple Macintosh, developed in 1990 by Peninsula Gameworks and published in 1991 by Velocity Development. It was a 3D tank battle game basically something on the lines of the old arcade classic Battlezone by Atari (which came out 10 years earlier in the 1980's), the game did very well for itself which is proberbly why around 4 years latter a SNES version was made. I guess this is a bit of a pleasent change in a way seeing a game make its way from the Apple Macintosh on to the PC after I have coverd so many Amiga games which made there way to the SNES. Well the Macintosh game scored rave reviews.

The SNES version of the game was made by a company called Synergistic a video game developer founded in 1978 who fitting started out by publishing some of the earliest available games and applications for the Apple II family of computers. They continued developing games for various platforms into the late 1990s making 4 SNES games in total this being the second game they made for the platform (the only one I own and therefore proberbly the only one I will be reviewing).

Ok so there is basically no story to this game to explain so I guess I will just have to explain what it is that you do. Well you play the part of the pilot of a tank called a Spectre tank. This is not just any old tank the Spectre can do more than youd expect sure it can fire normal rounds but it can also shoot powerful grenades, it can also do things you really wouldnt expect a tank to be able to do such as jump, and warp into hyperspace to quickly get far away from enemies. Using the Spectre you go from level to level progressing by collecting a certain number of flags while enemy robot tanks attack you, the higher a level you get the more intellegent, quick and strong the enemy tanks get.

The Games graphics although done in a 3D style are incredably basic, the floor is basically a never ending chess board and the only diffrence between levels is the colour of half of the squares (half are always black). You have large geometric shapes cubes, spheres, and pyramids which are all colorful, enemy tanks basically look nothing like thanks though, essentially they look triangular a bit like one of those flipper robots you see so often on Robot Wars.

Other than the enemy tanks, the flag you need to collect, and the various shapes the stages are barren. There is literally nothing else too see, so its quiet a bland game really once youve seen one level you have pretty much seen them all, things might get tougher with enemy tanks being faster or smarter but they never look any diffrent.

The Sound in this game is hardly worth a mention there is some very basic background music that is ominous and fitting I guess but it also is not the best as far as quality goes, its kind of painful. The sound effects are basic in the extreme there are pretty much only like 4 sound effects the sound of your tanks gun firing, the sound of something getting hit and the sound of you getting hit and thats about your lot apart from well there is a robot voice which says game over and level complete and such but it sounds super muffled. All in all though the sound is not much of a selling point for this game at all.

There is one single player mode and four multiplayer modes to choose from. The single player mode I have basically all ready talked about in discussing how the game works, as for the multiplayer well there is one where it's you and a drone vs. a friend and a drone which is basically 2 on 2 capture the flag, a free for all where the winner is the one who destroys the most tanks, a mode where the one who captures the most flags wins and then finally ''Allied Assault'' which is just basically a 2 player co-operative version of the single player mode.

One of the biggest issues with this game is that it came out a whole year after StarWing/StarFox came out, and it compares very very poorly to that game, sure the graphics in starfox might mostly just be diffrent shapes but they are put togther in a wide variety of ways, each level looks diffrent, the enemies look diffrent, the thing is playing this game has just made me think even more about StarFox about how much it did right about how it pieced togther every little element in a way which produced well video game magic, everything just slots togther perfectly to make somthing thats much bigger and brighter than its elements this just doesnt happen with Spectre.

I yet again have to give another game a solid average 5 out of 10, look the game is fun in short doses and doesnt really do anything that badly, but things could just be so much better and there are much better titles for snes collectors and players to buy, sure if you see this for about £5 and want to give it a shot then go for it, but its really not worth going out of your way to track a copy down or paying through the teeth for it.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:03 pm

Snes Review 118: The Incredible Hulk

I have previously talked about how the names on a box could be the diffrence between you grabbing or not grabbing a game back in the SNES days and there are three names which come in to play with this particular game and I actually want to handle all 3 of them one at a time, I am going to start with Probe because well after all they are the ones who actually programmed this game.

Probe Software was founded in 1984 by Fergus McGovern and Vakis Paraskeva, later being renamed Probe Entertainment, I suppose really there biggest claim to fame in the console world would be the fact that they were responsible for the MegaDrive ports of Mortal Kombat 1 and 2. Its not like thats all Probe did though they infact made over 50 titles on over 10 diffrent platforms one of the nine SNES games they made was the game I am reviewing right now. So do Probe still exist today? Nope not at all, they were acquired by Acclaim back in october 1995 were rebranded with the name Acclaim Studios London which was latter rebranded to Acclaim Studios Cheltenham and which then died along with Acclaim when it went bankrupt in 2004.

The game was published by US GOLD a company pretty much worthy of a whole post themselves, but here I just want to touch on them briefly. Now recently I have been talking and posting quiet a lot about the Sinclair Spectrum and US GOLD is a name most spectrum owners would have known well. U.S. Gold was founded in Birmingham in 1984 as the publishing division for a software-distribution company called Centresoft. Its primary purpose was to republish popular American computer games in the UK and Europe. The problem with them is that although they published a lot of things there success rate was kind of fifty fifty half good half bad, this name on the box actually did the game a lot more harm in my oppinion than having Probes name would have.

The real name that sold this game at least for me was the Marvel name, now who doesnt know of Marvel Comics creators of Spiderman, the X-Men, DeadPool, DareDevil and of course the Hulk. I am sure I have mentioned this before but I love comics and not just Marvel but also DC and even the lesser well known stuff and most of them are just filled to the brim with stuff that would seem to anyone with any kind of re3asoning factor to be things ripe to put in a game but as most will proberbly know pretty much for every good game featuring a comic book character there has been one featuring a stinker but back when this came out well I was a little eaiser to excite. Ok originally when I purchased this game it was only partially because of the Marvel Comics it was also because this along with other games I have reviewed in the past (Metal Marines and Smash Tennis) were SNES games which some shop or other decided to sell for a low price despite them being new, in this case the price was an outstanding £14.99, as with the other games this meant that not only I got it but pretty much everyone I knew with a SNES got it.

I remember the day I originally purchsed this game, I was in town with a group of friends and we were looking for something to spend our cash on, most of us proberbly had about £15 max and maybe a second hand game or two in our backpacks, pretty much expecting that maybe if we traded both old games and some cash in we could find a deal and get something not to bad. We had been to a couple of diffrent places and then we came to one store all of us ended up going upstairs in the shop (it was either a game or games boutique store my minds a little blank on which it was) and there we were met with a pile of copies of The Incredable Hulk on the shelves brand new in perfect condition with the aformentioned £14.99 label on them. Nowdays this doesnt seem that impressive as decent games end up being cheap a few weeks after release all the time, its £40 one week £30 the next and £20 the week after but I think a lot of that is due to online shops and competition, the market for games was very diffrent back then and when you saw something cheap you didnt really have much time to think about it, so I grabbed it and rushed to the counter as did several of my friends, we had all spent up so we all headed back home and went our seperate ways.

Now they always say that people look at old games through rose specticles, you remember a game as being wonderful as most of its good points stick in the head and you forget the bad bits, well I wrote the following just before playing this game for review. I have very fond memories of quiet a few games but when I stop and try and remember the Indredible Hulk the main thing I remember is crushing dissapointment, I remember the graphics being quiet bright and I remember it being a bit maze like and also that sometimes you became Banner Hulks human form, lots of identical grunt type enemies, I also remember selling it feeling like I had been tricked and that the shop that sold it me knew it was a pile of poo and had thrown the cheap price on to it because they knew that it was the only way they would shift there copies. I remember feeling very bitter about it when in truth looking back now I have no idea why, part and parcel of gaming back then even more so than now was taking a wild stab at whatever games you could get your hands on and after all when Id lucked out getting Smash Tennis and Metal Marines in simmilar deals well you could argue I was due a bad one.

You might be wondering why I decided to buy Hulk again now if my feelings on it were so strongly negative well I was looking for reasonably priced games I didnt own. I had seen the Incredable Hulk in a few indy retro shops for £15 for a loose cart and tottally dismissed it, but when I saw it for £6 online for a loose cart including shipping I began to think about it, I looked up a few reviews and was suprised that it wasnt considerd a stinker, infact when you look at some of the reviews for it well Nintendo Power gave it 3.3 out of 5 and GameSpot gave it 7.7 out of 10, this kind of made me begin to doubt myself. I have always thought that I was a gamer who was willing to give games a fair chance in fact I used to get annoyed with my older brother for dismissing a game if it made him jump too much or there was a maze section or if you had to go a full 5 minutes without killing something, yet here I sat wondering if I had been a little hasty with this game all those years ago, and so with that thought in my mind I decided to buy the game.

Ok so Now I have played the game a whole bunch I am going to cut to the chase and talk about it, first lets start with the story. So basically your the Incredible Hulk and your well making your way through five levels each of which ends with you battling a Marvel Comics villain if you for any reason dont want to know who theses are then drop down a few lines now... Ok you face The Abomination (who appears as a sub-boss in every level), the Rhino, Absorbing Man, Tyrannus, and finally the Leader. Ok I admit this is less a story and more a description of what you do, but I dont have the manual or the box and I am assuming that the whole story thing was left down to a small blurb in these. If you leave the game on the title screen you dont get an intro just every so often it goes to a high score table, and when you actually start the game all you are met with is a very brief comic style cut scene of Banner turning in to the hulk, you do get little bits of explanation between stages but they pretty much amount to ''Hulk beat Villian X so he wanderd off some place else but oh no he fell into Villian Y's fiendish trap''. So for all extents and purposes theres no real story, there are some villians to beat but no massive reason behind it that you get told about at least, there are also no major supporting characters, and certainly no plot twists or anything to make you keep playing. Now I know some might think I am being harsh and that games were simply like that and that I am spoiled by the New Marvel Cinematic Universe and the way it throws all manner of heroes togther but not all super hero games were like this back then at all. I am now just quickly going to compare it to a SNES game I dont own and therefore wont be reviewing any time soon just for some perspective and this game I am speaking of is Spiderman Maximum Carnage. You see in Maximum Carnage not only do you get a whole bag full of Villians but you also get a well told story and you even get absolute piles of Marvel cameos with all kinds of heroes showing up some of them being the typical sort everyone will have heard of like Captain America and others being less well known sorts like FireStar and Cloak & Dagger. Hulk was one of the original Avengers and the dude cant even get a quick walk on from a single Avenger?

Ok so on to the graphics well the Hulk looks pretty darn good, he is big and green and of course he is wearing his trademark shorts. He makes the standerd enemies look small and well when he smashes crates and telephone boxes it all looks pretty convinving. Enemy designs are well the word I would use would be decent, mostly the grunts of this game are well either robots or men in highly armoured sci fi style suits, they look clean and shiny but the probelm is a lack in variety which can make things awfully repetivie feeling, something thats not helped by rather plain and bland backgrounds. As you walk around youll pass piece after piece that basically looks the same so you will end up asking yourself if you have been here before. The bosses all look like they should though

The sound is basically a mixed bag, the music sucks, it basically feels like a short number of very short looping tunes that just feel well like they could be taken from any low budget video game. Now I am darn sure someone will say well what the heck did you expect music wise from something connected to a comic book character Mozart? Well go look up the end credits music from the 1978 Incredible Hulk TV show, I think its called something like "The Lonely Man" it is a very moving sad solo piece of piano music and it would make an awesome midi tune. As it stands though we are stuck with music of the most turd like. (I am happy though as I got to throw an Incredible Hulk TV show refrence into this review). The sound effects are good though Hulk actually sounds convincing with his noises and then you have the sounds of things smashing and crashing and decent gun related noises its just a shame its partnerd up with rubbish music.

Well lets get on to what really sells a game and makes it worth remembering and that of course is the gameplay. Well its an action platforming game with a decent move set, hulk can jump, punch, grab his enemies, toss them, tombstone them, crush them, he can do that super sonic hulk clap you see in the films and comics, he can stomp and after collecting the right pill he can run smashing through things. Oh yeah thats a little gem isent it Hulk picks up pills to power up and regain health, yes I know even otherwise indestructable characters kind of need life bars and the threat of death in games but seriously this game has health pills what wer ethey thinking? The gameplay at first seems quiet fun after all who hasnt wanted to be a super powerd hero and punch people and have the power of the hulk but the issue is that really you have so little to do with this power. The enemies, AI is virtually non-existent, they all run straight at you and straight to there doom, yeah for a little bit its fun to practice all of the moves on them, but soon well when you have punched, crushed, stamped and super sonic clapped one enemy well youve done it to them all it soon simply becomes dull and repetitive. The platform jumping type stuff is also as easy as pie, oh as for the becoming Banner thing thats something you do when your about to die, I guess I had forgotten that over the years. There is no save feature but its not the longest game in the world but your still not likly to see the end as I am affraid boredom will most likly have set in long before then.

So has my oppinion of this game actually changed? Yes it has, before I thought that it was a bad game however on replaying it and reflecting on it I instead have to say that no it is simply a very average and forgetable game, If I had to give it a score I would once again give it a 5 out of 10, this being the third 5 I have given makes me feel like I am stuck in a nightmare of the average, what I wouldnt give now to play either a gem or to sink my teeth in to something that truly sucks. If you must buy this game then look to pay about the same that I did for a loose cart but I would instead strongly advise you to use this money instead to pick up the first season of the old Incredible Hulk Tv Series which is about £5 on Amazon. For now I think I am just going to go and listen to that sad walking away music again while I toss this cartridge deep into my games cupboard and walk on by.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:37 am

SNES Review 119: The Simpsons Bart's Nightmare
This might be a strange way to start a review but I want to talk about my memories of old games. Now when some people think about retro games they kind of jump to what are considerd the best of the best games the cream of the crop the Mario Worlds, the Links to the past but when you think back to gaming in your child hood the memories are far more mixed. We all struggled with certain games the kinds that angry reviewers would jump on now, we all had this one game we were stuck at a certain point on, and we all had the game we kind of just shoved in the slot everytime we needed to kill 5 minutes and didnt really know what we wanted to play, well for me that game was The Simpsons Bart's Nightmare.

The funny thing is that I have always die hard considerd this a SNES game, in my head it was only on the Super Nintendo, but the truth is it wasnt an exclusive or anything it was on the MegaDrive as well and both versions were developed by Sculptured Software, a Utah based developer which would latter be swallowed up by Acclaim and who sadly no longer exist. They were proberbly best known for Super Star Wars on the SNES and a whole bunch of WWF games in the early 1990’s.

The games plot is pretty simple, Bart Simpsohn is trying to write a essay for school and he falls asleep. While asleep Bart dreams that the pieces of paper his essay are written on have blow out of the window, and that he needs to try to collect as many of them as possible in order to complete the assiggment and get the best grade he can. Each piece of paper has basically found its way on to a windy street but Bart cant just pick them up, nope he has to jump on them and when he jumps on one he will be met with a choice of two coloured doors with each door leading to a diffrent dream scenario, a diffrent world with a task he must complete in it and if he manages the task he wins the page.

Ok so as for how this game plays you have a sort of main stage called Windy Road, this is the road the pages are blowing up and down. You can walk in either direction but the truth is theres not any real way to know if your near a page or not so you just pick a direction and wander and wander hoping you will soon find a page sometimes it feels like its taking forever. The game clearly likes to show that it is familiar with the show and it does a good job of making you feel like this is a part of that world, you will be attacked by bouncing heads of Jebidiah Springfield, Principal Skinner will walk towards you and he will force you into a suit, Lisa will play her saxophone and if the notes hit you it will reverse your controls, the school bullys will come along and try and get you and bart can even find his skate board to speed himself up. It is in this central world though that you actually take damage, if your hit here you loose Z's and if you loose them all you wake up, and sometimes this bit drags on and gets so boring youll simply loose Z's by bumping into things because half of your brain has turned off while playing the game.

Once you finally jump on one of the bits of your essay though then things change a whole bunch, you are taken to two doors, pick a door and you get to try your hands at one of the mini-games/stages. One stage is a bit of a shoot em up and see's you flying through the skies as Bartman firing your slingshot at enemies until you reach the boss, another see's you become the might Bartzillia who must go smashing through the streets wrecking havic with his flame breathe and lazer eyes, who must climb the tower and displace King Kong Homer. You also get to be Bart in what can best be described as an Indiana Jones Parody and you get to enter the world of Itchy and Scratchy and have them try to murder you. If you fail at any of the mini games its not game over but in some ways its worse as your bumped back down to windy street to look for a bit of paper again.

I have to not only give respect to the fact that this game seems to show a good degree of knowledge about the Simpsons as far as both characters and refrences go, but this game also looks the part, I cant complain about the graphics in the slightest. When this game is good oh boy is it good but then when its bad its just plain boring. I dont very often get to say this but Bart's Nightmare is a heck of a Marmite game, go all around the internet, look in diffrent old publications, ask people and you will see a whole bunch of diffrent oppinions on this games some will swear it is pure trash, others will say its mediocre and yet others love it, still enjoy it and want to defend it. So just incase you havent gotten my oppinion from reading this review I will lay it out here nice and plain and simple, I think the game is a 7 out of 10, I love it, I want to tell everyone to run out and grab it but I can not help but admit that the game is absolutly full of flaws. What you have here is a mini game collection that is held togther with a sort of hub stage (windy street), now the mini games are very fun and intresting in my oppinion and quiet a few of them could quite easily have been spun out in to intresting full games of there own but as they stand in this package they just get dragged down by an overly long overly annoying hub stage. You feel like your having to push yourself through windy street constantly to get to the good bit and in the end you cant help wishing that you could just jump straight to being bartman or bartzillia and its never a good thing when your wishing sections of a game away.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:14 pm

Snes Review 120: eton mess no joe/Tommorows Joe

So eton mess no Joe is a boxing manga which came out in 1968 latter on itturned into an anime series, then a movie and obviously as I am talking about it in my series of SNES game reviews it was turned into a SNES game . A translation of the title would be Tommorow's Joe but outside Japan it is also referred to as Champion Joe, Rocky Joe or even just Joe. The SNES game was developed by Wave Corp and published by K Amusement Leasing two companies I have never even heard of, I tried to research Wave Corp and the information was almost none exsistant it looks like all they have made is Joe based titles, K Amusment Leasing dont seem to be doing anything much past this game either, still lets not worry about that and lets look at this game. This was a Japense only release so you either need a convertor or a modified SNES to play it.

Basically the game is an arcade style boxing game, the game is 2d and is played from a side on view, you can move backwards and forwards and you only actually use two buttons, one button punches the other button makes you put up your guard. To be perfectly honest it looks like a SNES game a good quality SNES game even with nice big sprites and great presentation with its intro/attract sequence full of manga but it plays like a NES title. If you play the one player story mode then you play the role of Joe Yabuki, the stories protagonist, but if you decide to play two player then you both get to choose from a whole bunch of boxers, the whole having to be Joe thing doesnt bother me as hey lets face it in Super Punch out your always Mac, it works for a boxing game when the story is that kind of Rocky type set up where your the underdog going after the title.

The game consists of 8 opponents which Joe must defeat one after another. Each one must be knocked out in the first round or Joe will have to begin the fight again, well as long as you have the continues to do so (you only get 3). Apparently all of these characters come from the manga which I guess if your a fan of that it would really help you eak a little more entertainment out of this game. The first two opponents are an absolute cake walk just keep punching before they punch and youll walk them easily enough but come the third opponent boy does that difficulty curve aim itself straight towards the sky.

Both you and your opponent can move left and right across the ring but not forwards and backwards your stuck on one plane with steppiong back being the only escape option at your disposal. So you punch, block, and dodge each other until one of you knocks the other down three times.Most likly youll enjoy this despite finding it limted when fighting the first two guys but then youll find that the third guy just seems to have a larger reach than you and youll wonder what stratergies you could use against him, youll think maybe I could circle him or if I block he will pause, then you realsie you cant circle only move back and forwards and that if you block it still hurts you and it doesnt really help.

I really really wanted to like this game, the game has excellent presentation, I love the big chunky sprites and the music but its just so bare bones and budget feeling. I spent £3.50 on this game so I dont have a lot to moan about but I wonder what it cost new as basically if this cost the same as a genuine first party classic like Super Punch Out or Mario World or anything like that then I would haev felt super robbed paying top dollar for this, maybe just maybe the connection to the manga roped people in and they were so happy to be playing the role of one of there heroes that they were a lot more figiving with this game than I am?

I think I am stuck reluctantly giving this game another 5 out of 10, dont get me wrong I really like some things about it but then it comits some major sins in my oppinion and you could spend your money much more wisly.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:39 pm

SNES review: 121 Pro Sport Hockey

When you think about the Super Nintendo and who developed games for it the names that come to the front of your mind are most likly to be Capcom, Konami or Nintendo themselves, so if I was to tell you I can name a studio who developed around 25 games for the SNES who isent one of those names you would be wondering who I was talking about right? You might even start to throw out random guesses but I bet very few people would come up with the name I am about to drop and thats because the name is Tose and they are often referd to as being a ghost developer.

Tose Co., Ltd also called Tose Software is a video game development company based in Kyoto, Japan. It is mostly known for developing Nintendo's Game & Watch Gallery series, and for making a whole bunch of Dragon Ball games, and the Legend of Starfy series but they have actually developed or co-developed over 1,000 games since the company started back in 1979. A lot of people are proberbly wondering right now why they havent heard of Tose before well thats because they are virtually never credited in the games themselves.This is best explained by looking at a few quotes from Masa Agaride Tose's US Divisions Vice President "We're always behind the scenes," "Our policy is not to have a vision. Instead, we follow our customers' visions. Most of the time we refuse to put our name on the games, not even staff names." This is why I called them a ghost developer earlier.

I have found that with a lot of the developers I have talked about in the past they either just shut down at some point, got absorbed by a bigger company or are now some tiny little company making mobile apps or games but not Tose. you might have heard of the last game they worked on after all it was Paper Mario Color Splash for the Wii U, yes the game was made by Intelligent Systems but Tose provided environment art support for them.

The game I am going to be talking about today is Pro Sport Hockey, known in Japan as USA Ice Hockey obviously it is an ice hockey video game. It was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES in 1993 only coming out in Japan and America missing us here in Europe all toghther, the version I have been playing is the Japanese one, basically because it was the one I managed to get my hands on. I have often said that I have found myself getting games due to the name on the box or the cart and in this case the name that dragged me in was Jaleco a name I was always fond of hearing back in the Super Nes days but in this case all they did was to publish it, I knew of Tose but had no idea of there involment with this game. As far as I knew back in the day there was only the odd NHLPA game on the snes and back then I was more using the Sega Mega Drive for my hocky fix, playing EA Hockey and mostly trying to get into fist fights on it more than actually really playing the game to win.

Back when I started this project trying to review 150 SNES games the 9th game I reviewed was Takeda Nobuhiro Super Cup Soccer /Super Goal 2 which was also made by Tose and the funny thing is playing this I instantly thought back to that game and back to that very review. The funny thing is I can pull a whole quote from that review and if you exchange the refrence to football in to an ice hockey oneand exchange the word Fifa for NHLPA Hockey it sums up how I felt playing this ''I also found it pretty hard to score goals but then I am not the best at these sort of games, the important part is I got in to it, I was enjoying myself and never once did I stop and go boy don't I wish I was playing Fifa, to all intents and purposes this game provided a perfectly entertaining spot of football.''. The game felt very much like an Ice Hockey version of Super Goal 2, the music the control, the art style I guess this just goes to show that some studios do have a very tangable style, unfortunatly I can level all of the same complaints I levelled at that game at this one. It is a very functional game which is fun but really feels one step away from greatness, it just needs a little something extra to throw it over the line in to classic territory and make me strongly recomend it.

The game has a good sense of speed, the controls tend to feel good, if slidy but heck its an ice based game so that was to be expected, the graphics are nice and bright the music is kind of catchy but it just feels like it needs those extra few touches. Now as far as I know there are no fist fights I certainly tried repeatidly ramming in to people to provoke them. Apparently the game has a sophisticated fatique system in place to simulate players getting tired but in practice I didnt see anything that proved this, it also had real players and real teams but to a video game fan like me who doesnt care much about the actual sport this didnt add much but I guess for some this would add to the overall experiance. So what would I rate this game well to be honest I would give it a 6 out of 10, which is actually better than it seemed to score back in the day (it got things like 2 out of 5 and 50% ish marks), I spent £3 including postage for my Japanese cart and if you can get it for around this price and have the ability to play import games then what the heck go for it, just dont spend much more

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:51 pm

SNES Review 122: Astral bout

Sougou Kakutougi: Astral Bout is a Super Famicom/Japanese SNES game which was based on the various forms of fighting styles found in the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion Fighting Network Rings (think of an early version of something like the UFC ultimate fighting championship). The game was developed by a company called A-Wave, a company who I couldnt find much out about at all, they made a Gameboy game called Koro Dice and they either made or just published a game called Astro Fang: Super Machine on the NES (some sources claim they developed and published it others claim they just published it), and then they made Astral bout and its 2 sequels. I have no idea if they still exist in any form I would imagine from the lack of info that they dont. Astral bout was however published by King Records Co., Ltd a Japanese record company, founded in 1931 which still exists today, it is now one of Japan's largest record companies not to be owned by a multinational entity, and its headquarteres are in Tokyo.

So obviously this game is a sort of wrestling fighting game, the closist thing to this most people will have proberbly played on the snes is something like one of the WWE games. There are eight different fighters to choose from in this game, I cant tell you any of the characters names as they are in japanese but basically you have a professional wrestler, a boxer, a karate expert etcetera. So you pick the character you want to use and then you take on each fighter one by one until you prove that you are the best. Now for a Super Nintendo game this title does not do a bad job of trying to capture the idea of mixed martial arts. Eachof the fighters has there own moves list which does its best to make them feel like they belong to there discipline. So for example the wrestler will do slams and armbars, where as the boxers move set will be largly based on punches, the kick boxer will have lifting knee blows and heavy kicks you get the idea, it doesnt take long at all to find out which one of the fighters is the best fir for you and to get used to there particular move set.

The graphics are pretty much average and exactly what you would expect for a relativly early Super Nintendo game. The enviorments are rather bland, the characters are easily identifiable and the animation is decent but its nothing to really shout about, the graphics fit the game but thats about the best I can say. The music and sound effects could also best be described as functional, they are simply average and work but thats about all. You attack your opponent and at the end of each round you get to see how many points each of you have scored, I assume that if you dont knock the enemy out after so many rounds or get knocked out yourself then things will be settled by these points but this never actually happend during all of my time playing. I started out trying to play as the Karate based character but after a match or two I just found that me and him were not the best fit, then I tried with the Wreslter and found that I did much better, this is when I really started to enjoy the game, before I even realised that any proper time had passed I had completed the game. The truth is though that the replayability is limted as far as things go with the one player mode, you can try to complete it with every character and theres a practice mode but thats about it, of course the game has a two player mode which providing you have a buddy into this kind of game then it can be kind of fun but with 8 characters it is slightly limited. I do think that if I had tried this game back when it was fresh and new then I would have been a lot more impressed with it, but it hasnt aged greatly if you want an example of something wreslting related which has aged much better then I would go for Saturday Night Slam Masters.

As it stands I would give this game a 6 out of 10, its fun enough but it is ultimatly forgetable, it does make me wonder how much was improved in its two sequels as I think that with a little bit more on offer choice wise and a bit more presenation this game could have been a true contender. I spent £3.50 on this game and I think if you can get it for something around this figure then its well worth taking a look at it.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:07 pm

Smash TV

Nine reviews or so ago while reviewing Total Carnage I said the following ''I really wanted an excuse to come out with the gem ''Big Money, Big Prizes'' which you may realise is of course from the game Smash TV, a game I really love, I love it because basically it is based of the Arnie film The Running Man, which is not only a film I adore but is also based loosely of the book The Running Man which was written by Stephen King one of my favourite writers of all time. I don't own Smash TV though''.

Well I guess when I said that I was kind of tempting fate as I recently walked in to a local indy store and they had a Pal cartridge only copy of Smash TV and were asking £12 for it. Now this is going to sound kind of silly but I remember back when I was a kid everyone owned Smash TV and you just couldnt get rid of it, the thing was practically worthless, the kind of worthless were if you tried to trade it in for another game it would only get you about £3 of that game so really you were better off keeping it just incase you ever might just possibly one day want to play it again, so I have no idea how when or why I got rid of my original copy, but knowing me I got a good deal for it. The funny thing is though despite liking this game I havent brought a copy while I have been collecting because I just havent seen it for a low price, even £12 seemed to much for me but I managed to talk them down to £10 so I ended up buying it.

Ok so in both my Total Carange review and the above quote from it I have set the scene as far as this games story goes, so just to quickly recap the story is that your a contestant on a game show where they are trying to kill you and if you can survive and kill the enemies then you get money and you can win toasters and cars and stuff. Smash Tv was originally an arcade game in 1990, which found itself ported to the Megadrive/Genesis, Master System, Game Gear and obviously the Super NES as I am talking about it here. Its also made its way to various classic game compilations and download services. The arcade version was created by Eugene Jarvis and Mark Turmell for Williams and its a sort of well kind of sequel to the game Robotron: 2084 which was also produced by Jarvis, sequel in spiritual terms that is. The SNES conversion was handled by Beam Software, they did an excellent job of converting the game, basically if you like the arcade game then you will like the SNES game as apart from a few cut corners and a bit of Nintendo style censorship it is very much the same game. Beam Software kind of got brought and sold and moved about and renamed Infogrames Melbourne House, then Atari Melbourne House and finally Krome Studios Melbourne, the trail of them releasing games goes kind of cold around 2007 though with several sources saying the studio finally died in 2010.

In terms of gameplay the game is fairly straightforward, if you have played a twin stick shooter in the past 30 years anything from Robotron to the Geomotry wars games then you will know excactly what you are getting. Yes the SNES doesnt have a second stick but its 4 face buttons are placed in such a way that by pressing either one of them or a combination of two at a time you can shoot at every possible angle. The game is fast fun and responsive and most importantly it has the best quality any arcade style game can have and thats the ability to be easy to pick up while being difficult to master but overall feeling fair. Yes the game is hard and it slams you pretty darn har, there is also no wimping out and picking an easy difficulty here as it is actually pretty darn tough on all of the three difficulty settings available. Also you cant complete the game by playing it on easy mode as when you choose this mode you get a shortened version of the game featuring only the first stage with a few less enemies, so this sucker should have really just been called practice mode.

I played the living heck out of this game as a kid and never managed to finish it. You need to remember that this game was born in the arcades and so it was designed to make money, so really the quicker it could get you killed the more pennies it would grab, the bosses in particular are complete bullet spunges who just when you think you have them beat start shooting even more determined to take you down with them. If you want a challange then you have one here, its also a great co-operative two player game. Speaking of other players while I was playing this game my 15 year old daughter walked in the room, she was soon having a go herself and then I practically had to tear her away from it just so I could actually go to bed, and the very next day she was asking if she could go in my room to play the SNES and try and do better on Smash TV. Another sign of how good this game is would be the fact that I am going to sort out one of my other SNES pads so me and her can play it toghther sometime, which is high praise given the fact that some of these games get tossed into the bottom of a draw after I have reviewed them not to be pulled out again for who knows how long.

Ok so for those who are really into the graphics and sound in games how does Smash TV stack up? Well graphically the game is pretty simple with the main player characters and the regular enemies not being much more advanced than stick men, but the game really does flood the screen with them, and there tiny size just helps to make the large boss characters all the more impressive, but yeah this certainly is not the game to use to show of the SNES's graphical grunt work. I find the music to be very basic but also very catchy, I have caught myself humming it when away from the game which I think always says something good about a piece, its basic but it suits the mood of the game perfectly. Speaking of sound one of the most impressive things about this game sound wise is the digitised voice samples they really help with the games feel and atmosphere , little snippits like hearting the host say “Good Luck! You’ll Need It!” really add to the game.

I find that I cant help but give this game a hearty 8 out of 10, sure its not perfect but it is darn playable, and as far as co-op shooters go it might just be one of the best on the SNES. Its funny though how this game now seems to be a bit of a pain to get ahold of when I can remember people using it as a door stop back in the day and the second hand shelfs and bargain bins being full of it but I guess it just goes to show you never know how hard or easy it will be to grab something tommorow if you dont get it today. If you want a cartridge only copy around about £10 like I spent is proberbly the best you can aim for and it might take a bit of waiting and looking as plenty of people seem to be asking for around £18 to £25 for even loose carts are they actually getting that for it? Who knows but if you want to just play the game then do look on Xbox live arcade and compilation discs you might save yourself a few quid or bang a few extra retro games for you cash in the process, which root youy go though all depends if your more a collector or player either way I recomend that you give this game a bash.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:20 pm

Snes review 124 The hunt for red october

Given the fact that my blog kind of darts from being very game based to very film based it will come as no suprise to say that I have seen the film The Hunt For Red October after all Sean Connery is in it which I usally find to be a very good reason to give any film a bash. One of the laws of video gaming which was laid down by magazines and word of mouth when I was a kid was to never give a movie license any attention or any of your hard earned pocket money therfore I hardly even computed the fact that there was a Hunt For Red October game back in its day. As an adult though I have taken a bit more of a if you can find it cheap why not give it a bash sort of outlook and it has actually led me to a few good games some that were even better than the films they were based on. I for example hated the Bond Movie Quantum of Solace and yet I really enjoyed the Quantum of Solace xbox360 game even if it was basically Gears of Bond. So recently when I saw a cartridge only copy of The Hunt For Red October in an indy game shop I thought why not give it a bash £5 is a good price for pretty much any SNES game isent it?

So have you ever had that thing where you get an image in your head of what a video game is going to be like before you have ever played it? I guess this is harder now with so many adverts and stuff but I have to admit that in all of my years to the best of my memory I had never seen any video or screenshots or even read about The Hunt For Red October so I had kind of built it up in my mind, I had decided what it would be like, and in honesty I was pretty sure it was going to be a simulation game. There is a Megadrive game called 688 Attack Sub which is a submarine simulation in which you complete missions, its very slow quite text heavy and you have to look at maps, sonar scope readings, co-ordinates, its one of those games that you basically have to take a day off to really get in to, some find it deep some find it boring, well I was expecting this kind of thing with a Sean Connery Sprite on screen and well the plot of the movie. Well if you want something on those lines then you need to look to The Hunt for Red October on the Atari ST, Amiga, Apple II, ZX Spectrum, MSX, Commodore 64 and IBM PC as that is a combination of submarine simulator and strategy game so what did the SNES get?

Well the SNES got a shoot em up, a shoot em up made by Beam Software where instead of a space ship you have a sub, alter the graphics just slightly and you could almost think your playing any old left to right spaceship game but is it a good or bad game? I find this a little harder to answer than I would like, You see the first time I put it on I was so shocked it was a quick game to pick up and play that I kind of liked it, then when I played it a bit more it seemed rather limited but then I found myself picking it up to play it again to see if I could do better, if I could get further.

So does this game follow the story from The Hunt For Red October or even recreate the same atmosphere as the movie? The short answer would be not in the slightest. The Hunt for Red October started out as a Tom Clancy book with the following being a rough version of its story. The Soviet Union made a new special submarine called the Red October, the big deal about it being that it is capable of traveling across the ocean without being detected. If you think about it a sub with missiles and this capability could seriously mess up the world and so the captain of the Red October, Marko Ramius, realizing this decides to steal the submarine and defect to the United States (seriously taking it from one super power to another would not have been my plan I would have sunk the crud out of it.) So he has to take the sub while the Soviet navy tries to stop him, while worrying about possible KGB spies onboard worrying about if he can get the United States government to trust him. Now for all I know the instruction manual could paint a wonderful picture, heck it could have a whole breakdown of the novel in it but as far as the game goes well before the first mission your told your objective is to escape from the Soviet Union and safely reach the United States and this is all you get as far as an actual in game plot goes. You get missions none of which sound that much like anything I remember from the film and well thats that.

Ok so to break the game up into its components the graphics can best be described as bright but simple, it really doesnt feel like a heap of effort was put into them. Your sub is blue, the sky is blue, the water is blue, the ocean is quiet empty really apart from some mines, rocks and enemy subs which are also blue, although I am happy to admit they are a lighter shade of blue so you never get confused. As for the ships themselves,there is a bunch of diffrent enemy vehicles, including battleships, long submarines, short submarines, and helicopters, all of which are not all blue but deffinetly stick to a sort of blue, green silvery grey sort of colour scheme, although if you manage to get a few missions in and onto a bonus section you will be treated to orange fighter planes so there is that to look forward to. The missiles are pretty much just grey blobby lines that move along, the explosions also really are not exciting, it just feels like things are lacking well some flair. It was clear that this game wasnt able to be realistic so id have just sodded trying and given the game a bit more flavour, Id have made the Red October sub red so it stood out more, added in some more impressive explosions maybe tried to get some mode 7 style rotating in there but hey that is just me. Oh there kind of is one gimic and thats the bonus stages, you see they are not left to right scrollling affairs like the rest of the game there basically more like light gun levels you control a crosshair on the screen and shoot the things which are either scrolling along the screen or heading straight for you, and if you have a super scope you can use that to play them.

I actually really liked the music when I started playing the game, I find it quite fitting but I well I just wish it was longer and there was more of it. You see at first it sounds good but then you realise its just one or two very short looping tracks which at first sound pleasent but then begin to bore there way into your head in an unhealthy manner.

Like the music the gameplay can also be accused of being repetitive. You control the Red October, which is sent on various “missions”, all of which basically boil down to going right and shooting or avoiding everything. you might just reach the end of the level and thats that or youll reach somekind of base you need to blow up but its all pretty much the same. You get pretty much attacked from every direction battleships and helicopters drop bombs from above, enemy submarines will fire missiles horizontally at you, and you even have missile firing bunkers on the sea bed, add to this rocks and mines getting in the way and youll find youself weaving all over the place like a drunken pilot in order to survive. To combat this you have four types of weapon you have the straight horizontal missile, the straight up missile, the bombs/depth charges you drop, and the arching missiles. All of these weapons are limited but you get more by picking up an icon which not only gives you more missiles but also replenishes some of your health its a sort of all purpose pick up instead of individual repair kits and bullet packs ecetera.

The Red October sounds powerful right? Well maybe it is but its still very challanging, you'll have to avoid mines which dont even seem to affect enemy ships and then the missiles fired at you and bombs dropped on you and then subs and ships basically trying to take you out by simply ramming you. The main and i mean main thing that makes this all a bit of a pain in the rear though is the fact that you dont have lives, this is a one life one game kinda game. If you fail a misson there is no going back to the drawing board via a continue scene and starting again oh no sunshine your going to see your sub explode and then see a shot of it sunk on the bottom of the ocean then be told its game over and dumped back on the title screen, a title screen with no options or practice modes or any luxuries at all just a chance to press the start button and start everything again from scratch.You think that sounds harsh well add to that the fact your sub is not repaired between missions so get through a mission by the skin of your teeth and you could well be starting the next one a single hit away from death how unforgiving is that?

I have very mixed feelings on The Hunt For Red October for the SNES I am pretty certain if I had tried this back in the day I would have hated it but now I simultaniously like it while also seeing a lot of faults in it and having the desire to call it average. It feels like one of those games which had some good basic building blocks but was just missing something, something which kept it from greatness. I would give the game a 6 out of 10, and qualify this by saying its average but for me at least that enjoyable kind of average as apposed to the dull average, you could certainly do a lot better but you could also do a lot worse. I have seen plenty of people trying to get £20 or so for a loose cart of this game and its certainly not worth that, I wouldnt recomend going over £7 personally.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:19 pm

SNES Review 125 Actraiser

Now what if I was to tell you that there was a game which took the core ingredients of something like Castlevania and Sim City and mixed them together? Sounds a little bit strange doesn't it but that's exactly what Actraiser did, it was 1 half action mixed with 1 half god sim now usually I would string things out and try to wait to the end to give a verdict but I cant help but turn around and instantly say that the game is overall amazing, I wanted to give myself a treat to play for my 125th SNES Review but I also wanted to talk about a game which I feel is missing from the upcoming Mini Classic SNES and this firmly ticks both of those boxes (I will also touch upon why I think they didnt look at putting this game on the system).

ActRaiser known in Japan as Akutoreizā) was developed by Quintet. Now this is the first time I have touched upon Quintet in my review series so I just want to stop and talk a little bit about them. Actraiser was actually there first game, they were a Japanese video game developer, founded in April 1989 with there name being taken from musical terminology. In the world of music a Quintet is a group consisting of 5 members it was used here as there name referring to the 5 elements of game design which they laid out as being planning, graphics, sound, programmers and producers. They were at there most active during the 1990s, when they had a very strong relationship with Enix (Who are not part after there merger of the company referd to as Square Enix), and really are best known for the games Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma, which is often referd to as "Soul Blazer Trilogy", one of which I own and will be reviewing at somepoint. The current status of Quintet is unclear but evidence suggests that it rather quietly died around 2000 to 2002 which is a cracking shame, one would imagine that SquareEnix hold the rights to this game although with only one sequel which was released a very long time ago I wouldn't hold out for any more entries to the series.

OK so lets start with the plot, the story in Japan follows God, altered in America and Europe to The Master in his fight against Satan which was altered to Tanzra in Europe and America. These alterations were done because Nintendo of America had a strict policy regarding game content in the early 1990s which prohibited things which might be considered offensive including religious themes and plotlines. The game and its story is so seeped in religion though that this papering over things doesn't really alter anything you might be called The Master but when you travel the globe in a palace situated on the top of a cloud, accompanied by your little angel companion slaying demons, performing miracles creating life and hearing the prayers of your followers you would have to be pretty dumb to not work out who you are and whats going on. The basic story is that you had your behind handed to you by Tanzra and his lieutenants (all of which are based on real life religion or mythological creatures) so you retreated to your sky palace to tend to your wounds but now after several hundred years your back and you need to beat Tanzra's lieutenants one by one to free the people, then you need to answer the people prayers to power up enough to wipe the evil from the land. This is probably why the game wasn't chosen to be put on the Mini Nes Classic, after all we are at a time when people seem to be even more easy to offend particularly when it comes to religion, so it was probably a much easier and safer route picking something not so grounded in the biblical.

With there being two different types of gameplay in this game I guess I need to look at each of them on its own and then talk about how they feel sitting side by side each other. I will start with the platforming combat based sections. The easiest thing I can say is that they are very good, the weapon-wielding combat and the platform jumping feels very straightforward with good clean responsive controls and tight gameplay, you never feel like the controls are letting you down or that your being asked to do anything which is not possible you feel totally in control and you feel powerful. You run, you jump and attack your way through forests, caves and castles and you just simply feel that your right there in the game. There are apples which refill your life meter, and 1ups to grab and at the end of every stage there is a boss battle against a beast and like I said before there mythical so your going to see things like Centaurs and Minotaurs all in all its not to dissimilar to Super Castlevania IV a game I have previously praised.

So what about the god sim part of the game how does that play? Well its fun, simple and kind of laid back. It controls easily, its obvious what you have to do, its fun to play but compared to the above platforming and battling its just really chill, you control a little angel character who controls the direction you build in, your attacked by little devil characters as you build but you can shoot them with your angel they will however keep coming back, to stop this you have to guide your villagers to the lair they are coming from and then they will seal this. Once all the monster lairs are sealed and you have made the people happy they will ask you to banish the evil from there land and you will go back to a platforming level. The two styles of play mesh really well together as one is more frantic and the other is more relaxing, going from one to the other really breaks up the flow and stops things from feeling repetitive. In a lot of games were they tried to do more than one game type at a time it led to you just getting a game which didn't really have any strengths but both parts of this game could stand perfectly well on there own, infact Actraisers only sequel (on the SNES as well) decided to get rid of the sim part and just try to build on the platforming.

Something I need to talk about with Actraiser is the sound or to be more precise the music. The games score was composed by Yuzo Koshiro, yes that Yuzo Koshiro famous for his work on the Revenge of Shinobi and the Streets of Rage series. The game came out within six months of the SNES's launch and in my opinion it proved more than any other game the audio potential of the machine, with a Soundtrack CD being released in Japan. A medley of the music from Actraiser arranged by the original composer was performed live at the second annual Symphonic Game Music Concert in Leipzig, Germany, yeah its that good, I would say its right up there with the likes of Zelda A link to the past.

Just a quick note about graphics before I some things up, although I will admit that your main character sprite is quiet basic I think overall the graphics present in this game are rather good, you have lots of rich colours with multilayers backgrounds and large bosses, the game has a very good style to it and although its not the best looking game its very functional and I feel it has aged well. The thing is everything within this game just gels together so well, when you have frantic levels you have frantic music, when things are calmer the music is calmer, everything just blends together perfectly and this is why I have to do something you wont see me do very often and that is to give this game a solid 10 out of 10. The copy I have is actually from my own childhood, its a Pal copy and its still got its box and manual, if you want to try it the bad news is the game does tend to demand a price, its usually around £30 for a loose pal cartridge you could get a Japanese cart only copy on the cheap but there are quiet a few diffrences with the game from region to region in terms of difficulty but also you will miss out a bit with the language barrier but you could possibly muddle your way through. This is one game though where I would say sod it its worth every penny, its worth noting the game did make its way on to the Wii Virtual console so it could raise its head again for either the New 3DS or Switch and that would be a cheaper way of experiancing it.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:32 am

A very long time ago when I did my 23rd SNES review I decided to review Final Fight saying that I needed to get the game out of the way and that the game was important for a lot of reasons and so now I find myself finally getting around to talking about its sequel Final Fight 2. One of the reasons it has taken me so long is because back when I started reviewing SNES games I didn't actually own Final Fight 2 and I swore when I started all of this that I wouldn't review any game which I did not have on cartridge as I wanted to play every single game on the original hardware and for a fair amount of time before I would review them. Well as I am talking about it now its not hard to guess that I have purchased Final Fight 2, I picked up a Japanese cartridge only copy, the truth is my original copy of Final Fight 2 I had as a youngster was Japanese and in fact every copy I have ever played or seen in real life has been a Japanese one, its just much easier and cheaper to pick this game up.

So with some of these reviews I like to tell the tale of how I originally got the game back when I was young, well I originally got a new complete Japanese version from my local games shop called Games World. I didn't spend much on it at all as basically the owner had purchased an entire crate full of them for some cut down price as a sort of delboy get rich quick scheme. I sold a few of them for him on a commission basis, I also purchased a few copies cheap and sold and traded them in to other game stores, this really led to my local area and the closest big towns shops and markets ending up being super saturated with Japanese copies of Final Fight 2 but my biggest regret was not actually holding on to a complete copy, I have no idea why I didn't I guess it just felt like they'd never run out. I cant complain though as all of the money I made from my dealings with Final Fight 2 funded my purchasing of other SNES games and megadrive games and if it wasn't for stuff like this I wouldn't have played as much as I did back then.

OK so back to the game at hand. Like Final Fight, Final Fight 2 is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up produced by Capcom. The first Final fight started life as an arcade game but unlike that Final Fight 2 was never in the arcades instead it was a Super Nintendo exclusive built from the ground up for the SNES instead of being made for the CPS-1 arcade system board like the original and then just ported. The SNES version suffered a lot due to people comparing it to its arcade big brother so this is obviously a problem the second one does not have right? The answer is kind of, kind of not, obviously people will compare Final Fight 2 to Final Fight both on the SNES and the arcade version but they will also compare it to the Sega Streets of Rage Series so unless I want to pretend I am in some kind of pocket universe I am going to at least touch on where Final Fight 2 stands in comparison to all of these.

The original Final Fight arcade machine was loved by pretty much every games player I knew, it was considered to be one of the best side scrolling beat em up's out there a pinnacle of gaming to hold other games up to for comparison. The SNES version was released and was kind of limited, there was only two selectable characters one from the arcade having been dropped, there was also a level stripped out of the game, and the game had no two player mode. So what about Final Fight 2, well its actually much closer to providing the sort of experience the Original Final Fight arcade game delivered than the original SNES Final Fight did. Final Fight 2 has a two player mode, it has a choice of 3 characters and has 6 stages so is essentially the same length as the Arcade Version of Final Fight.

OK so as far as the story of Final Fight 2 goes basically Mad Gear the gang from the first game have returned they have kidnapped Guy one of the heroes from the first games Fiancee and her father who is also his teacher but weirdly Guy is not even in the game, the only returning g playable character from the original Final Fight is ass kicking mayor and former wrestler Mike Haggar. Two new player characters are introduced and they are called Carlos and Maki Genryusai. Maki is the sister of Guy's fiancee and kind of plays a little like him, she contacts Haggar for help and Carlos tags along because he says he owes Haggar one and also likes to kick butt. So it basically it becomes a globe trotting butt kicking war against the Mad Gear to try and rescue Maki's relatives.OK so a lot of people complain that Cody and Guy are not in the game and yes I have to admit I really like both of those characters with Cody especially being one of my favourite beat em up heroes of all time but I don't think there absence ruins either the story or the game, I find all of the characters present fun to play with and its also nice to see a female character.

As far as Gamplay goes well this game plays exactly like the first Final Fight you scroll from left to right and you punch people to death until you meet a boss who you then punch to death rinse and repeat. Each of the characters feels different and you will soon find the one who suite you best and the game is really helped by having a two player mode this time around, in fact I would say that is the standout diffrence between this and the first game. As for the controls well you have a punch button and a jump button and then you can either press these together to perform your super move or assign it to a third button. Add to this that the game has good arcade style graphics, good sound effects and a pretty good soundtrack and you would think that this game is excellent right? Well Yes I love this game I am going to stop and throw down a score here, if you can remember I gave Final Fight an 8 so what am I going to give this game? Well you might be surprised to find that I am only giving it a 8.5, look its a darn fine game but it could be much better. If you want to buy it then your best bet if you can play imports then is to buy a loose Japanese cartridge which you should be able to get for around £15, if you really want a boxed copy then you occasionally see a boxed Japanese version for around £30. It has to be noted that this game is available on the Nintendo virtual console for around the £7 mark so if you just want to play it and legally pay for it then that's your cheapest route. A pal cart on the few occasions I have seen them in various places have been around the £60 mark with boxed pal versions seldom coming up in listings and demanding pretty steep prices. I would think this one is only going to end up becoming rarer and rarer I wanted to pay less for my copy but I just finally figured I needed to jump on this before it became an even bigger more costly pain to get.

OK so earlier I said I was going to compare Final Fight 2 to the Streets of Rage series and so that's what I want to do here at the end. Now Streets of Rage the original one was sort of Sega's answer to the original Final Fight being on the SNES, Streets had much smaller less detailed sprites but it did have several things that Final Fight didn't 3 selectable characters and a two player mode being the main things. Streets of Rage might not have looked as good as Final Fight but you could play it with a friend which was a big deal. I would argue that Final Fight 2 actually knocks Streets of Rage out cold but I think it is a very different story if you compare Final Fight 2 to Streets of Rage 2. When you look at static screen shots Final Fight 2 has better graphics but Streets of Rage actually has more frames of animation, for example if you leave your character standing still you will see them breathing, yes its not something that's going to change the world but these kinds of touches do make Streets of Rage 2 look a lot better in action than it does in a photo. Add on to this the fact that although Final Fight 2 has a good soundtrack Streets of Rage 2 simply has one of the greatest 16bit soundtracks of all time, there are also 4 selectable characters in Streets of Rage 2 but the most important thing is how many moves there are in Streets of Rage 2. Final fight has 1 special move, your grapples and a basic strike/combo for each character compared to this Streets of Rage 2 has 2 special moves, grapples, a basic strike/combo, a charge move and a backwards attack for each of its characters. The thing that stops me giving Final Fight 2 more than 8.5 is because I think that although it was a great game and did deliver everything Final Fight was lacking in it didn't add enough to keep up with the best of the best in the world of beat em ups at that time.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:47 pm

Snes Review 127: Legend

OK so where do I start with this game well I guess with a little bit of basic information. Legend is a game developed by Arcade Zone and released for the Super NES in 1994 just before Christmas in Europe at least (was released a little over half a year earlier in America). It is a scrolling beat-em-up hack and slash sort of game with a Medieval European setting, its kind of the closest thing that you will get to Sega's Golden Axe games on the Super Nintendo. The game was created solely by the duo of Carlo Perconti and Lyes Belaidouni, the founders of the above mentioned Arcade zone. Arcade Zone didn't make many games before dying but the founders did go on to make another company and make games for the original PlayStation including a remake of Legend (this second companies name was Toka). Another weird thing to note about Legend is that a company called Pika has gotten the rights to it and is actually making brand new Super Nintendo cartridges of it and one of Arcade Zones other games Iron Commando (the later being an extremely rare Japan only release originally).

So I guess now what I want to do is talk about how Legend originally entered my life. There was a local kid who I kind of knew in passing enough to nod at and say hi to but didn't know properly mostly because he was about 2 years older than me and back in my school days older kids didn't typically hang around with anyone younger than them. Well he had a SNES and he was looking for someone to swap games with and a mutual friend told him I had quite a lot so it might be worth asking me. Well he turned up at my house with Legend and I was impressed with it so I made him an offer. I swapped him 2 Japanese Super Famicom games and my old cheap converter so he could play them, I remember one of them being Super Formation Soccer but have no idea what the other one was. The funny thing was that after this he just kept coming around to mine and we soon became best friends for a good four years he was probably my closest friend and we did a great deal of our gaming together, because of this I cant even play Legend or heck even see the cart without remembering him.

So I am now going to start talking about the game itself and I am going to do so by talking about the graphics. Legend has some great visuals and stands up very well compared to other SNES beat 'em ups. For a start most of the stages have really nice background landscapes which have a sort of watercolour feeling to them which really helps give the game world a real feeling. , The playable character(s) and the enemies are both well animated and are just generally very detailed sprites. The only fault I can really find is that there are certain parts where old backgrounds seem to be reused but I cant fault them too much for this, also this is less of a graphical issue but if your going to go to the trouble of making two player sprites that look different even if they control the same you should give the player the choice to pick which to use instead of just automatically making the sword guy player one and only using the axe based character for player two.

OK so moving on to the sound well I think that most of the music is better than average but its not the stuff of legends forgive the pun, it works but in my opinion it could be a lot better, I guess I was spoiled recently when I played Actraiser. On top of the music you have the obvious battle sounds, basically some metallic crashing/clashing noises and some death cries. Everything works don't get me wrong but as far as I am concerned things could be better.

OK so as for controls well you have an attack button, a jump button, a magic button a special move button (when you use it you throw something but you loose some health for doing so), and the triggers block, both of them block in exactly the same way. This sounds like a lot after all that's basically 5 buttons doing different things but in practise it doesn't seem like you can do as much as you'd think. The main thing the game is really missing in my opinion is a run button or heck even just a double tap run, this game just feels like it needs this adding to it. The game does overall control pretty well though, sometimes when you turn around while attacking it seems a little slow but its never really much of a problem.

The game is not very long, you will soon find yourself on the final stage. The combat is simple but the enemies are aggressive and at times it seems like a new one runs on every second you have killed one. The enemies will try to circle you and will block and if you back off they will chase you, different enemies have different attack strategies and the game has some pretty darn cool bosses. Every single enemy in this game drops a collectible, these include money , health, urns, and keys some add health some add magic but all of them disappear super fast which can make them very hard to pick up with aggressive enemies always being on you.

OK so I have talked about all of the pros and cons of Legend and I think I might have mentioned a certain Golden Axe franchise so I guess once again I am going to end up talking about a MegaDrive game while reviewing a SNES game. Now I have already mentioned that Legend only has 2 player sprites and that they are basically pallete swaps just diffrent colours really and an axe instead of a sword where as Golden Axe gave you 3 diffrent chracters who all both looked and felt very diffrent. The thing is Legend is a perfectly decent game, good even but its just not that memorable, once your done with it your done. With something like Golden Axe though its the little things its the memories like when you realise that youve spent a whole bunch of time fighting on the back of an eagle or when you ride your first dinosaur or the bit where the villagers run past you screaming. Legend shows a lot of promise but in my opinion it just falls short, its not a bad game at all in fact its a good game its just not an unforgetable classic. I would give it 7 out of 10. I spent £10 on a loose European Cartridge of it and to me this feels just about the right kind of price, if you have a SNES and are looking for something you havent played before then this is worth a shot.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:08 pm


I was always quiet a fan of Japanese stuff not only games but also anime, the very first Japanese animation shows I saw were thanks to my dad and at the time I didn't have a clue what anime even was. As a young kid I loved transformers and having basically watched everything there was transformer wise my dad started to try to find something else to occupy me, I remember he found this video rental place in one of the shopping centres not too far from us and they rented these cassettes called Force Five, eventually when the shop was starting to go out of business he brought me a whole bunch of them. Force Five was basically 5 different shows 4 of which were focused around the idea of giant robots, robots with cool sounding names like Grandizer, Guyking and the StarAvenger. This started a love in me of giant robots which did lead to me buying certain games because of it but often when it came to imports I was worried about them having text in which would stop me enjoying them. It wasn't like it is nowadays when you can just jump online and put the name of a game in to a search engine and look for the answer to questions such as ''Do I need to be able to read Japanese to play this?'' You also couldn't get a Japanese cartridge of ebay for a couple of pounds like you can now.

The risk of there being a language barrier issue was the reason why I never tried to get my hands on SD Gundam V Sakusen Shidou, I had heard of Gundam but I wasn't prepared to throw down a load of cash on the chance the game would be manageable but in the case of this game language its not really much of an issue at all. You see how big an issue language is depends on the type of game, in an RPG it is pretty crucial but in other genres like fighters, shooters and sports titles as long as your OK with missing some of the story or finer details and just enjoying the game play its not really much of an issue at all. So what kind of game is this? Well basically the game on first appearances is sort of a cross between something like R-type and Cybernator with cute chibi Gundam based graphics. According to my research the game was developed by TOSE who I have mentioned before (they are a company who have worked on quite a few games but basically remain in the shadows by choice) and published by Bandai (now apart of Bandai-Namco) and was released in Japan in 1992.

The first thing to point out is that a lot of how you feel about this game will come down to a couple of things one of which is how you feel about the whole chibi style itself. Do you like seeing cute pudgy little style characters? Do you mind your death dealing mech being a cute pudgy little mech whose eyes pop out when he is hit? If you don't like this then it will put a serious dampener on how you feel about this game. I need to talk about the games music. At times even though your out there dealing death the music on some levels can be so unbelievably upbeat and happy but then there are actually some quiet tense and menacing bits of music here and there. I have to admit I am a big fan of the music in this game, the tune in the third stage is absolutely great even if it does make me think more of a horror film than mechs. One issue though some of the music ends up being reused so you'll hear some pieces multiple times on your way towards finishing the game but its not to bad when you think how limited some other games are in this department.

OK so back to how you feel about this game depending on certain things well one of them is the fact that for a game that looks so childlike it is actually as tough as nails. If you see cute screenshots and think your in for a walk in the park then you will soon find that you were unbelievably wrong. I personally don't think it ruins the game but I can see why it would annoy some people, regular enemy mechs the cannon fodder so to speak can actually take a decent amount of shots from your starting weapon and are more than capable of hurting you, as for the bosses well they are initially hard but its all pattern based, if you've put down the robots in megaman or bosses in the castlevania games then you will soon notice that the enemies here have a similar sort of thing going on. One for example will stay away from you and fire a certain pattern of rockets before trying to then get in close with an energy sword, once your used to this its not too hard to manovour your way into the gaps in the pattern and start dealing some real damage to him. OK so on to the weapons you start off able to use your sword and shoot little round bullets that don't do a lot of damage but you gain the ability to use a laser gun which is a lot more powerful, a shield to block a sort of rocket cannon and an extend able mace weapon. The shield blocks which can be very helpful and the other weapons do higher damage than your starting weapons, they are all pretty fun to use and you select which one you need from a bar at the bottom of the screen. In all honesty I am not sure if its just time or your actions that fill the bar up but the weapons only seem to last for a bit so its a case of using them then waiting for the bar to build again, so do you want an early choice now like the laser or do you want to wait for the bar to build up more?

As for faults well I think the game controls well but the computer controlled robots seem to be just a little too quick for my liking its like they know where you are and give you very little chance to get away with out taking some damage from them. On top of this you could say that the game is a little repetitive basically offering the same kind of game play from start to finish and if your a skilled player it wont take you that long to finish it at all, you can play it with a friend which I think helps but if you finish it or turn it off will depend greatly on what you think about this kind of game and if you have any love for the source material and its style. I would give the game a 6 out of 10 but if you cant stand either the Chibi style or the challenge or you find it hard to deal with repetition then I would warn you to stay clear. This game only came out in Japan so if you want to try it then your going to have to have either a converter, a modified system or hardware from that region. On the plus side the game only cost me £3 although I did have to dig through a lot of Gundam listings as there were a whole bunch of Gundam games a lot of which I have been led to believe have a lot bigger language barrier so if you choose to do so then order with care.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:43 pm

SNES Review 129:

So The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie also known as Disney's Magical Quest 2 Starring Mickey and Minnie, and Mickey to Minnie Magical Adventure 2 is a Capcom developed Disney game for the Super Nintendo. Well as some of the above titles have clearly given away it is the sequel to another game I reviewed quite some time ago, I am obviously talking about Disney's Magical Quest. I owned the original Magical Quest as a kid but I have to be honest and admit that back then I didn't even know the game got a sequel, I never saw it, never played it and as far as I can remember I never even heard of it. When I did start hearing bits about it as an adult thanks to the internet I incorrectly assumed that it never got released over here.

The game is very much one of those well if you enjoyed the last game here is more of the same sequels, it doesn't really bring much of anything new to the table. The story is a simple one Mickey and Minnie arrive at the circus to find that something has happened, and everything has gone wrong and they set out to uncover the Great Circus Mystery. Its hardly a Shakespearian work of wonder but its not like it has to be if people brought this back in the day it would most likely have either been for the mouse or because they enjoyed the original.

The first thing I thought when starting this game up was that the graphics looked a bit like Magical Quest but I thought they were just a little bit more colourful and sharper, so I did what you might expect and popped the cart out and quickly looked at Magical Quest and yes I do think there is a slight improvement in this area. Playing it though it feels very similar, I am not complaining I loved the first one, and they have tried to keep it fresh to a degree because despite jumping and grabbing and throwing objects in the same way as well as keeping a suit power up based mechanic but to try and keep it fresh they have changed the suits. Each suit has an ability and they are the Sweeper suit which can suck up enemies. A ranger suit which helps you to climb walls. Then there is a Cowboy/Cowgirl costume which lets you ride a horse. The neat thing about the costumes is that although they provide the same power up for both Minnie and Mickey they look different on them, this is both a neat touch and stops you from getting confused when playing this game in two player. Yep that's right I said Two player, this is the main thing this game brings to the table over its predecessor and its a pretty darn good thing to.

I find the music in the game pretty darn enjoyable, there are not only different tunes for different levels but there's that thing where the music gets tense when your fighting a boss and the sound effects although at times a little plinky plonky suit the game and what's happening perfectly well.

OK so the most important thing the gameplay, well I think it controls well and is reasonably fresh at least for a me too sequel. I think overall the game controls well and is for the most part rather easy however I did notice that sometimes the enemies bosses in particular can get a little cheap towards the end of the game, in fact the difficulty does seem to spike at certain points but that's sort of a spike from super easy to more normal so unless its a kid playing or someone who doesn't usually play this kind of thing it should provide too much of a problem.

OK so I guess now its time for me to give this game a score, If you remember I scored the original 7.5 out of 10, well I think despite having gained a two player mode and a slight increase in graphics this game actually just feels a tiny bit worse, its strange all the bits are there and it should be better but it just doesn't quiet click together so I am going to give this game a 6.5 out of 10. If your interested in this game but haven't played the first one then go for that first it will be much cheaper and if your anything like me your likely to enjoy it more. If you need this game then loose pal carts seem to go online from £20 and up, if you can play imports then a Japanese cart will cost you around £10 which is much closer to what I personally would want to pay for this game.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by Cruizer » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:14 am

I enjoy these reviews, so nice to read through the back-log Kerr :D

I played the first Magical Quest to death and like you didn't realise there was a sequel until much later. It was a nice surprise discovering there was a more-of-the-same sequel to a game I really loved.

Did you ever play the Mickey Castle of Illusion remake / remaster? If you enjoyed these games I think you would really like it?
"soylent green is people"

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:25 pm

So the game I am going to talk about now was released in the Pal region as Mystic Quest Legend, in America as Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, and in Japan as Final Fantasy USA: Mystic Quest. Thinking how big Final Fantasy is as a franchise it seems kind of crazy now that for its release over here it basically had the Final Fantasy name ripped from it but you need to realise that the name didn't carry the kind of weight then that it does now.

Having heard the name Final Fantasy then you'll be thinking that this is a role-playing video game and well you would be right.The game is basically a spin-off to Square's popular Final Fantasy series that they designed and marketed as a simplified role-playing game with entry-level RPG players in mind.The whole basic idea behind the game was to get new people in to the genre, people who might previously have not paid much attention to RPG's previously. This kind of effects a lot of peoples opinions on this game. You can see why it was made, the sales of the last proper final fantasy in America before it really tanked despite it being an excellent game. So this game was made as something to try and court interest in the genre a kind of jumping in point for newbies and I would argue that when used in this way the game is at its best, the problem is when you go from playing an in depth RPG down to playing this, it comes of as incredibly simplistic in relation to almost any other RPG you could think to name.

You see while the game's battle system is basically similar to that of a Final Fantasy game from that sort of period its kind of a little simplified with more action adventure game elements weaved into it. You dont really get a team like in other games instead you have your central character who you level up but you meet people who kind of fight alongside you and then clear off to be replaced by other latter companions. This simplifies things by meaning you only have to concentrate on your one main guy, heck the game itselfs controls your part time companions for you by default. Also when you move around on the overworld its fixed its less like moving around in most RPG games and more like moving Mario from level to level on the map screen in Super Mario Land. There are also no random battles, and no choosing who you need to take with you or making sure people level up evenly as companions kind of just drop in and out and your not responsible for managing there equipment or well anything.

The story by RPG standards is pretty darn basic there are no crazy big plot twists or things that will make you stop and think about whether what your doing is right or wrong or if your really a hero or not. Quiet simply you are a young guy called Benjamin on a quest to save the world. You do this by retrieving stolen crystals that control the world's four elemental powers and hold everything in balance.

One of the issues when a lot of people review this game is they just see it as a sort of Fischer Price Babies First RPG and tar it as nothing more than a cut down bedfordshire clanger of the Final Fantasy franchise and yes in some ways if your heavily into your RPG's what is on offer here can seem pretty darn simple. I would seriously argue though that its not a bad game and that if you look at it as its own thing and judge it based of that and not its various brothers then its a pretty decent game.

Now the game is pretty darn easy and that's a complaint that's been levelled against it a lot, its also short by RPG standards its about 10 hours long but hey when theres things like work to worry about sometimes its nice to have an RPG you can finish without having to dedicate your life to it. I need to say that I really do love the music in this game it just well its in many places just beautiful and has a sort of calming nature to it. The graphics are passable and work well but they are pretty no thrills graphics to be totally honest.

In conclusion well I think the game is a decent if overly simple game, its a hard one to score as it depends what your after and what kind of RPG experience you have.. If this was your first entry into the genre id give it a 7 out of 10 and say go grab it as I think it serves the purpose of easing you into this kind of game very well, If your a pro RPG gamer though then I would have to lower the score to a 6 and say that maybe this game is a little short, repetitive and over simplified to score any better. I do think though that this game gets a lot of unfair negative backlash, maybe some of this is simply because none Japanese gamers have disliked the idea that we were not buying previous RPG's simply because we were too green and in need of having our hands held to truly get there greatness? I paid £10 for my cartridge only pal copy of this game and if you really feel that you need it well I wouldn't pay over £20 for it as I don't think it will hold your attention long enough to warrant the money after all its short and not particularly replayable in my opinion.

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by danbish » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:45 pm

Some nice stuff there Kerr!

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:25 pm

SNES Review 131: Teenage Mutant Hero/Ninja Turtles 4: Turtles in Time

The Teenage Mutant Ninja or for us in the UK Hero Turtles was one of those huge things you just couldn't escape when I was younger. I remember one Christmas they were the in thing to have, to the degree that people were fighting over the figures and some stores were even putting limitations on how many you could buy. I remember my mum bless her took my older brother and cued for hours just to get 4 Turtles related Figures for me for Christmas, she couldn't even get the Turtles and ended up importing American Turtle figures which was actually awesome as they ended up being a little different to my friends figures mostly the fact they had more menacing eyes I guess it was because they were Ninja not heroes. The theme tune to the show was burned into all of our young brains and we would frequently scream out phrases like Turtle Power or Cowabunga, heck I remember doing a dance and singing to Turtle power with 4 friends in a school assembly, I had half a barrel on my back as a shell and was Raphael because he was and still is my favourite. So I think you can see how much the Turtles meant to me, I had played the heck out of the original arcade game, I had the Sinclair Spectrum conversion of that on my shelf so when I found out that there was going to be a SNES game well I was super super excited. OK so I think that's given it away my review today is Turtles in Time. Its one of those games that when I started my attempt to review 150 games I didn't think I would ever review, sure I owned it as a kid and played the living heck out of it but I had swore I wouldn't review anything that I couldn't play on real hardware with a real cartridge I own (I have considered getting an Everdrive for my SNES and using this to review things I don't own but so late in the game that feels kind of like cheating). I had seen this online many times but it was commanding such a high price I couldn't justify grabbing it, It wasn't till a local store got a copy and I managed to talk them down from £40 to £30 that I got my hands on it again. So here we go lets see if I like it as much as I used to back in the day.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV Turtles in Time also known as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: IV Turtles in Time (in Europe) was originally an arcade game produced by Konami and in fact was a sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) arcade game, and before coming to the SNES and it didn't have a number attached to it. The reason behind the number 4 is because there was a turtles game for the NES which was then followed up by a NES adaption of the Original Turtles arcade machine which went on to be called Teenage Mutant/Ninja Turtles 2 the Arcade game which was followed by another turtles game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was also a side-scrolling beat-'em-up made by Konami (only released in Japan and America though) The third turtles game features play mechanics similar to the previous game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, but it was an original title for the NES not an Arcade port. So for Nintendo gamers at least Turtles in Time was the 4th game, I guess in Europe they could have called it Turtles 3 but maybe they just figured lets not screw around with the title too much or it will only get confusing.

OK so the games story is that Shredder and Krang have stolen the Statue of Liberty, and just to make sure the Turtles are really interested they have also taken there friend April O'Neal hostage, they have done this to basically bait the Turtles so they can draw them out and try to kill them. So your probably wondering where the in time bit of the title comes from? Well that's because (Spoiler follows) when you catch up with him Shredder sends you through a time warp. This is part of what I think really makes this game ace, the time periods which the turtles end up in are really different, there creative and I think they really help to keep things interesting. Yeah its not the biggest most spectacular plot in the world but its one which fits in well with the characters and makes you feel like your in the world of the show. This is really helped by the fact that the graphics in this game are bright and that everyone looks just like they do in the cartoon. You get to pick which Turtle you are so you can take the game on as your favourite or you can take it in turns to complete it as one turtle and then the next, on top of this there are all the villain characters a fan of the show could hope for, not only are Krang and Shredder present you will also see Beebop and Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Metalhead, the Rat King, Leatherhead, and Tokka and Rahzar. This made the young me very happy and you know what it also makes me geek out now when I play it, if there is anyone I could add to the game (as a playable character) it would be Casey Jones as I always thought he was great, but in honesty I cant moan about who is featured at all the game has the perfect cast of characters.

I really like the graphics in this game its not just that they are bright, or that things are correct to the cartoon, its just everything about the games graphics, the backgrounds, the attention to details. Not only are the Turtles done perfectly you also have the awesome option to make the characters look more like they did in the comic books, this is something that they really didn't have to put into the game but they did and its just such a neat little touch for the die hard Turtle fans. Like I have mentioned above the game is just so filled with characters but they are all also brilliant to look at, its great to see the Turtle's expressions when they get, hit or shocked, or flattened, or fall down a hole, etc. I don't believe that graphics make a game but by heck do they help make a good game even better.

This game is not just a pretty looker though it also has some darn good toe tapping tunes which really help go with the tempo and feel of the on screen action and yes they do throw the animated 80's cartoon theme song in there as well. Play the game for awhile and you'll soon find yourself humming bits of tunes in your day to day life which I always take as the sign of a good soundtrack, the fact that it stays with you after your done playing. The boss music is great it has that brilliant frantic feeling to it but well its a shame it gets reused so much, I would have liked to see individual end of level bosses actually have there own themes but this is the smallest of nit picks after all you know if I am mentioning things like this its because I don't have any really deep criticisms to make. The sound effects are good as well you have the usually noises you get when your hitting an enemy or they are hitting you, noises that reflect the fact you have picked up a power up, yelps of pain and I love the Cowabunga the turtles shout when you finish a level.

OK so now its on to the most important part of a game the Gameplay, and I am happy to say that I think the game plays amazingly. The controls are simple but this means that anyone can pick it up and get right into the game withing minutes and the Turtles do exactly what you want how you want and when you want. The main thing is that this game is just darn fun, its full of character handles well and really draws you into its world.The levels are pretty much medium in length but this is a good thing they feel reasonably long but they never out stay there welcome. So you start the game up watch a quick but cool intro and pick your Turtle. You then do what you do in most beat em ups walking from left to right beating the heck out of who ever crosses your path, most of the standard grunts in this are the Foot clans Foot Soldiers who you will recognise from the show, different coloured members have different weapons and attack patterns but these are the games go to grunts with a sprinkling of robots mousers and things thrown in. The levels have various traps for you to avoid but generally its a case of getting attacked by wave after wave of enemies, one of the neat things is that you can get your enemies to walk into swinging traps and laser beams. After a bit you'll reach a boss, beat the boss and you'll move on to the next level. in some causes its not just a boss its two bosses who you fight together for example Beebop and Rocksteady, the more you play it the more you will get there patterns down and the quicker you'll be able to beat them. Sure it might not be anything to far removed from most of the scrolling beat em ups from the 16bit generation but its one which Konami clearly did with a lot of love and polish and I think that it stands up as one of the best, in fact I would argue the only way to beat this game would be to turn off your SNES plug in a megadrive and put on some Streets of Rage 2.

Part of me just wants to give this game a 10 out of 10, I think its a lot of fun to play, I think it has great replay value and I can very warmly say that I feel super happy to have it back in my collection. I do admit that I have certain biases one of which being that I love this kind of game, I am a huge mark when it comes to side scrolling walk along beat em ups, I am also a massive Turtle fan, so its almost as if this game is made for me. Put simply I am going to give it a 10 out of 10 with the understanding that I have laid out all of my biases and that if your not into the Turtles or into this kind of game then it wont tick all the same boxes for you, but even so I think it is one of the very finest examples of its genre. Now if you want to buy it well as I said my copy cost me £30, its one of the unfortunate parts of being a retro gamer some of the old classics now cost you an arm and a leg, there are copies of this from all regions going for all sorts of prices online so if you see a copy of this for around the £30 price point then dive on it as your sure to see lots of people trying to get figures like £85 even for a loose cart and with it being a license its not likely to end up on compilations or anything like that any time soon. Of course there are other ways it could be sampled but I think we all know what they are by now. OK I have a desire to go get some Pizza so.....Cowabunga!

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Re: 150 Snes Games at the speed I can handle

Post by kerr9000 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:23 pm

SNES Review 132: Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge

So here I am looking at a cartridge for the SNES, Two things instantly jump out at me, one is the picture showing Spider Man and the X-men the other is the LJN logo. Now LJN always gets a bit of a eton mess kicking from video game reviewers but the truth is it was only published by LJN it was in face made by a company called Software Creations. Software Creations was a video game developer based in Manchester, England they started out in 1987 and they did a fair bit of work based on various licensees but they were also responsible for a few fairly popular original games namely Plok, Solstice and its sequel Equinox. (Plok and Equinox I will most likely return to at a latter date).

So its not like Spider-Man hasn't stared in a whole bunch of games but back when this came out Spider man and the X-men together certainly sounded like a recipe for success. You start the game as Spider-Man and in this first level you have to find and disarm bomb after bomb finding them with help of the onscreen prompts which are basically a visual representation of Spider-Man's spider sense. It needs to be said that these are pretty weird bombs as you have to disarm them in a set order, you might be able to see one right in front of you but if its not flashing you cant do anything to it, and it wont flash until you have collected the one the game wants you to get next. Enemies will attack you and in honesty the jumping feels a lot clumsier than it should all in all this level really feels like a huge chore and seeing as this is the level you will probably find yourself playing the most as you'll need to complete it every time you restart the game you are soon going to learn to hate it. This is a game which I feel really benefits from being played on an emulator with save states and such instead of on the original hardware, I guess this shows that the game really needed a save or password system. You really don't realise how much having to repeatedly play a weak, unfun and frustrating part of a game can sour your experience of the whole thing.

I suppose now I should take a break to look at the games Graphics and Sound. Considering at that time this came out id basically call the graphics passable. Some of the sprites are far to small for my liking, looking at little wolverine he looks like a toy, you can instantly tell who people are and get that comic book thrill don't get me wrong but when I compare it to something like Spider-Man on the Megadrive or the latter Maximum Carnage the graphics here just feel very lacking in general. The music and sound effects are well functional. Some of the stuff on offer is alright you have all the sort of sounds you'd expect but then you also have a lot of annoying rubbish as well the best example that comes to mind is the laughing shouting clown noises in the Wolverine stages there like the video game equivalent of nails on a chalk board. That's all I really have to say here, you need to come to this game for the substance if at all because in my opinion at least the style is seriously lacking.

OK so back to the game itself, once you get past the opening level you get the choice of who you want to play as next, with each character having there own levels to complete. As Spider-Man you will find yourself in levels based on the New York City rooftops. The first Spider-Man stage features N'astirh and Shocker as bosses, with Rhino and Carnage being the ones in the second stage. Storm's levels find her in underwater mazes with a limited air supply, for people who know the character this is great as basically she suffers from claustrophobia so this is essentially seeing her in her worst nightmare.Wolverine's finds himself being in a sort of fun house world and see him coming up against Apocalypse. One of his levels also sees him being chased by the Juggernaut. Gambit's levels see him being in a cave being chased by a giant spiked ball. Both of Cyclops' levels are set underground on the island of Genosha in the Sentinel mines, if you manage to complete these you will eventually find yourself facing off against Master Mold. To put it simply you get to be a bunch of different characters in a bunch of different environments which is a definite plus point for the game.The thing is if you have just read those names and gotten excited then this will actually help you appreciate the game a little bit more, you see the license is well used with lots of characters appearing and being clearly recognisable and if your a big Marvel fan your love for these characters and there stories might actually pull you through a lot of the frustrating moments that in a unlicensed game might have seen you put the joypad down very quickly.

I guess there is the silver lining that once you have done the first Spider-Man level you get to choose who you are next and therefore what your second and third level will be etcetera. The truth is though that this game is hard, confusing and fiddly. It soon feels like not only will you need a lot of skill to beat the levels you will also need a lot of luck and the patience of a saint.

I purchased this game as I remember having it as a kid, I remember my opinion on it being a rather mixed one back in the day, I did think though that it would be neat to own it again and maybe as an adult I might find it easier to handle or appreciate certain elements of it more than I used to but this has not been the case at all. I think if anything I feel more blah about it now than I ever have and that's why I score it a 4 out of 10. I spent £9 on a boxed American copy and I seriously feel like I got cheated if you want to give this game a try go for a loose cart and even if your the biggest spidey fan in the world don't go over £5 for it, its pretty much worth nothing as anything more than a minor curiosity.

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