Friday, November 26, 2010

Mega Man 2 (1989)

Mega Man 2
Hey guys! Long time no see haha. I am still alive (though Chem did basically kill me). I haven't done this in awhile so I apologize if I'm a little rusty. I figured that if I'm going to get back into this, I'll have to start back up with something major. After asking around, the general consensus has been Mega Man 2. I have to say, this game really surprised me. Lately I've been playing a lot of Wii games (Super Smash Bros Brawl - Luigi all the way!) and it's been around 2 months since last playing a game older than me, so I knew I was going to be a little bit rusty. When given the option between Normal and Difficult, I instantly chose normal for the sake of my sanity and found myself enjoy it with minimal screaming and hair-pulling.

Quickman's level was the death
of me many a time

Game Commentary: I was immediately surprised when the story was told to me in the opening scene. I'm not sure if this is one of the first games to do so, but it was nice not having to search for a manual to understand what I was shooting at. Basically, Dr. Wily is at it again and created eight robots to try and defeat you. Mega Man's job is to clear the eight levels, each having characteristics similar to the cyborg boss at the end. Mega Man then gains a power of the robot he defeats. They were really fun to mess around with, and I liked how some powers were weaknesses to other bosses. You also get upgrades from Dr. Light, but I actually didn't understand what they did until one of my roommates (who has played Mega Man before) let me know they were moving platforms.

The platforming in this game was very well done. It wasn't anything too hard and when the shooting and powers were mixed in, I found myself having a blast. I noticed pretty quickly that there is no real consequence for dying. For some reason, I chose Quickman's stage first and thought the rest of the game would be that difficult. As I was accumulating the powers, I actually felt that Mega Man was growing stronger. By the time I finished the last stage, it seemed like it was almost too easy.

I have to admit though that I could not actually finish the game. I got to the path to Dr. Wily, but there was one screen where the platforming part just destroyed me. I literally sat there trying to beat it for over an hour and could not pass it. I opted to start typing rather than break anything in frustration.

What I Loved: I really, really enjoyed this game. It was a very nice combination of platforming and run-and-gunning. Each of the levels and boss fights were really unique, which kept it interesting and fought off the repetitive feeling. I also personally love the feeling of starting off relatively weak and feeling my character get stronger as the game progresses.

What I Hated:
I hated those egg dropping birds. I just want to climb huge ladder and I get assaulted by hundreds of little birds. Oh yeah, and Quickman's stage. That was ridiculous. I also didn't like how I couldn't complete the game. I know that isn't the games fault, but you can count on me revisiting this game to finish it eventually.

My General Impression: This game was very entertaining. The gameplay was really fun, the platforming was nice, the action was nice, the boss battles were nice... But that is just it. To me, this game was really fun, but it wasn't spectacular. Don't take that as me disliking it at all. Overall, I really liked Mega Man 2. It isn't the absolute best game I had played so far, but it is definitely up there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ninja Gaiden (1988)

Ninja Gaiden
The last couple days have been pretty crazy and the next week looks to be getting crazier. I'm officially moving into my dorm room and starting freshman year at UC San Diego tomorrow! Among the crazines, I found time to play Ninja Gaiden, a personal request from a friend (and a whole lot of you viewers). I have heard of this game and seen people play the newer versions on the Playstation consoles, but I have never actually played a game from the franchise. From what I saw and what people have been telling me, I was getting ready for a game that could rival Battletoads in difficulty.

Game Commentary: As the I started playing the game, I noticed a lot of similarities to Castlevania, except the platforming was much smoother and I found myself enjoying it much more. I found that I was expecting something much more difficult than what I was playing, but I think the developers made it easier on purpose so that the player could experience the (surprisingly entertaining) storyline. This is the reason I think that modern games use to justify being so much easier than these NES games. The “current gen” games focus so much on storyline that it would be awful for business if most of their players couldn't experience it because it was too difficult for them.
A Ninja Star Boomerang - One of the many secondary weapons

Now that doesn't mean this game isn't difficult. Anyone that has played this will tell you that 6-2 is completely ridiculous. Similar to Castlevania, the first Act was relatively easy only to get exponentially harder each Act. Around the 3rd Act, the game introduces these swooping birds that simply destroyed me (if you've played this game, you know exactly what I'm talking about).

There were several times during the game where the plot threw me for a loop, especially during the last couple minutes of the game. There were so many twists in the plot that I felt like I was watching the end of a movie. Overall, an awesome ending to a really enjoyable game.

Apparently Ninjas can throw fireballs out of their hand

What I Loved: The fighting in this game was awesome. I loved running around slicing up baddies. The platforming was very fun and challenging (I would often find myself tense up when finishing some crazy sequences). The types of enemies varied enough that you had to start incorporating whatever secondary weapon you have to make it past some parts. The bosses were awesome and all made me think of some very unique and inventive ways to kill them.

What I Hated:
Those swooping birds *shudder*. They are worse than the Medusas and Hunchbacks combined. Also it would get frustrating sometimes when you would unintentionally grab the sides of walls.
The man with the sword is the least of your problems

My General Impression: I loved this game. It is my favorite NES game I have played so far. The action was awesome, the story was engaging and has a couple twists at the end, the platforming was challenging yet fun, and the dialog was so cheesy I found myself laughing out loud several times. There secondary weapons were really fun to mess around with (the fire was the best in my opinion) and worked really well with the sword. Overall, Ninja Gaiden is one of the best games I've played in a long time

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Castlevania (1986)

With Halo: Reach just recently being released, one of my friends just called me crazy for wanting to play "some old game" when I could be playing one of the best games ever. I then went on to tell him that these older games, though they can be challenging and extremely frustrating some a lot of the time, also are a lot of fun. He called me crazy again and went back to Halo, but I know I'll be able to convince him one of these days.

So this "some old game" that you guys voted for me to play is Castlevania for the NES. I had heard a lot about Castlevania games before playing, but I have never actually played any of them. Before actually starting, I knew that your weapon of choice is a... whip. Why would anyone choose a whip? Anyways, you're using your whip to fight your way through levels of monsters until you get to the Count. After reading the manual, I was actually pretty excited to face all the classic horror monsters like Frankenstein and Medusa. I honestly was not expecting to get much further than Frankenstein based on the average difficulty of these games, yet strangely I didn't care ( probably because I just looked at Battletoads and I knew games could only get nicer to me from there).

I didn't even notice this was the first boss until I beat him

Game Commentary: At the beginning of the game, I must admit that I was a little surprised. The whip mechanics were really fun to play with, and the beginning of the game was easy enough for you to get the feel of the controls before doing anything seriously challenging. After I had beating the Phantom Bat, I was already loving this game.

But what seems to be a trend already, what I found myself thinking quickly turned on me and I found myself yelling in rage. This time it was not the enemies, not the unfairness of the game, but the jumping mechanics. It sort of baffles me that a game that focuses on platforming as much as Castlevania does, can have such awful jumping mechanics. It is designed so that you often have to jump at the last second to make it to the next platform, and when you make it you have a high chance of just geting knocked right off by incoming enemies (screw you floating Medusas!) I found myself falling down holes well over 50 times solely on the tunnel (10th stage).
Here I am just before being knocked to my death by a
floating Medusa head

On a tangent, this dying thing does bring up something that I really, really enjoyed in this game; when you die, there is an option to Continue. I was expecting to have to start the whole game over, but I was delightfully surprised when I found out that you only start the level over. You also never run out of continues, so it helps facilitate game progression and not make you memorize levels (that is, until later in the game). This is new to my gaming experience on the NES, and I certainly welcomed it.

So as I was going through this game, I was noticing that getting to the bosses became extremely difficult to do without losing most of my health (leaving me out of luck for the actual boss fights). I kept thinking to myself, these mummies are ridiculous, they can't make it a whole lot harder than these guys. Then I end up having to deal with Frankenstein and Igor and a controller was almost thrown. By the time I had gotten to the Grim Reaper, I couldn't bring myself to try and beat him.

I'm pretty sure this constitutes rape :(
What I Loved: I really enjoyed this game. I loved the setting, the story, the music, the atmosphere, the vast array of bad guys... all of it. I especially enjoyed the fighting mechanics, more specifically the incorporation of several "alternative weapons" and how that played into my strategies. There were only a couple that I felt were complete wastes of hearts. I would frequently find myself picking up different weapons solely to find out how to maximize their bad-guy-slaying abilities. The "Continue at the beginning of the level" part was very, very nice to have and is the only reason I made it anywhere near the Grim Reaper in the first place. The large variety of enemies was very nice as well, but the Medusas simply needed to be removed from the game.
These hunchbacks were almost as bad as the Medusas

What I Hated: The jumping mechanics of this game were terrible. When you find yourself on a moving platform, hope that you won't have to jump for some reason (ex. a bat flying at you like the beginning of stage 10) or else you'll end up in the holes. Also, I just hated the Medusa's with a passion. These floating heads were nearly impossible for me to hit, yet they always managed to hit me off the edge.

General Impression: This game was really entertaining. Though it had it's problems, and certainly ended up filling the requirements of "Nintendo Hard," it was a very enjoyable game to play. The best part I would say is the combat. I can see why the guys at Konami chose Castlevania as their main game series. With a nice combination of whipping monsters and using a wide variety of other weapons, it is something that would have definitely been on of my favorite childhood games had I been born 10 years earlier.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Battletoads (1991)

So the polls are closed and you guys voted for me to try Battletoads for the NES. I had heard of Battletoads before starting this, especially how the difficulty made kids throw controllers and yell at the TV in rage. It was released in June of 1991, and I was born in December, so it barely manages to be older than me. Now before I start, I would like to say thank you guys for all your feedback and support, but seriously why would you want me to go through this kind of torture? I thought Contra was hard, and now I spend around 10 hours on this game and only managed to get half way through before finally giving up. And then I see this runthrough and I just want to cry.

While reading the manual, I was glad to find that the developers had a good sense of humor, naming their characters Zitz, Pimple and Rash. I'm not sure how provocative the games usually were when I was born, but I have a feeling the Dark Queen was a little risque for her time. So the Dark Queen has kidnapped Pimple and his girl-toad, and it's up to Rash and Zitz to save them.
These things were annoying, but not impossible

 Game Commentary: After the first level, I thought that people must have been over-exaggerating the difficulty of this game; I didn't die once and had a fairly easy time blowing through the enemies. The "Wookie Tunnel" wasn't anything overly difficult either, so I was beginning to have my doubts. And then all my doubts were shoved back in my face, I was thrown to the ground, and then repeatedly kicked while I was down (figuratively speaking). The "Turbo Tunnel" was extremely difficult for me; if I hadn't found the warp in the first level, I would have given up there. Because I could warp there from the beginning of the game, I spent the next two hours just trying to get past this tunnel. I never actually fully beat the level, and instead accidentally ran into the warp and couldn't believe it. I jumped up and down yelling and cheering with such enthusiasm that my family came to check on me (they thought that I had won a lot of money or something like that). I honestly couldn't remember a time when I had been so happy that I had cleared a level. Clearing the first level on Contra was gratifying, but did not come close to how I felt at this time.
I never stopped to wonder why there was a Kangaroo riding a
rocket, trying to drop blocks on a toad riding a hoverbike

The next level was slightly easier for me, only because the 1UPs allowed me to not have to start the game over again. The mini-boss at the end seemed way to easy after the torture I had just been put through, but nevertheless I was on to the Snake Pit. This is where I started raging uncontrollably and literally almost broke something. I do not understand why the developers thought the 2nd and particularly the 3rd part of the Snake Pit would be a good idea, unless their goal was to make people hate them with a passion. Those of you who have played this, you know what how I felt when I over-jumped the Exit and landed on the spikes... When I finally ran out of continues the 3rd time through, I couldn't convince myself to go any further. And thus ended my futile attempt at beating the infamous Battletoads.
So close, yet so far away!

What I Loved: This game was really fun if you weren't concerned with dying, having to start over or generally progressing through the game. The fighting mechanics were very nice and the animations were very funny (who doesn't want to see a toad slam a kangaroo into the ground and kick it repeatedly in the face?). The humor in the game was entertaining when I wasn't too busy yelling at the game or the controls. It was also nice how each stage presented something unique and interesting (yet ridiculously hard) about it, be it climbing and jumping on snakes to "surfing" your way around whirlpools.

What I Hated: How unnecessarily difficult this game is. I played half way through the game and already was ready to break some controllers, and it only gets harder from there. It would have helped tremendously if there had been a save system that allowed you to not have to start the whole game over, but I have heard that saving systems were never heard of in NES games.

My General Impression: Now many of you have read my Contra post and know that I have gained an appreciation for harder games, but this was a little lot over the top for me. The gameplay was really enjoyable and the humor was subtle but still funny, but the hatred I had for the developers when I stopped playing was too great for me to continue to appreciate these parts of the game. Many of the later parts rely on memorization (and luck), but when you have to play through the whole game to practice these later levels, it becomes extremely frustrating.

I genuinely enjoyed this game and would recommend people play it, but I would definitely warn them to not take it too seriously and not to expect to beat it or else controllers will be thrown and things will be broken.

**Edit: This game has some of the coolest pause music I've ever heard **

Saturday, September 11, 2010

River Raid (1982)

River Raid
So I decided that today would be my first non-NES title, and the one that was the most requested was River Raid for the Atari 2600. So as I was looking to find the backstory, I finally found out (from reading the manual) that there is none; you are simply flying down the "River of No Return" trying to score as many points as you can. So as I started it up, I noticed a very large difference between this and the NES games I had been playing. So as I began, I immediately got the sense that I was playing a retro arcade game rather than one on a console. I could see certain elements of the game that have been taken and built upon in more modern games, especially games for the NES and XBLA/PSN. I would like to state before I start that I generally do not like arcade games, so that will have a pretty big effect on my impressions of this game.

What I Loved: There wasn't anything specific I loved about this game. I did like how the smoothly the difficulty changes as you progress through the river.
Everything you blow up gives you points

What I Hated: I just didn't like this game. I found it very repetitive and frankly, quite boring. There's no storyline or reason you're shooting you're way down a river, which is something that really bugs me when it comes to video games. I understand that the Atari hardware limits the amount of content you can put into the game, but because I grew up playing games that all had very interesting storylines, I want my games to have some form of a story. Another thing that annoyed me is that there is no end point; you simply keep flying and shooting until you run out of lives. This is because I enjoy being able to beat games, not having to beat myself. I simply lacked any sort of motivation to continue playing the game after my 3rd time through.
Flying over the fuel station refills your fuel

Overall Impression: It just couldn't hold my attention for more than 10 minutes. I can see how it inspired modern side scrollers, but appreciation could only take me so far. I found myself bored with the game after 10 minutes and wanting to go back to playing Contra. A large part of my dislike for this game is that I really did not appreciate it having no story or a reason for killing things. I'm fairly certain that my need for a story is a product of growing up on the Nintendo 64, where all of the games had a story of some sort. When I play games that lack any villain or goal to reach, it takes away the motivation for getting to the end. When I found out that there is no end, I lost all desire to play. There would be no self-gratification for beating a game if there is no ending. I can understand how it could have been very popular back then when there weren't many alternatives to play, but with the extent of games we have to choose from now, I just couldn't stop myself from playing Metroid instead.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Oh 80's with your shirtless actions starts
I wasn't able to post yesterday because I was stuck playing Contra attempting to get past the 2nd level. Not really, but seriously it took me forever to beat my way to level 5 (I finally resorted to the Konami Code) and I have been messing around seeing what other stuff I could do with this site. What would you think about in-game music that I would record? Not sure if I would put it on auto-play for the sake of all you people pretending to work right now.

Anyways, back to the hardest game I have yet to play (and I only got half way through!). The story seems simple yet completely ridiculous at the same time. Some mysterious asteroid hits Earth and everyone decides it's nothing, then all of a sudden aliens start swarming out. What does the US decide to do? Send one guy (two if you play co-op) in to take care of it. But don't worry, this guy can shoot while he flips around the screen. Even the manual continually tells you that you can't possibly beat it... Now compare this to any modern game and tell me if you have played anything even remotely this difficult recently. You know why? Because today's generation of gamers don't like to die in our games. We don't like the difficult games that make us practice levels again and again until we finally get it right, just to go die at the next level and have to start all over. Many older gamers will hate on this fact, but it's a simple difference of taste in games (probably based on the games we grew up on. N64 games were way easier, meaning I prefer easier games?)
Because apparently flipping makes you jump better
So as I started the game, I immediately knew that this was going to be one of the most frustrating games I'll ever play. I had heard of the difficulty before, but I was a little skeptical until I was already restarting the game after 5 minutes. This usually would have just made me angry and quit the game, but I was determined to get past the first level. The upgrading system was nice, except for R. I have no idea what R does (help me in the comments please!). And after retrying for about an hour, I finally was able to beat the first level and I felt this odd feeling. It was a sense of accomplishment that washed over me and, to my surprise, made me keep playing this game that I kept dying in (Konami Code used around then-ish). I do not know why, but this urge to keep playing kept me going through the end of level 4 with the same gratifying sense of accomplishment coming at the end of each level.
I'm pretty sure I died more in 3 hours with this game than I have
all year in other single player games

What I Loved: In case you couldn't tell, I loved the game after that first level. Once I finally was able to beat it, I just couldn't stop playing it. The game became more fun and dying simply stopped making me mad; I was more focused on learning from how I died, rather than the fact that I had died. I don't remember ever feeling like this towards a game, but then again, I have never played a game where I died so much.

What I Hated: The first level. It's like jumping into a freezing cold pool. It sucks, but once you're numb, it's not as bad. Also I disliked the laser upgrade, but that was just random. And that's about it. After you get used to the difficulty, this game is really enjoyable.

They send one guy after all of this? Good idea!
 My General Impression: This game was ridiculously hard, by far the hardest game I have ever played. But it also is the most enjoyable game I have played in a long time. Sure, it's annoying to die a lot, but it only makes victory that much sweeter. This is something that we gamers of this generation are missing out on, especially since game developers are most likely too afraid of backlash from fans to make anything with this sort of game difficulty. After playing this game, I have to say that I feel everyone must experience this to truly call themselves a gamer. Awesome

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blaster Master

Blaster Master - NES
So I've been getting quite a few requests to check out Blaster Master for the NES. Again, not one I had heard of, but I found it relatively easy. First off, let me say that the story to this is so ridiculous that I find it hilarious. You are this guy named Jason, and your pet frog Fred decides he's going to jump away to freedom, but little did anyone know that he jumped right onto a radioactive chest that made Fred grow and then fell into the Earth. Being the upstanding pet-owner that you are, you end up going after him. Jason, of course, finds himself in a space-suit of sorts with a gun and in a tank. Yeah, those 80's games sure were allowed a lot of slack when it comes to storylines, but then again I'm noticing that the whole generation of gamers weren't as focused on the storyline as the newer generation. I think it's just because the game developers back then were more worried about making an entertaining game with awesome levels and bosses rather than focusing on the writing in the manuals.

Platforming with a Tank never seemed so easy
So, as the game starts up, I find myself playing a side-scrolling adventure in a tank that felt very similar to several flash games I had played on the internet. Then I find out the tank jumps and some platforming elements (similar to Metroid) is included. Occasionally, I was forced to get out of the tank to go into these stone doors, and that is where the biggest change occurs; I was suddenly playing a top-down shooter that adds a dungeon crawler feel, which is a totally odd combination with the other gameplay. At first I wasn't sure if I liked this part of the game, but it quickly grew on me. It actually took me a couple runthroughs to figure out that hitting Down is what makes you go through the doors (I kept hitting up to no avail, eventually giving up thinking that I had to wait until I found an upgrade of sorts to get in). The first boss was a little difficult until I figured out that I lose not only health when I got hit, but your gun upgrades as well. This seems outright stupid to me, but nevertheless I just tried my best to stay away from the baddies. Anyways, after you beat the mini-bosses, you get power-ups that allow you to advance on to the next world. Sounds familiar? You bet it does.

Surprise! We included some top-down shooter too!
What I Loved: This game was really fun. The game was challenging enough to make it fun, but not overly so. There are 2 very distinct portions of the game, which helps to prevent repetitiveness. The tank portion is a really good mix of platformer and destroying enemies with your tank. The top-down shooter part is fun as well, but not as much as the part in the tank. The upgrade system (similar to Metroid) helped to promote backtracking, but the inability to enter certain areas just made me want to keep exploring for the upgrade rather than make me angry because I kept seeing places I couldn't enter.

Got lucky in beating the first boss with 0 GUN
What I Hated:  I absolutely despised how weak you were outside of your tank. It's not bad when your gun power is raised more, but when you lose gun power when you get hit is a double whammy. Usually, I'll end up with 0 GUN by the time I get to a boss, making the fights way more difficult than should be. Also, the fact that you did not shoot straight annoyed me as well (all of your shots were aligned with the right side of your body.

My General Impression: I liked this game. It was fun and entertaining. It had parts that made me get really into the game, but also had certain elements that made me want to yell at it. I was delightfully surprised when it successfully combined the two very different game styles together and made it work. The storyline is goofy and almost seems like a shot at any games that put any sort of serious backstory into their games. Blaster Master, though not the most well known NES game, would have been a childhood staple for me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

River City Ransom

River City Ransom
After playing a couple well known titles (Metroid and Zelda I), I was requested to check out River City Ransom. I had never heard of it, but found it easy enough (and made sure to check out the manual beforehand. Thanks to those of you who linked me to a place with all the NES manuals in PDF format). As I started it up, my first impression was that I was playing a simple side-scrolling brawler, just battling endless amounts of enemies until I reached the boss. As I progressed however, I realized that this game is much more than that. There are nine of different gangs, each with different fighting styles and drop different amounts of money. I definitely got the sense that the game tries to not take itself too seriously, such as your goofy animation when eating or the enemies yelling out "BARF!" Another thing that took me by surprise was how the game included RPG elements. I was expecting to just run around mashing A and B, but I found myself re-running areas so I could get some money to buy food and improve my stats. 

This is the first game where an enemy yelled "BARF" at me
What I Loved: I loved the combat,  even though there was only a limited amount of attack moves available. I also really enjoyed the whole RPG feel that accompanies the button-mashing brawler part of the game. I thought it would only be a huge distraction from the gameplay when I first found the attribute screen, but it really just makes it that much more enjoyable when your character gains +3 defense by obnoxiously eating some eggrolls. Talking about transitions, I liked the humor in this game. It was a nice break from the other side-scrolling brawlers that seem to take themselves way too seriously.

The food restores your health and boosts your stats. Also
it's funny how Alex acts in the diners after just killing
hundreds of guys.
What I Hated: I really don't have any significant problems with this game. It was difficult at times, but then you could just go buy some food and upgrade yourself to make it easier. I guess the only thing I could possibly dislike was the shortage of attack moves (until you upgrade), but again, I understand that there is only so much you can do with two buttons.

My General Impression: This game is awesome. I could easily see myself having a friend come over and spending hours on end beating up gang members to save the girl. The 50's look adds a great feel to the environment, and it's villain is very appropriately named "Slick." The subtle goofiness and RPG elements prevent any feelings of repetitiveness, which is very important to me. This game also felt very, very similar to the arcade game Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on X-Box Live and could see that the developers were very inspired by River City Ransom. They have similar combat mechanics and you buy upgrades from stores along the way from the money the baddies drop when you kill them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda
Alright, here it is... The big one. Anyone who read my first post knows I love my Zelda games, so it was inevitable that I try out the original The Legend of Zelda. I have to admit, I was anxious when I was loading up the game. I have played every Zelda game that has come out since Ocarina of Time (except Wind Waker, which I now have and am playing in my spare time), so when I started it up and the oh-so-familiar music started playing, the familiarity was already was starting to hit. Then comes the screen about the story of your adventure, which of course has to do with Gannon capturing Princess Zelda and trying to claim the Triforce, and I was the only person who could stop him. I was already loving this game by the time I hit start with how it brought back those weekends where 8-year-old me would sit for hours trying to save Hyrule.

Octorocs everywhere
When I started however, I was a little confused. I love myself some quests of epic proportions, but I generally like to be pointed in the right direction on where to start. I found myself wandering around trying to find where to go and only running into creepy old men hanging out in caves and shop-keepers yelling at me to buy stuff. I was pretty much instantly used to the controls as it felt like playing Oracle of Seasons (on the GameBoy Color), yet it still took me awhile to realize that I can only throw swords when at full health. It did not take me very long to realize how easy it is to die in this game, though. Between the unknown things in the water shooting energy balls at me and the octoroc infestation in Hyrule, I'm figuring out by now that all NES games are going to be so much more difficult than any current generation game. Finally, after wandering around for a good 30 minutes, I was beginning to get tired of dying, so I reluctantly looked up what I was supposed to do (killing octorocs if fun and all, but I just wanted to get to my first temple). So as I was going through the temple, I was surprised to find a dragon in wait for me. I never thought that there would be dragons in any Zelda game, until I realized that the Dodongos in Ocarina of Time were sort-of dragon like. Anyways, long story short, after a solid 3 hours of playing this game, I beat two temples with the help of GameFaqs (solely for the purpose of finding them) and really enjoyed myself in the process.

Thank you creepy old man
What I Liked: The familiarity with my childhood favorites was huge. Running around killing octorocs, getting boomerangs and bombs, the ability to upgrade your equipment through shops or in dungeons, a familiar storyline, heart containers, searching for the Triforce... I could go on and on. The similarities to be seen for anyone who played and loved any other Zelda game will enjoy this game. The sword-shooting was entertaining and the vast array of enemies makes you figure out different combinations of sword and accessories to effectively take them out. The boss battles make you change up your tactics also since they can not be killed as normal enemies. The difficulty, in my opinion, was actually not at all frustrating for me. Once you died, you simply started back at the starting point without losing any of your items.

Oh don't mind me... I'm just gonna put a bomb in your mouth
What I hated: Again, I'm not fond of how open-world this is. As I said earlier, just putting you in Hyrule and not telling you where to go or what I should be looking for was the only problem I had with this game. When I could find the dungeons, it was all because I looked up how to get there (and that was confusing sometimes too). *It should be said that I did not have the manual or map of Hyrule at the time while playing this. Thanks to those of you who linked it to me*

General Impression: This game is awesome. I am planning on playing through this entire game when I have the chance. Being able to see what inspired some of my favorite games ever and seeing so many similarities made this game, one that is already fun by itself, that much better for me. I would highly recommend this to anyone who could play it, but make sure you have a map handy or you will get lost for sure.

Saturday, September 4, 2010



This was my first request! Anyways, I was told to check out the famous Metroid, so I fired it up and off I went. Now the only games I've ever played that Samus was in were the Super Smash Bros Series, so I was expecting to be able to charge up my giant energy ball and drop mines when I crouch. This wasn't entirely the case, but it was still interesting to play the game for a character I've been using for the past 10 years. But anyways, back to my impressions.

I was surprised again that there was absolutely no backstory, no explanation to what you're trying to accomplish (besides survive and shoot spikey things I guessed), no reason why you are there or anything. Just New Game... Woah! Look out for those spikey things! So I went scouring the internet to find what the manual said and was I surprised. There is a very lengthy story about how, in the future, space pirates are a huge problem and end up stealing some newly discovered life form called "Metroid" that just wiped out an entire planet. You are Samus Aran, a mysterious cyborg pirate-killing that is the best of the best (notice it says *he* not *she*). Anyways, your job is to infiltrate the Space Pirate's base and destroy the Mother Brain before they multiply the Metroids and take over the galaxy... Wow. That's seems like one of the most intricate explanations for an NES game that I will ever come across.
Press Start and you're already dodging this spikey things

Also worth mentioning, the health system confused me for awhile. I thought at first the number in the top left meant how many shots you had (those two orange dots reminded me of bullets ok?). When I found out that I had unlimited energy bullets, I realized that it had to be my health. But 30 health is a lot to start with right? No. I soon figured out that when you get hit, you don't just lose 1 health, you lose upwards of 8 or 9. All in all, you die. A lot.

What I Liked: The combat was pretty fun and entertaining. Different enemies required different strategies to kill (those bee-like things were the end of me several times before I figured it out). Many times the game requires you to jump around to evade all these flying enemies while trying to shoot those coming straight for you, which ends up making a very intense fight that got me pretty into it. There also was a saving system that, though it was confusing to me, probably worked pretty well.

What I Hated: I know this was probably one of the first "free roam" games ever, but it really frustrated me. I had no idea where I was supposed to go or what I was supposed to do. I frequently would fight my way 3 screens over to find out the door was locked and I'd have to turn around and fight the same enemies again. There was no map that I could tell of, so I was continually wandering around until I died. It just made me lose any interest I had in the game. *Edit : I was not aware that there was a map of sorts in the manual*

My Impression: It was not a bad game, but not my favorite by far. I could tell that if I got really into it, it could be really fun, but the constant running into the red doors that wouldn't let me pass just made me too frustrated to keep playing. I later learned that missiles break the doors, but no longer had the patience at the time to go searching around randomly for the missiles while I constantly kept running into doors that require them. It did make me want to try out Super Metroid though, as I've been told it is a much better version of the original with some pretty epic boss fights.

It reminded me a lot of Zelda, but as a side-scroller instead. In both games, you run around fighting bad guys that you can't really tell what they are, and you eventually find some power ups that let you access places you couldn't previously go to. Also, they are both very, very open worlded

Overall, a very frustrating game to a current-gen gamer, but an original that created one of the most famous and well known gaming series of all time.

**GameFaqs was used for storyline purposes only**

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rescue: The Embassy Mission

Rescue: The Embassy Mission
So the first game I was recommended to check out was Rescue - The Embassy Mission for the NES. I had never heard of it, but found it no problem and loaded it up. I was greeted to an intro of sorts, no explanation to a backstory or anything. Just a S.W.A.T. van shows up and BAM you're there dodging spotlights, ducking in and out of buildings. Needless to say, I had to restart twice before I got the hang of it, but when I did, oh man this game was fun.

What I Liked: It was entertaining, and the difficulty provided me with a sense of huge satisfaction when I finally was able to beat the first level. I also oddly enjoyed that there was no aiming system when you are clearing the Embassy of the terrorists. Instead, you just run around and hold A to mow them down. The sniper sections were really simple, but again, entertaining. The running and dodging spotlights was also fairly entertaining, but by the time I reached the 3rd level, I just wanted to get inside and shoot some bad guys!
Run from those deadly spotlights!
What I Hated: There was little to no explanation of... anything. There was, what I would call, a very steep learning curve. There also is little-to-no difference between levels. The spotlights move faster and the terrorists just shoot you quicker, but it's all the same level layouts. Also, I could imagine that people would complain a lot about the length of this game. One could literally beat the entire game in 2 hours if they were good at it.

Mow down those terrorists with your A button!
My Impression: I enjoyed this game. It was very entertaining, and I know that if I was born 10 years earlier, this would be up there on my favorites. It feels like the predecessor to the tactical squad shooters of today, even though you only control one person at a time. I honestly couldn't think of anything this game was similar to. It has three very distinct parts of the game that are all similar to different games (Sniper Part = Sniper Assassin the Flash Game), the game as a whole is not specifically like anything I've ever played before.

Though it is very short, there is a great deal of replayability as the game forces you to change strategies the more difficult the level gets. Training is a run-and-gunner while Jupiter (who names the hardest level Jupiter? Maybe it was something to do with the decade?) forces you to be much more careful and strategic about your actions.

**No GameFaqs were used in this playthrough, though I did consult my friend about rappelling as I could not figure out what to do and died for 10 minutes straight**

So what I'm planning on doing here

Hey everyone I just want to thank you for checking out my blog.
Nintendo 64!

First off, a little about me. I am an 18 year old who loves music, sports, and gaming (especially gaming). I've been gaming since I was 6, playing Super Smash Bros, Super Mario 64, Zelda and many more on the N64. I still have that N64 and frequently play 4-player Mario Kart 64 with some of my friends when we're bored and looking for a trip down nostalgia lane. It was a defining part of my childhood and I feel bad for the younger kids that don't get to experience these classics the way I did, which got me thinking...

What about those people older than me? Older than my N64 and my Zelda. What did they have? The NES is not nearly as talked about as the N64, or maybe is that just because I only talk about old games with friends my age? They never played the NES either. So I thought, what the heck, lets try out some of these old games just to see what my older cousins had to deal with growing up.

I've heard of AVGN and his reviews of impossible games, but that's not my goal here. I want to the full experience of the game, see what they were like 5 or more years before I was even born, not simply rage about the difficulty.  I will say what I liked, what I hated and maybe a little more.

**Disclaimer*** I have been told that I will be required to use GameFaqs on a few of these games, as they almost require strategy guides to beat. If I do use a GameFaq, I will post that I used it on that particular blog.