Dig Dug

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Dig Dug (Digu Dagu)

A lot of people are probably familiar with this game as it was an arcade game but I never really had an arcade near me when I was growing up so this was a whole new game for me when I played the Famicom version, as I was only familiar with Dig Dug II that actually was released on the NES.

Dig Dug - Famicom

 

You play as Dig Dug, a little blue guy (kind of like a smurf in white overalls) who is basically an underground exterminator who uses something like a bicycle air pump to exterminate his enemies.  There are only two types of enemies you will encounter, Pookas who are the cute red round guys with the goggles and Fygars the green dragons who breathe fire at you through the dirt.  Gotta be careful or if you get hit you will be BBQ.

Dig Dug - Famicom

 

Since this is based on an arcade game your objective other than just clearing levels is getting as many points as you possibly can.  This can be accomplished in several different ways. Just digging will earn you 10 points a block, which is alright but your time is better sent going after enemies.  Dropping a rock on an enemy will earn you 1000 points, if you kill 2 or more 1500 points each and any more than 2 is worth 2000 points for each enemy. Once you have dropped 2 rocks in the level other bonus items will appear for you in the middle of the screen, if you are able to get to it.  Fruits and Veggies or other bonus items like the ship from Galaxian, which is awesome by the way, for you to collect to get extra points. The item worth the most at 8000 points is the pineapple so if you see it be sure to grab it!  Also keep in mind that popping an enemy further down in the dirt is worth more so it may be worth trying to lure the enemies further down if you want to try to get max points.

Dig Dug - Famicom

 

This game originally came our in the arcades in 1982 (I wasn’t even born yet) its not the most graphically impressive game out there, but the sprites are cute and colorful and definitely get the job done.  At first sight this game gives the impression that it is very basic and simple, this is very deceiving.  It definitely requires some quick reflexes if you want to successfully evade and exterminate the enemy.

Dig Dug - Famicom

As far as I can tell we never got a copy of this game in North American on the NES, only Dig Dug II was released here which is also good by the way. So if you want to play this you will need to pick up the Famicom version. The nice thing is you don’t need to know any Japanese, so you really don’t have any excuse not to play.

For some fun arcade action Dig Dug definitely fits the bill!

One eBay you can find it complete in box for $39.60, at the moment there aren’t any loose ones listed though mine was like $2.

 

Total Recall

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Total Recall

Video game developer Acclaim who put out games like Mortal Kombat, Smash TV and Spiderman Return of the Sinister Six released this licensed game in 1990.  The movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid and Sharon Stone as his violent wife Lori.  If you haven’t seen the movie it’s a sci-fi movie that involves a lot of crazy things like traveling to Mars, having new memories implanted into the brain and Douglas’ loving wife who starts trying to kill him.  Problem is with the new implanted memories, he doesn’t know which ones are real and which ones are the fake memories so he’s on a quest to find out what is real and what isn’t.  Sounds like a crazy movie that should have a cool game right?? In theory yes, but what Acclaim delivered was just a frustrating piece of junk that adds in a bunch of stupid things that weren’t in the movie.

Total Recall - NES

You start the game playing as Schwarzenegger’s character Douglas.  The sprite is slightly accurate and it is a big guy who could be based on Arnie, but overall it’s a pretty bad looking game with some serious problems with its animation.  It’s a 2D action platforming game, where you have to get Doug to a certain part in the level while you kill people along the way.  Normally I love games like this but Total Recall has poor controls, tons of enemies and is just frustrating making it very difficult. There is a variety of different stages like city streets, the sewer, subway, concrete factory and sometimes you will have battles in little apartment rooms.  Unfortunately most of my time was spent in the sewer, since every time you walk past an alley you get hit by someone and dragged down there.  Then you need to work your way out and start by the alley again, the one nice thing is the alley seems to have a lot of energy drinks for you to replenish your health a bit.

Total Recall - NES

You can jump and punch (then shoot when you get a gun).  One of the most annoying things is when your enemies are constantly jumping over you making it incredibly hard to hit them while other baddies are attacking at the same time.  Oh and since when were there pink mutant midgets attacking Arnold in the movie?  Maybe I just have a bad memory, but it seems very odd to me.  It’s hard to kill these guys too since they are short and you have to duck to have a chance of hitting them.  It reminds me of playing Goldeneye on the N64 when someone would take Oddjob and it was much harder to kill them when they are shorter than you. Plus you have to fight rats. Ya, I don’t remember Arnie punching rats in the movie…

Total Recall - NES

While you are playing and trying to figure out what exactly is going on you will have a happy bubbly soundtrack to listen to. This game is supposed to be a gritty, and dark at moments but the music definitely doesn’t represent that.  It’s very off putting, it seems like they pulled a music track from some other happy game and just dumped it in here.  The sound effects are also bad with a lot of thud sounds and a weird buzzing type sound.

Total Recall - NES

There are just too many things wrong with this game.  The game feels unfinished with hit detection problems and flickering sprites just to name a few problems.  Ultimately the choices made by the game designers are confusing at best.  Why have a theatre where you can earn a life by watching the Total Recall movie credits then follow it up with a death scene of Arnold saying “I’ll be back!”  Did they not do any research and realize this was from a different movie? I love cheesy Schwarzenegger movies but seriously this is a huge disappointment, and there is nothing about it I can recommend.  Why couldn’t it have been a good movie adaptation like Batman?  It’s not even worth playing to see how bad it is, that is why I consider it one of the worst games on the NES!

Star Fox 2: The Game We Never Knew

Star Fox 2: The Game We Never Knew

I never realized that a sequel had been made for the SNES until I saw the reproduction cart on gamereproductions.com.

The really cool thing is this isn’t just a couple of levels, this game is totally finished but just unreleased as Shigeru Miyamoto and the guys at Nintendo decided at the last minute they wanted to concentrate more on the N64 system and show what it could do with the Star Fox franchise with the most advanced hardware instead of releasing this title for the Super Nintendo.

Even though this game was complete it was left by the wayside, but once Star Fox 64 was made a lot of elements from Star Fox 2 were reused and integrated into that game, so if you play both you will notice a lot of similarities.

starfox 2 gameplay footages snes

A new improved version of the Super FX chip was used producing an even better looking 3D game.  This game instead of being strictly a flight-based game introduces some real time game play, new types of ships and new Star Fox team members.  When you and your teammate start on the map instead of taking a linear route like in the original game you can freely travel wherever you want, but as you move the enemy will react and also move around the map too.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

Your objective is to destroy all the enemies that are present on the map while trying to defend your home planet Corneria from enemy attacks.  If the planets damage level reaches 100%, you have failed your mission and the game is over.  To protect the planet you will have to destroy the fighters and incoming missiles that are headed toward the planet.  To permanently prevent the attacks you have to deal with the planets with enemy bases that fire the missiles and the battleships that deploy the enemy fighter ships.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

The really cool thing is when you make contact with one of these missiles or planets on the map screen you are taken to an action sequence.  If it’s a missile you came in contact with you will have to shoot down all the missiles on the screen, then if it was a planet you have to open the enemies base entrance by either hitting a switch, defeating a boss or destroying a shield.  Once you get into the base you have to go either fly through or you can transform into a walking tank and destroy the generator at the end.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

Once the generator has been destroyed no more missiles will be fired from that base.  While you are trying to clear out the enemies, more enemies will continue moving on the map and attacking Corneria.  So you may have to leave your battle to quickly intercept the enemies before they inflict massive damage to the planet. So managing your time effectively becomes very important.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

Starfighters from the Star Wolf mercenary team make an appearance, if you played Star Fox on the N64 or the Star Fox game on the DS you will recognize them.  They have captured some planets and if you try to take them back you will have to fight them. After some time passes they may start coming after your Arwings. They aren’t the only ones coming after you though, bosses will also be sent out to chase you down at some point in the game.

If you get a chance to pick this game up I definitely recommend it, but if not at least make sure you play Star Fox 64 on the N64 or 3DS and see how some of the mechanics from this game were incorporated.

Thanks to Yuriofwind for the video breakdown on the cancellation of Starfox 2.

Gameboy Micro Famicom Edition

The Game Boy Micro is slightly smaller than the Famicom controller but it is very close in size.  I have smaller hands so the small size is perfect for me.  Plus I love the gold and red coloring on it! ~Alana Dunitz

Gameboy Micro Famicom Edition

Finally decided to dive in and pick up a Game Boy Micro, and not just a plain one.  Had to be the special 20th Anniversary of the Famicom edition one.  I’ve been looking for one for a long time then when it finally because available from a seller in Japan I had to get it!

Gameboy Micro Famicom Edition A

The Micro was made to look just like the player 1 controller on the original Famicom, so it seemed fitting to have since it’s the Famicom 30th Anniversary this year.

Gameboy Micro Famicom Edition B

The Game Boy Micro is slightly smaller than the Famicom controller but it is very close in size.  I have smaller hands so the small size is perfect for me.  Plus I love the gold and red coloring on it!

Gameboy Micro Famicom Edition C

Here is the Micro along side the special edition NES Controller inspired Game Boy Advance SP we got here in North America.  It’s crazy to see the difference in the screen size, and just the layout and size differences between the two.  But I honestly love both and I’m so glad I have the two of them in my collection!

Gameboy Micro Famicom Edition D

Holy Diver

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This game features unlimited continues, which is nice cause you are going to need them. ~Alana Dunitz

Holy Diver

Today I’m featuring a really cool Famicom game that you should definitely check out if you have a chance.  It’s called Holy Diver, and no it’s not the song by Dio. (I honestly don’t know that song but everyone on twitter kept mentioning it when I brought up this game)  ** correction! It is based on that song! So crazy!** Holy Diver was actually recommended to me by Parodius Duh on the Famicom World website.  I’m definitely glad that I listened to him cause this game is pretty awesome!

Holy Diver

When I was playing the game, it felt like a mix between Castlevania, Getsu Fuma Den and threw in some Mega Man just for fun.  The company with the crazy idea to release a  game like this was Irem, the same company that put out Spelunker II, Lot Lot and Kickle Cubicle.  Holy Diver hit the shelves in April of 1989, but of course it never saw the light of day in North America.

Story

Story wise there was no manual or anything with my copy so I wasn’t too sure cause you just get tossed right into the action of the game.  So I did some online research and found a few different versions of the story.  One guy had the manual but couldn’t read Japanese so he made up a story based on seeing 666 in the text.  He thought your character was sent to save the world and had to kill the devil.  Luckily I soon found a translation of the story right from the manual…

Holy Diver

“Resurrected-The Legend of the Holy Magic King’s Justice

It is the 666th year of the world of magic. The Black Slayer, Demon King of the Underground Dark Empire, has extended the world of darkness and weakened the power of King Crimson whose wisdom has guided the world of magic for generations.

The 16th Crimson Emperor Ronnie 4th entrusted his two infant sons, Randy and Zack, to his faithful servant Ozzy. The three escaped the forces from another dimension in the hope to bring light back into the world.

Holy Diver

The next 17 years were difficult but Randy, Zack, and Ozzy devoted themselves to the cause of Holy Magic Justice. The Black Slayer had further extended his empire over the countryside and the interdimensional forces were even more powerful. Randy needed to find the Royal Coat Of Arms of the Crimson to battle the demons. He set out alone to carry out the will of his surrogate father Ozzy who had passed away. Thus begins the Legend Of The Holy Magic King’s Justice.”

Hmm wonder if Ozzy is supposed to be Ozzy Osbourne and Zack is like Zakk Wylde. It definitely does have catchy music!  Anyways so you basically battle demons, that’s enough of a story for me.

Gameplay

This game features unlimited continues, which is nice cause you are going to need them.  It’s definitely not the easiest game I’ve ever played, but it’s challenging in a good way.  I love how with your magic you have projectiles, just like if you were using the mega buster in Mega Man.  If you had to do close combat with punching, this game would be impossible to beat!  It definitely tests your reflexes, those enemies are fast!

Holy Diver

I’ve recorded myself playing through the first level of the game (this is the first time I’ve ever played).  Notice at the end what happens when you beat the level boss.

[Check out Retro Gamer Girl]

Castlevania II: Dracula Densetsu II

Hi everyone!  Time for a new post, I’ve gonna highlight a really cool game I got recently called Castlevania II: Dracula Densetsu II aka Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge if you get the North American version.

Castlevania II - Dracula Densetsu II

I have the Japanese version of this game so story wise I’m not totally sure what’s going on but based on what I looked up the game takes place 15 years after the first Castlevania game boy game.  Dracula has returned and he has kidnapped Chris Belmont’s son named Soleiyu and turned him into a demon.  Dracula uses Soleiyu’s powers to retake human form so he can rebuild his castle.  So once again Christopher must face Dracula to save his son.

Castlevania II - Dracula Densetsu II

When you first start the game there are four initial levels.  Each level has a unique theme like earth, crystal, plant and air and takes place in a separate castle.  The cool thing is you can complete them in any order you like.  So if you get stuck on one of the large trap rooms you can try out another one.

Castlevania II - Dracula Densetsu II

If you play the Japanese version you will notice that the axe will be replaced with a cross, instead of making the arcing motion the cross moves in a horizontal motion almost like a boomerang when it comes back to you.  This can be very useful as it can go through walls to kill enemies.

Castlevania II - Dracula Densetsu II

My only complaint is I wish Christopher would move a little faster, he seems to be going pretty slow at times especially when you are trying to make a bigger jump or avoid an enemy. Other than that it’s a really fun game!  It looks really good for a game boy game and the music has been done very well.  I haven’t completed the game yet, but if I discover anything else I will let you know.

So make sure if you get a chance to pick up this game definitely do so!  Don’t forget that the Japanese version is still playable on North American gameboys as they are region free.  I’m so glad Heidi from Retro Gaming Blog told me about this game, now I just have to get the other 2 game boy ones in the series

Pipe V

Pipe V - Famicom

Pipe V

I was looking online for must play famicom games and one title kept popping up, Mr. Gimmick.  Problem is there are none for sale on eBay so I decided to do the next best thing, get a Pirate Cart.  For some reason the Pipe V is what its called.

Pipe V - Famicom

So I was super excited when the cart came in the mail the other day. I popped it in the Famicom and everything was awesome!

Pipe V - Famicom

The first level was gonna start then something weird started happening. There was no floor…

Didn’t matter what you did, just kept falling into the water and dying. I was super bummed, didn’t matter what I did it wouldn’t work.

So fast forward 4 days and I read something online that set off an alarm in my head. Pirate copies are made to work with famiclones not the original console. So when I got home I grabbed my Yobo NES and famicom converter and plugged it in.

Pipe V - Famicom

Pipe V - Famicom

Yay it worked!! There’s a floor now! I was super excited so I got up early this morning to try it out. It’s a super cute platformer that is challenging, that’s why the pirate cart has 30 lives on it.

Pipe V - Famicom

I haven’t completed the whole first level yet, I had to get ready for work but check out these screenshots I took.

Pipe V - Famicom

Star projectiles Gimmick throws that bounce around.

Pipe V - Famicom

I think this is the level boss. I think he was one of the “toys” that was in the box at the beginning.

Pipe V - Famicom Pipe V - Famicom

Well that’s as far as I got so far, but look for my 1 hour First Impressions soon!

Why I Love Retro Games

I play Nintendo games cause I was raised playing NES and SNES games with my dad, plus I’m super cool right :p  I never realized that would lead me to have a serious retro gaming addiction in my later twenties.

retro--nes-wallpapers

So why did I feel the need to make a site and dedicate it to my retro games?  It’s actually simple: I love talking/writing about retro games almost as much as I enjoy playing them.  I also love watching other people play classic games, thus my love for Game Center CX.  I guess everyone has that one thing they are passionate about, whether it is sports, cars, clothes or whatever, for me it’s classic Nintendo games.  I don’t have many close friends at my age who really play anything other than ps3 or xbox so it’s kind of rare when I get to nerd it up and talk about NES games, let alone my Famicom games.

I read anything I can about NES games on Wikipedia and read reviews and blogs from other retro gamers.  I check eBay for NES and Famicom game lots, for cheap rare titles, the few old Nintendo Power issues I’m still missing and just cool Nintendo themed collectibles.  I constantly talk to my hubby about the cool deals I got, or the random NES or Famicom facts I read that day.  I take pictures of my son holding Nintendo plushies and I even got him a teething toy that looks like a NES controller called the Ninteetho.  I even painted Yoshi’s Island murals all over his room.  I’ve taken a vacation day from work just to play NES games I picked up online or at the local used game store. I have not one but two Nintendo themed tattoos.  I am a full-time Nintendo geek and I love every minute of it.

I appreciate everyone who comes to the site just to read my random Nintendo ramblings.  I know there are tens of thousands of sites online where people blog about games and I’m really humbled that you decided to come read what I have to say.  I’m sure you’ve heard this kind of confession before on someone elses site about the new games that are out there.  But I have to say it’s just not the same as playing a classic 8 or 16 bit game.  I think I’m addicted to the pattern recognition that was required when you played tricky NES games like Mega Man or Ninja Gaiden, it took hard work, good timing and memorization to get past some of those parts but the feeling of accomplishment you get when you finally get it is awesome.  Plus new games have nothing on the 8 bit chip tune music you would hear in classic NES games.  Nothing can compare to some of the awesome music you hear in games like Mega Man, Castlevania, or Mario, those songs really stick with you.

As I get older it gets harder to find time to play video games.  There’s work, family, and kids (which I’m really hoping my little guy will one day share my passion or at least want to play the occasional game with me), and all that other stuff you never used to have to worry about when you were a kid spending any time you had away from school playing games. Luckily I’ve been able to sneak in some time lately after my little guy gets to bed.  Once I get to sit down and play, it’s like I’m transported back to when I was young and only had to worry about the game sitting in front of me.  So I make sure every chance I get to expose my friends to classic games I take it.  I’m just hoping to give them an appreciation for it, or at the very least see the reason for my madness :p

So thanks to everyone who comes here to nerd it up, and messages me on twitter.  Thank you for sharing my passion for classic games!

SGB Commander

SGB Commander

Thought I would share something cool that I ordered online. I never realized that something like this existed until recently when I was on ebay. It’s the SGB Commander! What’s that you ask, it’s a controller made specifically for the Super Game Boy. The awesome thing is that you can use it on the Super Famicom or on the Super Nintendo since the controllers aren’t system specific.

SGB Commander

The A and B buttons are in the exact same spot as on the Game Boy, but if you look above that you will see buttons that are specific to the Super Game Boy like Window, Color, Speed and even a Mute button. So now you don’t need to go into the menu to change your colors or frame, you just hit the button. You can speed up or slow down the speed of your game so if you are stuck on a part in your game you can slow it down a bit to help you get through it. The addition of a mute button is pretty neat, though I’m not totally sure how much you would use it. The one thing that I really like about this controller is that it’s a little bit thicker than your usual Super Nintendo controller, but not quite as thick as a Game Boy. It definitely feels a lot more like you are playing the game right on your Game Boy though which is awesome.

Check out this video review from Satoshi Matrix.

Spelunker

Spelunker

I got this game for like .99 a while back.  Thought it was worth the  money just for the cool light on the cartridge:) Lights make everything better!  The game is Spelunker made by irem according to the game case, but when the title screen loads up it says Broderbund Software….

Spelunker

There isn’t much for controls, directional pad moves from side to side, A jumps and B uses your drill.  Thing is it’s insanely easy to die, jump down a couple pixels to far, you are dead and you will be dying a lot.  Check out my gameplay video…

It’s kind of frustrating, so I’m going to need a lot more practice and figure out what to do so I don’t keep dying constantly.  At least it was only .99 cents!

Spelunker