Console Games

NES, Genesis, Master System, Neo Geo, NES, TG-16, you know the deal, all console games here.

Kid Chameleon

You can collect suits throughout stages by hitting the various P blocks (most of the time they just hold gems), and grabbing masks which transform you into various forms.These include a sword wielding samurai, a knight who can charge and destroy walls, a Jason Vorhees clone who can fling axes, and – most amusingly – a tank driving skeleton.Fortunately the costumes aren’t the only entertaining thing here, with the enemies themselves an interesting bunch. [...]

Doshin the Giant

Doshin the Giant managed to suck me into its world entirely. At its core the game is incredibly simple, yet somehow utterly compulsive: you play a friendly yellow giant whose aim is to help four tribes scattered across several islands. The villagers’ requests are pretty simple – they generally amount to raising or lowering the ground or moving trees about – and every time you help them out they send a bit of love your way. The more they love you, the bigger you get, so that by the end of each ‘day’ in the game Doshin is usually towering above even the highest mountains. However, come the next day, he always reverts to his original size, although all the changes you made to the islands remain the same. [...]

City Connection

Oh, and there are balloons. They are worth bonus points, and grant a city-warp effect when three are collected. Magical warp balloons, yes. Even with those hexing helium semi-spheres, City Connection just poses too many cheap deaths in the player’s direction to really be any fun. This is a “challenge for challenge’s sake” sort of game, where only those who played it without other choice or in search of something utterly difficult and minimally rewarding would ever truly grow fond. [...]

The Adventures of Gilligan’s Island

The game instead has the Skipper as the central character with Gilligan as your sidekick. You basically walk across the jungle looking for the other castaways. On the way the duo are attacked by birds, warthogs, and other animals of the jungle. The Skipper has the ability to punch (which doesn’t seem to do anything), but running away is more effective. Gilligan is so mindless that he often falls behinds or into pits. Leaving you to have to rescue him time and time again. [...]

Phantasy Star

This is your classic RPG hands down. You can level up and have lots of fun. The game is turn-based so it requires some savvy strategy at times especially with the tougher monsters and boss fights. You will also spend lots of time grinding which is perfect for classic RPG fanatics! [...]

10 Yard Fight

The game clock is divided into two fast counting thirty minute halves, which I appreciate since I’d probably still playing the game of Baseball I began if I didn’t say to hell with it. The difficulty is ranked from high school to Super Bowl and is presented well with different uniform and endzone graphics for each. On a sour note, it gives the illusion that it is similar to a career mode, as any other team you defeat gives you the message “You are on your way to the Super Bowl!” but guess what? NESquester kicked the Super Bowl team’s candy asses before this review was started and was greeted by the screen below… [...]

Martian Gothic: Unification

Each character has entered the base at different doors, mainly due to their instructions to ‘stay alone – stay alive.’ Yes, that’s possibly the worst reason ever to have characters split up, but it does mark the game out as being a little bit different. This is mainly as you can only progress to certain areas by co-operating with your colleagues by, for example, sending each other relevant items using delivery tubes (or ‘vac-tubes’) and opening doors for the others by using computers in your section. [...]

Dig Dug

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. [...]

Diddy Kong Racing

It featured a similar set-up to Mario Kart, with racing through colorful themed tracks with power-ups to use. The cast didn’t feature Diddy Kong’s famous uncle, but original characters. Most notable would be Banjo the bear (who would later star in Banjo-Kazooie) and Conker (the star of Conker’s Bad Fur Day) the squirrel. [...]

Sonic The Hedgehog

The graphics are quite good for a Master System game. Sonic looks like Sonic and not like a blob. The backgrounds and graphics of the stages are a hit. You never feel like you’ll jump into a fake wall or something. There isn’t that much distortion if there are too many things going on in the game so that’s a well deserved thumbs up. [...]

The Simpsons Wrestling

The game features a similar set-up to other 3D wrestlers, but with the addition of power-ups such as donuts to make you faster. It also featured original dialogue from the cast of the show, and many of the characters that don’t show up to wrestle can be seen in the audience. [...]

Whomp ‘Em

Whomp ‘Em looks great. The enemy designs are fun and varied, while some of them even move smoothly in interesting ways – check out the floating hands in some of the vertically oriented portions. The levels are lush with colors, but better graphical signals could have been used, such as with the bizarre “electric” clouds on the final stage. Also, this game does suffer from some flickering. The pixel artists was skilled, but the execution was not quite fully polished. For instance, that jump animation looks super weird. [...]

Mach Rider

In an uncharacteristically dark story for 1985 Nintendo, the setting is a post apocalyptic Earth in the year 2112 after an alien invasion of the evil Quadrunners. Whether the programmers were Rush fans or randomly picked that year is a mystery that may never be solved. Mad Max’s pixelated brother in spirit, Mach Rider, is the protagonist who rides like the fury of vengeance on the aptly named Mach Bike to different parts of the Earth. His main goal to begin with is simply finding a new spot to call home but along the way finds other humans that need assisstance being liberated from the alien’s tyranny. [...]

Venture

Even on a huge television this dot is tiny – but once you figure out where it is (it’s at the bottom in the middle of the screen in the picture above) you’ll be fine. Each level has four rooms for you to explore, which you enter using white doors. At first entering these rooms is easy, but the further you progress in the game the more aggressive the green squid-beasts that patrol the corridors become. One touch from them and you lose a life, so when you exit rooms you have to be very careful not to immediately bump into them. There’s no way to fight back against them either. [...]

WWF No Mercy

In addition to all of this is a wealth of content including a championship mode for every belt that had dialogue, branching paths and even choices you could make to influence alliances. A survival mode – where you were charged with defeating forty opponents without getting knocked out of the ring, custom multiplayer tournaments and one hell of a create-a-wrestler mode. I would spend hours crafting a character to my liking before loading it onto my memory card and heading to a friends place to take them on. [...]

Monster Party

The “Sorry I’m Dead” monster is more of an in-game joke than a “boss”, as it’s already dead when you get there, and you get a little question mark power up from it (usually) for doing nothing. But the other bosses in the game, with only one real exception, you actually have to fight. Some aren’t so bad. Others, like this Jerk O’Lantern above, can take some real effort (and patience) to beat. He in particular jumps around the room and shoots tiny pumpkins at you in various directions. The bosses in this game vary wildly, and most are weird as hell. [...]

South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack

There are some variations to break up the question and answer format, such as the wheel of fortuitousness (where if you land on a certain section you get a points bonus or are allowed to play an extra bonus game) or a pressure round – where if you get enough questions right a huge anal probe/drill is rammed up Cartman’s…well, you can guess where. As you might expect, the mini-games are where the most fun is to be had, and most of the challenges are incredibly simple but perfectly suited to simultaneous competitive play. [...]

Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals

The gameplay is as enjoyable as the first one. You have the classic random encounters and you can even catch monsters to help you fight your battles. This was before Pokemon by the way! You’ll be doing some classic grinding and dungeon exploring. it never gets too old though. Increasing your stats and finding better equipment has never been so much fun in a 16-bit game. [...]

Asterix and the Great Escape

You are rarely given any time at all to complete levels, and you’ll often be reaching the ‘exit’ (a special potion) with milliseconds to spare. Obviously this is massively unfair at times, but it does inject an added amount of tension and panic when you’re leaping and punching your way through stages. Unfortunately constant design mis-steps threaten to make the game an entirely frustration filled affair. [...]

Baseball Simulator 1.000

The actual batting screen is fine, just fine. As a baseball simulator, those intense pitch-by-pitch at-bats are well-done, and seem to be fine-tuned to a mechanical science by Culture Brain. It is a shame, really, that the fielding is done so poorly, then. When placed head-to-head next to other baseball titles, most of them will shine as being an obvious improvement in the field. However, the real strike against Baseball Simulator 1.000 is that even a new NES player can tell that fielding is wonky, without necessarily any prior baseball-game experience. [...]

Mission Impossible

You’re tasked with infiltrating a frosty Scandinavian (well, I presume it’s Scandanavian – the game gives all of its locations fake names for some reason) base and destroy the submarine within it. Sounds promising, but it’s almost insultingly simple. You go into a building once you’re into the base, knock out a guard, disguise yourself as him (face changing is a big part of the game) and then stroll to the exit. [...]

Excitebike

Design Mode is exactly what it sounds like. You get your own NES canvas and get to paint it however you like. Starting with a completely bare track, there are 19 ways to litter it with shit that would drive anyone who tested your tracks out insane. The only bummer here is that it required the Famicom Data Recorder to save and load the tracks, which was never released outside Japan. [...]

Virtual Pool 64

Moving your cue (seemingly held by the invisible man) is done with the analogue stick. Adjusting the cue angle is done with the right C-button, while holding the R trigger helpfully allows you to see things from an overhead perspective. Hitting the ball is a little odd though. You have to hold A, and then pull back the analogue stick, pushing it forward to strike the ball. The strength of the shot depends on how quickly you move the stick. [...]

Psycho Fox

One of the coolest features of this game is Psycho’s ability to morph between fox, monkey, hippo, and tiger. However this is reliant that you have obtained a “Psycho Stick”, which can be found hidden away in the eggs that are scattered throughout the rounds or by killing an enemy creature. Of course each transformation has its strengths and weaknesses. Fox is the original form of Psycho Fox and his abilities such as walking, acceleration, punching power etc are standard. [...]

Conker’s Bad Fur Day

The camera is very poor, and you’ll be wrestling with is by using the C-buttons a lot of the time. In terms of difficulty the game can also be very unforgiving, with the latter parts of the war section in particular being controller-smashingly unfair. [...]

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom

The gameplay is what makes this game shine. It’s fun turn based classic style. You can’t go wrong with this choice of gameplay. Each character has their own style of fighting and can help other members out. If you keep a good balance of attacks and magic, your fights will be a lot easier than you might think. The game mostly takes places in caves where you must explore to your heart’s content. Definitely, addicting gameplay overall. [...]

Total Recall

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. [...]

Blues Brothers

To put it simply: Blues Brothers is a very challenging game. But to merely put it in such stale words, such simple terms like “extremely hard,” only dulls the true nightmare effect this cartridge provides. Blues Brothers on NES is a master class in awful license games, putting on a clinic of game design choices that artifically inflate both difficulty level and gameplay length through means of platforms the player can only spend a limited time on [...]

Stack-Up

Enter R.O.B., the greatest Trojan Horse in gaming history. At a time when noone was willing to part with their funds for a video game system, Nintendo unveiled the Robotic Operating Buddy along with the Zapper the following year and explained to retailers that it wasn’t a video game console, and instead marketed it as a toy robot and a toy gun. What kid didn’t see this and automatically start erasing shit off their Christmas list? They even went to the lengths of downplaying the televisions in the advertising to focus everything on the accessories. [...]

NBA Action ’95

NBA Action ’95 was so terrible, it contained a weird charm. There was (and still isn’t) anything remotely like its bizzare combination of simulation aspects and broken arcade gameplay. A level of complete unpredictability happens during every game, but that doesn’t mean its a classic, or even acceptable. On the bright side, Marv Albert’s now unintentionally funny, “Serves up a facial,” commentary may be the best aspect of the actual gameplay. [...]

Gunfighter

With Gunfighter you took control of, unsurprisingly, a Gunfighter in the old wild west. Each player was represented by about twelve sprites, with a couple of sprites representing the mandatory cowboy hat. You moved about the screen, firing your one sprite gun at your opponent and the one sprite bullet would drift across the screen, usually missing the other cowboy and bouncing off… things – not quite sure what they were, stones? Cacti? [...]

The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare

This is mainly as the developers used a hand drawn art style, which ends up portraying the bright colours of The Simpsons’s cartoon world quite well. It looks a little ramshackle by today’s standards, but still maintains a certain charm. The music used is also quite strange, exuding an oddly lulling quality that is very hard to accurately describe (as you can tell from that hash of a sentence). [...]

Shadow Dancer

You scroll to the right, basically shooting down foes with your shruikens, and avoiding their attacks/bullets. And it’s pretty damn important that you avoid their attacks, as one hit and it’s back to the start. This makes the game a lot more difficult than it would have been otherwise. Ducking usually allows you to avoid the bullets that come flying at you, but with no room for error, one mis-step can send you right back to the beginning of a stage. [...]

Shaq Fu

For a side scroller the graphics are superb and the sound just outstanding, just try playing the game with the stereo plugged in and you will have one of the most amazing soundtracks in video game history! I’m not kidding! The gameplay is simple, you have Shaq doing the Shaqattack! doh! and much much more! [...]

Mr Driller

Mr Driller has an ever-decreasing air supply so he must drill strategically but quickly. Air capsules are readily available which top up his supply by 20% but sometimes they’re tricky to reach. They are often near brown ‘X’ blocks. These take five drill strikes each to destroy and also take away 20% of Mr Driller’s air, so it’s not really worth breaking one except in an emergency. Mr Driller can clamber up blocks either side of him, but only if they are one block high. This is invaluable for reaching air capsules or escaping falling blocks, but sometimes it’s not enough! [...]

Double Dribble

Finally, one of the most awkward options screens in gaming history is found: Settings such as period length, team, and difficulty level can be altered, but with each button press, rather than simply and instantly scroll through the available selections, an on-screen player actually fires a jump shot at a rim that aligns with the intended option. This makes for an overly tedious selection process, which would be bearable if it were not for the already drawn-out effect of the opening ceremonies screen. [...]

Street Fighter Alpha

Overall Street Fighter Alpha plays like a sightly superior Street Fighter II though some of the characters I didn’t care much for. There also isn’t a whole lot to the game either. Just an arcade mode and a versus mode. Typical for a fighting game in the 1990s, but now we expect a tad more. [...]

Street Racer

The other interesting part of the game is the inclusion of two multiplayer modes (they can be played in single player if you must) alongside the regular races. One is a ‘Rumble’ mode, which has you trying to knock/punch off your fellow racers off a small arena. Depending on the difficulty setting you have buffers around the arena that slowly deteriorate when they’re hit. [...]

Iron Soldier

Once you’re moving (you can adjust the speed accordingly) you simply have to steer and shoot. Changing your weapons is tasked to the option button and – this took me a little while to realize – the numbered keys at the bottom of the pad. Shooting is something you’ll be doing a lot as well, with endless streams of tanks and helicopters firing at you non-stop. This is why knowing your objective is an absolute necessity, with missions being reasonably varied. Even if most basically just involve destroying stuff. [...]

Phantasy Star Online

The game later came out with different editions like a 2nd version with new content on Dreamcast. After the “death” of the Dreamcast, Sega ported an enhanced version on Nintendo Gamecube. There was also an Xbox version later on, but oddly it’s unplayable now since it had no offline mode and the online service for the original Xbox is gone. [...]

Mega Man Legends

The game was not a traditional platformer but instead a 3D action-adventure. Imagine Metroid meets Ocarina of Time with walking/movement akin to Resident Evil, and you sort of get the picture. You travel around towns, and go into caverns/dungeons defeating bad robots. [...]

Black 4 In One

There is a certain cute factor to Mr Postman (you are a teddy bear after all) yet its quickly forgotten by the sheer brutality of that constantly shitting and spitting bird. The hailstorm is chaotic and keeps you on your toes. Crawling through the City of Silence can be nerve-wracking navigating those tight corners. You really feel like you’ve accomplished something when you deliver that letter. But wait… it doesn’t end there. Thats right, this is Atari – you go back to the beginning to do it all over again!!! [...]

ISS Deluxe

The teams are also very unbalanced in the aspect of weakest to strongest. I know that most games are very playable even with the weakest character (TMNT Raph, I’m talking to you!) but this one makes you want to just pick Brazil or Germany half the time. You can try it with other teams but you’ll end up having a very hard time beating the goal keeper or even catching up to the offense as your guys aren’t even as fast as your rival. This uneveness makes you work harder and truly think like a pro to find a way to win. I haven’t played the game so much to get to that point, but you will know what I mean when you play it. [...]

Godzilla: Monster of Monsters

On Planet X, as with the previous worlds, you have to face all the monsters you previously faced, plus of course the game’s final boss, King Ghidorah, who also naturally happens to be the hardest monster in the game. If you can manage to take his three-headed ass out, and destroy the final enemy base, you have saved the Earth, send the Planet Xians packing out into space exile, and get to enjoy the end credits. [...]

Return Fire

If any of your fine vehicles are destroyed you’ll automatically return to your bunker to choose another (unless you somehow manage to lose all seventeen of them!), but you can return at any time anyway to switch if you want. Helpfully, doing this also replenishes their limited fuel, ammunition, and armor as well, although this can be done ‘on the fly’ too, by stopping off at one of the relevant depots nestled amongst the gun towers and other buildings of either side. [...]

Sonic Heroes

The game also made use of Sonic’s friends and enemies being forced upon the player. You can pick between four teams of three. So you had the good team (Sonic, Tails Knuckles), the evil team (Shadow, Rogue, Omega), the girly team (Amy, Cream, Big), and the weird team. The last team was comprised of the awful characters from Knuckles Chaotix. I have to give Sega credit for bringing back such strange characters for no reason. [...]

Popeye

Popeye is given a weapon the Marios and Kongs didn’t have at the time as he can swing his mighty fists at anything that moves with the exception of “Brutus”. To take that huge, burly tub of fatfuck down, there is one can of spinach per level that will make our hero red-dog mad enough to knock the big man halfway across creation. The stages are varied enough to stay fun and there is even a cameo by Swee’Pea. The music is excellent and when the third stage is clear, you are treated to the signature song, complete with the toot-toot, which is a nice touch and causes the ‘Quester to smile everytime. [...]

Alien 3

One other notable feature is your large arsenal you have at your disposal. A missile launcher and a machine gun are two of the finest from the selection available to you. These weapons aren’t enough to stop the aliens regularly handing you your ass on a plate though. Instead of going down the slow, tension addled route the game throws aliens at you like they’re going out of fashion. They leap at you so quickly that they can be nigh on impossible to avoid completely. Worst of all Ripley takes far too long to get up once hit – not a good thing when you’re up against the clock. [...]