Black 4 In One

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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. ~Joseph Tobin

Black 4 In One

Manufactured by a German company (from what little I can find out online about it) named Bit Corp. (which sounds like a really cool chiptune artist name if you ask me) is the Black 4 In One cartridge. Why I refer to it as the Black 4 In One cartridge is because years after acquiring that one (I’ve had it since I was about 10 or 12) I managed to acquire an orange one with a different mix of games on it and the same name (which I may review later).

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Anyway the cartridge has 4 games on it and it uses 2 switches to determine which game will play when you turn on the Atari console with it plugged in. This weird as I’ve never seen the same switch system used on any other Atari cartridges yet its very effective.

Something of interest is this cartridge was only released in PAL territories so they are considered pretty rare in USA.

As you can see my personal copy had taken a bit of damage thanks to my kids. Somehow it still works – further proof of how durable these old Atari carts really are (even the cheap third party ones).

Anyway these are the games that are on Black 4 In One –

  1. Space Tunnel (right/right)
  2. Phantom Tank (right/left)
  3. Bobby Is going Home (left/right)
  4. Mr Postman (left/left)

Now for the games themselves…

Space Tunnel

Space Tunnel reminds me a lot of Vanguard except you move up and down instead of scrolling left and right. Alien ships at varying speeds and sizes come at you in squadrons of one, two or three at a time. What makes this a challenge is the bullets they fire ricochet off the walls and they tend to be as fast as the ship that fires them. slow ship – slow bullets. Fast ship – oh my god how do I dodge this thing?!? Its usual Atari fare of an endless amount of waves and trying to survive as long as you can whilst scoring as high as possible.

Space Tunnel

This game is pretty fun – the controls are responsive and the adrenaline shoots up when the fast ships are firing bouncing bullets at you. When you die (by touching a wall, an alien ship or a bullet) your ship becomes a twisted piece of wreckage and there is a loud bang sound. When its game over you can still move your wreckage left and right, further rubbing in the fact your ship is screwed. Whether intentional or not I like that.

Phantom Tank

In Phantom tank you drive a tank in a maze trying to kill phantom tanks which are attacking your base at the bottom of the screen. What is really cool is this is one game where flickering graphics are actually a good thing because they make the phantom tanks look very ethereal. So you navigate your way around, shoot 20 tanks and on to the next level.

Phantom Tank

While the first level or two aren’t too tough the third level is an absolute bitch. You are fighting in mostly open terrain with a small barrier to protect the top. Where this sucks is you can only have one bullet on screen at a time and only the screen walls or the moving tanks to stop it. Not to mention if you sneak up the top a single stray enemy bullet can drift down and kill your base. When your base goes it doesn’t matter how many lives you have – GAME OVER!

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In spite of this Phantom Tank has remained one of my favorite all-time Atari games.

So the first two games are pretty straight forward. Not a lot to say about them – they are what they are and are pretty fun. The next two is where it starts to get weird…

Bobby Is Going Home

Warning – this game is cute. I’m talking obnoxiously cute here. How a bunch of Germans came up with this game is beyond me – Germany is known for industrial efficiency, hard electronic music and good beer – NOT FOR CUTE! Don’t believe me – take a look at this screenshot!

Anyway you are Bobby (who is supposed to be a little boy but looks more like an elf on his way to a funeral) and you are trying to get home. In this brightly coloured world you have to traverse such obstacles as fences, ponds, retracting bridges, chickens, bats, butterflies, rolling stones and so on. Controls are pretty good although the high jumping can get you killed sometimes.

Bobby Is Going Home atari 2600

Throughout the game an obnoxiously cute tune plays to make this German kawaii nightmare complete. That happy tune will get stuck in your head. Anyway you go from left to right through various screens dodging obstacles. When you jump it plays a little tune which plays instead of the background music’s bass line (yes the game music has treble and bass parts – something that Atari doesn’t have often).

If you hit an enemy Bobby farts when he dies. If you fall into a pond you sink ito it and drown with a bubbly drowny-type sound. As you near your house the music slows down – I guess Bobby is starting to get tired by this point. The final screen is a snow storm with you going into your house and you are treated to a happy ‘there’s no place like home’ type tune. Then it all starts again except a little harder.

Bobby Is Going Home

This game most certainly has camp value and is very fun to play in spite of the cuteness blasting from every pixel on the screen made even worse by that tune you will find yourself playing in your head for years to come. For what it is this game is very well made – lots of colour, great looking backgrounds, butterflies that look like butterflies, house that looks like a house and so on. However those black things they call rolling stones look pretty weird.

Mr Postman

This is a game most reviewers can the crap out of mostly because they can’t get past the first screen so they dismiss it as being a bad game. Personally I think these reviewers are just being AVGN wannabees and are deliberately looking for stuff to trash in games in an attempt to be funny. A bad game is a bad game but Mr Postman is a lot better than many other Atari 2600 titles.

There are three screens in all and I can make it through all of them. But it took a hell of a lot of practice to do it.

Mr Postman

In this game you are a postman represented by a teddy bear. The aim is to traverse the three screens and deliver your letter to a house in the ‘City of Silence’. Why I know this and most reviewers don’t? I used to have the scrap of paper that came with this cartridge they laughingly called the instruction manual.

The first screen is very hard, the hardest part of the game in fact. You have to run across the bottom of the screen, climb the tree jump onto the swinging rope, jump off the rope and land on the bird.

Jumping onto the bird is hard enough but many people don’t even get that far as the bird is constantly shitting while spitting at the tree. So you risk being shit on by the bird (which of course kills you). If you make it that far you risk being spat on as you climb the tree (which also kills you). Timing your jump to catch the rope is the easiest part of this screen (again, if you miss the rope or bird it kills you). As the bird is moving a lot its hard to time the jump onto it. But it can be done and when you do a triumphant tune plays and you can fly around on the bird for a bit. Yay.

The second screen you are flying around in a hailstorm. If you touch the trees at the bottom you die. If hailstones hit you (which you have to shoot) you die, if the lightning bolt hits you (kind of like a faster moving missile like in Missile Command) you die. Plus you have to shoot the birds at the top of the screen through the gaps in the clouds. Surprisingly its not as hard as it looks. Anyway you kill all the birds and the hail you make it to the third and final screen.

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Congratulations Mr Postman you’ve made it to the City of Silence – now to make your way to the house and deliver that letter. But its not so simple as there are some tight squeezes to slowly inch your way through else you die by touching the walls. As long as you take it slow its not so hard but a couple of those spaces are pretty tight. Ironically there is a simple tune playing in the background as you roam the City of Silence.

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!!!

So there you have it – all four games and for the most part four fairly entertaining ones. All games have excellent responsive yet precise controls so you can’t blame those if you suck at the game. I like the varying difficulty between the games as it caters to gamers of all skill and patience tolerance levels. A rarity for a small third party company as they are generally known for bad games.

Our Rating

  • Space Tunnel – 7/10 – Its fun, action packed space shooting in a confined space. The changes in speed keep the challenge going and the richochets keep you on your toes.
  • Phantom Tank – 8/10 – Great game even if the third screen is nigh impossible to beat
  • Bobby Is Going Home – 7/10 – Fun but gets repetitive once you know the patterns. Has some replay value as its the sort of game you just have to show to people and laugh when they can’t make it home even once (then you proceed to breeze through it). I can imagine people on drugs having a lot of fun with this one.
  • Mr Postman – 5/10 – The sheer brutality of the first screen will turn many people off playing it. Yet there are those who will be determined to beat it if only once.

Overall an excellent cartridge to pick up if you can find a copy.

Lego Batman for the Sega Mega Drive

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Lego Batman for the Sega Mega Drive

If you head down to your local Gamestop you won’t find new games for the Sega Mega Drive, but in Russia you can, well kind of. There are a number of Bootleg releases of games being release for the Mega Drive and Lego Batman is one of them. Before you get excited, check the video, it does not look like the official Lego Batman in graphics, sound or gameplay, but hey, it’s a new Mega Drive game right.

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If you are curious, Super Mario 64, Lord of the rings and even Metal Gear Solid will be making appearances on the Mega Drive, yes, seriously.

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GameBoy Color 23 in 1 Cartridge

The front of the cart says 23 in 1 but really it’s 7 games in 1. The games included in this cart are…

GameBoy Color 23

Bonk’s Adventure
Ninja Boy
Tennis
Klax
Minesweeper
Bomb Jack
Battle City

GameBoy Color 23

GameBoy Color 23 in 1 Cartridge

I’m not going into great details of each game, but I will say Bonk’s Adventure and Bomb Jack are my favorites of the bunch, and my least favorite game would really have to be Minesweeper. I thought I would never have to see that game again, I was wrong. Ninja Boy is an interesting adventure game and Klax is great for those of you who love Tetris type of games. Stack things up in a row to get rid of them and repeat. The tennis game aint half bad either. Of course Battle City is a classic and everyone should give that a try. It’s even funner on 2 player.

Bonk’s Adventure

Bonk’s Adventure

Ninja Boy

Ninja Boy

Tennis

Tennis

Klax

Klax

The dreaded Minesweeper

Minesweeper

Bomb Jack

Bomb Jack

Battle City

Battle City

Street Fighter 2

 

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Street Fighter 2

This one should be interesting for many of you and I’m sure you have come across it at some point while playing your NES emulator. Street Fighter 2 for the Famicom is an attempt at making a fighter for a limited console. Don’t get me wrong, the developers have managed a good attempt of a very revolutionary game, but this is far from revolutionary. The Famicom/NES did had its great share of fighters such as TMNT Tournament Fighter and Joy Mecha Fight but it takes more to make a decent fighter and Street Fighter 2 for the Famicom is far from it.

Street Fighter II - The World Warrior - Bootleg - Gameplay Screenshot

Street Fighter 2 for the Famicom is a very crappy attempt at mimicking a legendary game. The game does bring less fighter than the original, I’m guessing the producers must have either ran out of room or ran out of patience to even continue further. The gameplay is brutal as for some reason there is a magnet in each player which doesn’t attract each other but rather pushes them away(Talk about negative), you can’t seem to be able to stay near your opponent to corner and beat the hell out of him like in the original SNES release. The moves are also very tricky and tend to only work one out of three tries and even if you are able to pull them off, they aren’t that effective.

The game’s music is just awful and deserves the mute button. This is what you can expect from a pirate though. This one is an original pirate that got hacked to different other franchises. I’m sure there is a Mortal Kombat that is a clone of this game just with a different title screen and a better character select screen but I could be wrong. Overall, you will get a good laugh playing this game with a friend after a couple of beers. You can also pick this game up for a good price of around 5-10 usd so at least we can be happy it’s affordable. Be sure to download this awful game here and let me know if you find it appealing at all. I know for sure if you saw this in the stores you would have been all crazy about it, just imagine if it would have been an official Capcom release! We wouldn’t be so crazy about Street Fighter 4 as we are now but either way I don’t think Capcom would have allowed it. They did allowed a lot of awful Mega Man games ugh….until next week arrrr!

Super Donkey Kong 2

 

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Super Donkey Kong 2

When it comes to pirate originals you can’t help to wonder how much effort these developers must have put into these games. In some cases, a lot, in others probably not much and in certain ones, a very lazy attempt to resell Mario, (Mario hacks) Nothing! You do have to give the creators of this game a lot of credit. They may not have done a great job but the attempt is there, it just seems that it was too much but it would have been a lot better if they weren’t rushed. I’m sure that’s what they are thinking right now, yeah that’s what they are thinking as they are sitting in their desks at Nintendo of Japan headquarters….well maybe, but this game delivers with the little material it brings. This game delivers a very painful gaming experience but you can’t help wonder the possibilities this game could have had. You do have to put aside the fact that this is a pirate original, I mean just think about it. How many people were appointed to create this game, it might have been four or maybe just one. You have to think of the budget and deadline! That’s one of the reasons I appreciate this game.

Super Donkey Kong 2 - Pirated Games - Gameplay Screenshot

The game looks really good for the perished 8-bit console and the gameplay is on the so-so factor. The controls are sluggish but with enough practice and precision (And no whining) You can get through the game with ease. The music mimics the SNES counter part but too much of it can hurt your ears and make you go deaf especially with those annoying rat sounds that sound more like beeps than a rat at all. The game consists of three levels in total which is quite short and the third one ends up being very difficult so beware you whiners.

Super Donkey Kong 2 - Pirated Games - Gameplay Screenshot

You play as Diddy Kong in the ship level but at the third and final level you’ll be the snake mutation of Diddy Kong. This one really creeps me out but being serious and all, it’s just the jumping snake you turn into in the game(Not sure what happened to riding the damn animals). The game does show signs of being incomplete especially since you can collect coins for the shop which you will never reach as the game only has three levels. You can also collect the 1-up balloons as well as the bananas. If you get hit once, you are a dead monkey so make sure you know the controls real well.

There is not much left to tell about such a short game. This game is available as a single pirate cart and even comes in multi-carts (I should know as I have it in my clone). For those of you not wanting to spend the average price of 15 dollars for the game, well guess what? Like in other entries you will have the rom to download here.

Earth Worm Jim 3

Earth Worm Jim 3

This week we have yet another Famicom entry. This game was released as many different games. I will use the number 3 since that’s the one it has been mostly known as. In fact, I would suggest you play this game instead of the Playstation release which was awful. When you think of pirates you always think of horrible gameplay but believe it or not, there are some good ones out there. This game is in fact pretty good. It deserves a lot of credit as the creators of this game did the best job they could to mimic the SNES release of it. But why call it Earth Worm Jim 3? I’m guessing these guys were so disgusted by the third release that they decided to take matters into their own hands and create a decent third installment to the franchise.

EarthWorm Jim 3 - Bootleg - Gameplay Screenshot

The gameplay was done quite well and is very responsive. The level design is decent and does its best to mimic the SNES version. They even added the select button function to switch from your head whip to your gun since the NES/Famicom controller doesn’t have as many buttons as the SNES controller, now that’s impressive. The bosses are awfully easy so you’ll be able to get through with ease. The music is so-so as they tried to copy the SNES sound score although they felt short from making it successful, it was a good attempt nonetheless. You will be able to tell which song is which so no worries there. For 8-bit music, it’s what you get for it.

EarthWorm Jim 3 - Bootleg - Gameplay Screenshot

This game reminds me a lot about Boogerman which I will be discussing in the coming weeks but for now you’ll have to settle with Jim. It does show some similarities to Boogerman hmm maybe they used the same engine? Who knows but both deliver quite well and better than other original pirates. So as usual, here is the rom now off you go into another pirate adventure arrrrrr!

TMNT 2

TMNT 2

I know I had to do this game eventually especially because of the differences it contains from the original. This game may be common as hell but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Just think of Super Mario Brothers when you think of some nice inexpensive fun. Anyways, if you are having trouble beating TMNT 2 for the NES then the Famicom pirate is the one for you. Not only do you get to start with extra lives 5-7 depending on the cart as there are various out there but you also have stronger turtles.

TMNT 2 Pirate Famicom

What I mean with stronger I mean that they have a strong flying kick that’ll destroy any foot soldier with just one hit so you’ll be able to defeat the foot soldiers and bosses with ease. The extra lives help a lot especially if you run into those annoying bad guys that just won’t stop coming at you. Some to mention are the robotic scorpions and the flying bug things. Those can really get to you especially if you time your attack wrong because you’ll keep flying off to the other side of the screen over and over. You can’t forget about the tigers that run at you although to be able to defeat them you’ll need to hit him and walk towards then hit the tiger again and again that way he won’t be able to get a chance to jump at you. Of course, you’ll run out of visible territory and will need to evade him to catch him on the other end. The game is filled with tactics you will need to think through before acting on them.

nes-tmnt2

There is also the super move that each turtle has. They are all the same and as effective so it doesn’t matter which turtle you use, you’ll be alright with either one. There is an added movement that will work on the pirate which helps you hit both ways with the super move. it’s quite easy to do if you are quick with the d-pad. All you have to do is perform the super move and then as you are doing the move you’ll need to tap the d-pad to the other side of where your turtle is facing resulting in the double super move! Things like this makes you wonder if pirates really intended to leave this bug in there or if they were too lazy to take it out but I think I’ll go with the first one as the game was hacked to aide you into finishing it without cursing and throwing the controller out the window.

TMNT 2 pirate Famicom 2

Overall, many players from past and present have already played through this one probably more than once but it’s always nice to come back for more so this game will help you out with it especially if you are past your prime(like me) And just want to enjoy the great beat em up style gameplay that was king in the late 80s early 90s. Sadly, I can’t seem to find this game in rom format so no rom until further notice. Thank you for reading and I’ll cya next week! Cowabunga!

Tekken 2 (SNES)

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Tekken 2 (SNES)

Pirates come in crappy shapes and sizes. From the Famicom to the Nintendo 64 (Believe it or not) But there are some that just seem to good to be true. This is where Tekken 2 for the SNES comes in. Yes! You heard it! It’s Tekken for your 16-bit console. You might be getting all excited about this “gem” but it’s far from being a “gem”. The game is memorable in many ways and none of those ways are good. We are going to have a brief chat about Tekken 2 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Tekken 2 - Bootleg games - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot

The game has some 3D rendition to it but just some. It mostly plays like a Donkey Kong style graphics fighter. Even though there aren’t any Donkey Kong fighters out there, the game uses similar graphics to the game. The controls are just dead awful. They don’t respond half the time and it doesn’t help that they make the computer amazingly strong and very tough to beat. There will be times where you’ll get hit badly and your energy is almost done. The computer also tends to block at the perfect time. It’ll take a lot of practice to be able to defeat this master mind but I’m sure the options can offer you a better chance at victory.

Tekken 2 - Bootleg games - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot

 

With the nightmarish controls put aside, I can tell you that the music is no better. Believe it or not, they use a Mega Man X music at the title screen which gives me the impression that the creators of this pirate also created Pokemon Stadium for the SNES as well. The music just lacks the Capcom tough which would have been a good idea to leave but it would have felt left out either way. I guess that was easier than porting the Tekken soundtrack but then again there wasn’t a soundtrack to being with.

Tekken 2 - Bootleg games - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot

To conclude, this game is something to pick up and play but then throw away. There is a very small chance that you’ll run into this game here in the States but we on the look out for it in such countries as Mexico, Argentina, and Peru. Even Brazil has some interesting pirates to this day and Master System games you never heard of. Yes, the world of piracy is still going strong especially thanks to us retro gamers. Don’t even get me started on China….till next week.